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Self tacking jib options

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I have seen a couple of references to self tacking jibs that have a straight (not curved) track. I can't find any details but when I ran some tests today it seemed like the sideways force needed to keep the car from centering on the track was quite high. I would imagine this would be a problem in lighter winds. A bit more research brought me to the swift solo that seems to have a straight track. Does anyone know if there are any tricks to getting this to work.


The reason I ask is that I have an old section of Ronstan I-track and a car so if I can use that it would be good.


Otherwise, if I make a wooden mould to bend it in to, would the I-track work? It seems like a deep section to be bending without some part of it yielding and breaking.




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Some of the imports like Hanses have straight self tacker tracks. But they are short and don't go to the gunwale hence they don't have a massive need to bend. If you want to be able to get a good range for the headsail I'd think you'd want a bent one.


From personal experience you really do want a clean fair even bend or the car will find hard spots, for lack of a better word, to sit in and that is damn annoying. I would seriously recommend you find someone with a roller to bend it or you may end up with a serious of flat spot and that will just piss you off.


Thinking about it I now have no use for my old track if anyone wants it. I beam and in good nick and only being replaced as everything else on the boat is so I don't want it feeling left out. R930 so whatever they measure, which I can do if someone wants.


Cost is 2 dozen beer, or more I'm sure he won't mind, delivered in to IT's hands or home or boat.



But wait there's more........ I should have the car somewhere as well but I'll check that. If I have it's included.

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I thought that would be the case. Thanks for the advice.


Unfortunately it is for a 1980's Javelin with the rig really far forward. I had thought that a straight track would also give me a little more room to move with jib size so it looks like moving the rig and centrecase back further in the boat will be job number one.

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Ah ha, A Jav. In that case Yeap you'll need a curved track for sure.

Having been there done that on a few skiffs, inc Javs, the only other way is by too many strings to pull at the time you don't want to be doing that.


You may like this weapon then. A 2015 Javelin last weekend. The latest Dave Lee design.

Wickedly fine in the bow so will slice through slow swimmers with ease :)

Looks better in the flesh, the photo doesn't really do her justice.


jav april 15.jpg

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Wow. Looking good. One day once the mortgage is paid off maybe.


Now you've made the mistake of showing your Javelin bent I'll be bombarding you with all sorts of questions.


The first one is: Is there any reason not to replace the horrible high front deck on my Jav with a flat deck? The idea is to remove the aluminium bar carrying the lateral rig load with a flat deck that starts at the chainplates and v's forward to in front of the mast. Obviously it's going to be easier to costruct if it is flat. I was thinking of a frame in the same alignment to brace it all a bit better.


IMG_20150404_172730 (640x480).jpg

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Why have a deck at all?

Why not just rip the existing off completely and replace it with well positioned frames of some sort. You can put the prod chute back in easily enough without the whole deck.


Nice open clean boat that one. Which one is it, do you know?

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I do like the idea of having no deck at all but I'm a bit worried about the loads involved. The boat is plywood with an exterior fibrglass sheath so isn't going to have the strength and stiffness of a foam/glass or foam/carbon stucture. The other worry is that when I sail it fully powered up with my normal crew we will be around 200kg all up which is pretty heavy.


The way I see it, the deck would help carry some of the horizontal torsional loads rather than the floor and side decks having to do this alone. I had thought about extending fully enclosed side decks all the way to the bow to form a stiff box structure to carry all these loads but they are a lot more complicated to build and with my rudimentary abilities probably heavier.


My biggest concern with a flat deck is that without any curves it isn't as strong if someone leans on it (eg when trying to retrieve the gennaker that is wrapped around the bow which seemed to happen every third sail or so with the previous one I had). I figure some carefully sized and placed stringers will sort this though.


From a rules point of view of course the mast would end up too high above the deck but I can sort that if necessary at a later date.


Hope you don't mind all the questions and debate. I'm a bit isolated down here in Nelson when it comes to Javelins so don't have anyone to bounce ideas off or argue with.


The boat is number 340 "Transfusion" which is a Salthouse design from the early 80's.


The idea is to rehab the hull and then cut a couple of sails down to teach the kids to sail with/let me sail it on my own and then have the option of a full main for the rest of the time. The false floor was a bonus as I had intended on putting one in whatever Javelin I got.

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200kg Crew, good golly that isn't at the lighter end, even if many of the top boats have 100-115 and long crews.


Good point about the loads. You could carbon her up but then you'd possibly push the loads into other places not that ready for them. 


She looks like she has the sorter foredeck so why not just leave it there. It maybe the smartest move given her age and how they were built. I'll be chatting to a couple of Javers this evening. I'll put it to them and see what they say.

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That's 200kg combined crew and skipper weight. I'm 6'8" tall and 110kg and am never going to be a light footed ballerina either.


The ideal would be to shift the centrecase and mast back further in the boat to give a bit more room on the fordeck but I'm a bit reluctant to do that as it all looks pretty well built. I hate to undo good work if I can avoid it. The purpose of the new deck has two purposes:

  • Let me remove that horrible looking aluminium section resisting the lateral rig loads
  • Give a better surface for mounting a self tacker.

I have considered not doing the self tacker as it looks pretty expensive but my oldest isn't up to looking after a jib yet and I want to sail with a jib solo.


Any advice from the Jav brains trust would be greatly appreciated.

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