Run Smooth With Lube

With so many moving parts on a sailboat, it can be hard to know what sprays and lubes to use. So that I don’t need to keep to many items around, I like to keep it simple. First and foremost there is no substitute for a thorough, fresh-water rinsing after use.
Forespar’s LanoCote works great to keep turnbuckles lubed and corrosion free. Courtesy Forespar

When it comes to lubricating your raceboat, let’s start with tracks and cars. I spray T-tracks and slider cars with McLube. Back when I volunteered with PACT95, we had a display with two T-tracks and slider cars, each 20 feet long. One was sprayed with McLube, and the other was not. I could send the McLube car well off the end of the track with a good push, the other one wouldn’t slide more then 8 feet before stopping. However, don’t use it on ball-bearing cars and related tracks. According to Harken, the tracks will get so slippery that the balls will skid instead of roll.

Instead, use McLube One Drop. The liquid form keeps the ball bearings running smoothly. I leave a few droplets on the side of the track and then run the car over the lubed area. I also take a rag with some One Drop on it and wipe the sides of the track down where the ball bearings make contact.

McLube OneDrop Courtesy of the manufacturer

For pins and turnbuckles, use Forespar LanoCote. It lasts forever and resists water extremely well. Clean the turnbuckles with a rag, toothbrush, and acetone. Then dip the end of the stud in LanoCote before spinning the stud into the turnbuckle. I also use it on rudder pins on small boats, vang and gooseneck pins on larger boats, as well for sheave pins in the mast or boom. If I can’t get LanoCote, TefGel is also really good and very waterproof.


Below-deck roller furling systems require really getting into it with fresh water, then dripping McLube One-Drop in the area above deck while spinning the unit to ensure a real good coat under the deck.

Another good place to use One Drop is in the ball bearings of blocks regardless of size. After a fresh water rinse and some dry time, I add a few drops into any area that has ball bearings and then spin the sheave until the lube is evenly spread out.