Arts and Crafts Day 2
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Arts and Crafts Day 2

Arts and Crafts Day 2

Arts and Crafts Day 2

About a month and a half ago I found a broken bit of plastic on the deck. To my horror it was a broken mainsail slide. The kind of I-foolishly-left-the-spares-at-home mainsail slide.

I worried some and then not at all about the missing slide just above the second reef. Then, about two weeks ago, two more broke in rapid succession. Both just above the third reef. Now I was worried. I had visions of the entire main being zippered off the mast as I was showered in plastic bits raining down from the track.

I thought a lot about how to fix or hack or jury rig something. I remember reading that Evans Stargazer had machined a part when no spare was available using a Dremel. I have a Dremel! I don’t have a spare available! I don’t have a cool name like Stargazer but I can certainly machine something out of the bits and pieces.

What you see are the broken bits and what I’ve done to fix it. I simply cleaned up th edges, drilled two holes where the posts had been and routes a channel in the back so that the lashings would not be proud of the surface at the back.

I used 250lb test braided spectra cord for the lashing. It’s far stronger than the plastic or the webbing. It’s tough to get a knot to stay in Spectra as it is so slippery. I used crazy glue to turn the knots into cement.

There’s a picture of the finished product lashed onto the webbing in the luff of the main. If the webbing job on the slide at the bottom of the picture looks amateurish, that’s because it is. I had to redo that one as I had to cut the old one off to get the broken bits out.

It’s an improvement and with all the slides back, I doubt I’ll have the main down about my head and ears as first one, then the other, then them all fail catastrophically.

The slides are as old as the main (13 years) and I think the sun finally got to them. That and perhaps I could have been more careful about taking the tension off the reefing clews when shaking reefs out.

Now if only I had a cool name. Maybe Bert Slidehacker…

Follow my tracks in real-time: