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Thread: Dropping the Main - Pointers Needed

  1. #16
    Principal Partner Jeff Asbury's Avatar
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    The Dutchman

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8EPkGx3o9Y

    Cool! How much?
    Jeff Asbury Former owner of the "Pride of Cucamonga" 1973 E-27 Hull# ERY27355M73H

  2. #17
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    Dutchman $

    Jeff:

    November of 06......just under $600......

    Not cheap, but as you saw on the video.....needs lots of parts and labor, but in mho.....worth every penny I spent for it....

    Good Luck
    Mort Fligelman
    A Capella
    E35-3 1987
    Glenview, IL

  3. #18
    Principal Partner steven's Avatar
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    When I purchased Whisper 5 years ago, first thing I did was put a Strong system on the main. Comprises a very slippery polymer track that fits inside the mast track, and even more slippery sliders that replace the luff slugs. It is absolutely great. No detectable friction up or down. Was cheaper than ball bearing systems and at the time a bit cheaper than a Dutchman system.

    Best mod I've done since I bought her.

    Of course bang for buck, can't beat a can of McLube.

    Also, by the way, replaced non-working lazy jacks with home brew that works. One trick is for the verticals to be perpendicular to the mast - so batten ends don't catch them on the way up.

    --Steve
    Steve and Paula
    Indigo E35-2 #446
    Annapolis

  4. #19
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    One more thing

    The ease with which the sail will drop is definitely a function of making sure the track is clean and lubricated (as has been mentioned), but can also be impacted greatly by the sail slugs themselves. 20 year old slugs (even 10 year old) of the cheapie variety often used on smaller sails like these don't slide well when new, and get much worse as they wear down over time.

    There are some very nice, new style slugs which can be fitted to the luff of the sail (replace the old ones) and they will make a HUGE difference. This only makes sense if the sail is in GREAT condition of course, since it will cost at least a hundred bucks unless you DIY.

    If you get a new sail, ask for higher grade slugs, or consider some of the new mast systems. The Tides Marine system is a great value and will work well for you. It includes new sail slides and an insert which slides into the mast (which the slides are attached to).

    Good sailing!

    S

  5. #20
    Principal Partner Mindscape's Avatar
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    You told me so....

    Seth,
    You suggested the tides marine system to me when I ordered my new main. Looking back I probably should of taken your advice. Is this system retrofitable (sp?) and how hard is it to fit? Looks like I'd have to have the current slugs and batten receptacles removed and replaced. Installing the track looks like it's fairly easy. Any thoughts?
    Frank Bunker
    Mindscape
    The Journey is the Destination
    Ericson 32-3, 1985 - Hull #661
    Kenosha, WI

  6. #21
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    Sure can!

    Easiest thing is to buy it from a sailmaker. Drop your main off at the loft and when the kit comes in he will swap out the slides. This way, he is responsible for getting the ordering details right.
    In the spring, have him come down and the 2 of you can install it (mast up or not) in under 2 hours. You will love it!

  7. #22
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by rwthomas1 View Post
    I have found that flaking the main halyard in a figure 8 pattern, starting with the bitter end, allows the halyard to pay out smoothly and the main drops better. Once the main starts falling if the halyard snarls or slows it in any way that will not help. Granted I have a full batten main with Schaeffer slides so it may not be as big a deal for you.

    Another non-Ericson sailor in my club uses a downhaul on his main. Hes old and not so agile anymore so this allows him to get the main down from the cockpit.

    RT
    Using a down-haul line on the main is an excellent idea as the slides-channel on my E-38 is so tight that lube doesn't do the trick. This is especially useful if using a lazy jack or Dutchman system and the really smart side of this idea is that you will be able to retrieve your main halyard in the event that it leaves the sail or the sail rips in two...something that should definitely be considered if going blue-water cruising or racing.
    Last edited by dcapn@hotmail.c; 10-09-2017 at 04:57 PM. Reason: I missed a couple of merits to the idea.

  8. #23
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Yes, there is a struggle with mast track and sail slugs on older boats. I really, really, really don't like haul-down lines that go to the headboard, which in addition to everything else can foul themselves just when they oughtn't, offshore or anywhere else. Getting a sail down reliably is very important when things go bad. Consider a stuck gas pedal on your car.

    We should be able to lower the mainsail on any point of sail, including dead downwind in a gale. It's how we reef.

    In the end, the solution is a Tides Marine Sail Track (aka Strong Track). Easy to install yourself and somewhere between $1000 and $1500 depending on boat. It's in my top five improvements and appreciated every time, up and down.
    Last edited by Christian Williams; 10-10-2017 at 08:32 AM.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
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  9. #24
    Principal Partner Rick R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Williams View Post
    Yes, there is a struggle with mast track and sail slugs on older boats. I really, really, really don't like haul-down lines, which in addition to everything else can foul themselves just when they oughtn't, offshore or anywhere else. Getting a sail down reliably is very important when things go bad. Consider a stuck gas pedal on your car.

    In the end, the real solution is a Tides Marine Sail Track (aka Strong Track). Easy to install yourself and somewhere between $1000 and $1500 depending on boat. It's in my top five improvements and appreciated every time, up and down.
    I agree, The Strong Track is wonderful.

    Can actually drop the main like a rock fully loaded on any point of sail (not that you'd want to.....)!
    1989 32-200
    S/V "Easy"
    (hull #844)
    Pensacola, Florida

    The difference between a sailboat and a power boat? On a powerboat you rush to get somewhere. On a sailboat, you're already there.

  10. #25
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    Had a Strong Track on our last boat and loved it. After buying our E34-2 last year I wanted to install another Strong Track on it but ran out of money.
    Instead we installed a down haul on the main per Mort Fligelman's instructions (thank you Mort!) in conjunction with a Mack Pack and lazy jacks from Mack Sails. Works like a Charm! close to 100 sails this season with 0 problems.

    Here are the instructions I got from Mort. I attached the PVC tubes to the sail slug webbing with zip ties.

    "It is a very simple thing....I took 1/2" PVC pipe and cut off 1-1/2" pieces and drilled s hole into each one....top and bottom, one side only, and attached them to every other sail slide.......Tied a 1/4 inch line to the top slide, ran it through the tubes down to a block at the base of the mast to a cleat at the end of the cabin top. Works great....and has for the past 10 years"
    Last edited by JSM; 10-12-2017 at 07:13 AM.
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