Winter is coming and now is the ideal time to give your boat a check over, not only if you are sailing through the winter but also if you are packing down for the colder UK months head.
Checking your boat now gives you time to think about any issues you might find and means you won't be rushing a fix in March when you are about to hit the water again.
Harken pulley systems are generally very good, but as with other kit items such as salt water can stop them working.
We took a customers boat for a blast a couple of months ago because he was having a few teething problems that he wanted our advice on. Since we had the same sort of boat it made sense.
In this case it was the sheeting angle of the kite and also the internal mainsheet system which contained a Harken pulley system allowing a 8:1 purchase.
As soon as we hit the water and starting going upwind it was clear to me that it wasn't working as it should, sheeting in the main was much more painful than it should be. One simple fix we made was switching the ratchet block on, now that's a bit easier! However there was still a fundamental issue meaning the loads were much higher than they should be, especially when sheeting from the trapeze.
When we got back to shore we started working through the system looking at one block at a time. We then came across the blocks at the back of the boom system which were totally ceased up. These were the metal high strength wire blocks which had 3mm 12 strand dyneema running through them. This was going to be the problem, they were not moving at all meaning the dyneema was being dragged around the turn rather than running smoothly round the corner.
Steps to try and resolve the issue:
Fortunately this worked and the Harken pulley system was back up and running again.
The customer was happy and the boat was working just as it should, but then we had a walk over our boat. The mainsheet pulley system worked in the same way, apart from the additional purchase it had. We sail a high performance catamaran as a mixed team, so we have upgraded our system to be a 12:1.
After the discussion with the customer we then supplied an additional Harken high strength 38mm block and another with a beckett attached. A little bit of 3mm dyneema later and he was off to change his system from an 8:1 to a 12:1.
This is a scenario we see quite a lot, especially where we sail on a salty estuary. We are obviously on hand when at events to advice but here are some top tips to prevent this from happening.
If you would like any help or advice related to any of the products we sell then just give us a call or drop us an email.
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