Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Jib Sheet Track Removal"
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Thread: "Jib Sheet Track Removal"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Jib Sheet Track Removal

Jay Bietz

Hi: (Westsail 32 #567)

I have 21 of the 25 5/16 SS PH MS from the stbd jig track removed for resealing (rain water leaks into the lockers below).
I plan on drilling out the remaining 4 bolts as I can't get to 2 of them (at the aft end) and the other 2 are obstructed with the cap rail bolts.

Does the Jib track really need 25 5/16 SS bolts to hold the load? I'd like to shorten the track on the aft end near the wench as I can't reach them behind the fuel tank and seal and skip the ones obscured by the cap rail bolts.

What if I bolt through every other bolt hole in the track and seal up the rest of the holes through the cap rail?

What is your suggestion?


Terry Shoup

You mean these boats are supposed to come with a wench??? I got hornswaggled and bamboozled!

Bud Taplin

Jay, That should work, but what are you going to do with the WENCH that you have hidden behind the fuel tank. My advice is to be kind to her.

Tom Crank

If the riser on the track is not integral you can cut the bolts off by running a sawzall between the track and the riser then just tap the bolts through. It's easier than drilling the heads off stainless bolts!

Jay Bietz

SHH! please don't tell my wife about the wench -- she'll know why I'm at the boat all the time!!

Tom: The track lays right on the teak cap rail - so I'm making another attempt unscrew the bolts before the drilling. (ARGH)

thinking of refastening the track -- is Life Caulk the correct sealer in this case? and should I make the holes through the cap and hull larger then 5/16 so there is room for more sealer? I do plan on at least cleaning the holes with a 5/16 drill before refastening.


Jeff Holemo

A neat trick for installing the bolts is to countersink the hole in the wooden rail which effectively makes a cup to hold more caulk.

Bud Taplin

Jay, Instead of dealing with all of the bolts and nuts, seal all the old holes. Move the track so that you have new fastening locations, and pilot drill and tap threads through the teak and through the fiberglass flange. Now install the track with 5/16" bolts. Don't bother with nuts underneath, unless you want to put some in easily accessible locations. See page C-4 of my Westsail Service Manual for this procedure.

Jay Bietz

Bud and Jeff, et al:

Well, we were at the boat yesterday and I didn't see Bud's message until this am -- so we reinstalled in the same location and the same methods with lots of Teak Life Caulk.

I did manage to squeeze into the port side of the engine room and with about 30" of 3/8" extensions remove and replace the last 2 bolts near the port winch. (The Wench as gone!)

We did have to drill out 1 bolt as it would not spin up and I couldn't push it up -- wasn't to bad - small hole first in the center of the slot and 5/16" drill to remove the head and a punch pushed the bolt out.

After the track was removed, I found the original sealant under the track was hard and no longer functional.

To reinstall:
I removed the existing sealents, sanded the cap rail, drilled out the existing holes with a 5/16 drill and used a counter head drill to provide a caulk pocket. We used a 5/16 bolt to coat the holes with caulk by running it through the hole with caulk. We then inserted the bolts into the track and the cap rail. By leaving the track up an inch, we could caulk around each bolt as it passed through the cap rail and added a bead of caulk between each bolt hole. We then pushed the track into place and tightened the nuts. During the tightening process we had good squeeze out on all sides.

I didn't install 2 of the bolts, as they were to close to other bolts to be properly tightened. I'll seal up those holes.

Total job was about 30 man-hours plus more time to reassemble the port side cabin pieces removed to provide access.

I can't imagine the work it would take to remove the cap rails for recaulking.

Looking at the Sbd side and the cabinetry for the nav station, I'd have to drill out 1/2 the bolts and use Bud's method to re attach.

Thanks to all for the advise/ideas and I hope we got the leaks caused by the track.


Jay Bietz

Resealing the genoa track did NOT fix the leak. I was at the boat on Sunday and had wet compartments again. Dried off the track and cap rail (rain) and 6 hours later the water was still dripping -- about a silver dollar size puddle in a hour.

Looking at Bill Shaw's work on S-V Galena on his web site at http://sv-galena.livejournal.com/20641.html#cutid1 -- find his sketch of the real cap rail construction on the lower part of his post -- I believe that I have a pond situation under the cap rail.

Special thanks to Bill Shaw for the help and a great web/blog site.

Jay Bietz

Update on the sealing experiment.

Saturday, I drill 4 3/8 holes just outboard of the Genoa track and centered around the leak and low area of the cap rail.

Using liquid Life Caulk (heated in hot water) I was able to force the Caulk into one hole and have the caulk come out the second hole. Both of these holes had about a 1/4" gap between the bottom of the teak and the top of the deck/hull joint material.

The outer holes didn't seem to accept much caulk except to fill up the hole. Neither did there seem to be a gap between the teak and deck/hull material.

I am letting the caulk harden up before removing enough to teak plug/patch the holes.

I'll advise as to the results.


Dave Kall

Interesting idea. The only thing I might suggest (and I know you didn't ask would be to drill and fill one hole at a time, then you might be able to force some in where the water was gaining entrance to the hull and force some back out the way the water was entering under the caprail. Curious how it goes.

Jay Bietz

Update: The drilling and filling failed to do more the slow the rain leaks in one area. I'll have to remove the cap rail to really fix the leaking. Maybe the above method will work if you have 1 area leaking.

Has anyone found a fix for the water ponding on the inside of the genoa track and the cap rail. I am thinking of cutting a channel on the underside of the genoa track.

Dave Kall

If you're going to replace the caprail you may want to put a slight crown in her; ala Tayana 37's. Worth looking at. Then any water will run off even in the low spot.

Haven't heard of any replacements that eliminate the low spots.

Jay Bietz

Sounds like you are suggesting that the inside half of the teak cap rail is planed to slope down toward the center line of the boat -- sounds doable but this will change the radius of the edge.

Dave Kall


Find a Tayana 37. They have a crown to their caprails. Not a skew. The top center is higher than the edges. Don't really know how this will look but it should work. You would also need to most liley get 4/4 teak to do this not 3/4.

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