With Spring just around the corner, it’s time to check your deck hardware for signs of wear and tear, especially mast sheaves and blocks before you re-step.

A little time spent now can save a lot of grief and aggravation in the sailing season and save you money in the long run.

For blocks and mast sheaves

  • Flush through with fresh water if you have left them exposed to the elements over the winter
  • Do not oil or grease, this attracts dirt and salt which is abrasive
  • Check for excessive movement on the bearings of both blocks and sheaves, especially at the mast head
  • Check for signs of elongation around the fixing holes and shackles at the head of your blocks, this would suggest overloading, if in any doubt replace it with a higher load block
  • On the rest of your yacht, look at the condition of your split rings, if they are not tightly coiled then replace with new ones,
  • For ball bearing blocks, the sheaves should spin freely, again flush through with fresh water

For Mainsheet Traveller

  • Rinse thoroughly with a hose pipe and fresh water, especially the underbody where the ball bearings run in the car and along the track
  • Take time to look at the end mouldings on the traveller car. Crash gybes are usually the cause of fractures
  • Flush through your control line cam cleats with water under pressure, the cams should open and return freely, if not unscrew them and disassemble to check for broken return springs
  • Check also the condition of the control line sheaves, they are easy to remove and inspect, replacements may be required
  • Check for end moulding fractures Flush Cam Cleats Check for sheave damage Flush underside of traveller Genoa Cars

For Genoa cars

  • Check for signs of excessive movement about the sheave bearing, a small amount of play is acceptable any more than this may cause the sheave to lock up under load, warning signs are excessive wear to one side of the sheave where it is not rotating.

The list of jobs to do may seem endless, but get the important ones over with now and the remainder can be saved for a sunny day.