Land Sailing - BloKart Parts And Maintenance Tips

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The Blokarts are used in a desert environment on dry lakebeds whose surface "gives" a bit and is not very abrasive. I own a fleet of Blokarts purchased from New Zealand. The fleet includes three Shadows (side car attachments) and three Deuces (attaches bloKarts together to form a chain).

Sails
Care should be taken to protect the mast sleeves. Although Blokart sells a plastic mast sleeve protector, they hamper sail performance and therefore I never use them. When a Blokart capsizes, the resulting damage is usually just a scrape but over time in the sun, the sleeve material will weaken ("dry out") and more easily tear. It is best to have a tear sewn shut with thick polyester thread. In my case, and after four seasons of use per sail, I had the mast sleeves covered with a black vinyl "outer" sleeve sewn around the original sleeves. The vinyl outer sleeve is more durable, however, it may still tear if a capsize landing was hard enough. You can get the vinyl from an upholstery materials provider. You will need an industrial sewing machine with an industrial grade needle - best to pay someone who does upholstery work to do this for you. Best rate is $40 USD per sail (approx $15 for the vinyl and $25 for labor).

Masts
The Blokart fiberglass mast sections are incredibly durable, however, do not store them anywhere near direct sunlight! Blokart does not implicitly warrant the mast sections, however, if a mast section starts to "split" after only a handful of sailing days, they will replace one or two at no charge. Beyond that, you'll have to pay for a replacement section. The top section has a "collar" at its base; it is epoxy glued on and sometimes the adhesion will fail under load. If you have a strong enough arm, you can twist it back down into place.

Pulley Whips
This is the short fiberglass section that attached directly into the back of the drivers seat. It has a spring button on one end, and a pulley at the other end. When it's not attached to the drivers seat, it will whip around as the sail swings around in the wind - hence the term "pulley whip". The pulley whip is very durable, however, it can break pretty easily if the bloKart tips backwards during a capsize. Usually it will break at the point that it connects into the seat frame - simply pull out the damaged plug section and salvage the spring button if possible. Take a hacksaw and cut off the frayed end, then drill a 1/3" hole about one inch from the end and replace the spring button. Done!

Hubs
As a testament to how well engineered the Blokart hubs are, I STILL have about half a dozen wheels with the original hubs! This is amazing when you consider that the sailing is taking place in a dry dusty environment (the Mojave desert). Cleaning the hubs involves disassembling the stub axle, then carefully tapping out the hub casing with a blunt end screwdriver from INside the axle hollow. Next, remove the bearings covers (I use a thin blade to do this) and let the bearing soak in kerosene for a while. If you have an air gun, blow them clean. Otherwise use an old toothbrush to clean out the bearings, and let air dry. Next, apply a liberal amount of WHITE lithium grease and replace the bearing covers. Don't forget to put your hub spacer back inside before you put the stub axles back on!

Upholstery
Over time, the standard stitches that hold the Blokart seat fabric to the chassis will fail. After many many afternoons in the sun, and with most sailors weighing in at ~200 lbs, it will inevitably begin to weaken and fray. To fix this will usually require hiring someone with an industrial sewing machine and needle. Don't try to use Gorrilla Glue - it won't hold up. Trust me on this!

Tires
The Blokart comes standard with a set of "deli tires" - very light (that's best for performance of course), however, don't expect a lot of mileage before they wear down to the threads.  In a dry lake environment, expect about 20 to 30 hours of sailing time per tire. TIP: you may get a little more if you take it very easy on curves by making LONG WIDE turns -no skidding to a stop.

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