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Trawler Q&A: Drogue Drama, Lubrication Hacks, and more

Your technical questions answered by some of the most experienced trawler minds afloat.

Lubrication Hacks

If stainless steel nuts are used, a thread lubricating or locking compound should be employed to prevent galling.

Dear Editors: Years ago, while working for a sailboat manufacturer, I used a lanolin-based grease called LanoCote on mast step machine screws tapped into the aluminum mast. LanoCote is hydrophobic, sticky as can be, and superb at isolating stainless from aluminum. I had occasion to remove some of these fasteners a few years later when doing some work on one of those masts. The screws came out without any trouble, and there was no indication of corrosion on the mast or in the tapped hole. I have even had some success using it on the blades of my own boat’s propeller to resist marine growth. Water drag smooths excess but doesn’t seem to remove it from the bronze. Have you worked with LanoCote, and are there any potential issues I should be aware of? —Robert Neefus

Robert: Forespar’s LanoCote does indeed do a good job of excluding the moisture that causes dissimilar metal corrosion, and is made for this application. We find that another product called Tef-Gel, which was developed for the aerospace industry, also works well, and we tend to use that more because we believe it stays in place even longer. There is a significant difference in price, though, so if you’re doing work yourself and can go back and monitor the fasteners periodically for reapplication, LanoCote can make sense. I’ve heard of applying LanoCote to props, although I’ve never done it myself. Here in the hot summer water of the Chesapeake Bay, we are always on the lookout for the magic product that will keep barnacles from growing on a prop, and that is cheap, effective and long-lasting. I haven’t found that product yet, but if you are getting a year out of a LanoCote application, that might be a recommendation worth trying. Forespar also sells a product called Prop & Bottom specifically made for antifouling that may be worth a future test. —Max Parker, Zimmerman Marine

Drogue Drama

A Drogue deployed from stern of a trawler.

A drogue deployed from stern of a trawler.

Bob: I cannot take full credit for the idea I described in my response. The method I described, I originally saw in a blog I follow called “Attainable Adventures.” It’s a sailing blog, but many of the subjects cross over to any type of boat. I’ve seen this solution deployed by others, and it works. The piece can be found with more detail at

The important thing to remember is that the stern is not the problem. It’s just reacting to what the bow is initiating. If you slow the bow from falling off of the wind in the first place, the stern will be less likely to react or swing. Mind you, this solution was devised for a sailboat, but the application is the same or even more applicable to a powerboat. —Bob Arrington

For more Q&A sessions with our Passagemaker pros, explore our Ask the Experts column archives HERE