Please select your home edition
Edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

Deck Equipment Maintenance Checklist - Maximise time on the water after lockdown

by Chris Jones 1 May 07:22 PDT
Winch Maintenance © Barton Marine

The global sailing community continues to count down the days until everyone is able to get out boating again. As lockdown restrictions in some countries begin to ease, now is a good time to think about maintaining your deck equipment and making sure everything is in full working order. With a very late start to the sailing season no one wants foreseeable equipment breakage forcing them back to shore.

The Barton Marine team spend a lot of time out sailing, pushing products to the limit, when not back at HQ developing and manufacturing the range. Check out their top tips to help keep your fittings in smooth working order to ensure maximum time on the water.

Blocks and sheaves

Blocks and mast sheaves use precise engineering and should be checked for potential wear and tear before you re-step the mast or hoist the sails for the first time each season. Flush the blocks and mast sheaves through with fresh water if they have been exposed to the elements over the winter. If you are using a mild detergent to remove mould and mildew make sure it is ecologically friendly. Don't use oil or grease as this attracts dirt and salt, which is abrasive and will limit the lifespan of the components.

Check for excessive movement on the bearings of both blocks and sheaves especially at the mast head. A broken mast sheave invites the halyard to jam itself at the worst possible moment, with a trip up the mast the only alternative to remove a sail. Replacement sheaves are available from Barton in a range of sizes or you can contact your mast manufacturer for replacements. If you can't get the exact same diameter, that's ok, as long as you make sure your replacement sheave is a tight fit widthways in the mast casing to prevent the mouseline jumping off the sheave and jamming.

A sign of blocks being overloaded is elongation around the fixing holes and shackles at the head of the blocks. If you are in any doubt, then it is best to replace it with a higher load block. This especially applies to mast head blocks which are much harder to inspect once the sailing season has started. Shackle pins are a must aloft and we recommend that they should be wire seized and taped or even cable tied to prevent unlocking. Take time to have a look at the condition of all your split rings and if they are not tightly coiled then replace them with new ones. Cover both sides of the split ring with a single piece of electrical or spreader tape and stick it onto itself as this will help prevent the split pin snagging in ropes and halyards.

When you are checking ball bearing blocks, the sheaves should spin freely. It is worth flushing these blocks through with fresh water. Any crunching or graunching noises or an uneven spin after flushing would suggest that the block has been overloaded. Ball bearing blocks are not suitable for high static loads, such as around the mast base so we'd recommend using a plain bearing block or a block with a higher rolling load rating.

Barton winches

The Barton winch is really easy to maintain. Undo the drum spiral circlip (or locating screw on older models) and take off the drum before flushing through with warm fresh water. Gently agitate to remove any stubborn salt deposits, let it dry and give a light spray of WD40 to the gears. At this point you can remove all accessible pawls and springs. Any staining on the pawls can be removed with a proprietary household abrasive cleaner such as CIF with a scotchbrite pad. Flush everything with fresh water and leave to dry. On reassembly, add a squirt of WD40 to the springs and refit. Christian Brewer the Barton Sales Manager demonstrates how to service a Barton Winch in the following video:

Mainsheet Traveller and Genoa cars

To look after the mainsheet traveller, rinse it thoroughly with a hose pipe and fresh water. It is important to pay extra attention to the underbody where the ball bearings run in the car and along the track. You can use a mild detergent solution for stubborn salt deposits as it will not harm the layer of anodising. Take time to look at the state of the end mouldings on the traveller car and end fittings.

Crash gybes are usually the cause of fractures and it is useful to have spare end cap mouldings to hand onboard. To check for any fractures, remove the traveller car using a short length of track to transfer the traveller car onto whilst it is being repaired.

Flush through the 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. Worn cam jaws reduce the efficiency of the cleat and will require replacing. Go for the highest specification cleat you can afford for a longer life, the Barton K Cam series are made from Dupont Kevlar. Whilst you are checking the cam cleats inspect the condition of the control line sheaves as they are easy to remove, inspect and replace at this point.

Genoa Cars

When inspecting the Genoa Cars check for signs of excessive movement about the sheave bearing. A small amount of play is probably acceptable but any more than this may cause the sheave to lock up under load. Keep an eye on warning signs including excessive wear to one side of the sheave where it is not rotating. Sheaves can be replaced as long as the car has been regularly flushed through and looked after to reduce the risk of heavy corrosion of the aluminium around the spindle.

Rope clutches

Flush through with fresh water and let dry. We then recommend a silicone based grease for the handle and cam pivot points only. If the halyard or control line is slipping, try and look at the cam face inside for wear. The handles can also fail on older rope clutches; tell tale signs are fractures around the pivot point, repair or replace as necessary. Barton Marine offer spare handles and cams for you to install.

Make sure your lead deflection into the rope clutch is within 10 degrees, any more is putting excessive side load on the unit. You may need to purchase a Barton deck organiser to fit over the winter to address this.

For further technical information visit bartonmarine.com or watch the Barton How To videos on YouTube.

Related Articles

Final Call for the Barton Marine Rising Star 2020
Entries close on the 30th June at midnight! There are only ten days remaining to enter for a chance to become the Barton Marine Rising Star 2020. Entries close on the 30th June at midnight. Posted on 20 Jun
Barton Marine supporting boaters
Helping us to Get Back on the Water Barton Marine are supporting the boating community and helping sailors get back out on the water following lockdown by providing social distancing floor stickers to yacht and sailing clubs and marine businesses around the UK and Europe free of charge. Posted on 6 Jun
Free Activity sheets, Bears Eating Peanut Butter
Can it be Barton Newsline?! Barton Marine wants to help entertain your children and give parents a few minutes peace and quiet! Also sailing guru Christian Brewer will once again be answering your questions about deck equipment, rigging and any other sailing topics this Friday. Posted on 14 May
Barton Lockdown Activity Sheets
A few minutes peace! Barton Marine wants to help entertain your children and give parents a few minutes peace and quiet! Given that schools remain closed with many families harbouring at home, keeping children occupied can be difficult. Posted on 8 May
Barton Marine provides PPE to Key Workers
Sourcing an initial 500 Clear Film Face Masks Barton Marine is providing Clear Film Face Masks to key workers around the South East. Working in partnership with a component supplier in Taiwan, Barton have been able to source an initial 500 Clear Film Face Masks. Posted on 22 Apr
Rising Star 2020 Competition closing date extended
You now have until 30th June to enter Barton Marine's initiative With sailing events around the world cancelled for the foreseeable future, Barton Marine have extended the closing date for The Barton Rising Star 2020 competition. The new closing date is the 30th June. Posted on 21 Apr
Barton Marine - Ask the Expert Live
Facebook Live Q&A with Christian Brewer On Wednesday 15th April at 3pm Barton Marine will host Ask the Expert - Live Event streamed directly from the Barton Marine Facebook page to the world of sailing. Anyone and everyone is invited to ask questions about any boating topic. Posted on 8 Apr
Barton Marine Newsline March 2020
Cheerleaders for those who are still working at home or in businesses We hope you are all remaining well and are staying occupied during this unprecedented situation for our nation and the world. Posted on 29 Mar
Barton Rising Star competition
We speak to Suzanne Blaustone Mark Jardine chats with Suzanne Blaustone of Barton Marine about the Barton Rising Star competition at the RYA Dinghy Show 2020. This is Barton's way of supporting up and coming dinghy sailors. Posted on 3 Mar
MBW newsletters (top)