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Old 04-07-2017, 08:15   #1
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Harken Switch T Track batt car system

Hi There
I am looking for feedback from those who have used the patented Harken Switch T Track batt car system. If you have what were thoughts on the system and what size boat was it fitted on?

Harken

This system does not used the torsion ball system of the standard Harken Batt car and therefore has no moving parts. It is therefore less prone to failure and (potentially) requires less maintenance, but will not drop as easily as torsion ball cars, so being able to drop (or reef) the main in unfavourable conditions might be more tricky without bearing up as the friction on the cars on the switch system will be higher.
This switch car system has the advantages (as I see them):
1. of reducing the stack pack height by 50% (which on a 50 foot cat is material) and the benefits that go with that.
2. reefing the main easier - as in managing the sail once dropped
3. Less to go wrong - no moving parts.
4. It seems to carry the price as the torsion batt car system.
5. Connecting and disconnection the main halyard is much easier.


All feedback appreciated.
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:42   #2
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Re: Harken Switch T Track batt car system

I used the roller ball Harken switch on an Andrews 70'. It was an amazing system, always worked well, allowed reeling on any point of sail, and made that monster main stack up much lower than without. All in all I highly recommend it.

But it isn't cheap. So there's that.

On a 50' cat... it's probably getting close to mandatory in my mind just to keep the sail contained.
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Old 05-07-2017, 01:51   #3
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Re: Harken Switch T Track batt car system

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
I used the roller ball Harken switch on an Andrews 70'. It was an amazing system, always worked well, allowed reeling on any point of sail, and made that monster main stack up much lower than without. All in all I highly recommend it.

But it isn't cheap. So there's that.

On a 50' cat... it's probably getting close to mandatory in my mind just to keep the sail contained.
Thanks Stumble
The system I was referring to does not have the torsion ball roller system as the Switch T track uses a batt car that has a teflon type insert in the car to let it glide smoothly, so it does not fall as easily as the roller ball batt car. (only negative that I see.) The Harken Rep said the price of the torsion ball batt car and the T Track switch batt car system are the same price. So for me it is just a systems choice.

Not sure if you could access the link I posted ?
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:26   #4
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Re: Harken Switch T Track batt car system

You might get a bit more feedback on this over on Sailing Anarchy Forums. Since the crowd there is more gear oriented, as well as big boat performance oriented. So it's worth a try. And some of the multihull forums might be worth a shot too. Also, I don't know if it would allow you to reach a resonable stack height or not, but have a look at Antal's system(s). Particularly the cars with the low friction, fiber inserts. I've yet to hear anything but good feedback on them. hs high strength fibre systems-antal
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:00   #5
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Re: Harken Switch T Track batt car system

Thanks Uncivilized ....... will check those suggestions out.

A quick update. I have just found out from Harken that the Switch system is actually about 25% cheaper than the torsion ball batt car system (on a like for like basis) and another big plus that I had not noticed until now it the whole system is probably 50% lighter ....... the weight saving is mainly in the cars ........ they are literally a 3rd of the weight as the car housing is much smaller as it does not need to house the ball system
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Old 05-07-2017, 07:32   #6
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Re: Harken Switch T Track batt car system

We considered it for our boat, 61' with a 93' air draft. Our stack height is about 12'. All the feedback I've received is they (the cars) stick and then the battens hinge, not good with heavy 22' battens. We decided not to go that route, we use Harken C-size cars with the torlon balls and live with the stack height.
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Old 15-04-2019, 14:35   #7
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Re: Harken Switch T Track batt car system

This is an old thread. But I'd like to hear more...

Is there any updated info on the split system? Any more comments?

We'll soon have to make our choice too. what did you decide on Lambretta?

Thanks.
Paul.
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Old 16-04-2019, 06:57   #8
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Re: Harken Switch T Track batt car system

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This is an old thread. But I'd like to hear more...

Is there any updated info on the split system? Any more comments?

We'll soon have to make our choice too. what did you decide on Lambretta?

Thanks.
Paul.
I have decided to go for the Harken C batt car system. I was fortunate enough to sail 75ft cat with the split track and IMHO it offered no value and in fact made dropping the main a PITA and created a LOT of extra admin and this yacht had a hayrack on the boom so the stack pack height was reduced.
For me another factor that helped my decision was that if you have limited sea room and need to drop the main and cant change your point of sail to ease the load on the cars, the split track cars do not come down easily and in fact have to be pulled down. I will most of the time be short handed sailing and sure dont want this as an issue. So the upsides as so limited on a split track for my size yacht that the great features of the C class batt car far out way any (small) benefits but actually create other issues.

I have reduced the stack pack height with a hayrack on my boom that also has a lot of other benefits. But that is in another post!

Hope this helps
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Old 16-04-2019, 07:58   #9
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Re: Harken Switch T Track batt car system

Thanks for your post. Your logic is sound. I'm glad to hear of your experience, regards the split track.

I am building a dished boom, park avenue boom, or whatever you call it these days. It'll help to keep the stack height down.

We're also short handed, so any effort saved lowering the mainsail, is a very good thing.

I'm guessing we'll also go with a roller car type system. It seems the safest way to go.

Cheers.
Paul.
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