Can’t afford a Boom Furler? Looking for an easier way to hoist, douse, and stow your main or mizzen sails? Well there are two products that you may want to look at. They are called a Tides Marine Strong Track and our very own T.R.C. Lazy Jacks (pictured left).
I do realize that many people cringe at the words lazy jacks and how they don’t seem to work, but trust me when I say this is due to them being installed the wrong way and/or the product itself just lacking versatility and functionality. This is one of those classic examples where simple is better. It just so happens that our very own custom lazy jack systems, made in house, offer a perfect solution. This design was originally created by Master Rigger (50+ years experience) Patrick Jinks formerly of Chesapeake Rigging, Annapolis Spars Ltd., and it has carried on its a tradition as the best L.J. kit on the market here at The Rigging Company. These systems are available in 4, 3, and 2 leg configurations (custom kits are available upon request). The design is simple, clean, effective and all the while unobtrusive. I found this quite accurate description and drawing of it at this cruisers forum. As the sailnet.com member states, there is absolutely no hardware to chafe the sail, it is designed to be stowed forward so that it is not in the way while sailing, and the mainsail cover can be put on without a canvas maker’s customization. The best part is they are priced at a much lower price point than any of the major brand competitors, around $299 – $499 depending on the size of the system, not installed. So before you think about buying one of those other kits, do yourself a favor and stop by our shop and ask one our experienced staff if you could take a closer look at one of our kits before taking the big plunge!
All of this sail catching/ cradling technology makes little sense if your mainsail doesn’t fall freely and you have to fight just to pull the ‘thing’ down! Tides Marine provides a solution for this with their (again simple, but highly efficient. Our mantra.) Strong Track System. This system is comprised of a hard black plastic track and polished stainless steel sail slides. This is one of the most popular mainsail track systems in use today. I am sure that you have seen one of these on the aft edge of someone’s mast before, just take a look around. Tides Marine Strong Tracks have been around for a long time and therefore guarantee easy replacement parts. Additionally, you’ll find they are relatively easy to install even with the mast up! The system is fairly priced at $28.25/ft (ask about our special online discounts). Most mainsails can easily be converted to the new slides, just ask your sailmaker for cost specific details.
In conclusion, the beauty of these systems, as well as any of the systems that we recommend, are their simplistic attributes thus eliminating the need for any over-complicated/expensive servicing or maintenance. Other systems can be way more complicated to install, can be quite pricey to purchase, and you can count on them requiring some sort of maintenance. Having said that although these items are relatively easy to install; I would still recommend seeking the help of a professional rigger as there are rivets to ‘pop’, holes to drill and tap, and perhaps even cutouts that need to be made.
~Have a question? Leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you. Thanks for the read and we’ll talk to you next time…..