Nothing can ruin a race faster than an equipment breakdown or failure. Most breakdowns are preventable. Spring is the time to check, repair, and replace critical equipment. Based on our painful experience, here are the things to check.
This article was originally posted on 3/28/17. We updated it on 5/30/19 and 6/21/21 with some new things to check.
Common One-Design Sailboat Preventable Breakdowns
- Tiller extension
- Rubber universal joint – these often last only a year
- Covering material – needs periodic replacement
- Standing rigging (remove any coverings to inspect)
- Fraying – even one frayed wire is trouble
- Crimps or bends – can lead to work hardening failure
- Stainless wire can work harden under constant load changes – replace it every five years
- Stabilize the rig when mooring or towing on-water. See our post, Stabilize the Rig.
- Highly loaded hardware and fittings
- Bolts securing shrouds to chain plate – replace every few years.
- Shackles and pins for sail controls – wear
- Bow plate – wear
- Chain plates – wear
- Is it straight?
- Is it sealed? See our article, Does your Mast Float?
- Spar fittings
- Bales (attachment points on mast, boom) – wear
- Spreader bracket – look for small cracks
- Tang (mounting point for shrouds) – look for small cracks
- Tack slug – often a weak point. Consider a keeper line. Or, check out our new MC Scow TackSlide (TM).
- Goose neck and attachment screws – attachment screws can shear off due to high loads
- Mast base – wear.
- Sheaves – check for wobble
- Running rigging – check rope and wire for fraying
- Deck and hull fittings
- Rudder pintle and gudgeons – check for cracks
- Blocks and cam cleats – check for wear and proper function
- Bolts/nuts and screws – check tightness
- Hiking straps – check straps for wear and check the lines or shock cords holding them up.
- Check all pins and rings – tape if necessary
Sailors Helping Sailors
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