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Old 08-08-2013, 15:36   #1
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Towable Genoa Cars for adjustment underway

Setting up a 40 Beneteau to go cruising. The vessel came with Lewmar tri-roller cars with adjusting pins on 1-1/4" straight track. I currently adjust the jib cars prior to a tack or in light wind will step on the sheet. The cars have a radiused thru hole just above the base that is just behind the pin for a 3/8" line and the Lewmar website states they are towable.

The jib sheets runs past the end of the track about 4 feet to a Lewmar footblock. I plan on purchasing two additional footblocks with jammers, stack on existing footblocks, to use for the CL on the car. Does anyone have any experience with the friction that will be developed trying to pull a line thru the opening in the car? I hope to install a double sheave end fitting at the forward end of the track and use the adjusting pin hole for a becket to get a 3:1 pull. I expect that I might have to ease off the wind to reduce the jib sheet load in some instances. I am trying to minimize trips out on the deck if cruising. The other option is the Garhauer adjustable car system at $380. Anyone have experience with it?
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Old 08-08-2013, 15:45   #2
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Re: Towable Genoa Cars for adjustment underway

Once I sailed a boat with remote control jib cars, I wondered how I could have ever sailed without it. The sheet lead is an absolutely essential control and how can you trim your sails if you have to luff the jib and crawl up the side decks everytime you want to play with it? Ridiculous.

My boat has the Lewmar system which consists of two blocks, one of which is fixed at the beginning of the track, and the other of which rolls up and down the track on roller bearings like batten cars. The control line uses double-purchase and comes back to the cockpit, where I put it on a secondary winch. To move the lead aft, you just slack the line and the car moves aft by the force of the sheet. You retrim the sheet and sail on. To move the lead forward, you have to slack the sheet and winch in the line, then retrim. You don't have to ease off the wind.

I would definitely go with a purpose-built system. I have not seen the Garhauer system, but they make good stuff, so suppose it must be good. Will be the best $380 you ever spent on your boat.
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Old 08-08-2013, 16:20   #3
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Re: Towable Genoa Cars for adjustment underway

I own a Beneteau 375 with what sounds like the same genoa lead cars that you have, with the adjustment lines already rigged. The cars on my boat have plastic sliders, as opposed to ball bearings that run on the track. With the sliders, it is nearly impossible to adjust the lead position with any kind of load on the sheet; ball bearings are an absolute must if you are going to go to the trouble of rigging tow lines.
I don't have any experience with the Garhauer lead cars specifically, but I do have a lot of Garhauer gear on the boat, and it's all great.
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Old 08-08-2013, 17:43   #4
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Re: Towable Genoa Cars for adjustment underway

Installed the Garhauer line controlled Jib cars before sailing the boat to Hawaii. Really nice setup and way cheaper than the other manufacturers offerings. Easy peasey to be able to move the blocks from the cockpit to change the lead when the Genoa is reefed/furled. Just pull on or release the control line to move the cars without worry of easing sheets or getting beaten to death by a flailing sheet. Used to dread, read ignore, moving the blocks before. Always involved dealing with a wildly flailing sheet and a block/car setup that was banging about while attempting to pull the pin and move the car.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:04   #5
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Re: Towable Genoa Cars for adjustment underway

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, trishark.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:30   #6
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Re: Towable Genoa Cars for adjustment underway

Not sure I am understanding you correctly but the control line will need to run through a sheave at any turning point. Even if you take some strain off the sheets it will be very difficult to move. I have a Caliber 40 with a 135% genny and a 4:1 control line that can be difficult. 3:1 will be a challenge even with a fair lead.

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Old 09-08-2013, 10:33   #7
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Re: Towable Genoa Cars for adjustment underway

The frictional loads on the slider will vary with several factors... things such as sail size and wind strength and how high the clew is off the deck (ie, how big a vertical angle the sheet is turned through). So, it is hard to predict accurately how your installation will behave, but from my limited (one installation) experience, simple nylon slides will have too much friction to be adjusted under load. Recirculating balls will be both far better and far more expensive... funny how that works!

Having the option to adjust under load is surely nice, and will likely improve your sail trim on average.

Good luck with it.

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Old 09-08-2013, 12:52   #8
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Re: Towable Genoa Cars for adjustment underway

A sheet can be tied off (before the sheet enters the car) then the car can be moved manually to the desired position. Then tension the sheet on the winch and remove the stopper tie.

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Old 09-08-2013, 13:02   #9
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Re: Towable Genoa Cars for adjustment underway

"with the friction that will be developed trying to pull a line thru the opening in the car? "
If I am understanding you, you plan to lead a line from "here" to the hole in the car and then back again to someplace. Usually what I've seen is that the cord is tied off to the car, and then goes from the car to a sheave or pulley, and then the line comes back to where the car is. Either a bungee cord is used or other means to pull the car back. I'm probably getting that all mangled in the meaning...but the point is that no, you don't just run a line through the hole in the car. You tie off to the car, or you could attach a pulley/sheeve to the hole.

Either way if you set this up with bungee cord pulling the car, look for "UV resistant" cord and expect to replace it annually, it is a consumable part.
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Old 09-08-2013, 14:02   #10
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Re: Towable Genoa Cars for adjustment underway

The Garhauer's are 4-1 ball bearing cars which may be why they are so easy to adjust. Only caveat is the ball bearings are not captive. Have to be careful when sliding the cars onto the track. Don't throw away the short piece of track they are shipped with as you'll need it if you want to take the cars off the track.
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Old 09-08-2013, 22:43   #11
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$380 per side or for a pair?
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Old 09-08-2013, 23:36   #12
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Re: Towable Genoa Cars for adjustment underway

Believe it's for the whole set for both sides but it's not clear in the catalogue. It's been a while since I bought mine but can't see me paying $604 for a set of the '2' size blocks. $302 seems more my speed.

Garhauer is the best kept secret for quality blocks and stainless parts at reasonable prices. Their two speed mainsheet block system is about a third of what Ronstan or Harken wants. It's listed as a two part vang in their catalogue if anyone has an interest.
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Old 10-08-2013, 00:21   #13
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Re: Towable Genoa Cars for adjustment underway

Adjustable cars are very nice and essential on a racer and nice to have on a cruiser. If you can't afford a set do what I do. When I need to move a fairlead I take a second shorter line and tie a rolling hitch to the sheet and then tie it off to somewhere on the deck ie: toerail,block or cleat that lines up properly. Then I ease the sheet until the shorter line is under tension and then adjust the car which will have no load and once that is done I tighten up the sheet and remove the shorter line. All is good, takes a couple of minutes and you continue to sail.
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Old 14-08-2013, 19:59   #14
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Re: Towable Genoa Cars for adjustment underway

Price is list for the pair. Boat show special is 10% to 15% off. Knowing that the bearings are not captive could save a lot of time and effort. Thanks for the heads up. I was able to take pictures of other boats that have lines thru Lewmar Tri-Rollers with a sheave and becket at the forward end of the T-track. My rigger also works on their boat and hope to get contact info to see if it is worth doing. Will post pictures of the Tri-Roller and a very sweet Harken system later this week using captive bearing track. I would rather not replace my T-track with captive bearing traveler style track. Cost and the posibility of mismatched holes and leaks. Thanks for all the input.
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Old 14-08-2013, 20:39   #15
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Re: Towable Genoa Cars for adjustment underway

Garhauer will machine the cars to fit whatever track you have. I had SS track that was thicker than the Garhauer aluminum track so the cars wouldn't slide smoothly. Called up Garhauer and they said to send them back and they'd machine them for the thickness of the SS track. Decided to go with their aluminum track as I wanted a longer track and had quite a few leaks along the rail so would've taken off the SS track anyway. As it turned out, the wood riser on the SS track was in bad shape and needed to be replaced so going with the aluminum turned out to be an excellent decision. FWIW, the fastener spacing on the aluminum track was nearly identical to the SS track. Had to run a drill into a few holes but not many.

If you go with Garhauer, measure the thickness of the track and pass it on to them when you order the track.

Garhauer are great people to deal with. I managed to lose the bearings and a unique fastener on other Garhauer hardware. Purely my fault but they sent me the replacement parts without a charge.
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