Thursday, August 16, 2012

Motorcycle Chain Lube

Last night the wind vane pulleys were squeaking, so I reached for a can of dry lubricant that has become a staple of maintenance on board Ladybug. One squirt in the right place and I could go back to sleep while Rani watched for ships on our 5th night out from Maupiti.

I came across this product while sailing in Mexico. The marine version is called Sailkote - a Teflon-based dry lubricant that we first heard about from a sail maker in San Carlos. This costly product (about $30 for a medium sized a spray can) is excellent for lubricating sail tracks and jib head foils as well as for blocks and other areas where you do not want to use oil that will wash off or stain. The lubricant sprays on and then dries leaving a slippery waxy coat.

I bought a partially used can from the sail maker, but when it came time to replace this and lay in a couple of cans for our trip south, I balked at the price. So I did some research and found that what I believe is a similar product (possibly identical?) is used to lubricate motorcycle chains and control cables. The cans we bought are made by DuPont and are called "Teflon Chain-Saver". You can buy this in hardware stores in the US for about $6!

We should make landfall in Suwarrow tomorrow morning after heaving to tonight to wait for good light. The entry pass is coral lined and there are more cruising boats anchored here than at any time in the recorded past, so it may take a while to find a place.

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