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 Post subject: Replacing Luff Track
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:11 am
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During the aftermath of the hurricane Irene, I noticed that something dropped onto my luff track and took a two inch chunk out of it located beteen the top two battens. So as not to spoil my Labor Day weekend, I filed the edges of the track so that the sail would raise with ease. I have sailed it OK in 15+ knots of wind.
What is the correct way to replace the track? Should I remove the masthead and slide it up or spread the old luff track at the bottom of the comptip and slide it down? Does anybody have experience with this?


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Luff Track
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 10:08 pm
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
Yeah I have some experience with this. You might want to wait until the factory experts tell you how it should be done but ... here goes.

Use a screwdriver to gently pry up the front edge of the track at the top or the bottom. The edge has a "hook" that goes into the comptip. Slide your screwdriver under the edge and then slide it along the comptip. The "hook" will pull out as you go. When the edge is all pulled out the track will pretty much drop off.

Get a piece of undamaged track and cut it to the right length. Chamfer the lower inside edges so the sail won't snag on the way across the gap between the aluminum and the plastic. I used a rotary cutter from my hardware store in drill. Lay the piece of track on the comptip and hook one side in for a few inches. You might want to give it a tap with a hammer to make sure it's seated. Using a fairly heavy hammer or mallet rest a piece of wood like a foot long piece of 2x4 in the back of the track. Tap fairly gently on the wood. The hook will pop into the groove in the comptip. Move the wood up a few inches and pound again. Do the whole track. Then go back and pound gently using the wood protector on the side to make sure the hook edges are seated.

Done. Put the mast up and make sure the sail will go past the gap. In my case take it down and chamfer the edges a bit. Then try again.

Done.

Cheapass Note: I sailed my boat with two pieces of mast track for a few weeks until I got a one piece track. There is strain at the top pulling the sail out. A lot less at the bottom. I cut off about 18" of broken track to put at the bottom, cut another piece to make up the difference, chamfered the butting edges and the bottom and sailed it. Worked. I glued the pieces together with ABS glue but that didn't do anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Luff Track
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 10:08 pm
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
No need to wait. Here's the right answer. With diagrams.

http://2010.archive.hobiecat.com/suppor ... 584001.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Luff Track
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:11 am
Posts: 10
I am struggling with the screw drivers trying to pop the luff track off the comptip with out damaging anything. Wouldn't it be easier to remove the mast head and slide the old track out and the new track in? is there any glue or sealant holding the old mast head in place other than the two rivets?


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Luff Track
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 10:08 pm
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
You know what they taught me in engineering school? "Don't force it. Use a bigger hammer." Use a bigger screwdriver and just jam it in and pry. All you have to do is get the lip to pull out of the slot. There is enough tension on the lips, you put them back on with a hammer after all, that I don't think you could drive the thing off once you got the mast head off. Trust me it's not that difficult I did mine three or four times this summer. Of course after the first time everything is cleaner and better lubed. Matt is worried about chipping the slot but I'm hand handed enough that I didn't know it was an issue so I just started prying.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Luff Track
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:44 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:11 am
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Prying the luff track off is resulting in some chipping of the comptip lip. I resorted to trying to pull the masthead off by drilling out the two rivets. The masthead does not want to come out straight. The forward section seems not to want to move. Is it possible that the halyard hook is riveted into the mast head?


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Luff Track
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:22 am 
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I could not get the masthead off either, I believe it is epoxied into the comptip.

I replaced my luff track this weekend and this is what I learned.

The masthead will not come off even with the big hammer....
The screwdriver tip in the instructions will only damage your comptip. Dont do it!

Use clamps along the length of the comptip with a piece of tape down the backside(front of mast) to keep the clamps from scratching the mast and apply even pressure along the length until it starts to "pop in". It took me about 6 clamps approximately 8-12" apart and about 5 minutes to do this and I did not even curse. Of course I had already cursed the masthead, Hobie gluers, and the screwdriver so many times I had ran out of good adjectives.
Seriously though, this worked like a charm!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/66560235@N04/6253756081/in/photostream


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Luff Track
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:11 am
Posts: 10
I even went as far as taking off the halyard hook to get the mast head off. No luck with that.
I see you mention using the clamps to install the luff track. I just did that with my hands. Not a huge problem.
How did you finally get the track off? Screw drivers? It works ok that way if you don't push the screw driver in too far and contact the comptip lip.

Looking back, I wonder if those clamps could be used to squeeze the track together to pop it off the comptip?

Anyway, my repair was a success and tested out two days in a row of at least 25 knot winds.


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