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Thread: Track system on wood mast?

  1. #1
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    Default Track system on wood mast?

    I was talking to a friend the other day who's thinking of installing a Tides track over the "T" track on his 45' spruce mast. Anybody have any experience with those? Good? Bad? Seems to me that checking the track attachment screws will be a bit problematic? I can see 'em on aluminum spars with no problem, but....

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Track system on wood mast?

    I can't see it ending happily, Hugh.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Track system on wood mast?

    Any particular reason, John B, or just gut feeling? I can see advantages to the system if the track's maintained properly, but I'd hate to see someone jeapordize a mast.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Track system on wood mast?

    My concern would be the leverage the depth of the track would place on the screwed on track and therefore the screws. Instead of the fulcrum being say 12mm off the mast on a standard track its whatever the new standoff of the plastic track is... more like say 50mm?
    Full battens as well? They can work like a gaff and impose compression across the track on a run.
    I've often looked at my slides and battens on various points of sail and it varies surprisingly. Some in tension , some not as above. I even had to change a bunch of slides because of no load and they set up a terrible hum vibration. It was 40 knots when that particular issue came to light. At the same time my full battens shoving the cars up to windward.

    So what I would expect to happen is the track screws will work at the load points of the sail .Thats not the end of the world, each screw hole could be counterbored and filled with a composite/epoxy bearing .
    But that's my concern and expectation.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Track system on wood mast?

    The Tides track offsets the load by maybe 1 cm. from the existing metal track.
    To a degree, the stiffness of the Tides track will spread a local load, as from a batten car, across several of the underlying trackís fasteners.
    The other good news is that itís no more trouble to remove a Tides Strongtrack for inspection than it was to install it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Track system on wood mast?

    what is wrong with the original track system that he wants to replace it?
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

    -Dalai Lama

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Track system on wood mast?

    wuts a Tides Track?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Track system on wood mast?

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    wuts a Tides Track?
    It's a plastic (UHMW) sailtrack that goes in yer existing luff groove, or over your external track. Has some nifty cars that roll up 'n down it real easy like. Lets your sail drop without having to go forward and drag it down by hand. I'm sticking one on my glass boat with a 'lumium mast and my neighbor was interested since it makes hoisting, dropping and more importantly reefing really easy. After playing with one on my friend's boat I was sold I like it better than the fancy Harken roller ball systems and it costs about a third. Not something you'd need on a small boat, but when your luff lengths get over ~30' I think it's a safety item.
    Here's a link: https://www.tidesmarine.com/sailtrac...t_overview.php
    Last edited by Hugh MacD; 11-20-2020 at 11:37 AM. Reason: added link

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Track system on wood mast?

    When talking to Carol Hasse about sails for my Ingrid, she recommended the system. I opted out for cost reasons.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Track system on wood mast?

    It sounds like I've overestimated it's dimension , it was some years ago I handled some at a show and then helped a guy fit one (mast was out). Shame there are no drawings for it on the tides site... that I can find anyway.
    Nevertheless I still don't think it's right for a wooden mast for the reasons I've already stated. ( without reinforced screw bedding).
    Last edited by John B; 11-20-2020 at 11:43 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Track system on wood mast?

    I put one on Damfino last year. Hugh’s description is accurate.

    For installing on a mast that doesn’t already have a track, Tides offers some stainless clips that are screwed to the mast and which engage a female track milled in the forward face of the plastic track. The spacing of the clips is tightened up at points of heavier loading.

    On a painted or varnished wooden mast, I’d be concerned about how to maintain the finish at the edge of the Tides track. A strip of something that needs infrequent refinishing and is slightly wider than the track might do it. Maybe thin G10 with two-part urethane finish.

    Tides Marine Track isn’t inexpensive or lightweight, but it’s very low friction which is important to some.
    Last edited by JimConlin; 11-20-2020 at 10:18 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Track system on wood mast?

    Are you happy with it , Jim?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Track system on wood mast?

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    Are you happy with it , Jim?
    Yes. The primary virtues are low friction and tolerance of point loads as from full battens.

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