Saturday, 2 August 2014

Mid season make do and mend...

An afternoon off for some some mid-season bodging...  err..  fixing..  and just for once everything on the list was completed..

First on the list was the launch trolley (for my tender) which has been used and abused for at  least three or four years now without me having done anything to it...   for shame..  I have two issues  (well three), one of the support struts holding the flat bar that the tender usually sits on has rusted away completely meaning that the tender can cause the bar to press down on the wheel like a brake - that's a job for winter as I need to find someone in the club with some welding gear to weld in a short piece of metal bar (or I'll bolt in some metal plate more likely). Less of an issue is the wooden supports on the metal bar which are the wrong shape for the profile of the tender so I just need to add some bits - not urgent.. On the list today was the wheels which had begun to seize...  the purchase this week of some Valvoline waterproof spray grease (left)  was the solution...  the wheels are the simple solid type on a solid axle with a washer and clip holding them on and I thought I'd have to take them off completely, but in the end the spray nozzle was just the wrong size to get in the gaps and that soon saw them turning again..  I'll be more careful with maintenance in future...

Next on the list was the tiller which had started to split along the length and needed seeing too before it got worse... the tiller on Sparrow has always been low, and the end points slightly down - normally that isn't an issue but if I want to do some helming from the back of the cockpit the tiller doesn't clear my knees so I have a tendency to lever it up a little - the problem is that the bolt through the head stock where the tiller swivels was stiff, so the pressure was on the actual tiller joint..  which resulted in the following....


I knew exactly what I wanted to do - through bolt it with a penny washer on each side - the bolts were a little long (they are stainless though, and came from the spares box) but I used an off cut of plastic breadboard to spread the load and also provide a bit of height to the tiller fixing the original issue..

The tiller head is clamped to the rudder stock with a long bolt which also supports the tiller - it's a bit of a bodge to be honest - I think I'll replace that long bolt with a shorter one this winter as the strain of the tiller pressing down on it's full length might cause it to snap... either way, the fix is good 'un - bolts were bedded in butyl tape at both ends to stop water ingress..


Last job was the hatch slider  screws which I had replaced temporarily a few years ago and then forgot about ..  all I'd had at the time were some coated soft metal screws from my spares box and not surprisingly they had rusted (following)...


I reckon I got this job just in time as some of them were a right bu**er to get out, soft screws, rust, equals no head to get a grip on...  some of them I had to get out with the help of needle nose pliers, one I had to use a hammer on (as an impact driver) just to get it moving...  eventually all out though and a new set of stainless ones in their place, all these are also bedded in butyl  tape so as to stop any water ingress via the screw holes into the coaming the slide rail sits on (I've seen other boats where water ingress via these screw holes has freezed over winter causing the glass/gel to crack...)

Job done!
A final spray of the waterproof grease in the rail and the hatch is sliding better than it ever has...  time for the kettle to go on and a cup of coffee...

Last item was to swap over the halyards I am using for main and topping lift..  I've noticed that the main halyard doesn't run in the best direction at the top of the mast and it rubs again the topping lift (next to the pulley at the top of the mast)...   Looking at them the topping lift looks to have a better more direct run for the main so I've swapped them over to see if it's better...  hope to test that on Sunday!

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