Didn’t seem like this reassembly should have taken all afternoon. . . I thought the process was pretty straight forward, but there were multiple trips to the hardware store (didn’t get the right fender washers the first time – happily, the hardware store is only .3 miles away), there were pauses to look stuff up (how much to over-size the bolt holes, if at all). I also paused to talk to boat slip neighbors several times. Good thing I wasn’t getting paid to do this: I would have made the boss mad.
I began by drilling out the epoxy-potted bolt holes, then beveled the top-side end of the hole to accept more sealant.
I squeezed lots of sealant around the holes – which I forgot to photograph. Mounted the aft-most bolts into the platform, and mated it with the deck and stem fitting. I worked the remaining bolts into their respective holes, using a socket driver when I met with resistance. I left an inch or so gap between the platform and the washer and squirted sealant into the space. Attaching the nuts and pulling them tight forced sealant to squeeze out. Lots of squeeze-out indicates a good seal.
The hard part is the clean up. I used Boat Life polysulfide sealant which simply smears farther, wider, and messier as you attempt to clean up the squeeze-out. Mineral spirits is the solvent, which I used liberally on paper towels. I managed to use the caulk and clean it up this time without getting it all over the boat, myself, and everything I was near – a first for me. The trick is to have a roll of paper towels on hand, a box of disposable gloves (I used latex this time), mineral spirits, and a trash can at your elbow. All the mess and waste goes directly into the trash – gloves and all – with no intermediate stops.
Once all was clean, I reattached the headstay/furling gear and re-tensioned the turnbuckles. The last step was attaching the anchor shank lanyard and mounting the ground tackle on the platform.
This constitutes a huge improvement to the health of my back. The previous arrangement included hangers from the bow pulpit. Hangers are actually a secure way of stowing the anchor as long as the anchor is tied into the hangers with small stuff. But launching and retrieving the anchor involved too much weight at the end of my arms while bent at the waist: the perfect combination for inducing a muscle spasm. I had to be very careful hauling on the rode to prevent strains in my lower back, and to keep the anchor from scaring the topsides. Now I can stand upright and haul the anchor rode over the roller without lifting anything while bending over.