Sunday, 5 February 2006

productive weekend

A full weekend of work on the boat has seen good progress! Got down to Maggie by 11h00 on Saturday morning, after a visit to the chandlery to buy about £15 of stainless bolts.... boy do they know how to charge for a few bits!!!!! would have been a lot cheaper to buy them on-line, but by the time I'd paid postage, there wouldn't have been a lot in it.... I started by removing the winches on the starboard side.... a lot easier than the port side, as they are over a locker..... by 13h00, they were all removed, and the medium sized one was relocated to the coach roof.... I also removed about 6 cleats and jammers while I was at it.... don't need them... god knows what they were all for.... there were originally more jammers and cleats than control lines! Refitting the main winch proved to be a little more difficult than I had hoped for. The correct location was immediately over the gas locker, which is a seperate box inside the locker. It has only about 1/4 inch clearance between its top and the top of the locker. so besides the obvious issue of getting a spanner in to tighten the bolts, the protuding nuts would also foul the gas locker..... so out it all came, and had to be lowered by 1/2 inch. While it was out, I fitted the winch in place, and then refitted the gas locker, reconnected all the pipes, added seco9nd jubilee clips to douple clip all the pipers while I was at it. By now, it was getting dark, and I just managed to fit the starboard side clutch before light faded to far. I tried to thread the ropes through, but they weren't going to be easy, so for lack of light I gave up for the evening. During the evening, I removed yet more internal trim, and removed all the bolts holding the various u-bolts, winches and cleats from around the base of the mast. With the clutches and everything led back, I only need 1 cleat either side. I wanted to bang out the bolts with a hammer, but it was 22h00, so didn't want to make the noise! Arose at 08h30, and by the time I'd consumed breakfast, and sorted myself out it was 09h30. I went back to threading the ropes through the clutches. It was now that I realised that in the dark, I had fitted the clutches back to front...... ******. Still, the mount holes were symmetrical, so just a 15min job to whip it off and turn it round.... The smaller diameter ropes went straight through and gripped very well. The larger ropes were still being difficult, and the ends being a little frayed, I decided to whip them. This took a while, but in all honesty, worth doing anyway, and when the lines were whipped they went through fairly easily. I then set to with a hammer to remove the fixings unbolted the previuous night. They came off with a bit of brute force, and I just had to be careful with the teak 'wedges' that allowed the winches to be mounted at an angle, to avoid the treadmaster being ripped as they unglued themsleves. By 12h00, they were free, and I set too in mounting the deck orgnaiser on the starboard side. This was relateively pain free until I discovered that the machine screws I had bought weren't long enough. They had to go through about 3/4" of deck organiser, and then 1 1/2" thick coachroof..... she's a solidly built old gal! I eventually managed to find enough bolts from the prevuiously mounted winches, and a bit of effort with a spark plug wire brush had them gleaming, so the deck organiser got fitted. Hoorah.... a completed starboard side. The port side went smoothly, and by 14h00 was completed. the whole set up is much tidier, and now most things can be done from the cockpit. I still need to get a rod kicker and lead it back, otherwise the reefs will be hard to pull in, and I need to buy some rope to manage the front reefing cringles on the luff... otherwise its still a trip to the mast to set the cringles onto the reefing horns...... but all in all a vast improvement. I spent about 45mins sweeping and scrubbing the deck to remove the detritus from the work, and then retired below to re-fix all the trim...this didn't take too long, and soon I was packing my tools away.... try as hard as I might, I couldn't find my adjustable spanner... then it dawned on me. I had taped it to the underside of the coachroof to hold the nut in place while I worked above..... I had replaced the trim inside, and the spanner was still taped up there.... ahh..... It only took me 20mins to retrieve it, and then I swept up and packed up ready to go.... 15h30, and I was off home, knackered, but real progress made....

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