We've been designing a ball-raced gooseneck for the new Noux boats. Jari sent me some pictures of his progress.
These pieces are mounted around the mast. There are two sizes, for either 12.4 mm or 11 mm Easton masts. The smaller hole is 6 mm in diameter and fits a flanged miniature ball bearing.
This piece goes on the bottom of the gooseneck axis. It has a raised ring towards the bearing, so that it makes contact only with the rotating part of the bearing.
Here's the first assembled prototype, with bearings fitted to the parts shown in the top picture. A 6 mm diameter aluminium rod forms the axis of the gooseneck. The rod is drilled and tapped with M3 threads in both ends. At the top, a Sails ETC flat eyebolt screws into the axis. At the bottom, the part shown above is secured with an M3 screw. We're hoping that the eyebolt at the top will fit the standard Sails ETC mainboom front end fitting.
We've not come to a final decision on a variable-length compression strut or kicking strap yet... The standard Sails ETC fitting works, but it attaches to a hole in the boom, which over time tends to corrode and wear into an oval shape. Bright ideas required 😉