Recognise This?? It’s a sail track feeder for an Epsilon Alloy mast. Now there was a time that the sail track on a Selden/Proctor mast was sort of gently curved outwards so that the mainsail could get entry – and the surface was smooth and kind to the sail.
Now the slot is cut away. It leaves sharp edges which can damage the sail, so it needs an attachment – and that is what you are looking at in the photo on the right. It is secured to the inner mast wall by a monel rivet.
It looks simple enough, doesn’t it? Well – you must admit it also looks frail. After just two years I have just had one snap off one of its little ears at the top. There’s not much holding them on ….
I’m sorry the photo is a bit blurred – my little automatic camera was busy focussing on the grass in the background – but I think you’ll see the starboard ‘ear’ that snapped off. It exposes a sharp metal edge on the sail track entry – sharp enough to rip stitching and sailcloth (on the hoist)… as we found out to our cost.
Replacing it should be simple enough – though in our case, when drilling the old rivet out, the d….. thing started spinning in situ. Anyway – we got the thing extracted eventually, only to find that the nose of the rivet gun was too large to nestle inside the sail track. Our rivet stands a fraction proud. So all in all, not a very impressive setup.
The main reason for writing about it here is that they only cost about a fiver from P&B – with rivet. So for all you folks going to Hayling in July for a couple of weeks racing, I suggest that if you have one of the newer Selden masts with this fitting, take a spare or two with you. Plus a pointy nose rivet gun…. Else you may spoil your fortnight !!