We play with expensive toys. Part of owning and racing is learning to maintain your gear to ensure it’s not only functional, but durable. We make it a rule that prior to day one of any regatta: all equipment must be bombproof.
A few weekends ago, our friend Trevor Parek from 49er.ca joined us for the Spring Skiff Fest in Miami and shared some words of wisdom on how to keep our equipment in tip top shape.
- Halyard Care
Check the high friction points of all lines on the running rigging, but specifically the main halyard. Over time you’ll notice some chaff on the line (regardless of which type) where the line finally rests on the sheave at the masthead. Check for wear regularly, every time you rig, and replace worn line immediately.
We all know that a broke halyard can ruin a session. I recommend you plan to replace the halyard about every 4 months.
Jib halyards typically last a bit longer. And the most prepared sailors will have 100ft of spare dyneema (2.5m or 3m) in their toolbox.
2. How to Minimize Corrosion
Trevor gave us some facts about the corrosion that occurs when two different types of metals are bonded together. Below is a picture of the gooseneck and mast. You can see the white stain of salt crust at the edge of the fitting. For salt water sailors especially, making sure these areas get extra rinse with freshwater after every session.
3. Keep Your TurnbucklesTurning
Ever find it hard to add turns on the water? Like really hard. Like, you’re already tired “why is this so freaking hard?”
Trevor suggests unwinding the pin all the way out and greasing it with a little olive oil, that way it’ll spin on or off easily when you need it.
4. Release the Pressure
Mid-session, after about 45 minutes of sailing, especially if it’s hot, crews should jump to the bow and just pop open the bow plug to release some of the pressure inside the boat. Don’t worry, you’ll still get that satisfying exhale at the stern plug after your session. But releasing the pressure built up inside of the hull is good for the health of your platform.
5. Blade Love
Water is 784 times denser than air, which means the integrity of your underwater sails (a.k.a foils) is paramount. Buy a shammy or keep a rag on hand to rinse, dry and stow your blades in the bag after every use. Managing the water’s flow under the hull is critical in light air sailing and coming out of maneuvers.
Put these tips into your daily derigging routine.