Winter Projects 2014

I’ve got about a month left of reasonable sailing weather.  As we ply the waters in cool weather, I turn over the off-season’s projects in my mind, research the products, supplies, and issues in my warm living room.  The big important project for this year is a new headstay.  The current headstay has got to be 20 years old or even more.  While I’ve replaced all the other stays and shrouds, the headstay is the one remaining piece of wire rigging that bothers my conscience.  I can’t inspect both ends of the stay due to the long luff foil that covers most of the upper swage.  This project looms large in my mind for two reasons:

1.   I’ll have to go aloft to detach the upper end of the stay, and temporarily make it secure with a halyard. . .  and I hate going aloft.  My imagination is too vivid.  I can only think of disaster while I’m up there.  But a project on an old boat is never about solving one problem.  No, in order to go aloft safely I want to replace the halyards with new line.  I also need to replace the deck-mounted lead blocks that bring the lines back to the winches at the cockpit – the sheaves are old and UV damaged and I don’t trust them not shatter while under load.  It would be inconvenient if they failed while sailing, but it could be life-threatening if it happened while supporting my mass.

2.  I have to take apart the roller furler and somehow get the luff foil off.  Although I’ve looked at the assembly instructions for quite a while, and have done some other research on my model (Harken model 0), how it all goes together is still a bit of a mystery to me.  Combine that with stainless screws corrosion-welded into aluminum foil pieces – very difficult to work on without destroying the entire assembly.  The whole task seems a bit daunting.  I know that once I get into it and start understanding how it all goes together, I’ll feel a lot better about it.  Still, I’m experiencing a bit of fear while looking down into the chasm of the project.

Ancient Harken Furler Unit 0

Ancient Harken Furler Unit 0

So that’s the big project.  Smaller projects include the following:

– Battery Box

– shower sump

– Paint bottom side of Sliding Hatch

– Design/build/install a Sea Hood

– Running lights teak pads

– holding tank overboard pump – This has all the plumbing complete – I just need to order a rebuild kit for the pump I already own.  Then rebuild the pump and install it.

If I get half of these projects done this year, I’ll be satisfied.  If I just get the headstay replaced I’ll be very happy!

  1. ShimonZ said:

    Sailing weather… that brings a lot of things to mind. The farmers have an off season too, when they can go indoors and think… get the home in shape… or just have a read. But as the technological man overcomes nature, we see less and less of that. Now fresh green salads are there all the year round, as well as fruit that was once available only for a few weeks. Yet sailing remains dependent on the weather.

    • Shimon, I enjoy the off-season too. Boats are a bit of a constant concern, as well as a wonderful luxury and pleasure to enjoy. So, to have a few months when the boat is out of the water and all buttoned up for the winter is a break from the care. As you suggest, I read more. I also enjoy the wood stove at home, and play more music. Boat care cuts into other things I enjoy, so the break is welcomed.

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