Jib and Staysail tracks

Jib track

When we removed the jib tracks from the deck I discovered corrosion on the underside of theSchaeffer track despite looking perfectly fine prior to removal. Since we were removing all the tracks we thought new tracks were in order.


Once a wire brush was applied, the extent of the corrosion was alarming.

The first arrived from Fisheries in Seattle and it matched the existing tracks exactly. The second arrived from Schaeffer a month later and we noticed the hole spacing was different from the other tracks - after twelve feet the holes were off by 3/8", definitely a problem for a track that penetrates teak deck, fiberglass, and headliner in the main saloon. I called Schaeffer and was told they did not guarantee their 4"-hole center track really was exactly four inch centers from hole to hole. They said it was a problem with their supplier that they could not fix. They had no solution for someone replacing one of their tracks and needing exact hole spacing. The picture below shows how far off the holes were after twelve feet!

Four track sections

Second from the bottom is way off after 12 feet

I made a trip to San Francisco in Aug 2005 and visited Svendsens in Alameda because they had 11 pieces of 1-1/4 Schaeffer T-track in stock. None of them were 4" center holes, varying from 5/16" under to 3/8" over after 12'. We ended up epoxying the old track and reinstalling it until we could find a replacement. With the boat in the bay area this August (2006) I again visited Svendsens and found they had 5 pieces in stock. The last one we measured was a good fit for the remaining jib track. We installed the new track in Santa Barbara.

I find it amazing that a major manufacturer of sailboat hardware cannot produce T-track of sufficient quality to maintain consistent hole spacing. Knowing this, why would anyone install Schaeffer track on deck or mast knowing that entirely different holes will have to be drilled and/or tapped if a replacement is necessary? We looked at 17 pieces of Schaeffer T-track before we found a second one that matched the starboard jib track. If Schaeffer can't manufacture T-track any better than this then I think I'll avoid all Schaeffer products.


Since Schaeffer T-track is made for deck or mast installations the underside is a concave curve to fit a mast face. When TaShing installed the track on deck they used bevelled teak trim under the track. When I removed the tracks these spacers were rotting and broken. We put the new track down on UHMW plastic stripping. Due to the hardness of UHMW plastic no bevel was added to the plastic and the concave bottom was filled with sealant.

UHMW spacer

The UHMW spacers were made in short sections to allow drainage.

The teak trim pieces on both side of our tracks were showing their age so I bought a 13' rough cut teak board from Edensaw Woods and cut new ones on a tablesaw. After sanding and shaping with hand tools they were indistinguishable from the originals.

New Jib Track

New Jib Track

Staysail tracks

The staysail track bolts are hidden by the headliner. Since we have no teak decking on our house we decided to avoid the difficulties we had with the jib tracks and use Harken track instead. Harken track is 1-1/4 and has consistent hole spacing. We filled the old holes with West Systems epoxy and drilled new holes for the Harken track. The Harken track had the added advantage of using end stops that are threaded in to the track so removing end stops does not affect deck sealant like it does on Schaeffer track.


We replaced the teak trim pieces on the staysail tracks also.

Back to Refit Page