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Traveler Track Q&A

Can I use any Harken traveler car on any Harken track? 
Harken traveler systems are grouped into seven basic families and are not interchangeable. These families are 13 mm Micro, 22 mm Small Boat, 27 mm Midrange, 32 mm Big Boat, 42 mm Mini-Maxi, 64 mm Maxi, and CRX (available in 32 mm Big Boat and 42 mm Mini-Maxi). After you select the appropriate track group for your boat size and type, you must choose traveler components from the same group.

Can I use Harken ball bearing traveler cars on other manufacturers' track? 
No, almost every manufacturer uses different track. Each family of Harken ball bearing cars is specially designed for different applications and loads, and track is shaped to fit these features.

How do I know what size traveler to put on my boat?
The size of your traveler depends on your boats sail area, the location of the mainsheet on the boom (end-boom or mid-boom sheeting), and whether the boat is a monohull or multihull. See the Ordering Travelers & Genoa Leads  chart for specifications.

How do I know what size Harken track is on my boat?
The quickest way to determine your boat's track family is to measure the width of the track across the top.

Micro: 13 mm (1/2")
Small Boat: 22 mm (7/8")
Midrange: 27 mm (1 1/16")
Big Boat: 32 mm (1 1/4")

I have old-style Harken non-CB track and want to upgrade to a CB+ traveler car. Do I have to replace my track?
No. CB+ cars can be modified to run on old-style non-CB Harken track (supplied until 2002). To retrofit, remove the car retainer clip, remove the ball-routing corners, then use a ball loader to replace the bearings and transfer the car onto non-CB track. Now you can use all the configurations available for modern CB systems: low-profile ESP controls attached directly to the car, genoa lead cars with black racing-style sideplates, pivoting sheave catamaran cars, and soft attachments. Look for a + sign at the end of the car to confirm it is a CB+ car. 

What happens if I force a Harken CB-only car (not CB+) onto a non-CB track?
Only CB+ cars can be modified. A CB-only car won't roll on non-CB track and can damage your equipment. The balls skid instead of roll and will soon flatten out. If you're lucky you'll be left with an extremely high-friction slider car. 

How do I take my classic non-CB traveler car off the track without losing the balls?
To prevent the balls from spilling out, use the blue car loader that came with the car. If misplaced, contact Technical or Customer Service and we'll send you a car loader as soon as possible. You can determine if you need a Small Boat, Midrange, or Big Boat loader by measuring the width of the track across the top; 22 mm Small Boat is 22 mm (7/8"), 27 mm Midrange is 1 1/16",  and 32 mm Big Boat is 1 1/4" wide.

How do I get a curved traveler track?
Harken will be happy to bend your track for a reasonable surcharge and match it to your chord length and depth information, pattern, or the old track itself. If you only need a slight vertical bend, you can use the fasteners to bolt it down into a curve. Start in the middle and then alternate back and forth, port side to starboard side, using the fastener to draw it to the mounting surface. Note:This places the fasteners and mounting surface under a greater strain. See Curved Track.

How do I figure out track radius?
The track curve is usually described in terms of chord length and chord depth. If we use the St. Louis arch as an example, the chord length is the distance between the two parts of the arch that touch the ground. (Measure to the distance of the mounting surface. For horizontal bends, measure to the inner edge of the track radius.)

To find the radius, use the formula below. Make sure to use the same units (e.g. inches, centimeters) for each measurement. R=(L2+D2)/D2 where R = radius,L = chord length, and D = chord height.

What is the minimum radius curve my Harken car will run on? 
See the specifications for the minimum radii for specific cars. Contact Harken for Mini-Maxi and Maxi track. See the Curved Track page or contact Harken Technical Service for more advice on curved track.

How do I cut track?
Use a hacksaw. Remember to leave room for the trim caps or endstops if you cut it yourself. As always, measure twice, cut once. If you have questions or need help, contact Harken Technical Service.

When should I replace track?
Usually you only need to clean your cars and track with soap and water to achieve better performance. If cleaning does not help, your track may be damaged. Consider replacement if it is too dinged or corroded.

How do I mount new track if my old track had non-standard or 76.2 mm (3.00") on-center hole spacing?
Use Small Boat, Midrange, or Big Boat high-beam variable hole spacing track. The bolts slide to allow the track to adapt to any hole spacing.

What track sizes and hole spacings are available? 
13 mm Micro CB Track:
Metric: 2707, 2709

22 mm Small Boat CB Track: 
Metric: 2720, 2725 
Variable Hole Spacing Track for any spacing: 2721 high-beam
Retrofit 4.00" Hole Spacing Track: 373, 374 

27 mm Midrange CB Track: 
Metric: R27
Variable Hole Spacing Track for any spacing: R27HB high-beam
Retrofit 4.00" Hole Spacing Track: 1602 

32 mm Big Boat CB Track: 
Metric: R32
Variable Hole Spacing Track for any spacing: R32HB high-beam
Retrofit 4.00" Hole Spacing Track: 3159

What's the difference between 32 mm and 1 1/4" T-Track?
Differences in track width are negligible (.01 or .25 mm). The real difference is in the thickness of the top part of the T. The top bar on metric track is 6 mm tall, while the top bar on English track is slightly shorter. Measure hole spacing to find out if you have English or metric track; metric track measures 100 mm (3 15/16") from the center of one hole to the center of the next hole, while English is 102 mm (4.00") on-center. We recommend you measure 5 holes at once because the difference is so small; if it is 16" from the first hole to the fifth hole, it is 102 mm (4.00") spacing, and if it is less, then it's 100 mm.

The GT326S pinstop genoa lead car was designed to fit all manufacturers' 32 mm or 1-1/4" T-Track.

Can traveler track span unsupported areas?
Use high-beam track if you want to span an unsupported area. See specific track part numbers for the high-beam track spanning charts.

Can I mount track anywhere on the deck?
The mounting surface on the deck may not be designed to handle the loads, so check before you start drilling. Backing plates or reinforcements can help spread the load over a larger area. Please contact a rigger to help determine what kind of reinforcement is necessary.

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Micro, Small Boat, Midrange and Big Boat track come in low or high-beam configurations. Mini-Maxi & Maxi track is available in low-beam and sculpted Air Track® designs. CRX Roller Traveler cars use straight track.

For a modest charge, Harken can bend track in horizontal, vertical, or compound curves to your specification.

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