"I have been an avid sailor since 1978, sailing to Hawaii for the first time in 1982 and 3 dozen times since. I rarely miss a weekend of sailing year 'round either with my family or friends. I takes a lot for a new sailing product to impress me. The BAMAR Roll Gen is such a product. This is a spinnaker furling device and you can see it yourself. We took a Stevens 47 out yesterday. The 75 year old owner sold his spinnaker poles and reaching struts and had his spinnakers converted by the local UK Halsey loft to fit the furler. We easily hoisted the furled up spinnaker and were able to deploy and douse the spinnaker several times without ever leaving the cockpit. It was as easy the video shows and the owner was as happy a customer as Northwest Rigging has ever had. This is a tremendous product."Andy Schwenk
For those of us lucky enough to live where we can sail year round we miss the opportunity to have our boats out of the water and stored away somewhere for the winter. There they have the perfect opportunity, and the time, to go thoroughly through every item on the boat and make sure it is in top condition when “put in” day comes next spring.
In the warmer climates not having the forced downtime often results in a lack of maintenance and the resulting failures on the race course. It is important to put aside the time needed to give your boat a complete checkup at least once a year, or risk the consequences later, often with much added expense.
If you haven’t had the mast out of your boat in the last couple of years this is the place to start. You need to check every shroud, fitting, sheave, and spreader end carefully. Check wire shrouds for any broken strands and pay special attention to swage fittings on the bottom ends. Moisture run downhill so the lower ends will be much more likely to have rust damage. With rod rigging you should do a complete check at least every 6 years or 40,000 miles. Check the ends carefully with a magnifying glass or better yet with a dye penetrate test for any cracks. The spreader cups are an area that I have seen lots of problems from lack of maintenance, especially on rigs with discontinuous rigging. They should be un-wrapped once year and be cleaned and greased. Tape, spreader boots, or leather covers on the spreaders all trap moisture which leads to corrosion of the spreader tips if they are not properly maintained; and corroded spreader tips often lead to localized short term gravity storms that bring your mast down!
Back down on deck every winch should be taken apart, cleaned, and checked for worn or broken springs and pawls at least once a year. Go over every fitting looking for cracks or signs or wear. Pay special attention to all the shackles on the boat, and as a general rule of thumb don’t use split rings on anything that is structural; specifically never use them on standing rigging or lifeline connections! They are an accident waiting to happen, often with the potential of dire consequences.
Next check all your running rigging. Look closely at the ends of halyard where they run over the sheaves and look at the sheets in the areas they run through lead blocks. Genoa sheets especially will tend to break where they go through the lead because they are fairly static under load. Also pay close attention to areas that go into clutches or cleats, the covers get very chewed up by the cams. You should also look closely at the cams themselves. They get worn over time and will lose their ability to hold the lines well. In most clutches it is an easy job to replace them.
The last thing to do is hose the boat off with lots of water. Have someone down below as you move around the deck checking for leaks at any fittings. A dry boat is a happy boat! And while someone is crawling around down below be sure to have them take a good look at the rudder bearings, quadrant, and cables as well as the stuffing box and keel bolts.