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Moved the Jib Track inside the Life Lines

Jan 22, 2008
Catalina 27 Detroit Mi
I have installed an additional 1 inch T Track (Port & Starboard) for my Head Sails inside the life lines on my Catalina 27.

I am hoping this will improve the boat's pointing ability for heading to weather. (The first leg of most races)

The new inside T Tack is about 8 inches inside where the original T track and runs parallel to the outside track to just past the 155 head sail point of the boat. ( Outside T Track)

Has any one else done this, and what have been your results?


All the Best,

May 17, 2004
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
It’ll be interesting to see how it helps. Will the sheeting angle still work when you bear off to a reach? Also it'll be interesting to see if the boat still has enough forward drive on the tighter sheeting angle. Seems like it’ll adjust the angle by 3 or 4 degrees.
Jan 1, 2006
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
You can go too far with narrowing the sheeting angle. While you may have the tell tails happy at higher angles, the boat may be slow. It's analogous to buying super flat racing sails for a cruising hull. You have to have enough power to drive the hull. Speed will help you point to the boat's best ability. Boat speed rules!
Jun 25, 2004
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
Back in the 1990s and 2000s, there was still a fleet of C27s racing One Design on Chesapeake Bay. The racers all had deck sweeping 155% genoas, with very low clews, sheeting to inside tracks tracks on the side deck or coaming, at the front of the cockpit. Tacking usually required lifting the foot over the stanchions to the inside because of the low foot. The narrower sheeting angle helped the racers point a little higher and faster.

Most cruisers didn’t bother to install inside tracks for the Genoa’s. If the Genoa has a higher clew than a deck sweeper, as cruising Genoa’s are won’t to have, it will have to sheet at aft end of the cockpit, then go forward to the cockpit winch.

Judy B
  • Helpful
Likes: Will Gilmore


Jun 1, 2004
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
I have a short 3 hole inside track mounted on the small raised portion of the coaming, adjacent to the cabin bulkhead. It is for the a 140% deck sweeping genoa. It is necessary to skirt the foot inside the lifelines because it's so low to the deck.

When I first acquired this boat, I messed with the big genoa and would often sheet it through the inside track. Even though it is a bit weathered, the sail is still effective but I don't use it that much because it requires more crew work than I'm up to at age 73. Anyway, if you have a large genoa, I wouldn't get my hopes up for a dramatic change in your pointing. However, if use a flatter, smaller headsail... a 110 say... you will find the reduced sheeting angle may improve your close reaching ability.

Therefore, I suggest a modified barber hauling set up, using the inside track and a high clewed sail that doesn't need to be skirted... this will enable you to shift the lateral position in increments between the inside track and the genoa track without messing with the low hanging foot. If you have a high clewed, cruising style genoa... the proper location of the lead block may be beyond the range of your existing track. Your choice is to recut the sail or relocate the lead.... So before do anything, you should determine that optimal position.... I.e. hoist the sail and position the sheet so it bisects the angle of the clew.

Finally, there's only one way to answer your original question..... and that's going to be up to you to go out on the water and use trial and error to determine what's going to work best. Make lots of notes, use a graph... be open minded..logical... Then, when you buy a new headsail, you can pass this knowledge on to the sailmaker to get the optimal shape and cut for it. Good Luck.
Last edited:
  • Helpful
Likes: Will Gilmore
Oct 19, 2017
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
I like what joe had to say.
Then, when you buy a new headsail, you can pass this knowledge on to the sailmaker to get the optimal shape and cut for it.
Invite your friendly neighborhood sailmaker out for a sail.

-Will (Dragonfly)
Oct 19, 2017
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Jim, you don't mention in your original post, what you're flying for headsails. Are you working out a way of moving the sheet back and forth between tracks, are you going to switch between inside and outside sheets or are you just moving everything to the new traveler?
This is obviously a decision you've made for racing. This isn't one design racing, I take it?

I'd love to to see pictures of the new installation and how it's positioned with shrouds and lifelines and all.

-Will (Dragonfly)