Whether your boat has enjoyed a winter off or it’s time to take on some annual chores, our guide to fitting out will make sure your boat is ready for a great year of sailing
Show your winches some love
Winches are an investment that can give you many years of use as long as they are properly maintained. Regularly flushing them with freshwater is a good practice for saltwater sailors, but every so often you’ll need to dig a little deeper. Any strange sounds coming from them or stickiness or slow movement is grounds for investigation. Winch manufacturers offer cleaning instructions, but it’s a good idea to arm yourself with spare pawls and springs (even if yours are in good shape as they have a habit of getting lost when you open the winch), winch grease, light lubricating oil and a camera before you start. The camera, of course, is so you can take photos as you go so when it comes to putting the puzzle back together, you will have a little assist. The good news is that if you’re cleaning a newer winch all those parts will only fit together one way, so as long as you’ve put all the parts that came out of the winch back in, if it goes back together and spins easily, you’ve done it correctly.