Thought for the day - Boat maintenance

Updated: Feb 17

Water in the boat is the ruin of the boat, but water under the boat is its support. - Rumi


What you need to know

  1. Protect your fin bulb and rudder with insulation foam

  2. Carry your sails in a rig box

  3. Check lines for fraying or wear

  4. Fit a breathing tub if your hull is sealed

  5. Dry your boat after sailing inside and out

  6. Leave a deck patch off to ventilate

  7. Rinse the inside of your boat if salt water has got inside

  8. Clean the hull with mild soapy water

The details

Keeping your boat shiny and new, requires care and attention when you store, transport and race your boat. Here are some ideas that will help you protect your investment.

Protect your fin bulb and rudder with pipe insulation foam which can be bought cheaply from any hardware store. Put it on the leading and trailing edges of the fin and rudder and around the bulb. That way you avoid accidentally chipping the delicate edges.

If you have one always carry your sails in a rig box on any lengthy journey and after racing wipe your sails with a towel to remove water and marks and make sure they are dry before storing in the box for more than a day. Remember to release all tensioning devices. If you don't have a rig box consider a rig bag. I made a very light strong rig box from Correx and strip wood and velcro for £25. See HERE for details.

Check all the lines and replace any that are showing signs of wear. Also look at each radio wire connector to make sure that they are clean and coat in Vaseline or similar to keep the water out. Not sure which lines to use, check HERE.

If your boat is sealed, fit a breathing tube in one of the patches which will prevent the air from expanding and contracting, sucking in water when you go sailing. If you have sheets that pass through the deck this will not be a problem.

Always remove a deck patch or two after racing to allow hull to ventilate and avoid any condensation or water to remain.

If you sail on salt water, rinse the inside of your boat with half a cup of water to remove any salt which is a killer for your electrics. I once had an electric raiser soak in the bottom of a boat on an offshore race. When we finished the race, all the electric connectors had disappeared. Nasty stuff seawater when it comes to electronics. Try and tape your wires and connectors to the underside of the deck to keep dry.

Finally, if you sail on dirty water give the hull a wash with mild soapy water.

Links to relevant sites

Brad Gibson's top tips

Maintenance, leaky boat, breather tube, build foam plug

Sail care JG Sails

Sails etc maintenance and setup notes Sailsetc

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