21 December 2013

main sheet modifications

I read an article about improving sail trim. The boat in question had its main sheet fixed to a point on the transom, much like mine. They said that just fitting a simple rope horse across the boat would allow the sail to be pulled flatter. So I have fitted one. Simply holes bored carefully through the coaming by the feet of the boom gallows, and a rope between. Holes sealed with epoxy, and they will be easy to fill if it all doesn't work. It looks like it should, but only sailing will tell. The current BC20 has a main sheet track across the transom. I don't want the expense of that, and it wouldn't work with my boom gallows anyway.

15 December 2013

Jib furling line cleat

Another small job, but one to help single handed sailing. The clam cleat for the jib furling line is on the side deck, just outside the coaming of the cockpit. I have always found that I prefer to haul in the line from in front of the cleat, and then have to pull it through to fix it. I realised this was partly due to it being too far back. I need to be forward tending the sheet as I furl the jib, so the cleat was too far back to use at the same time. The other problem was that the line came out of the cleat at an angle into my hand, if I just yanked it in. This caused it to rub against the cheek of he cleat, which I didn't like and is probably why the roller in the original cleat had a groove worn in it. I have now moved the cleat forward, only by about a foot or so, and I have fitted a plywood wedge under it, so that it tilts inwards, allowing the line to come straight out from the cleat roller to my hand. It seems to work well in the shed, so I hope it works as well on the sea. I have also replaced the furling line with a slightly thicker one. I hope that this will stop it jamming when the line jumps off the drum, which it did rather too often last season.

Sewing and stitching

It might not look much, but I am quite proud of this. As I have taken up a bit of space with the bookcase at the end of one cabin bench, the cushion needed shortening to fit. The filling is a stiff polyester fleece, which just cut with a sharp craft knife. The cover needed to be cut and restitched, which I managed, very slowly. Not the best job in the world, but I have never done any sewing before. The cover is very grubby and I will probably renew the cushions altogether at the end of next season, but these should now last out this year.

9 December 2013

Non-slip decks

I found that the painted decks and roof can get very slippery, even wearing Crocs, which I find are very grippy. I have tried a non-slip additive in the Toplac paint with limited success.

This year I am expanding my "use ordinary paints" experiments. I found that Dulux Weathershield paint lasts extremely well, even in a marine environment. It is water based, which makes application much easier for a bad painter like me. I always wreck brushes. With a water based paint, I can leave the brush in water and it is always ready. I painted the whole of the super structure with Weathershield for last season. It lasts perfectly well. Possibly not quite as opaque as Toplac, and not so hard wearing. On the edges of cockpit benches it has worn through where I brace my feet. But otherwise perfectly durable and very easy to touch up.

I painted my outboard well blanking plate with it, and that has survived without any deterioration at all, even though about half of it is underwater all the time, when stowed, and all of it is underwater when in use.

So to address the non-slip needs, I have used Sandtex masonry paint on all decks that I walk on. I used it in a dinghy very effectively and it is  meant to be used on light houses, so it should be durable. It is very matt, but not a rough as I expected, so I don't know how non-slip it will turn out to be when wet. But I do like the look of it. If it proves durable I might switch over to it, rather than the weathershield, as I do like a matt finish. It is also water based which makes cleaning up and brush maintenance very simple. But only sea trials will tell me if it is really suited to a boat.