Sunday, 17 May 2015

Pre-Launch Jobs for 2015

In a previous post I listed the jobs to be done on Serenity this year. The ones with the highest priority are the ones which keep the boat out of the water. Next are the ones that keep the boat at the dock, Anything else can be done when I have the time. Basically, do what you have to do to go sailing safely first.

My pre-launch jobs were:
  • remove all thru-hulls and install backing plates
  • Modify trailer to improve launching and recovery
  • Reseal the iron keel
  • Touch up anti-fouling

I decided that the first one was not necessary at this time, since there has never been a problem with the thru-hulls, and it was something that could wait until the boat was hauled out at the end of the season.

The third item I have no idea what I meant by it now. I won't be unbolting the keel, and it looks tight around the join. Maybe I'll remember next year.

The trailer modification for this spring is to put a roller under the bow to keep it in the proper position. The trailer's winch is mounted much too low, and causes the boat to be improperly positioned when it comes out of the water. It can sit so far back on the trailer that it is aft heavy. This is unsafe for towing and in the yard.

There is a roller on the trailer under the bow, it's just too low to do anything at all. I purchased two 20" pieces of steel flatbar, and will extend it up to a position that should make positioning easier.

That means just slapping on some antifouling and dropping the boat in the water. It looks to be an early launch for Serenity this year.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Winch Cleaning

There are some jobs on the boat that seem to get put off year after year. As long as there are no issues, other tasks take priority. One of those, for me, is cleaning and lubricating the winches.

I've owned the boat for 9 years, and it has never been done. Some people suggest that it should be an annual thing, but I think that for the length of our season, and the amount of boating I get in, that it can be stretched to 4 years. That means that I should have already done it twice.

It is not a complicated procedure. For Serenity's Barlow 15s, disassembly requires removing a single screw, and it all slides apart. There are no gears to be concerned about. The biggest worry is not losing the pawl springs.

A proper cleaning probably involves soaking the parts in a solvent, using a brush to get into all of the crevices, and giving everything a proper cleaning. I just used a paper towel to rub off what I could, and a flat head screwdriver to scrape off what was more resistant. At this point anything was an improvement, and I didn't have that much time to put into it before dark.

The winch was dirty. Much of the old grease was hard and useless. Only one pawl had much sign of life. The other two were very lethargic, and refused to snap promptly back out. This winch was not too many seasons away from failing to function at all.

After the cleaning, some light oil was applied to the pawls, while everything else was coated in a white PTEF lubricant. After being put back together, there was a noticeable improvement in the functionality of the winch.

The entire job took me about 90 minutes. If it was done more regularly, the cleaning would be done much faster. The next time I'd expect to spend less than an hour at it. That is, as long as I stick to the 4 year maximum cycle. Have you done yours lately?

Update 2015-05-15

Cleaned the starboard winch today, and it was actually worse than the port one. It might not have even lasted this season before giving problems. Something I forgot to mention, check the winch screws/bolts. All of mine were a little loose. That's the jib winches taken care of. The Harken B6A halyard winch is only a couple years old, but I might as well look at that one while I'm at it.