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Old 25-04-2018, 20:16   #1
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hoisting a mainsail more easily

This post will show my ignorance so forgive in advance.

Was listening to a conversation about how to hoist a mainsail more easily and I heard a word I couldn't understand.

Something about *bat or bat* on a mast that had been added for 2K.

What was that word and would anyone care to comment.
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Old 25-04-2018, 20:23   #2
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Re: hoisting a mainsail more easily

SailTrack most likely. It's a plastic channel that is like teflon. It's foot slides into the existing channel in the mast. Yes it is expensive, but it makes a significant difference in the friction of raising a sail.

https://www.tidesmarine.com/sailtrac...t_overview.php

Perhaps they were talking about batten cars, for fully battened sails, although they don't make the sail fundamentally easier to raise than a non-fully battened sail.
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Old 25-04-2018, 20:27   #3
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Re: hoisting a mainsail more easily

I think this is a system of roller bearing hardware placed on the mast. What was that word?
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Old 25-04-2018, 20:30   #4
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Re: hoisting a mainsail more easily

Make sure your topping lift is keeping your boom level or higher. I see a lot of folks trying to raise the main with the boom drooping. That's just going to add a lot of friction into your sail slugs, especially with any full battens.
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Old 25-04-2018, 20:33   #5
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Re: hoisting a mainsail more easily

Bat cars might be what you heard.
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Old 25-04-2018, 21:03   #6
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Re: hoisting a mainsail more easily

Batt Cars probably, I think there are others, I'm only familiar with Harken.
Harken Sailboat Hardware and Accessories
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Old 26-04-2018, 02:00   #7
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Re: hoisting a mainsail more easily

Battcar is the proprietary Harken name for the ball bearing slide system and has become almost generic (like fridge and hoover ), but there are several similar systems:.

Ronstan and Facnor are probably the most common alternatives

https://www.ronstan.com/marine/range.asp?RnID=324

Batten cars for full battened mainsail- Facnor
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Old 26-04-2018, 03:48   #8
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Re: hoisting a mainsail more easily

Strong sail track with bat cars.
Have it on my other boat, works primo.
Sail goes up easy, 2 seconds to come down...and it's a pretty big sail.

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Old 26-04-2018, 08:26   #9
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Re: hoisting a mainsail more easily

I had "bat slides" on my freedom and wished it had "bat cars".
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Old 26-04-2018, 08:33   #10
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Re: hoisting a mainsail more easily

You do not need to install a track.
We have a mast without and have a full batten main with batcars running on wheel along the outer edge of the mast.

I think it's a system from Rutgerson if I remember correctly.
Works well for us. Might be overpowered on huge mainsails though.

Adding a double main halyard helps too. Add a block to the top of your mainsail and fix one end of the halyard at the masthead.

Good luck.
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Old 26-04-2018, 09:19   #11
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Re: hoisting a mainsail more easily

Another thing you can do to help make hoisting any sail easier is take a good look at how your sheets and halyards run. In order to keep deck clutter down there are often pulleys and rollers and other hardware that add friction into the system. If any of the rollers, pulleys or other items don't roll freely then not only are you trying to hoist the sail but you have to overcome the friction too.

Slacken the bolts slightly so pulleys run free and grease them. If you can re route your halyards so there are less changes of direction, even if that does mean they look messier. If you don't want to do that then think about taking a couple of mm off the diameter. A 14mm halyard is easy to grip but a 12mm will run smoother with less friction. We often have thicker lines than we really need just because they are easier to hold.

Candle wax on the mast runners can also help by reducing the friction on the cars as you hoist them.

Friction is the key and eliminating as much as you can will really help hoist the sails easier.
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Old 26-04-2018, 11:05   #12
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Re: hoisting a mainsail more easily

Spreading each sail lug with a generous amount of teflon spray, and spraying the sail track withe the same stuff will seriously reduce the effort to raise the sail.
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Old 26-04-2018, 12:41   #13
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Re: hoisting a mainsail more easily

Here the track less system I was referring to.

https://www.rutgerson.se/product-cat...atten-systems/
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Old 26-04-2018, 13:18   #14
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Re: hoisting a mainsail more easily

Get an electric halyard winch and McLube your mainsail track
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Old 26-04-2018, 14:50   #15
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Re: hoisting a mainsail more easily

Painted Skies came with a Harken Battcar system and we love it. It is quite an elegant piece of boat hardware as you can see in the following diagram and photo. Our system was installed at least 25 years ago, and has performed flawlessly with minimal maintenance. We did have a few of the torlon bearings go walkabout 10 years ago ('what the heck are these little balls all over the deck?') that had to be replaced. Be sure to not remove the cars from the track unless you have the nifty tool that keeps you from losing ALL the bearings (ask us how we know this). Keep in mind if you decide to install the Harken Battcars and track that the sail luff must be specifically manufactured or modified to fit with the system.

There are lots of YouTube videos that show exactly how the system works; details of the parts needed for installation are located here: Harken Sailboat Hardware and Accessories. For a fully-battened mainsail, this system makes hoisting and dropping the sail a breeze.

Cheers, Katherine
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