This is a guest post from Barrie Yacht Club member, Richard Osborn. Not only does he have some great tips, he can also fix and repair your boat and answer your questions. Contact details at the end of the post.
If I can give you one piece of advice regarding annual spring maintenance: This is it - INSPECT YOUR RIGGING and MAST and fix any potential issues.
A little recognized fact, especially with older boats, is that the replacement cost of the mast and associated equipment on your boat often exceeds the TOTAL VALUE of your boat. Should you break your mast, along with other damage in an accident, often leads to the insurance company writing off the whole package. Suddenly you have lost your boat. If you are lucky enough to have coverage for a replacement mast, you without your sailing fix for the balance of the season until your mast is repaired.
Here is a checklist for you to use when you are getting your boat ready for the season and also periodically check throughout the season:
- Check the mast for signs of corrosion, cracks, etc.
- Check spreaders paying particular attention to mast attachment.
- Remove Tape or Spreader End Boots to check ends and wire where it bends over spreader.
- Check all other rigging attachment points, look for bent or worn clevis pins.
- Check mast head sheaves for wear and general condition.
- Check Gooseneck for wear and attachment to mast.
- Inspect complete length of every Shroud and Stay.
LOOK for Broken strands of wire at Swages (this is most vulnerable trouble point) Inspect all swages (attachments at end of wire).
Look for cracks and signs of rust (some surface corrosion is normal)
- Inspect Turnbuckles
- If you have ROLLER FURLING - pay particular attention to Forestay above top extrusion.
- Rod Rigging - Visually inspect for signs of cracking or stress around cold headed ends. ( It is possible to use crack detection materials for more detailed inspection)
- On the boat - Inspect all Chain Plates. While you’re at it- Check mast lights, antennas, electronics, Windex etc.
- Lubricate mast head and any other sheaves.
- Lubricate mast track, roller furler or headsail luff tracks. USE ONLY McLUBE for above applications.
- Lubricate turnbuckle threads with clear silicone type grease. (Do not use WD40 - all it will do is attract dirt and cause friction)
If in any doubt, repair or replace. If you need help ASK. Have a safe and secure sailing season.
Richard Osborn, member, Barrie Yacht Club