You’ve probably heard of McLube. Maybe you use it on your Opti because Coach tells you to. But what does it actually do?


When it’s lubricated, almost anything that moves on your boat works more efficiently, runs more smoothly, and lasts longer. That goes for sails, hulls, rigging, deck hardware, and more. Lubrication is the process of applying a substance (such as oil, grease, or McLube) to a moving component in order to minimize friction and allow smooth movement.

It’s why you wax your skis and grease your bicycle chain. It’s also why you’re more likely to slip when you’re walking on a wet dock.


At Harken, we use McLube Marine products for lubrication. Harken has been distributing McLube products for a long time. In the beginning, there was McLube® Sailkote™ dry lubricant spray, and we merrily sprayed everything to make it more slippery! With the success of Sailkote, McLube got to work developing new products specifically tailored for different applications.

The original Sailkote works best on everything that slides. Try it on your spinnakers, luff tapes, and sliding battcars. You’ll be amazed at how it reduces friction. It sprays or wipes on, dries in seconds, and unlike oils, silicones and waxes, will not attract dirt and water contaminants. Here’s another neat trick: Spray a little Sailkote on your telltales, and they won’t stick to your wet sail!

OneDrop™ ball bearing conditioner is specifically formulated for things that roll: ball and roller bearings in blocks, traveler cars, and Harken Battcars. Make sure things are clean first, or you’re defeating the purpose of lubricants. Use OneDrop in very small amounts (one drop in each bearing race), and you’ll see a significant reduction in friction under load. But use too much and the bearings may skid rather than roll. So please curb your enthusiasm!

Hullkote™ Speed Polish was introduced as an improved solution for people who were previously polishing their hulls with Sailkote. The result is a hard, lustrous, slippery finish that’s very, very fast! Hullkote is easy to apply – one cloth with polish, one to wipe it off – in a classic “wax on, wax off” technique. There is no wax involved though! It also has a delightful whiff of citrus about it. Hullkote is principally used by dry-sailed boats and typically lasts for around 20 days of hard sailing. You’ll see Hullkote onshore at regattas all around the world – kids, adults, professionals, world champions, and Olympians alike. We saw Blockhead Madeline using it at the USODA Midwest Championship last year.

For boats that are sailed for longer periods or moored, McLube introduced Antifoul Alternative – a speed polish with all the same benefits as Hullkote, plus foul-release properties to prevent marine growth and slime from adhering for weeks. All winners and podium finishers used it over the past three consecutive around-the-world Volvo Ocean Races.

So, to summarize:


Now you know!


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