Cleaning the mainsail track made easy

Some time ago, Don Launer came up with a great device for lubricating the mainsail slot (see “Sailtrack Lubricator,” March 2008) but I have always thought there must be an easier way. Last spring, as this task presented itself once again, the inspiration came.

The mainsail slot on our mast uses the round barrel-type slugs, so cleaning it requires something about ½ inch in diameter. While handling one of many short spare lines I keep on the boat, I noticed that a simple overhand knot was just about ½ inch in diameter. After making that discovery, I found some very large pipe cleaners we had for another project and wrapped them around the line in the spaces between several knots. A bowline on the top and another on the bottom made attachment points for the halyard and a downhaul line for controlling the up and down motion I needed.

Next, I soaked the whole thing with Sail Kote and ran it up and down the mast several times. The result was a clean and well-lubricated sail slot.

Michael Facius is Good Old Boat’s publisher and advertising director. He and his wife, Patty, have been sailing since 1986, beginning with an O’Day 20, and currently sail their 1979 C&C 30, Callisto, out of Bayfield, Wisconsin, on Lake Superior.