Re: Sail Slugs, motors and used sails

Steven W. Barnes (
Thu, 25 Feb 1999 10:03:51 -0800

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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Rye Gewalt wrote:
> Ted:
> If you get replies to your sail slug question directly rather than on
> the list, forward them to me as I have the same intentions and, while
> I recall all of the discussions on the list about the slugs -- and
> placement thereof, I didn't save them. So now I am at ground zero
> like you... Maybe I can compile them and we can put it on Judy's web
> sight ( site).

Here is a bunch of stuff I saved from the email on sail slugs, some for
P-15, some for the P-19. Hope some of it helps.

>I have a couple questions I'd like to ask concerning these slugs...
>1) The web page on rig mods has info on installing slugs using shackles. The
>slug part # from Sailrite is #23312.5. What is the number for the shackle?

The part number for the 5/8" shackle is 24105.5 for a 5-pack.

>2) Has the nylon in the slug and shackle stood up well to sunshine?

Yes .. actually, there isn't that much exposure over the course of a
>3) What is the viewpoint on the correct number of slugs to use on a P15?

They come in 5-packs, so order two packs.
>4) What is the best placement of slugs around the location of the long batten?

One a few inches above; one a few inches below. For overall group
count this as "one", in a group of 9 to space out along the luff rope.

How far from the batten "shoe" is the closest sail slug. I had
nudged one in the small triangle made by the "Pocket end Protector" and
the Luff bolt-rope. That held the batten in place pretty well. I now
have a full batten car (Dutchman's), Sailrite catalog #567, but that had
to be jury rigged by the manufacturer as they are not designed for oval
masts. (I had to make a couple trips to get it done right but
fortunately they are located a few miles from where I live). If I had to
do it again I probably would just put another slug on top and as close
to the Protector as possible instead of getting a batten car.
Lionel L. Galibert
P15 #2072 "KIROLOU"
Hudson River/Long Island Sound
ICQ 10084021

I installed sail slugs on my P15 this past winter and have now sailed it
times with them and am very happy with them. If you trailer sail,
I'm not sure of there real usefulness. They make raising and lowering
the sail
much easier, but only if you can leave them in the groove all the time,
with a
sail-stop at the bottom of the groove to keep them from falling out as
lower the sail.

I was told the long batten would cause a problem with sail shape when
slugs. So I asked Sailrite where to place slugs around the long-batten
pocket.They said :"one just above the pocket, one just below it". I did
and the shape while sailing seems fine. You do have to have good
tension in
the sail luff rope, however. To help achieve that, after raising and
the halyard tight, I push down on the forward end of the boom and
reclete the
boom/tack down haul line (or whatever it's called!) to add more tension
to the
luff rope.

The spacing of the two slugs around the long batton is such that when I
the sail, the batten can twist 90 degrees so that it lays on the boom
when "folding" up the sail and lashing it to the boom. I replace the
batton with a more flexible one (the kind they cut-off to what ever
length you
specify) and attached it to its pocket with a 1/4" bolt. At the upper
end end
of the batten, I filed a notch. I then tied a loop of line from one
gromment to the other and this loop is then "snapped" into the notch,
a slight compression in the batton for sailing. When I lower the sail I
snap the line out of the notch, which releases the compression in the
and makes folding up the sail onto the boom easier and neater (but not
necessarily neat:) ).

Because installing slugs does move the sail aft a bit, I move the clew
eyestrap back as far as possible on the boom. I also made a change at
the top
of the mast because of the sail being back farther. I noticed as the
sail was
being raised, the head of the sail was being pulled into the slot in the
causing unwanted friction as the sail neared the top (the "pulley" at
the top
of the mast is position to pull the sail straight up only if the sail is
the groove). To correct this, I added an Upright Lead block (pulley) to
mast to space the halyard out, more inline with the sail's new position.
Explaining this in words is hard, but I have taken a picture of it and
scan it, so if anyone out there wants to see it, e-mail me and I'll send
you a
e-mail with picture. I'll also send one to the web site so maybe it can
seen there.

2) Installing sail slugs on the P-15 is a bit more problematic and,
while the benefits of reduced friction and easier feeding into the track
are available, the sail will still not store neatly on the boom without
fussing with the top batten.

Elaborating on point #2, it is the top, full length, batten which poses
the difficulties for the sail slug conversion. The compression forces on
that batten WILL find their way to the mast one way or another. A proper
job of installing slugs will include changing the batten pocket
reinforcment to one extended for use with slugs. Sailrite sells these
(they now have their catalog online, if you'd like to take a look at
these parts). If this is not done the result is the problem I described
yesterday, where the batten crunches the (now exposed) luff tape and
bolt rope, creasing the sail in the process.

The top batten also poses some disadvantages when lowering the sail.
Because the batten is not perpendicular to the mast, it does not want to
lay flat on the boom when the sail is lowered and the luff is still held
in the track by the slugs. To store the sail neatly on the boom the
batten can be removed OR the luff can be freed from the track above the
batten allowing the batten to be rotated parallel to the boom. This can
be accomplished by attaching the slug above the batten with a shackle.

One method I've used to solve the problem of keeping the top batten
fitted tightly
and keeping sail shape: insert the batten into the pocket as far as it
will go;
drill a hole through both the batten pocket and the batten; insert a
small stainless
steel bolt, fasten with nut. Replace batten ties with small shock
cord. The shock
cord adjusts the tension and shape of the sail. The batten will still
'bow' when the
sail is lowered and secured to the boom, but it removes the need to
re-tie the batten
ties when you reef or lower the sail. The bolt keeps the batten in the
pocket and
elements the problem of the batten escaping the pocket and chafing the

My batten was loosely tied one day and 'popped' out of the pocket,
chafing a hole
through the sail in less than an hour. While the sail was repaired, I
added sail slugs.
The ability to easily raise sail and later reef while single-handling
has greatly added to
my enjoyment of the boat.

I had the same problem as you with the outhaul, but I solved it
by putting a
boom cap with an eye attached on the end of the boom, thus giving me the
additional boom length to put tension on the mainsail in heavy breezes.
suspect you might need some instruction from better P-15 sailors than I
as to
how to best utilize the outhaul.

Silicone spray in the mast track a few times per season helps with both
rope luff and sail slugs.

n past, I found Silly cone lets luff rope get dirty and hard to clean...
you having this problem?

With wax, dirty comes off with a little hydrogen peroxide 50/50 solution
water. How are you getting it cleaned?

I've intsalled the slugs on my 19. It was recomended
me by the local rigging shop to sew them on with 1/2 webbing, I did. We
the machine for most of them but at the head and tack I had to use the
sailors palm and needle and it was tough, even broke a needle, I would
think that with the boat and sail aria being so small that the shackles
might not be such a bad idea, I mean far larger boats than ours use the
shackles without any trouble. If you pierce the sail with a soldering
use a small tip like you would for a chip or other curcuit board work.
Michael P. Barclay
WWP-19 #883 (Corky)
Homestead, Florida

Here are the spacings of the sail slugs on my new WWP-19 Mainsail. They
measured from the top of the sail in inches"
Slug #: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
9 10
" from top:
Spacings in inches: 22" 24" 23" 24" 24" 24" 23" 24"

The mean spacing is 23.44; You could use 23.5 and end up with the last
being 0.5" closer to the bottom than on mine or you could get to the
place by reducing the space between the 5th and 6th slugs to 23 and add
inch to the space between the 1st and 2nd slugs and get an alternating

I am sure that the spacing is not nearly as important as the quality of
job and making sure they are attached correctly and that the holes are
finished off (soldering iron as was suggested might work well, but does
group have any suggestions as to this method??) such that the sail does
fray or tear under tension.



Steve Barnes sailing a Capri-16, #74, no name yet,
and selling a WWP-14, Popeye, #561, in San Diego.