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Thread: Building a boom with a sail track

  1. #1
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    Default Building a boom with a sail track

    So when I start to build the boom for my Balboa 20 how do I go about putting in the sail track?

    Chad
    There are three ways to do things: The right way, the wrong way and my way.

    Three Little Birds Love is My Religion

  2. #2
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    Where can you find a bolt on boltrope rail?

    Chad
    There are three ways to do things: The right way, the wrong way and my way.

    Three Little Birds Love is My Religion

  3. #3
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    Chad, make it in 2 halves. Cut /route the track into each half, plane the slot and then glue the 2 halves together...voila! a boltrope.

    I can send you/post pictures tonight of my dingy boom this evening if you would like.
    "The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content thenceforward with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place." -Arthur Ransome

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    What david said, or you can use a router. The fist guy to do it (Jack Holt) did it because it was cheaper than a track. It turned out to be much better, but that was not the reason

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    Photos would be nice.

    What bit would you use to make the slot? A dovetail bit maybe?

    Chad
    There are three ways to do things: The right way, the wrong way and my way.

    Three Little Birds Love is My Religion

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    Depending on the tools you have available. If you have a table saw, rip a 1/2" wide by 1/4" deep path in each half. Clean it out with a chisel. (when you join the 2 halve you now have a 1/2" by 1/2" hole the length of the boom). You can now rip a slot down the length for the sail, open it up at the goosneck end as a guide
    "The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content thenceforward with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place." -Arthur Ransome

  7. #7
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    While the split wood method discussed is attractive and elegant, i've never figured out how to maintain a finish in the groove and on its edges.

    Rolled stainless sail track ia sold by Rig-Rite and others.





    This is a track sold by Sunrise Yacht Products for attaching multihull nets. I think i've seen it sold for sail and awning use elsewhere. It'll accept a bolt rope or slugs.

    Then, if you're resolutely practical, there are always aluminum extrusions.

  8. #8
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    If I was going to go with an extrusion, I would prolly check with the folks at Dwyer. NTWM buy the way.
    "The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content thenceforward with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place." -Arthur Ransome

  9. #9
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    Can you just use the sail loose footed?

  10. #10
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    as for the router bit...a 1/2" core box would probably be the bit to use. put your guide fence on the router, set it for about a 1/4" between the bit and the fence and run it along the top edge of the boom halves before you do any shaping of the booms profile. then set your table saw fence to remove 1/16" from the lip at the top of the boom to make the slot for the sail. glue the two halves together and start shaping....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs View Post
    So when I start to build the boom for my Balboa 20 how do I go about putting in the sail track?

    Chad
    I would not put a sail track on a boom of a 20ft. boat.
    The sail will have a better shape without it.
    I would tighten it up with a single block and a cleat on the end of the boom. clean ,simple, efficient.
    I love the smell of fresh cut plywood in the morning.

  12. #12
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    Loose-footed sails are cut and shaped quite differently on the bottom than sails intended to be used with a sail track. To get the proper, slightly cupped shape at the foot area and the designed amount of draft across the bottom third or so of the sail on a typical cross-cut sail, the lower panels will be cut with one straight, or nearly straight, edge and one curved edge. On a loose-foot, the straight-ish edge will be on top, seamed to the rest of the sail and the curved edge will be on the bottom. On a sail intended to be used in a sail-track, this panel will essentially be flipped over (upside-down) with the curved side sewn to the rest of the sail, creating the foot area's draft, and the straight side along the boom and fit to the track. These two methods of shaping the bottom are not interchangable on a whim, as some people seem to be suggesting. If your sail was originally designed to be used with a sail track, keep it that way.

  13. #13
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    I looked at the one at Sunrise and it looks like it would work, but I couldn't find a price or how to order just it. I couldn't find anything elsewhere.

    I'm thinking about using an existing spar. I've got a jig in mind to hold it in place while routing. I can clamp it down on sawhorses and by using dimensional lumber on each side I can create a "table" with a guide for the router. This would let the router base sit on a flat surface while routing the spar.

    Chad
    There are three ways to do things: The right way, the wrong way and my way.

    Three Little Birds Love is My Religion

  14. #14
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    Chad,

    Dont foget that it's easier on the sail (and the sailor)to reef with the points going between the sail and the boom. You can't do that with a bolt rope in a routed slot.

    For a simple boom you might consider a "T" section, using track and slides on top.

    Russ
    Hove to off Swan Point......

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noah View Post
    Can you just use the sail loose footed?

    I see others have addressed the issue of the cut of the sail.... But.... I heard of a guy that converted to a loose footed sail and didn't consider the way the forces would be acting on his boom. First time it was honking and he trimmed hard (mid boom sheeting) supposedly the boom just folded!
    I guess having some of the (sail) load more or less distributed over the boom made a difference.

    I doubt that on a 20' boat you are going to have that much diff. in loads.

    Shouldn't be an issue. I'd stick w/ the plans though.

    And Chad, your idea for creating a work surface is on the right track (so to speak!)
    Last edited by David Tabor (sailordave); 02-09-2007 at 10:07 AM. Reason: clarification
    The only difference between [where I work] and the TITANIC is... The TITANIC had a band.

  16. #16
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    Building a boom with a sailtrack isn't a particularly difficult project. This is taken from an iceboat plan. It's made from two hunks of suitable wood (stbd. side and port side) with a little bit of router work involved. The short hunk of channel on the bottom near the aft end is added because iceboats use a bunch of mainsheet boom blocks and you want to be able to adjust their fore-and-aft positions. You wouldn't need that on a Balboa. This type of boom (with or without hollowing it's center) is common on iceboats all the way from the smallest up through some of the big Skeeters and just about all of them put considerably higher stress on their booms and the sailtrack than a Balboa 20 will ever even approach.


  17. #17
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    Great drawing Todd. I'd increase the dimension to closer to 4" by 2.25" but otherwise that's what I envisaged.

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    So long as the mainsheet bail is somewhere near the clew, the spar will really only ever be in compression, and doesn't need much depth at all.
    I favor the hollowed-center because it gives an opportunity to bury the outhaul.
    We must go too far in order to know how far to go. Yeah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidagage View Post
    If I was going to go with an extrusion, I would prolly check with the folks at Dwyer. NTWM buy the way.
    No such word as prolly. It is spelled probably.
    Just one of my pet peeves. Not personal.
    I see it all the time on the net.
    I love the smell of fresh cut plywood in the morning.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figment View Post
    So long as the mainsheet bail is somewhere near the clew, the spar will really only ever be in compression, and doesn't need much depth at all.
    I favor the hollowed-center because it gives an opportunity to bury the outhaul.
    Thia is true IF the sail is loose-footed. If the sail is attached along its foot, the peak bending load on the boom is minimized if the sheet attachment point is some distance in from the sail's clew.

  21. #21
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    Are you sure about that? Because the strain up and down the leech is much higher on both loose-footed and "attached-footed" sails than it is mid-boom. End-ish boom sheeting can also be better on many sails because it doesn't bend the middle of the boom down and eat-up the draft allowance along the sail's bottom third or so while doing it. I think you have to take every case individually and consider several factors to decide what's best. On this boat, I don't believe that there is much to be gained by trying to go ultra-light and I'd make the boom pretty substantial. Enough so that bending it much, or breaking it, is pretty much out of the question.

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