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Equipment care

A stubborn and resistant headsail furler that jams, or releases and jams alternatively when furling
The headsail furler jams or is highly resistant to furling. Or, the furling system will partially furl then stops, and then furl again, and then stops etc. A complete furl may be achieved but it is a battle and the furler rotation is far from smooth or consistent. These are the symptoms of 'halyard wrap', the number one issue that cause furling systems to jam or be rotation resistant. What is happening is that the halyard is starting to wrap at the top, locking up the furling system, and then unwrapping when you ease the pressure on the furling line.

Keeping shackles on halyards and other challenging positions
Changing sails quickly or in boisterous conditions can result in the halyard shackles being lost overboard.

Avoiding damage to halyard Nicopress's and masthead sheaves
Despite the fact that a head sail only needs to be tightened enough to get the wrinkles out of the luff there is a general sailing tendency to grind in halyards until they cannot be tightened anymore. With this sort of predilection it can be very easy to over tighten and pull the halyards nicropress into masthead sheaves (Nicropress = the crimped copper or stainless fitting that form eyes on wire rigging, particularly for small 1/4 inch wire and less, that have become know under by the proprietary Nicropress manufacturer name).

Preventing line chafe
If a fibre line is loaded up and exposed to an edge, or anything rough or sharp, the back-and-forth rubbing motion exerted upon this point will cause the line to chafe in two. All running rigging (ropes leading through various blocks, and to different places of the masts, sails, tacks etc) are subject to chafe, be they halyards, topping lifts, leech-lines, bow-lines, down-haulers or furling lines on roller reefing gear. Sails themselves cause chafe in light inconsistent airs when they are not setting properly or in light conditions with a lumpy or rolling sea. These situations cause a sail to be pulling well for a few minutes, but when a roll comes through or the wind dies, the drive is knocked out of the sail causing it to slap around uselessly chafing itself and everything in its immediate orbit. The jib furling line on a roller reefing unit is particularly susceptible to chafe. Although it may appear to be belayed and motionless it is constantly subject to a slight loading-and-unloading back-and-forth movement as the head sail strains and or the vessel bow crests and falls off waves and swells.

Protecting warps
Fairleads are hard on warps, the constant flexing and tugging on the warps in the jaws chafe through warp lines.

Keeping track of engine hours
Each engine has a recommended run time between services and oil changes, typically measured in hours on yachts. This means that each time the engine is run, the duration needs to be logged and that log requires monitoring so that maintenance may be correctly scheduled.

Locating engine problems
Engines are very reliable if they are looked after, particularly so diesel. Yet they do have occasional problems.

Lengthening a charts service life
Navigation stations are typically situated by the main companionway and the odd spray splash or stray rain drop falls down onto the chart table. They also tend to be a rest point where things inappropriately get laid from time to time as is human nature on an active boat. This causes charts to quickly degrade and especially so with ‘home waters’ cruisers where a specific sailing region is continuously in use.

Extending the lives and serviceability of padlocks
General purpose padlocks are subject to harsh conditions on boats causing them to corrode and seize.

How to protect your aluminium rigging and spars from electrolysis
Yacht rigs and spars are largely assembled with fittings containing dissimilar metals. Typically stainless steel in the form of gooseneck brackets, spreader brackets etc mixed with aluminium rigging. Mixing different metals and salt water causes an aggressive corrosion called electrolysis. This is particularly prevalent up to six feet above deck level and at the mast heel below decks where salt water can collect and reside for extended periods.


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