Tides Marine Track and slides system will greatly help mainsail Hoisting and lowering which can be hard work. Two factors; friction in the luff and the weight of the sail are making life difficult. Dropping the sail may be easier as the weight helps, but slides can still get stuck and you have to pull the luff to get the sail down. By reducing the friction of the sail in the track you can make the sail handling much easier. One way is having better slides like these Ronstan Ball Bearing slides which uses the existing luff slot in a conventional mast.
Another is by installing a Tides Marine SailTrack, which we look at below.
Tides Marine Track and Slide System
Tides Marine have a UHMW-PE (very slippery) track that you can install in your existing mast groove which will make mainsail slides go up and down much easier. The forward surface of the track is machined to slide into a conventional luff groove.
The concept is a slick track where the slides, move easily and the installation is also very easy. The simple track sold by the foot can be easily installed by anyone. Watch the video to see how easy the mainsail raises and lowers. Consumer Price $27.50 per Foot, Complete with Slides/Batten Cars. The track is very flexible and is rolled up for shipping.
Tides marine Track Installation
To install a Tides track; first you need to measure the length of the mast from the boom to top of mast. Secod you measure the sail track. Tides Marine have tools online to help you measure these (see contact at bottom of post).
Next inspect you mainsail and calculate the number of slides and battens slides needed. Large batten slides (seen in picture above) go on the end of the batten pockets, while smaller slides are used in between. It may be work consulting your sail maker at this stage as they can advise you on number and position of the slides.
Once you have the length and section of the mast groove, plus the number and type of sides you are ready to order.
Tides marine Track Installation
The track comes in a hexagonal box and is installed from the bottom of the main track. Sometimes its easier to remove the boom so you can push the track vertically up the Mast.
Take the slides and give them to your sail maker for installation.
Tides Marine w Dutchman system
I have installed many of these tracks combined with a “ Dutchman Flaking System ”
The Dutchman system which when combined with a Tides Track makes for a very easy mainsail handling system. The luff of the main has little friction compared to other systems as so drops quickly. The lines of the Dutchman system capture the sail and it automatically flakes either side of the lines.
You could also use the Tides track with a Lazy Jack system
Tides Marine’s Description
The Tides Marine Track and Slide System is a high-performance, low friction mainsail track and slide system built to handle the increased loads and demands of todays full batten mainsails. When installed, the mainsail will rise easily and drop the instant the halyard is released.
The System consists of the ultra low friction, durable Tides Marine Track and an “owner-defined” selection of matched slides and batten receptacles designed for smooth, long lasting operation. Each track shape is matched to each vessels mast. The system will work with flat or round internal; grooves as well as external track.
The Tides Marine Track System offers minimal stack height, less weight aloft and low friction performance rivaling systems costing more than twice as much.
The system is priced at $28.25 per foot of track ordered (this price includes the slides and batten receptacles). It is shipped via UPS and is ready to install.
The track can be installed without going aloft and, in most cases, no holes need to be drilled in the mast.
Track The UHMW track is machined to fit more than 100 different mast luff groove shapes (internal flat / internal round) as well as most common external track shapes. The track is UV stable, unaffected by salt water and available in seamless lengths to 65’ and can be installed without going aloft or without drilling holes in the mast.
Slides The 316 stainless slides are hand-polished to a smooth, low-friction finish. They are available in several sizes (see pages 14 and 15 for details).
Batten Receptacles The Tides batten receptacles are offered in two sizes which accept both flat and round battens. They are connected to the 316-stainless slides via a 10mm stud