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With such a huge range of hardware out there, the Harken Tech Team would like to help untangle the different options available. Every month we will be producing a product focus article, giving advice on how to pick the right product for the job. This month, we're focusing on hardware care: we all know the importance of looking after the hardware on your boat to ensure it works more efficiently for longer, but with so many lubricants, polishes and conditioners available, we're here to explain which work best for each job.

TOP TIP: It is important to rinse all of your hardware with fresh water after every sail to make sure that dirt, salt and debris do not build up. It is also a good idea to wash your hardware properly with warm soapy water regularly too.

For Ball-Bearing Hardware

Although very versatile and ideal for reducing friction in some circumstances, dry lubricants can actually cause more problems than solutions when used on ball-bearing products such as blocks and traveller cars. Using a dry lubricant can over-lubricate the bearings and race, causing them to skid rather than roll. This leads to 'flat spots' forming on the ball-bearings which causes long-term friction and inefficiency. 

McLube developed the OneDrop Ball-Bearing Conditioner to help prevent this from happening: used in very small quantities (the name gives this away!) OneDrop will coat the bearings, reducing friction without causing the balls to skid and repelling salt and dirt to ensure your hardware works efficiently for longer.

For Anything That Slides

Sailkote Dry Lubricant is perfect for reducing friction between surfaces that slide over each other: use it on anything from mast tracks to bowsprits, and spinnaker chutes to tell-tales. Sailkote can also be used on pin-stop tracks which do not use ball-bearings. 

It is easy to spray or wipe on and dries immediately. Sailkote is hydrophobic so repels water and will not wash away - it stays where you put it! 

For A Fast Hull

As well as looking after your hardware to ensure it works more efficiently for longer, McLube manufactures products to improve your hullspeed through the water too.   Use Hullkote for the ultimate high-gloss polished finish for your hull. Not only will Hullkote protect your hull from salt, dirt and grime, but it also includes UV protection. It is entirely environmentally friendly as it is citrus-based. Hullkote is very easy to apply - wipe on with one cloth, and then use a clean cloth to wipe it away. 

Hullkote is designed to use with dry-sailed boats and will last for around 20 days of hard sailing; however, it is also perfect to use for keelboats which remain in the water during regattas. For added under the waterline protection, use Antifoul Alternative which has the same benefits as Hullkote but also prevents marine growth adherence. 

FUN FACT: Every boat in the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race used McLube Antifoul Alternative on its hull, OneDrop Conditioner on its ball-bearing hardware and Sailkote Dry Lubricant on anything that slides! 

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