Know How: Deck hardware

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Whether you enjoy cruising or racing, friction is never your friend. Fortunately, the marine industry offers an incredible variety of low-friction hardware to make your time afloat more enjoyable.

spinlock-xtr0812_1c-rope-mr

Blocks—the age-old friend to sailors the world over—are one of the most important pieces of sailing equipment and have greatly benefited from the advent of ball bearings, low-friction materials and smart design. The wise sailor looks for the strongest, lowest-friction block that matches his or her application and budget. Cruising sailors will look for blocks that are strong enough to last for thousands of miles, while racers might prefer ball-bearing blocks that are strong enough to handle the task, but also as lightweight as possible. Modern blocks are available in a wide variety of sizes, styles and materials, and have different attachment options, from hardware to strops and lashings.

2147

Clutches are used to control running rigging to free-up winches. Cruising clutches are typically built out of stainless steel, while racing clutches are comprised of a mix of stainless steel, aluminum, and various polymers, all with an eye toward shedding weight. Look for load-releasable clutches with modular construction (read: replaceable parts) that can accommodate the correct line diameters on your boat.

Sailors have long used low-tech rings as fairleads, twings and other fairly static applications in which trimming angles aren’t acute or where only minor adjustments need to be made—all with an eye toward reducing weight and expense. Here you want to look for lightweight rings with a durable, low-friction coating.

Cars and tracks are an easy way to hoist or shift leads for heavy or highly loaded sails, provided they are designed to minimize friction. The most common uses of these pieces of gear are in adjustable jib leads, as main travellers and in many self-tacking jib installations. Tracks and cars are also increasingly being used for securing full-batten mains to the trailing edge of the mast. Whatever the application, be sure to look for cars that glide smoothly over the extruded mechanical tracks on which they operate.

Photos courtesy of (clockwise from top) Harken, Spinlock, Wichard, Harken

Related

2048x

Know-How: Helm Stations

Walk around any boat show, and you’ll see a number of differences in the way designers and builders have decided to locate the steering stations aboard their cruising cats. Each position has its good points and bad, among them visibility, protection from the elements, ...read more

Jerome

Point of SAIL: Jerome Rand

In the first episode of Point of SAIL, the SAIL magazine podcast, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with circumnavigator Jerome Rand about his adventures, past and future. For more information, visit Jerome's YouTube channel July 2020 ...read more

01-NEW-shutterstock_727520281

Cruising: Belize on a Multihull

In my experience, every charter has a kind of a theme to it, often encapsulated in a single moment. For me, during a recent weeklong charter off the coast of Belize that moment came toward the end of our first day out. We’d left the Sunsail base (sunsail.com), located part way ...read more

01-LEAD-View-of-the-Bow

Know-How: Marlinspike Seamanship in the Arctic

I was crewing aboard a boat named Breskell, a 51ft cutter-rigged, cold-molded, mahogany sloop. We were voyaging from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Port Townsend, Washington, via the Northwest Passage. A few days before setting sail, the captain, Olivier Huin, asked me to secure ...read more

Prop-Coat-Barnacle-Barrier-Quart-No-Background

Gear: Prop Coat Barnacle Barrier

Prop Coat Barnacle Barrier 1792 is now available in a quart-size can and, as always, can be used on all underwater metals, including saildrives, shafts, strainers and folding and non-folding props. Two or three coats are recommended, after which the coating will purportedly ...read more

DY_171021_6877

Boat Review: Seawind 1600

Seawind Catamarans introduced its 52ft 1600 model in Europe last year, where the boat promptly started winning awards. The more jaded among us may look askance at such things, especially when it comes to a bluewater-rated catamaran billed as a providing a combination of ...read more