Harken MK1 lubricant


Member II
We have been having furler issues this year since getting the foresail shortened. Last year it wouldn’t raise to full height resulting in a very loose tack. Unfortunately this has changed the halyard angle to the mast and a small pennant will need to be added. Also playing with halyard tension, backstay tension, furler line angle and foil height. Will get her dialed in before fall lol. I

In learning about the MK1 through the manual and videos it is suggested to lubricate the bearings in the drum and swivel with WD40 or LP1. Old documents and videos.

At a recent furler seminar I attended, the speaker said to NEVER lubricate the bearings. Stating it makes the balls too slippery and they will slide instead of rolling. This causes the balls to get flat spots.

After recently replacing or rebuilding many blocks with destroyed balls, I don’t want to add to the scrap pile.

Is there a safe lube to use, or just monitor the bearings?

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author

Harken likes soap and water.

I have sprayed some Harken MacLube on the rotating parts once a season for over 20 years on our former Harken Mk 2 furler. Replaced it this spring when it was jamming badly during the furling process last fall, during some 20 kt winds. Had to have the jib repaired, too. :(

But it had been difficult to wind in for many months prior. It was time for a new forestay also. And so it goes...
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Member II
Thanks Loren,
Squeaky clean has been in everything I’ve read or seen about Harken products.

When we replaced all the balls in the traveler car, Harken said to use McLube One Drop sparingly on the track and slide the car back and forth to lube it. No lube for the new blocks and cam cleats

Seems like One Drop and Sailkote are the go to for non grease boat lubes.

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Blogs Author
I have this old Harken video on file. It's dated, but informative about what can go wrong.

The point about the WD-40 made here is that it can dissolve glop that a water wash may not. According to the video, any such lubricant is to be thoroughly washed away after cleaning (rather than left there to attract glop and gum things up).



Member II
Squirt the heck out of the bearings balls with brake cleaner aerosol, then a single drop of lube. The brake cleaner gets the gunk washed out and evaporates immediately. No need to wash it out like wd-40.