Simple steps to maximise performance on your boat

Rob Lyne, sales and marketing manager at Barton Marine, provides a number of solutions to help your crew work to the best of their ability.

Maximising efficiency on your boat is important, especially when navigating solo or sailing with novices or young crew. There are many simple steps you can take as skipper to ensure you and your crew can perform at their best – whether they are experienced or not.

One of the easiest and safest options when navigating alone or in foul weather is controlling the boat from the cockpit. This means you do not have to be out on deck sorting the sails, enabling you to stay safe in the cockpit watching ahead for upcoming waves and weather.

It is easy to set up cockpit controls on most boats. Moving from the bow backwards, the foresail sheets can be led back to the cockpit by lines running through jib cars on each side and on to a winch for control purposes. This system is important to ensure you can get the sail up and down easily and quickly to cope with whatever sea or wind conditions you are dealt.

Having the right foresail furler that will work every time without snagging is critical

Having the right foresail furler that will work every time without snagging is critical. Modern furlers are designed to include a three-point line retaining feature, helping to keep the line on the drum for smooth and snag-free running.

A multi-position option for the furling line exit provides additional flexibility for boaters to reduce wear and chafing, and ensure quick and snag-free furling. This allows boaters to change the size of the sail with ease, and removes the need to take the sail down at the end of the day. Furler costs start at £51.39.

Having a furling main also makes single-handed controls very easy. Do not forget, though, if you have a furling main, you will need an extra halyard. However it is helpful to have the extra halyard for maintenance as well, as it provides a spare for cruising.


On most boats with a standard mainsail, it is quick and simple to upgrade mainsail reefing with lazy jacks and standard reefing kits. This allows you to reef from the cockpit, and to reduce the sail size or drop it completely in a controlled way. These cost in the region of £120 for the lazy jacks and £120 for a reefing kit.

Controlling the boom when reefing or lowering the mainsail is essential, and a swinging boom, especially in heavy winds or large waves, is very dangerous. The boom will tend to drop into the cockpit when you lower the sail.

The boomstrut extended and compressed

An ideal solution for keeping the boom in place and stable is the Barton Marine Boomstrut, which reduces the risk of accidents and damage on board – for both crew and the boat. The maintenance free design eliminates friction and sliding parts whilst delivering improved performance alongside reduced weight and wind resistance.

It can be fitted in conjunction with existing boat hardware, mounting independently inside the existing kicking strap tackle with no need for drilling. The Barton Marine Boomstrut starts at £132.66.

The mainsheet traveller is often an after-thought, or is forgotten altogether, because often sailors do not see the benefits of this piece of kit. Barton Marine’s solution is to install its removable mainsheet traveller, which means when at anchor, or in your berth, you can remove it completely so that your cockpit is clear for eating or entertaining. Prices start at £400.


Whatever your reason for wanting to maximise efficiency, whether it is simplifying your boat controls or wanting an easier life on board, it is important to keep things simple and organised.

One final tip – fit deck organisers on board in the right positions for your control lines. This ensures your lines always run smoothly, aligned with the clutches and are easy to identify which line is which with clear markings. And then everyone can enjoy sailing with no hassle on board.