Regattas are starting to reappear on the calendar this Fall with the MC Masters and C Scow Worlds coming up next! Before heading out to your next regatta, here are a few tips to get your program back on track.

Inspect Your Rigging
If a halyard, forestay, or sidestay is going to break, it’s bound to happen at the regatta! Do a rig check a few times per season if possible. The best way to check your wire rigging is to slightly bend the wire so you can see any broken strands.  The photo provided shows an MC wire halyard where the wires are compromised near the swage ball. Review your wire rigging, including the wire on the boom, for your outhaul. Close inspection can keep you on the water, having fun!

Check the Essentials
Create an inventory sheet that you can review each weekend. The inventory of your essential items needed to go race – flotation device for your sail, VHF radio and charger, lifting sling in your boat (MC class rule). Do you have spares of essential parts and repair pieces – shackles, sail repair tape?

Is there hardware that can be replaced to improve your performance? Tapered mainsheets, one-way drain plugs, and the Harken 2x grip ratchet blocks are some of our most popular upgrades. Read more about the benefits of replacing your ratchet block.

Maintain Your Trailer 
Many things go unchecked and are taken for granted – including your trailer! It is always important to check your tires and bearings before any road trip. If your trailer goes in and out of the water a lot, you will want to be sure that your bearings are freshly greased before travel. This is a must! Please be sure to check the lights on the trailer and not last minute because if there is a problem it could take hours to fix.

Cover Up
Most sailors have a full deck cover, but the envelope cover is vital for hitting the road. The envelope cover keeps your deck clean and your interior stays dry, which is important for storing sails and extra gear. Another favorite is the padded rudder and tiller bag – an inexpensive item, but essential for keeping your gear damage-free. A padded boom bag is necessary for in-boat travel, but nice for out of the boat storage as it will keep the boom and your blocks clean.

Upon Arrival
Once you arrive at your event you will want to take the time to check the following items.

  • Review your mast and rigging – pins especially. Be sure they traveled safely.
  • Review your hiking strap shackles. Shackles will often loosen as your boat travels down the road.
  • Clean your mast before putting it up. Clean is fast! Wipe down the boom and mast with acetone to eliminate residue from the roads.