In theory, plastic sail slides should rattle up the mast track like the proverbial rat up a drainpipe. The facts of life, especially after a winter lay-up, may be very different. The answer isn’t a squirt from the aerosol oil can. This may help the sail go up but it can end up messy and it doesn’t last. Cross-over technology is the way ahead. Until recently, the best product was a spray of ‘dry’ silicone lubricant designed to make curtains slip sweetly on their rails. It worked even better on sail slugs.
Now, you can buy specialised marine products from your neighbourhood chandler that do the same job, only better, they say. Either can transform hoisting and dropping a sticky mainsail.