Tips - Hoisting the main sail

Having difficulty in hoisting your mainsail?

Most of the friction comes from the mainsail near the bolt rope.

I found that the best solution was aerosol silicon lubricant. You can buy expensive stuff from a chandler but I just buy the regular cheap stuff from the local hardware shop at about £3 per can. Lay your sail out on the ground flat and spray all along the bolt rope (spray in the direction from the sail so the lubricant gets in the corner between the bolt rope and the sail - where the friction occurs). Turn the sail over and repeat from the other side. At first I was concerned it might mark the sail or show but it does not seem to.

Generally this is enough but an additional measure is to silicone lubricant the mast slot on the inside. When the mast is down cut a short length (~70mm) of 7-8mm diameter rope. Tear a strip of rag ~ 50 mm wide and 300mm long. Fold the rag in half lenthwise and put the bit of rope in the bottom of the fold at right angles to the rag and pince the rag together so it forms a small section like the sail with a bolt rope. Engage the section of rag in the mast slot with the bolt rope section inside the mast slot. Now squirt the rag with aerosol silicon lubricant on both sides so it is sodden. Now slide it up and down the mast slot resquirting the lubricant from time to time. That's it.

Use the aerosol silicon lubricant on the sheaves at both ends too.

Shoot anyone who suggests using wax - it is absolutely useless.

Keep the silicone lubricant away from the top of the boat or the trampoline - otherwise you will find yourself sliding all over the place. So best to take the mast off the boat to lube it.

Bob Carter