Flush through with fresh water, let them dry then remove them from the deck for storage. They are expensive items to replace and easy to lift from the boat.Flush through with fresh water, let them dry then remove them from the deck for storage. They are expensive items to replace and easy to lift from the boat.Laying up for most of us involves emptying the galley and bedding, unbending sails, removing fenders and life rings and possibly winterising the engine, but how many of you give a second thought to your blocks and deck hardware? It's worth spending a little time to carry out some hardware checking and cleaning. You can also wash through, dry and stow away non essential halyards and sheets.
For Blocks and Sheaves
Flush through with fresh water, this helps dislodge and remove salt crystals, you can also clean through using a mild detergent with water, make sure it ecologically friendly though. Do not oil or grease as this attracts abrasive dust and grime which can build up over the winter.
Check the sheave rotation as excessive movement on the bearing would suggest it is worn out. Check also for signs of elongation around the fixing holes and shackle at the head of the block, this would suggest overloading. If in any doubt replace it with a higher load block, this especially applies to mast head blocks which are not so easy to inspect.
Look at the block side plates for wear on the inside edge. Excessive wear suggests a foul lead. You may need to replace with a swivel head for better articulation before the season starts again.
For ball bearing blocks, the sheaves should spin freely. Again flush through with fresh water. Any graunching or uneven spin after flushing would suggest the block has been overloaded. Ball bearing blocks are not suitable for high static loads as the bearings will distort. Replace with a plain bearing block or one with a higher rolling load rating.
Rinse thoroughly with a hose pipe and fresh water, especially the underbody where the ball bearings run in the car and along the track. Again you can use a mild detergent solution for stubborn salt deposit as it will not harm the anodising.
Take time to look at the end fittings on the traveller. Crash gybes are usually the cause of fractures so add spare end fittings to your ‘to do' list. You will need to remove the traveller car to do this so be sure to seek out or source a short length of track to transfer the traveller car onto for repair. By taking it off now, you will remember it needs attention.
Flush through your control line cam cleats with water under pressure. The cams should open and return freely. A loose cam would suggest a broken spring. Unbolt the cam cleat and pop in a bag with a note to purchase spare return springs. If you leave it fitted you will forget to do it in the Spring!
Flush through with fresh water, let them dry then remove them from the deck for storage. They are expensive items to replace and easy to lift from the boat.