Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Mandeville, LA, USA
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I had exactly the same problem with a difficult-to-raise main. I actually broke a halyard one time winching on it. I researched the problem and here is the solution I implemented:
I glued a small strip of terry cloth to one of the plastic slides. Then, I attached nylon string to the slide in such a way that I could both pull it up the mast and back down. I drenched the terry cloth with "Goo Gone" and quickly hoisted up the slide and then pulled it back down. I repeated this process about 15-20 times. By the time I was finished, the cloth was black with grime and goo. I cleaned the cloth and repeated until the grime appeared to be gone.
Next, I loaded the cloth with acetone and ran it up and down about 3 times. I did this to remove any "Goo Gone" residue. Finally, I loaded the cloth with MacLube SailKote and ran it up and down about 5 times. I also drenched all the other slides and batcars with SailKote. The next time I went out, I could literally hoist the main with one hand and no winching.
Here are some tips I learned in the process:
1.) Cut the cloth just a little wider than the track. This way, the cloth cleans the sides of the track as well as the front and back. It also helps the cloth to stay in the track. I used a 2" x 6" strip of cloth.
2.) Rough-up the slide with sand paper before gluing the cloth to it. Otherwise, the glue probably won't stick. I would create two or three of these little devices since the cloth wears out pretty quick.
3.) I used Gorilla glue to attach the cloth to the slide. Be careful that you don't create a lump of glue/cloth on the slide or else it won't fit in the track. Clamp it down tight so it retains a low profile when it dries.
4.) The best cleaning action occurs when you pull the contraption back down the mast. This is because the cloth "bunches up" in front of the slide and you get a little scrubbing action.
The biggest barrier to a smooth slide is dirt and grime. You can lubricate all day long, but if you are just lubricating filth, you won't get good results. You can probably buy a kit that does something similar to what I did, but it was such a no-brainer I figured "why spend the money?"
Last edited by jr438234606; 08-21-2006 at 12:09 PM.