Deckware can consist of expensive, important tools that have a tough life and are often exposed to the elements all year round, so it’s vital that you look after them. If your tools are snagging or not functioning in quite the same way as before, then it’s time for maintenance.
It’s important to make sure that there isn’t dirt or cracking inside of the hardware that can impact on the load bearing capability. Whether you are maintaining your tools yourself or getting some help, it might seem complicated but it’s really less daunting than you might think. There are lots of tips, step-by-step guides and useful videos to help you, and once you’ve done it a few times then you’ll feel confident to keep them up to scratch yourself.
An easy process to follow is when you are removing and cleaning the different parts of the winch (for example), we’d recommend placing the parts in a box in the order that you remove them. So, when cleaning each piece, set it down in the same spot that you picked it up from, that way the parts are always in order to make re-assembly easier and quicker. When you are removing and cleaning the winch, take time to carefully inspect the pawls and springs to check for any signs of wear, pitting or distortion, and replace them as needed.
As well as making sure that your kit is being used appropriately, as sailors we are aware that the marine environment can affect the performance of our deck hardware. Therefore, regularly rinsing and flushing out with fresh water can remove much of the salt that may have accumulated and extend the life of your products as a result.