Spring Projects Forecast

End of 1st week of February, and I need to get organized.  I’m thinking about projects that, if not accomplished soon, will keep me off the water longer.  So here they are, prioritized according to urgency.

Build New Headstay – Pretty easily done, especially since I’ve decided to eliminate roller furling. Need Sta-Loc fittings ordered to size, 35 feet of 1/4 rigging wire, and I’ll replace all the clevis pins this time, as well as all the split pins at the masthead.

Inspect starboard cap shroud tang for cracks – this may just be a scratch from a previous removal and servicing.  Can’t tell until I get it off of the spar and take a good look at it.

Replace cap shroud chain plates – May as well.  There is some pitting on them where they pass through the deck and through soggy core.  Won’t recore side decks yet, but that is a project on the long-term list.

Acquire new/used headsail – I looked into converting my roller-furling headsail back to hank-on, but the loft said that’s throwing money away.  The sail is 33 years old, after all, and the luff is pretty much shot.  My shopping and research indicates that I’ll spend under $400 for the sail.

Replace anchor lamp with LED – This is the time to do so, before the current lamp burns out.

Wire cage for steaming/deck lamp – Keep from knocking off the deck lamp/bulb again with a slapping halyard.

Touch-up bottom paint – a few chips here and there, plus a re-coat of the water line and leading edges should do it.

Repaint sheer stripe – I’ve been watching it year after year as it fades and cracks.  When I hauled out in December, a casual spray from the power washer knocked some paint chips off, so it really is time to do this.

Service Fuel Delivery System – In addition to annual replacement of filters, I’m going to renew all the fuel hoses and squeeze bulb for priming.  They are starting to show cracking and age.

And on top of all this, I would like to refit my dinghy in my “spare” time this spring.  Hmmm. . .  We’ll see how much of this gets done and how fast.

  1. Tom Ward said:

    Rick – that’s a good list. I feel much the same way about mine….delays just keep me from where I want to go. As much as we’ve done on our boat I feel like there’s still so much to do. You’re right…prioritize. I just cut my list in half to keep my departure date. Everything else can be done at anchor.

    • There is always so much to do on a boat. I wonder why that is. . . .? I don’t remember that owning a house was like this so much. Maybe it was, but I but I forgot that it was so.

  2. Rick, sounds like my list but my mast is on the deck and I have to get it to ground. As for your headsail ask how much to include anti-torsion wire/rope in it so you can freefly it and use on of the little on deck furling drums. Sheaffer makes some as well as many others. For a 27 footer this is easy and inexpensive compared to normal furlers. Not so much for our 33. Check it out.

    • Alan,

      Although expense of furler replacement is one of the issues at hand, when I consider how transparently simple the bare headstay wire with hank-on sails is, I’m convinced to go that direction. With a down-haul and deck bag for the sail, I think there will minimal inconvenience, but maximum serviceability. Headsails on hanks rarely if ever get jammed at the masthead. Installing a reef point in the headsail – although an old idea – is still a simple and effective way to reduce sail area in the foretriangle. Lots of times, the old ideas are still okay – even preferable – but through the relentless march of technology and innovation, we’ve forgotten how effective they were for sailors down through the centuries.


      • Anonymous said:

        That is why I like the beauty of these free flying sails that can be rolled. You don’t use the headstay! So you can have a big free flying genoa with a smaller 100% jib already hanked on and when the wind picks up roll that genoa up, release it’s halyard and it drops to the deck then hoist the jib with the other halyard. Doing inland sailing you can pass a bluff and be into heavy wind quick. I never liked a roller “reefing” system since they didn’t seem to work that well. On my older 27 I rarely used less than 100% in both positions due to her heavy ballast and stiff design. I hope something similar will work for me on the 33 once I finish my mods in the cockpit.

  3. Wow, I like the idea of the bare fore stay, but still having a roller for a free-flier. If you picked up an asymmetric chute, you could fly that as well. Me like.
    I got a used, reefable head sail from Bacon sails earlier this year for $100 plus shipping. They said it was only ‘good’ condition, but it is great to excellent in my book. And Bacon’s pretty close to you so you could go eyeball the finalists. They have an email alert for new. used sails that come on their site. Let me know, would you, if you find another good source. I’m still after my asymmetric.
    You might leave the chain plate replacement until last since the other chores look like they’re more critical or need to be done while you’re on the hard.
    Don’t I know the time is flying to get the work done. Keep us apprised, Rick.

    • I’ve recently shopped through all the resources, and Bacon’s is as good at price and inventory as any of them. Chain plate replacement is easy. I’ll have them fabricated at my local machine shop, and they’ll bolt up just like the originals. We’re talking 1/2 hour to remove, and 45 minutes to install both, including sealant at the deck. I’ve had them out before for inspection, so I know the drill.

  4. We are working on our boat list repairs as well. Good luck, and stay with it, once the weather and temps become desirable, the waters will be calling for you. :-)

    • Thanks Donna. The projects are calling me now. There’s a lot to do before we launch – well, seems like it, anyway. The rigging stuff is more working in unfamiliar territory than difficult and time consuming. Boats need a lot time regardless, both maintaining and enjoying.

    • Anonymous said:

      I wish I could start soon. It is currently 10 degrees out with several nights of sub zero coming which is usual for February. Then March bring more cold and heavy snow with a possibility of about freezing daytime temps toward the end. April can tease us with nice temps for a few days but still below freezing at night. We get into May it starts getting much nicer but a possibility of freezing still till May 15th or so. Then you know it;s going to be moderate till October. i’ll probably strip off the shrink wrap in late April

      • You must live in Maine, or Quebec!

      • Anonymous said:

        No In Minnesota

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