Making the Most of a Minimal Budget. Contact me at: or on Twitter: @skintsailor

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Busy Weekend

Well its been a busy weekend. Yesterday Jim brought his new rudder with him, so we spent the day fitting that to his boat.

That left today to get the work done on Sprite 2 and although I ache, I've got all the important jobs done.

I got the shorter back stays on yesterday, however despite fitting 20mm shorter turnbuckles the back stays were still slack.

New shiny back stay turnbuckles

Looking at the front stay turnbuckle, it had no locking nuts, so there's a chance it could have loosened over time. Tightening it wasn't an option because it had got bent in the storms when the chain jumped off the bow roller.

Here's the old tunbuckle, apologies for the intrusive finger!

Bent old forestay turnbuckle and a finger!

Cue a trip to the local chandler and after I'd got over the shock of the price I left with a new turnbuckle. I'd have got one elsewhere but I really wanted it done this weekend.

I fitted it today and it tightened up the rigging properly.

Shiny new expensive turnbuckle
Once the rigging was tight, I started work on the mainsail. Last time I unfurled it, it didn't seem to lift all the way up the mast. ~This time it did, with the help of the winch! I seems before it got as far as it could before lifting the boom, but I didn't have the manpower to lift both the sail and boom together. 

Here I am checking the Halyard isn't stuck
With the sail and boom lifted, I had a look at the downhaul. It was looking a bit sad and neglected, mainly because a couple of pulleys seem to be missing and it wasn't led back to the cockpit like the other lines. I found a pulley in the cabin, but it really needs another attached to the downhaul itself. Something I need to sort out later. At least I got it (sort of) working and routed back to the cockpit.

Here I'm sorting the downhaul. 
All things considered the sail looks a bit baggy, but I'm not about to enter races or anything, so that's not a problem for me. All I want is for it to sail.

With the rigging and sail sorted, it was time to fit the outboard and check out the charging system. Again the outboard was flawless, Starting fine and idling as it should. The tell-tale for the water pump was still working so I'm not as paranoid about it overheating. 

I plugged the engine into the charging socket and checked the ammeter on the rectifier. Voila! over an amp of charging current on a fast idle.

It may have taken months to sort, but its working!

So, sails sorted, engine running, charging circuit working. What else could I work on? I know, I'll re-oil the handrails. They were looking a bit dry so more teak oil got put on them. Its amazing how quickly it gets soaked up. I'll probably have to top it up regularly over the year.

So what Next? Another job I haven't done is reproof the spray hood! So I fitted it and then got the proofer out, which was kindly bought for me by Jochen, one of the guys at work. Its the stuff we use to reproof fabric hoods for convertible sports cars. Mind you I'm wiring up his camper van in payment. lol.

Hmm, I'm on a roll here, so on to the next job: painting the mooring number on my mooring buoy/fender, while the spray hood was drying out. 

Dodgy painting 
The painting was a bit iffy, but then everything was moving about. You try painting a moving target with any aplomb.

Eventually it was time to come off, as the tide was going out. So, I got the newly-stiched sail cover back over the mainsail, and the cockpit cover over the cockpit and spray hood. Looks a bit weird but the spray hood still needed to dry out. 

Looks a bit hunch-backed!

I think a clean should be on the list soon!
And that was the end of the day. 4 hours after starting, I'd done most of the jobs I had planned to do and a few more.

I ache. I don't remember aching this much after climbing around boats when I was a kid!

But I'm happy. Definitely happy. I now have a boat that the next bit of good weather and tide permitting, I'll be able to take for a sail, as its maker intended.

A hull scrape and clean and application of some antifouling needs to be added to the to-do list, but I'm planning to do that in May during one of the bank holidays.

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