We first purchased the Tides Strong track from Kern's Sails in California. The installation went as expected. We had an external track and Tides instructed us to put clips on the mast and then slide the track up the clips. We ran short of clips and I called Tides Marine, received a prompt answer and approximately 2 days later some extra clips arrived. Great service!
We lubricated the track with soap and water and began the arduous task of sliding the track over the clips. After pulling, tugging, and sweating we eventually got the track up or at least down the side of the mast. The mast was laying down.
At 3 years of service the sail still slides easily. The only thing I've noticed is that the track seems to have shrunk almost 1 inch in 50'. Don't know if it is shrinkage or simply compression from being straight up in the air most of it's life.
After approx 12 years the track would easily break. Actually, on the trip to NZ some of the sail slugs broke out of the track. In NZ I contacted Tides and they indicated that in the tropics it expected life is 7-10 years. I purchased a new length of track and replaced it. I still like the ease of use for the mainsail, I don't love the need to replace it every decade. And obviously, I did buy it again.