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Old 20-11-2021, 13:43   #1
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Changing head car, how to get the little piece of rail out

Hi All,
I need to change the head car. How do I get that little piece of rail on the mast out? I unscrewed the 4 little screws that hold the security piece and moved that up. But i still cannot get that little piece of track rail out.

On the 44 Helia there is a threaded rod at the lower end of the rail that puhes the rail up. Release the tension of that rod and you can remove the little piece.

On the Lavezzi its different...there is a plastic cap on the buttom holded down by a screw and just before that a imbus screw. Plastic cap is too small that there is a system like an the Helia is underneath...
Hard to get to there too because the shackle that holds the main to the boom is in the way and the full weight of the sail pushes on that plastic cap.
I don't see dismantling that helps and if i need to how??? Getting the weight off means i need to hoist the sail but then i cannot change the head car???
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Old 20-11-2021, 17:42   #2
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Boat: Fountaine Pajot, Helia 44 - Hull #16
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Re: Changing head car, how to get the little piece of rail out

On my Helia, there are two screws on the removeable section. After removing the screws it usually takes a little persuasion to remove the section because of salt and grime. You donít need to remove the lower section of the track. Hopefully you know to use the section of track to remove the cars with balls, otherwise you will have deck full of them
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Old 20-11-2021, 20:05   #3
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Re: Changing head car, how to get the little piece of rail out

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenRbrts View Post
On my Helia, there are two screws on the removeable section. After removing the screws it usually takes a little persuasion to remove the section because of salt and grime. You donít need to remove the lower section of the track. Hopefully you know to use the section of track to remove the cars with balls, otherwise you will have deck full of them

i already gave that little piece some love with the big nylon hammer, doesn't move a millimeter even I have all 4 screws and that security bar out.


As described I don't have that system of the Helia44 with the screw that pushes the rail up. but something pushes the rail up but I don't know how...
But its exactly the same track and cars on Helia 44 as on the Lavezzi
my buddy next to me on the pontoon has a Helia 44 too and we checked it there



Before I bite the bullet and get the shakle of the main sail out and unscrew the bottom plastic part I ask here.
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Old 21-11-2021, 03:49   #4
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Boat: Fountaine Pajot, Helia 44 - Hull #16
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Re: Changing head car, how to get the little piece of rail out

Couple of thoughts. Iím wondering if you put force on the mast from the bow if it will open the track a little. So tighten a spinnaker halyard attached to the cross bar in case the track is under tension from the mast backward bend. On a similar note, loosening the shrouds perhaps (mark with tape first to get back to the same spot). Finally you could call the guys at US Spars in Florida. They make the mast and I have found them super helpful. Good luck!
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Old 21-11-2021, 07:53   #5
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Re: Changing head car, how to get the little piece of rail out

no Lavezzi owner here that done that operation???
There must be a dedicated way to get this out
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Old 22-11-2021, 14:52   #6
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Re: Changing head car, how to get the little piece of rail out

I figured it out.
FP can you make this more complicated??? Not really I guess.

1) open your Lazy bag
2) put a rope under the lowest car and route it through the shackle of the main sail halyard attached to the headcar.
3) pull up the lashed main sail pack by around 10cm…now you have Limited space to work
4) disconnect the shackle from eye of the main where it is attached to the boom close to the mast
5) pull up the strapped together main sail 15cm more so you have room to work
6) now comes the burner: you need to open the alien hex screw that holds the plastic endcap of the mast track, to reach it you need to rotate the screw that holds the boom till it’s eye is in line with the alien screw of the endcap.
To reach that alien hex screw the ONLY way is with a 10cm long alien hex no. 5 insert for your little wrench…who has that?? Well me with 400kg of tools onboard deep down in the locker…it’s a special tool to work on an Audi R8 Race car…and now on a FP Lavezzi
A normal alien hex key is to short, the longer one fits hardly with the long side but the short side is too short to be able to put enough force to open it, no space to use a pipe or a plier as lever….a normal alien insert is to big in diameter to fit through the eye of that boom screw.
Well the last way out would be to disconnect the whole boom to get rid of that screw…so you can get to unscrew that plastic endcap…ridiculous….
7) now with the plastic endcap off mark the end of the track on the mast, you need that later as reference. Now you can open the 2nd alien hex screw that holds the mast track
8) at about 50cm above the lazybag on the mast there is this little piece of track that can be dismantled: to do this take out the 4 screws that hold the round security piece and punch it up or down till it’s completely out of that little piece of track.
9) now you take a nylon or rubber hammer and a little puncher and give the lower mast track from top down where it connects to the little piece some TLC. Eventually the track slights a little bit down and you can take out the little track piece. Hurray….

Change your head car

10) to put that little piece back in you need to prepare a 5cm long M8 hex screw with a washer and a nut. Put nut on the screw and screw it down till 1cm Thread is visible, put washer over, keep it in reach. Now 1 person need to hold the little track piece in position while the other person punshes up the lower mast track with the nylon hammer from the lower end till there is no gap between that little piece and lower mast track.
11) now place that M8 screw with the head down between the gooseneck and the lower end of the mast track. That 1 cm thread piece goes into the track on the bottom and head on the gooseneck. Now you take 2 size 10 hex keys and hold with one the head and with the other screw up the nut. The washer above the nut pushes up the lower mast track against that little piece. Only when you pushed it to the reference point you marked in 7)you are able to screw in the lower alien hex screw that holds the the bottom end of the track to secure it in place. Till that screw is in the 2nd person needs to hold the little piece in place and aligns it properly. If not that little piece slides out and is automatically donated to Neptun…you are in trouble…
The Helia 44 has that screw push up solution installed with 2 screws pushing up the track from factory, on Lavezzi there is nothing that helps to push up. Helia has the identical 25/3 track from Zspars as the Lavezzi.

12) now put together in reverse oder from 8) on

Was a 6h operation today with 3 people till we figured that out…
Tomorrow same operation again, now I know how it works…why:
Head car is changed now but I wanna put an intermediate car at each of the 3 reef eye and lash it to the intermediate car.
Catch 2 bunnies at the same time:
1) the full battens are nearly 3 m apart, in the middle the reef eye. Being so far apart means to tighten down the main in close haul is working suboptimal at best as you get bags between the battens…lashing the reef eye to the intermediate car means to extremely reduce this bags and I get the main properly tighten down and better shaped at the same time under all sail points.
2) the reef eye lashed to the intermediate car means it is under all conditions already very close to the mast and fixed which makes reefing much easier and faster. Just drop sail till intermediate car with lashed reef eye is close to boom and put the locking strap through the reef eye and lock it. much easier as it’s fixed now and not pushed away from the mast due to wind in the sail.

Each intermediate car is 6cm so this adds 18cm of height when folded together, my lazy bag is high enough :-)
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Old 22-11-2021, 16:12   #7
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Boat: Fountaine Pajot, Helia 44 - Hull #16
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Re: Changing head car, how to get the little piece of rail out

Glad you figured it out! I and perhaps others would love some photos.
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