Mainsail sliders



I have a Seawind 24 Catamaran with a boltrope main. The sail is of course fully battened. The loads on it get pretty high especially the forward pressure on the batten ends. Is it possible to convert this sail to sliders? You can get the nylon cylindrical sliders fairly cheaply. Do these slide easily enough for raising and lowering?

I am mainly looking at making it easier to control when raising/lowering as like quite a few other people I mainly sail single handed or with people that are too busy with the esky to help!



New member
16 May 2001
You probably need to invest in a decent set of cars and a track for the mast. Its one of those things that you get what you pay for; if you try to do it on the cheap you wont get the ease of raising/lowering you hope for. Not sure if you can get the current sail adapted but probably can.


Active member
25 Jun 2001
South London
I have a fully battened mainsail and was concerned about it not having batten cars. I was quoted £1800 for a new track that fits on the mast and Fredericksen cars. It is a fiddly job apparently. Fortunately I found the boat already had cars, but it is the only way to make a fully battened sail easily manageable. The existing sail can be adapted.



My Sunrider 25 has Sliders on the mainsail.
a) A pin across the mast groove stops the sliders from coming out and keeps them IN TRACK when the sail is lowered.
b) The sail is the old sail fitted with the sliders WITH NO MODIFICATION.
c) The sliders fit the old boltrope groove exactly, no modification to mast.

If you wish to do it ..... your local sail maker / chandler should 'lend a sample lot of different sized sliders tio see which fits your mast groove correctly. Then you purchase the requisite number, I have them about 0.8 - 1 metre apart, this then allows folds and stowage of sail on boom.

Do I recc'd them ...... to be honest, apart from them making it easier to hoist the sail, I am NOT in love with them. I think about removing them and returning to 'boltrope' system often. They were fitted by previous owner, not me ! I am sure that the efficiency of the main is seriously diminshed by the 'gap' between sail and mast - you cannot close it !
I still have to haul sail from the mast point - it still jams when it feels like it, I still have to control the sail when lowering - not much different from a normal sail set-up ..........

So final answer .... you can use your old sail as long as you have 5 - 10 cms spare on old boom for the sail to be further aft.
Second you are not looking for racing performance
Third you are not thinking that this will cure all 'groove-jams'
Fourth that you are prepared to pin the groove to stop the sliders falling out of the feeder slot
Fifth - that the sail is to stay on the boom .......

If all those are OK - go for it.

I forgot to add ...... all reefing systems based on Mast will be no use to you once you go 'sliders' ... You will HAVE to go lazy-jacks / slab reefing ...... This is one of the reasons I am NOT an advocate of sliders ..... I like the old Roller reefing system, now I cannot use it on the SR 25 and have to manual slab reef ...... Why should I pay out for single line slab reefing when the original roller system worked ? The main has been altered to allow 'reefing points' ...... fine but why should I now work along the deck / coachroof instead of the mast step / cockpit ????????

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by nigel_luther on Sat Aug 11 15:14:36 2001 (server time).</FONT></P>