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Old 06-11-2012, 09:09   #1
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Strong Sail Track and Slide System

A number of reviews make the Strong track system sound like the best thing since sliced bread for mainsail raising and lowering.

What experience have folks had with this product?

Is it such a big help that additional mainsail tamers are rendered less necessary?

Any opinions as to whether this should be a higher priority than other expenditures for making the mainsail easier to raise and lower?

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Old 06-11-2012, 09:28   #2
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Re: Strong Sail Track and Slide System

There have been several threads on this forum discussing problems with the strong track. A google search should pull them out.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:34   #3
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Re: Strong Sail Track and Slide System

Dollar for dollar, I think it's the best system out there for mid-sized boats with conventional mains. For larger boats with full-battened mains, I lean toward the Harken Battcar system, which is significantly pricier.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:49   #4
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Re: Strong Sail Track and Slide System

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
There have been several threads on this forum discussing problems with the strong track. A google search should pull them out.
I thought I read all the threads on the Strong Track system and don't recall any serious complaints, just very positive reviews from owners, some with years of use from theirs. I think one owner said he had a problem when the track was damaged but he cleaned up the burrs and was back to normal.

So, did I miss something somewhere?
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:20   #5
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Re: Strong Sail Track and Slide System

I seem to remember some that were started by people having trouble and needed help. Usually threads aren't started about products people are not having trouble with. There were also posters that were happy with there systems and those that weren't quite so happy. Just sayin.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:51   #6
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Ours had one installed just prior to our purchase. Seems to work fine. Lowering the sail drops really fast. Seems to make raising easier though i still want to change it to a two to one. To make it even easier raising.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:16   #7
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Re: Strong Sail Track and Slide System

I have a strong track and a dutchman. Main just drops right on the boom already flaked and ready for sail ties. Goes up way easier than before too. Even my wife can do it easily (not that she actually does most of the time)
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:21   #8
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Re: Strong Sail Track and Slide System

I was going to make it SOP to tie the loose end of the halyard to the yard parrel so as to make a nice simple downhaul...not that I'll likely need it, with the dipping lug or the chinese lug, but you never know. Anyone with a Bermudan simply tying a line to the headboard as a guaranteed downer for the sail for when you need it? Or perhaps just at those times when you suspect you might really want to have it down with no arguments?
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Old 06-11-2012, 13:17   #9
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Re: Strong Sail Track and Slide System

Quote:
Originally Posted by micah719 View Post
I was going to make it SOP to tie the loose end of the halyard to the yard parrel so as to make a nice simple downhaul...not that I'll likely need it, with the dipping lug or the chinese lug, but you never know. Anyone with a Bermudan simply tying a line to the headboard as a guaranteed downer for the sail for when you need it? Or perhaps just at those times when you suspect you might really want to have it down with no arguments?
G'Day Micah,

We sorta do that: I have a length of light line running from the headboard to the third reef cringle with a length of shock cord at the lower end to keep it tight against the sail when hoisted. On our boat (big mains'l, conventional slugs) teh sail comes down much of the way via gravity, but the last bits often hang up. This downhaul works well at encouraging the remainder to come down. It also is a means to secure the sail against getting blown back up the mast before zipping the boom bag, and for allowing the halyard to be tensioned before removing to the rail at anchor.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 06-11-2012, 13:26   #10
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Re: Strong Sail Track and Slide System

Thanks Jim!
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Old 06-11-2012, 13:43   #11
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Re: Strong Sail Track and Slide System

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
I seem to remember some that were started by people having trouble and needed help. Usually threads aren't started about products people are not having trouble with. There were also posters that were happy with there systems and those that weren't quite so happy. Just sayin.
I went back and reread several of the threads that mentioned the Strong Track. Most of them were like this thread, not started to complain or ask about a problem but to ask opinions of track and car systems in general or Strong Track specifically. I didn't spend half the afternoon rereading every word of every thread and post but scanned pretty thoroughly and found not a single serious complaint about the strong track system.

I have also researched it on some other forums with the same results. So far have found no one that hated it or had big problems or complaints, and in fact almost everyone liked it or even loved it.

Hope I'm right because I bought one and it's going on when I restep my mast.
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Old 06-11-2012, 13:49   #12
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Re: Strong Sail Track and Slide System

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
I seem to remember some that were started by people having trouble and needed help. Usually threads aren't started about products people are not having trouble with. There were also posters that were happy with there systems and those that weren't quite so happy. Just sayin.
We have used, recommended, and installed Strong Track systems for many years. I don't follow this forum all that closely, but I cannot recall anyone experiencing problems with Strong Track other than ones they may have created for themselves. There have been some issues with fat-head mains which were resolved with a different car for the headboard.

One caveat and this is a biggie. It's not always easy to adapt the old main for use with Strong Track (or any other track system). The luff of the sail will be moved aft. The headboard may not clear the backstay. The tack moves aft and you may have to just lash it. Naturally the clew moves aft as well and if it's already very close to the end of the boom, you may not have adequate outhaul tension.

If your mainsail is older, it's best to wait until you're replacing the sail to install the track. There's a fair amount of work in retrofitting the old sail so you end up with some labor charges. On a new main, there's no additional money spent installing the hardware because installing luff hardware is part of building the sail.
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Old 06-11-2012, 23:32   #13
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Re: Strong Sail Track and Slide System

Okay, my bad. Sorry for the misinformation, must be my faulty memory. Thanks for correcting me.
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Old 06-11-2012, 23:45   #14
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Re: Strong Sail Track and Slide System

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day Micah,

We sorta do that: I have a length of light line running from the headboard to the third reef cringle with a length of shock cord at the lower end to keep it tight against the sail when hoisted. On our boat (big mains'l, conventional slugs) teh sail comes down much of the way via gravity, but the last bits often hang up. This downhaul works well at encouraging the remainder to come down. It also is a means to secure the sail against getting blown back up the mast before zipping the boom bag, and for allowing the halyard to be tensioned before removing to the rail at anchor.

Cheers,

Jim
Jim -- I have the same problem, this is an excellent suggestion, I'll do just that. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 07-11-2012, 00:13   #15
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Re: Strong Sail Track and Slide System

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Originally Posted by islandplanet View Post
If your mainsail is older, it's best to wait until you're replacing the sail to install the track. There's a fair amount of work in retrofitting the old sail so you end up with some labor charges. On a new main, there's no additional money spent installing the hardware because installing luff hardware is part of building the sail.
That's what I did with mine. A new sail was on order to be installed with a Strong Track so it was made to fit with full battens. I've had it for 6 years now w/o a problem. If I had to do it all over again, I'd still go with the ST again.

The only problem I've heard of is some sticking in spots, which I would contribute to improper usage. If a sail is not hauled up tight or is allowed to luff in the winds for long, it may create a wear spot where the cars rest. That can be solved easily by pulling the track and fairing it back in or replacing it. It only took me and hour to install the track and I'm sure a replacement wouldn't take much longer. If the track is long enough it can be adjusted so the wear spots are in a different location for the cars to rest.

The only down fall on mine is that I have to drill out the rivets that hold the gooseneck in place and reinstall new rivets when done, which is no big deal for me being a Machinist and having the tooling.
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