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Moving the mast's sailtrack gate   Total Page Hits: 79

Post Type: Technical/Project

Boat Part: Mast

Date Modified: 08/03/2017 12:35 PM

Details

My biggest problem with the boat has been dealing with the mainsail. The sail itself is beautiful and has really big, nice slugs that slide very smoothly. The problem was that the gate was huge and positioned high above the boom (maybe it was necessary for a rope luff?). So raising the sail, reefing it, or generally anything involving the luff required standing right at the mast and babysitting each slug past the huge gate. This was comically hard on the Columbia River, which gets busy and has a current.

I was encouraged to try closing the gate with a hammer and a block of plastic or wood, though it made me nervous to go whacking at the mast while it was on the boat. I figured I'd give it a couple whacks just to see. Well, the gate closed up in a few minutes of judicious brutality.

I'd brought a Dremel and cutting wheels to cut a new gate somewhere, but the malleability of the aluminum gave me an idea. I pried open a new gate below the boom and above the vang, where nothing sits. The gooseneck fitting is kept in place with a couple of clevis pins run laterally through the mast, so by removing the pins the boom can be lowered down to access the new gate.

I ran the sail up, restored the upper pin, then the gooseneck and the lower pin. I can now raise the sail from the cockpit, reef it, etc. Couldn't be happier with a $0 modification.

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