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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have a 2005 Pearson Ensign that went neglected for a few years.

Got everything pretty much up & running, but the last couple of sails the main has gotten difficult to raise. I noticed the slugs running into the mast have a fair amount of sway ... they could be catching and getting twisted while going u the mast.

Would a silicone spray help keep the slugs running smoothly up the mast?

Any other suggestions ... including if I've misdiagnosed, are definitely welcomed.

sw
 

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Silicone anything has no place on a boat. I hate that stuff and the spray is the worst, any over spray at all and you will be sanding your decks to get rid of it.

You could try a dry lubricant like McLube on the sail track. It will help, but it could just be that the slugs are torn up, or too loose on the sail. Either will cause binding as you raise the sail. You can also try cleaning the mast track.
 

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I just do the soap trick. A little chunk between the slides every so often. Works wonders and keeps the track clean.

Personally I would stay away from any kind of lubricants. I stained the sail on my last boat doing that.
 

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man was about to say soap...any dry wax is your friend

sex wax used for boards works too

youcan test you sheaves first by hoisting a weight on the halyard and going all the way up...if its fine you know its your slugs...
 

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I just do the soap trick. A little chunk between the slides every so often. Works wonders and keeps the track clean.

Personally I would stay away from any kind of lubricants. I stained the sail on my last boat doing that.
My rigger suggested this too, after inspecting the sheaves and seeing no problems.

Though what kind of soap?
 

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1. Scour out the slug track ... go up the mast and CLEAN the slug track
2. LUBE the whole track with McLube or other 'dry' teflon lubricant ....
3. carve a piece of paraffin wax (candle, etc.) to the same diameter of the cylindrical dimensions as one of your slugs and place it into the sail slug groove and in-line between the topmost and second from the top slugs as mounted onto the mast sail track groove - it will lubricate any spot or 'roughness' that's missed with the McLube every time that you raise / lower your sails.

;-)
 

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oooooh nice tip Ill try that next time...
 

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Forgive me for stating something so fundamental, but have you released the mainsheet before you raise the main? If not, you are fighting the boom. A guy I know (no names, please :eek: ) made this mistake more than once early on.
 
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Forgive me for stating something so fundamental, but have you released the mainsheet before you raise the main? If not, you are fighting the boom. A guy I know (no names, please :eek: ) made this mistake more than once early on.
Good point. Also release the vang too.
 

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I use silicone spray its great makes a huge difference.Climbed up my mast steps and worked my way down spraying into the track, also used it on traveller and spinaker pole track.
 

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I use the soap trick to make sure the slugs are able to move freely up the mast, however there have been times when the main is difficult to raise. Those times are when I am not using the engine to luff the sail and without luffing the main, I find it difficult to raise.
 

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I was having trouble with my main sail too. I used McLube, and cleaned the track even went as far as painting the mast and having the track in perfect condition. Come to find out the slug on the headboard to the mainsail was causing the problem. It was bronze and wouldn't move and was causing the sail to bind up while raising and lowering. All the low friction slugs lower on the luff moved fine. I changed the headboard slug to a stainless steel slug coated with PTFE from Sailrite for around $12. They have a demonstration video. I used the webbing, hand sewn with waxed thread in figure 8 weave into the sail and on the webbing between the slug and sail matching the distance of the other slugs. (about an inch). The sail never went up so quick the first time we hoisted the main after changing the slug. So the point is, look at your headboard slug on the mainsail because that may need changing.
 

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As you suggest, silicone spray on the lugs will help, but perhaps they are worn and need to be replaced too. One of the contributors mentioned he doesn't like silicone spray but recommends McLube which works fine.

Silicone spray is fine, just don't use it near teak decks as he says.

Otherwise, check the screws in the mast track are all flush, check that the block at the top of the mast is OK and hasn't broken or the halyard is slipping off it.

I'm assuming it's not user error and it's just that reefing lines are binding as the main goes up? Sure it isn't : )

Cheers
 

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I second the suggestion of using McLube on the slugs or sail track...I seem to use it everywhere now. For the main, I've used it only on the slugs and it does help...to some extent.
 

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Have a 2005 Pearson Ensign that went neglected for a few years.

Got everything pretty much up & running, but the last couple of sails the main has gotten difficult to raise. I noticed the slugs running into the mast have a fair amount of sway ... they could be catching and getting twisted while going u the mast.

Would a silicone spray help keep the slugs running smoothly up the mast?

Any other suggestions ... including if I've misdiagnosed, are definitely welcomed.

sw
Are you sure the sheave at the mast-head isn't seized and/or that your halyard is of the correct size and hasn't jumped the sheave?
 
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Besides the lube and slugs take a look at your reefing lines. A lot of people seem to like to pull their lines tight when the sail is down, so when you raise it later you have to pull all the line back up (just leave them down and tie them up in the sail cover etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Went out today, used Mclube in as much of the track I could reach, also handfed the slugs into the track ... then pulled the halyard from the mast to keep the slugs inline. Went up fairly smoothly and fully raised.

Had a small chunk of paraffin was as back up, kept it onboard in case need it another time.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions, I too have been guilty of not releasing the mainsheet and vang before raising the sail.
 

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I use candle wax melted with mineral oil (you can get it from any pharmacy) at 3:1 ratio to lube the slugs and mast track (if you have rope luff). That is a LOT better than straight candle wax - much softer and thus easier to apply and giving you a more uniform coat inside the track.
 
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