Track stop on Pocketship mainsail

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Track stop on Pocketship mainsail

Postby decurtis on Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:44 am

Before I spend $40-50 on a track stop for my Pocketship's mainsail I would like to confirm that it is a good idea. A track stop would prevent the gaff's gooseneck and the sail's track cars below it from coming off the track whenever I lower the mainsail and therefore would not have to guide them back on the track when raising the mainsail. I want to check that this would work and will not put any unnecessary strain on the sail/mast/gooseneck when the mast is lowered and raised.
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Location: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Re: Track stop on Pocketship mainsail

Postby edevoe on Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:52 am

I can't answer your direct question as my PocketShip is still in the "reviewing the manual" stage. However, I have an opinion on track stops. The price they get for these things is ridiculous. When I needed two for my CLC John's Sharpie, I actually thought there was a typo on price tag at my local marine retailer. Perhaps they have some magical properties of which I am unaware, but I don't understand why they cost so much.

My solution was to buy two regular track slides (one for each mast), then pass a line through the "eye" of the slide, around the mast and then cleat it off. It is a solution that has worked well for me.
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Re: Track stop on Pocketship mainsail

Postby decurtis on Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:21 pm

Sounds like a viable solution especially since a track slide is only a few dollars. I will just need to check how I can cleat it because wrapping a line around the mast may be problematic because of the tabernacle. I have also been mystified by the track stop 's exorbitant cost ( as much as $55 on some websites, CLC's at $36 is a bargain). There just seems to be no rhyme or reason to the cost of some sailing hardware, a similar stop for C-track is only $15!
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Re: Track stop on Pocketship mainsail

Postby John C. Harris on Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:30 pm

The pricing on these track stops is criminal. I can't explain it and don't defend it, except that this traditional type of sail track is getting rare in a world of aluminum mast extrusions. It isn't too hard to fabricate your own track stop, or at least something that does the functional equivalent.

On the other hand, I think the boat is almost unusable without one. Having to feed the gaff and sail slides onto the mast track every time you hoist the mainsail would make it impossible to get under way quickly. Sometimes you need to raise the mainsail RIGHT NOW.

Since childhood I have referred to mainsail track stops as "Shploops." "Shploop" is the sound the track stop makes when it slips from your hand into the water. Attach it permanently to the mast with a little bit of string so that it's harder to drop.
John C. Harris
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Re: Track stop on Pocketship mainsail

Postby decurtis on Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:34 pm

As usual John, thanks for the very useful and pertinent comments. I was storing "True Love" away for her long Canadian winter sleep last weekend :cry: and I was able to check that there will be no problem with using a regular track slide and cleating it to the mast ( the tabernacle will not interfere). Even with our very limited sailing this year I wholeheartedly agree that things are much easier without having to feed the gaff and slides each launch and plus it keeps the mainsail stowing much neater when it is time to trailer the boat.

BTW, if I had known you were making a stop through Fargo via your Minneapolis stop on your Mid-West tour this summer I would have been very tempted to make the 3 hour due south drive to meet up and take photos of 2 Pocketships side by side. Maybe next time...
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Re: Track stop on Pocketship mainsail

Postby sean on Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:24 am

This is quite an old thread, but wanted to both get a bit of clarification as well as highlight it for any newcomers to the forum. When I stumbled upon this looking for something completely different, I totally agreed with the comment that raising the main by sliding on all the sail tracks is not the easiest thing to do once out in the wind and waves. I typically motor out of the harbor, and raise the sails once in open water. Not a big deal, but it would certainly be nice if you could just pull on the gaff lines! I definitely want to try this out.

What I wanted clarification on was whether you can keep the track stop in place at the bottom of the track with all the slides above it and then fold down the mast (lower gaff with stop in place, wrap up sail, then later lower mast)? If the sail is first wrapped up, does the movement of the gaff cause any issue while lowering the mast? Or, can you only use this technique when in between times of raising and lowering the main with the mast up continuously?

While on the subject of raising / lowering the mast, I was also wondering if anything has any clever way of organizing all the lines / stays connected to the mast. Typically, I can raise and lower the mast single handed without much effort as I has seen described in other posts (lift up the mast while standing in the cabin, then start pulling on the jib line to bring it all they way up). However, almost half of the time, it seems like one of the many lines is caught somewhere, making raising the mast impossible. You have to then lower it back down, try to track down the trouble maker, and try again until they are all free.
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Re: Track stop on Pocketship mainsail

Postby JonLee on Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:20 am

Thanks to this thread, I've used a track stop more or less from day one, and consider it indepensiblle. Like you, Sean, I usually motor out to open water and then raise the sail, and it is really, really nice to be able to just haul on the halyards when I'm ready to go.

Here's how it works for me. Step 1, is, of course, to raise the mast. Then, while I'm dockside (sometimes even when I'm still on the trailer), I'll slide the gaff and mains'l cars all onto the sail track and put a track stop in. Since I usually have the gaff pretty securely lashed to the boom (and since the sail track starts well above the gooseneck), I have to loosen a number of my sail ties first, and then once the gaff, cars, and stop are in place, I'll get the by-then escaping sail back under control and neatly tied down again. When I'm out and ready to raise sail, I cast off the ties, haul on the halyards and am off. Back at the dock, the track stop comes off, along with the cars and gaff. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to keep the whole mess on with the mast down...
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Re: Track stop on Pocketship mainsail

Postby truenorth on Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:25 am

I'm a long way away from setting sails at this time, but after having a mild heart attack over the cost of these things, I did a little research. There appear to be two types: one "full version" with a plastic grip and screw down, and another without the plastic. The plastic appears to be what causes the prices to climb:

DAVIS LARGE SAIL TRACK STOP 3/4 wide x 1" da2352 $8.09
DAVIS SMALL SAIL TRACK STOP .42 wide x 1" da2351 $8.09
Schaefer Adjustable Track Stop, 1 1/2"(38mm) 74-95 $62.24
Schaefer Adjustable Track Stop, 1 1/8"(29mm) 74-94 $62.24

I don't see the difference in functionality between these two systems. They look very much like those little knobs that would secure a clamp on a t-track on a router table, for example. And those are maybe 50 cents?
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Re: Track stop on Pocketship mainsail

Postby JonLee on Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:35 am

Seems like I got mine for around $10. The cheaper the better for these things, in my opinion. I've had more than one instance of having it slip out of my hands, bounce off the companionway hood, slide down the cabin deck and right off the boat. Which is why I usually try to only monkey with the thing while the boat is still on the trailer! :-)
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Re: A track stop at almost no cost! . .

Postby tattoo on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:37 pm

Sail-track stop.jpg
Sail-track stop.jpg (143.09 KiB) Viewed 8258 times

Here's a sail-track stop (for PocketShip) that costs almost nothing. It has worked flawlessly on Tattoo for more than 2 sailing seasons. Just a scrap piece of wood and some lacing twine.

Note that the top of the tabernacle should be slightly sloped so that the sail-track stop "snaps" into place sung up against the mast and the bottom of the sail-track. Careful adjustment of the length and shape will have it wedged into place. It won't come out until the rip-cord is pulled with a firm "jerk." And it won't be lost or misplaced if laced to the boom's gooseneck.

Also note that the bottom of the sail-track should be no higher [above the boom] that allows the reefing cringles to be brought down to the top of the boom while all the "cars" remain on the sail-track against the stop (which remains wedged in place while reefing). For Tattoo, a wedge length of 5-1/8" works for either reefing point.
Pete McCrary, launched Tattoo Oct '10.
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Location: Manassas, Virginia, USA


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