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Old 25-06-2018, 02:47   #1
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Robert's 38 ketch tracks for head sail sheets

Hey all, I bought me Robert's 38 foot centre cockpit ketch a few years ago, the previous owner had chopped off the steel toe rail due to rusting, but didn't install a new way to run the sheets (the blocks used to clip to the rail) so I just made a "temporary" solution by lashing blocks to the bottom of the mizzen stays... 4 years and many thousands of miles later... and I'm ready to install some tracks! Are there any suggestions as to the best place / angle to put them? I have a roller fuller up forward
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Old 07-07-2018, 08:15   #2
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Re: Robert's 38 ketch tracks for head sail sheets

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Originally Posted by Tomon4winds View Post
Hey all, I bought me Robert's 38 foot centre cockpit ketch a few years ago, the previous owner had chopped off the steel toe rail due to rusting, but didn't install a new way to run the sheets (the blocks used to clip to the rail) so I just made a "temporary" solution by lashing blocks to the bottom of the mizzen stays... 4 years and many thousands of miles later... and I'm ready to install some tracks! Are there any suggestions as to the best place / angle to put them? I have a roller fuller up forward
I have a Roberts 43 centre cockpit ketch and I also cut the pipe toe rail off. This boat has a jib sheet track in the middle of the walkway inside the saloon ports and it's a real pain because it's hard to keep rust at bay underneath it. I am going to rip them off next time I'm on the hard and I'm going to weld some 8 millimetre S/S plate onto the hull which will bent over and come just inboard of the hull plate and I will fix the Genoa block to that. If I need to tweak the shape of the Genoa I have some snatch blocks for that. I have hard handrails around the boat which I absolutely love but they get chafed by the jib sheet. I am thinking of taking the jib sheet out board of those rails which obviously means I won't be able to close haul as hard. It's all the compromise in a cruising boat..right?
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Old 11-07-2018, 15:08   #3
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Re: Robert's 38 ketch tracks for head sail sheets

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Originally Posted by Tomon4winds View Post
Hey all, I bought me Robert's 38 foot centre cockpit ketch a few years ago, the previous owner had chopped off the steel toe rail due to rusting, but didn't install a new way to run the sheets (the blocks used to clip to the rail) so I just made a "temporary" solution by lashing blocks to the bottom of the mizzen stays... 4 years and many thousands of miles later... and I'm ready to install some tracks! Are there any suggestions as to the best place / angle to put them? I have a roller fuller up forward

I have an honest question about your dilemma. Why would you change something that worked for thousands of miles?
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Old 11-07-2018, 21:12   #4
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Re: Robert's 38 ketch tracks for head sail sheets

My old roberts 34 had bad rust underneith the genoa tracks. I removed them, welded up the holes in the deck and welded on stainless lugs at 300 mm centres. This worked very well.
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Old 12-07-2018, 04:23   #5
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Re: Robert's 38 ketch tracks for head sail sheets

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I have an honest question about your dilemma. Why would you change something that worked for thousands of miles?
It worked that's for sure, but it's sometimes hard to get a good sail shape, sitting there for days just seeing the possibility of a better shape and maybe some hours off the ETA! I have the tracks so I may as well use them, though I am going to go for a sail and see what's best, maybe welding lugs on in the right spot like snowpetrel said, maybe revert to the old style... we shall see! Should be back in the water next week after a year on the hard!!
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:59   #6
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Re: Robert's 38 ketch tracks for head sail sheets

A very good trick is to use an adjustable fairlead made from a low friction ring, or just a smooth stainless thimble spliced into a rope tail.

Set this somewhere between the clew and the aft sheet lead block and pull it down until the lead is right and you are happy with the twist.

This will give you a good idea of the best place to put the fixed lead block. You can use this adjustable lead when you roll away the sail. Just pull it down until you are happy with the set. Ideally you set it up so it can be adjusted from the cockpit via a winch. Also worth having a bungy cord up to the lifelines stop it flogging about.

If you are going it install the track best way is to weld on stainless steel angle to the bulwarks and then bolt it on through the stainless flange so you have no bolts through the deck, and no rust trap under it. You can easily weld stainless to mild with 309L rods and a stick welder.
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