Toby R
Dear all,

We have developed a problem in raising and lowering our main beyond about half way (and it is not as free in the lower half as it once was). I have checked that the halyard is free along its length and have lubricated the track with PTFE (SailKote) but we are still having problems. I have also pulled a slider up and down the track without the sail and it seems to move freely.

Please can I ask if anyone has ever experienced something similar and what their advice would be / things I haven't tried so far to try and rectify the issue.

Many thanks,

The problem could be inside the mast. It's possible for the halyard and the topping lift to wrap around each other, particularly if the topping lift is slack. Check if the topping lift runs freely.
Martin Watson
Hi, you don't say whether you raise and lower your mainsail at the mast or from the cockpit. If it is from the cockpit, check all the turning blocks and deck organisers to ensure that all the sheeves turn freely, it's is surprising how much resistance just one stiff pulley can make, especially if it is so stiff, the halyard has worn a groove in the pulley! ( ask me how I know!) I replaced all my turning blocks with ball raced blocks and fitted new deck organisers last year for just that problem. The deck organisers were only three years old but at least one sheeve on each set ( 4 sets of triple organisers) had seized and could not be freed. They are about £22 each so I replaced all four and now make sure I lubricate them with dry lube or silicon spray as well as the mast track, every time I think of it. It has made a huge difference. The block I used were the Barton size 3 ball raced blocks in singles and doubles ( one of each on each side of the foot of the mast). I could never get the main to drop more than about 18" inches without then having to go to the mast and pull it down, it now drops at least 60% of the way on its own and just needs a light hand at the mast to drop the rest. ( 3/4 battened main). I have seen it advocated on other forums, to spray your mast slides with dry Lube, silicon or PTFE spray EVERY time you raise the main. Over time, it will deposit the spray higher and higher up the mast track and so ease raising and lowering. ( I do it when I remember to!)
Martin Watson
Martin's right about checking all the's when they're under load that the worn pulleys start to stick. Don't forget about the masthead pulley...that's the one that got worn and was sticking on mine. Z-Spars were helpful in identifying the right part and sending replacements...the tricky bit is replacing...particularly with the mast up.

Morning's Minion, Parker 275, No. 1
chris nichols
Agree with all above and must add note that the mast head block on Artemis was split in two when I bought her - chaffed the main halyard over the last 2-3 metres..
now have a Holt steel ball bearing block fitted.
Try hoisting directly from the bottom of the mast and see if that is any easier - if so the coach house turning organisers and clutch clearance could be a problem.
Toby R
Excellent - thank you for all of the suggestions. I'll update in due course as to what the issue was.