Replacing genoa tracks with dyneema

As we look at more of our worn out systems we see more places where we can replace deck hardware with Dyneema and Low Friction rings.

The latest is our genoa tracks. Ours are the old style with a pin on the car. So they can only be adjusted when the sheet is unloaded, and to adjust them you have to leave the cockpit. Every part of it is looking very worn and below we have all these bolts that can be a source of leaks (many of them are hidden behind a permanently fixed soffit so can’t be inspected/tightened/resealed).

We could replace them with more modern tracks/cars with a block and tackle to pull the cars forward. However, this is very expensive, we would still have all the bolts to access and keep watertight. It would also not allow us to shift the sheeting angle inboard or outboard.

So, I’m looking to adapt a system I’ve seen on one of the world’s most expensive racing yachts. See 9 minutes 25 seconds into this video

We don’t need the same level of sophistication and our loads are tiny by comparison.

So we will “float” a large low friction ring on the genoa sheet. Two dyneema lines will be eye spliced onto this. In addition a length of elastic will lead from the low friction ring upto a convenient point on a shroud (this will stop the low friction ring falling to the deck and banging around).

One dyneema line goes out to a low friction ring on the bulwark and then back to a clutch by the cockpit . The second goes inboard to a low friction ring at the base of the cabin side, then back to another clutch by the cockpit. By pulling on both lines the sheet is pulled down as if the car was moved forward on the track. By pulling on one or other line the sheet can be moved inboard or outboard to suit the wind direction.

We will need to test and see what mechanical advantage we need. Maybe a cascading set of low friction rings, or maybe use the old genoa furling winch.

The extra good news is that we can use the same system to add sheet adjustment as we add our staysail (for which we have no tracks at the moment).

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