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maricat sail track tramp mod questions


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Hi folks. i'm new to the forums (and to sailing) and am located on the Fleurieu in South Australia. Have recently acquired an older maricat 4.3, but the tramp is pulling out of the groove/channel plate on one side, seems this is a pretty common problem. have been looking through the forum and it looks like the caravan annex / sail rail mod is the recommended fix. I have sourced the new sail rails, but have a couple of questions: 

1. i gather that 5/8-3/4 by 3/16 is the recommended rivet size. is this rivet size used for the full length of the track, including into the storage compartment, or is a shorter grip length required for the storage compartment rivets. Any recommendations on where to source the rivets from?

2. The sail rail has an internal channel diameter of 9.3mm, however the outer diameter of the side bolt rope plus canvas is larger than this (around 11mm total) and wont fit into the new channel (as described in this thread). Bolt rope is also in there pretty tight and i dont know how to get it out. what is the best way to remove the bolt rope in order to replace with something else? unpick the stitching adjacent to the rope so I can then pull out the rope and replace with something slightly smaller in diameter, and then restitch?

Thanks, Richard


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3/4" is what you need and yes on every hole.  When drilling out the old rivets remember that there is an aluminium track at the bottom that needs to be clear.  This is what will provide the support for the new rivet.

on one of my Maricats the track was upside down.  This worked well since the round bit was 'nested' into the slot but not completely.

use sikaflex to bed the upside down track because there'll be some leaking if you don't.  

I had a hatch on the transom deck.  This allows you access to the transom which you'll need to do at some stage.  when you tip the boat on its end all the rivet ends will fall down to the back and you'll be able to scoop them up if you have a hatch there.

To get the bolt rope out tie a thin chord to one end to allow you to pull the next bolt rope through.  

I always thought the bolt rope needed for the new sail track was thicker.   I bought the rope from a sailmaker.  I looked around and couldn't find the right stuff from anywhere else.  Once I used air line from Clarkes Rubber but had to get a 2 or 3mm line into the hole to stop it compressing, wasn't much fun!

Enjoy your Maricat.

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thanks! just to clarify, by "aluminium track at the bottom that needs to be clear" I assume you are not referring to the aluminium plate on top of the deck which is currently holding the bolt rope into the channel (ie the aluminium strip that will be replaced by my new sail rail) but rather another aluminium track on the underside of the deck (inside the pontoon) that the end of the rivet grips to? If the latter (aluminium track on the underside), is it secured in place by something other than the rivets eg formed into the fibreglass? if not, what is to stop it from simply falling away when I remove all the old rivets? also by "needs to be clear" do you mean that the holes need to be clear and cleaned up? and re sikaflex, do you apply that all over the bed where the new sail rail will go, or just around the holes, or just around the edge of the sail rail?

(apologies for the newbie questions and for any errors in terminology :)

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would the aluminium track on the underside of the deck be exposed? Just ask because there does not appear to be an exposed plate on the underside of the deck in the storage compartment section - placing my hand into the storage compartment I can feel where the rivets come through, but there is no exposed plate. perhaps the plate is aft of the storage section only...?

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My tramp had solid plastic rods sewn in either side to key in to the tracks. When I replaced the original Al strips with tracks (it was pulling out, same as you), the rods we're too thick and would not fit in the tracks.

I cut a little hole in the tramp material at either end of the rod so I could pull them out. I probably sealed it with a lighter so it wouldn't fray. As Darcy has suggested, tying a light string to the rod and pulling it through is a good idea.

After a bit of experimentation (ie things that didn't work), I figured out that the classic blue and yellow Telecom rope is the perfect size for the track. So I pulled a length through each side pocket and installed the tramp (using liberal amounts of laundry detergent as lube), then just tied a figure 8 knot in each end of the Telecom rope to keep it in place.

If I ever need to replace the trampoline again, I'm guessing that I will be able to just pull the ropes out, then the trampoline will slip out of the track. Shouldn't be too hard to get a rope in to the side pockets again if I neglect to pull a string in.


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