Sail Height with Slugs

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Sail Height with Slugs

Postby Woreign » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:13 pm

I noticed that after I installed sail-slugs that my main doesn't hoist as high as it did before. It stops maybe 6" short of the top of the mast. I know this because I had raised the center mast cleat to act as a stop for the boom when the main was furled. With the slugs, could the halyard be pulling at such an angle that the top slug is binding in the mast track?
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Re: Sail Height with Slugs

Postby jalmeida51 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:08 pm

I just had a sailmaker install slugs on my mainsail. It goes up to the masthead. It is a hard hoist and I changed the masthead and sleeves. I can get the luff tight. When your 6inches short is your luff tight or is it loose? Did you try adjusting the gooseneck?
If your mast is down clean out your internal track with some soap and water, then spray some Harken McLube on the track also spray the slugs.
When hoisting the sail loosen the boom outhaul, then tighten when the sail is fully hoisted.
How are your slugs attached, with webbing or shackles? I was told shackles was the best way because there was more movement with shackles.
Changing the masthead helped a little. not much
I put a mast gate covering the slot so when I drop the sail the slugs drop down to the gooseneck.
It is much easier to reef when the slugs are closer to the reef hook before the mastgate the bottom slug was 16 inches above the reef hook.
How do you keep your slugs in the internal track when you reef or when you drop your sail?
If your mainsail new it might hoist better after it is used several times, the sail won't be so stiff.
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Re: Sail Height with Slugs

Postby Woreign » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:28 pm

I use a twist stop to keep the slugs from falling out of the mast. I'm using the screw-on plastic shackles from Sailrite. I had an extra slug and ran it up and down the full length of the mast thinking there might have been some internal interference, but there wasn't. And it's an original sail, so not too stiff.
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Re: Sail Height with Slugs

Postby jalmeida51 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:04 pm

If you think the top slug is causing your problem, can you remove the top slug and try hoisting your sail and see if it goes up further. When I hoist my main I have to be dead on into the wind. My sail is new and very stiff.
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Re: Sail Height with Slugs

Postby Woreign » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:18 pm

I actually did that the last time and it didn't help. I even replaced the halyards. The previous ones were showing some wear and I didn't want them to break by pulling too hard. Could the wheels in the masthead be binding under pressure? They seam to spin OK.
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Re: Sail Height with Slugs

Postby GreenLake » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:29 pm

Those "wheels" are called sheaves.

You might be able to test them with the help of a friend and the mast down.

Or you could take them out and inspect them for wear. They sit on pins that push out. (Instead of replacing those pins, plan on getting SS clevis pins with cotter rings).

You can order replacement sheaves from DR Marine. Not expensive and perhaps worth it if the edges are starting to crack.

You can also lay the mast on a convenient bit of lawn and try to "hoist" the sail with the mast down. That might let you see any problems near the top.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Sail Height with Slugs

Postby jalmeida51 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:41 am

Did you try hoisting the sail with the bottom slugs out of the track? I used the same method (twist stop ) to prevent the slugs from falling out of the track, before I installed a mast gate. My gooseneck was about 16 inches from the slot entrance. The bottom slug had a lot of tension on it when I was installed it in the slot. I released the outhaul and that relieved some of the tension. This was with a new sail. If you think the masthead sheaves are bidding up due to tension you could have someone put tension on the halyard and you pull on the halyard. My old masthead sheaves were held in with a pin and turned freely with no tension on them. My new masthead came with a much larger stainless pin held together with cotter rings The new masthead sheaves seemed to have less slop and they turned smoother. The old masthead was 38 years old. I would try lubricating the slugs with Harken McLube Sailkote. I used it and the slugs moved more freely. Give Ruddy at D&R a call he might have some ideas to fix your problem.
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Re: Sail Height with Slugs

Postby Woreign » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:05 pm

That makes perfect sense! I did put tension on the foot of the main, before I raised the main by the halyard.

I'll do a yard test this week to verify...
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