Mainsail - I NEED YOUR HELP sliders or not

G

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I have a boat that was converted by previous owner to Mainsail on sliders and manual slab .... basically a few bits of rope through the sail at various points and levels to lash it to the boom for reefing. No tack or outhaul fixing etc. to help.

The sail has a gap about 2 cms from the mast track - reducing the sail efficiency .....

Now I need to weigh up the pros of leaving it as is, or going back to normal boltrope system and also the boom roller, leaving the reef lines to square up the boom when rolled.

So from out there I need your comments and votes as to which way to go .... YES to stick with it, NO to remove the sliders.

Suggestions also would be most welcome ........

Nigel
 

Twister_Ken

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If I understand, the sliders have been added to the luff of the sail, and go up the mast track?

If so, then the odds are that the bolt rope won't fit the mast groove because sliders need a bigger groove. Has the mast been replaced since the main was built?

Generally sliders are better to hoist because less friction.

Regarding reefing, ask a sailmaker to put in reef cringles at the luff and leech, and ask a rigger to provide a suitable double reefing hook to attach at the gooseneck. You can buy (Barton?) boom reefing kits that will let you take leech reefing pennants down to the boom and forward to the mast, so that you can swig them up tight.

Hey presto, conventional slab reefing main.

Or have I misunderstood the problem?
 
G

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No you haven't misunderstood it ... but the sliders are not oversize and the mast is original. You can actually buy sliders at various sizes to fit original tracks.

I have looked at the reefing kits, but actually still like the old roller booms. I'm trying to decide whether to take of the sliders, remove the track pin that stops 'em dropping out the track and re-activating the roller. The reeflines through the sail could then be used to 'level' the boom along the foot ... usual 'droopy' boom when rolled reef.

I'm really looking to not spend having spent a fortune last winter rebedding the engine ! I'm just undecided whhether to do it or not and was looking for pro's and cons !
 

bedouin

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Do you think that gap will have a significant impact on sail efficiency?

As I understand it the flow close to the mast is so turbulent that the first couple of inches of mainsail has very little drive.

I've never liked boom roller reefing - slab reefing is much more convenient .
 

Bergman

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I did exactly the same as you. Sliders are much easier especially when taking in sail.

I still have bad dreams about 300 sq ft of sail flopping around the coachroof in a bit of a blow.

I can't say that I noticed any loss of performance because of a slight gap between mast and sail.

I would go with the Twister's advice and go the whole hog and convert to normal slab reefing.
 

brianhumber

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having 2 mainsails, one boltrope and 1 slider, I would say the slider is better for flaking as the bolt rope main (some 800sq ft) tends to run out quickly leaving a right mess to control in windly conditions. But with either I don't see how you can sail safely and properly without proper tension controls ie tack and outhaul. If you are fitting these a cuningham is one of the most useful items to fit on a main at the same time.
 
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The tack and outhaul is only missing when reefed ..... the full main is securely fastened at tack and clew.

It's the lines are not there to actually pass through the cringles in the sail at the reefed levels. I have to pass a line through by hand when needed ...... a job that only increases the time and danger when you least need it !
 

Twister_Ken

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About boom reeefing

The reason that 'round the boom' disappeared from most boats is because it did an poor job. Without some form of leech cringle to pull the belly out of the sail, boom reefing leaves a very full sail shape, which is the last thing you need in stronger winds. It also needs some sort of claw for the vang, which is less than the optimum way of applying kicker. There are ways around these problems with the newer 'in boom' systems, but they seem to also rely on a fairly flat cut to the main, which nobbles you in light airs.
 
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