Name: Chris Kotaridis
sail slugs and mast gate
Well, the main sail is 30 years old and the bolt rope is so worn that it always gets jammed on the way up and I have to let some out and re-align it. If it were newer and stiffer then maybe that wouldn't be a problem.
So, far it's been much easier to get the sail up and down. In fact for the first time my wife was able to pull the main sail up. We usually heave 2 to bring the main sail down which takes the pressure off the main sail and so far it's dropped right down. Haven't had any trouble with the slugs jamming either way so far.
I used the 1 1/8" connectors on the slugs rather then the 7/8". The idea being that the grommets will be a bit farther away from the bolt rope then if I used the 7/8" and so my hope is I could take the slugs off and still be able to use the boltrope. SailRite convinced me to use the snap on connectors for the slugs rather then the screw on. Turns out they are pretty tough to undo once snapped on so I haven't bothered to take them off to verify the boltrope still works with the grommets in place. BUt, it looks lie it will.
At any rate this is all experimental. I hope to get a new main sail next summer and wanted to see if the slugs had an advantage or not and it seemed worth testing on this 30 year old sail for the rest of this season.
The only real issue is dinking around with the sail stop. Hence the question about a mast gate where I can close the gap and let the sail drop down all the way so I can reef down tight against the boom. I really want to use a single line reefing mechanism so I can reef from the cockpit. So, I don't want to have to hop up on the cabin to mess with the sail stop to reef, to manually slide one slug past the gate to get the reef cringle down to the boom.
Sounds like the mast gates are home made projects and not available from a supplier. So, I'll have to start looking around for the right kind of metal and come up with some sort of design.
I am anxious for any pointers to any designs, some have already been mentioned and I appreciate it. Also, any pictures would help greatly.
By the way, "Charmed One" is to blame for all of this. His fine page on how to set things up for single-handing has been a great motivator for me. It all about making the boat my own!
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