The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2021.03.28 - Finishing the Mainsheet Horse Repair

Today's task was to complete the repair for the traveller. With most of the work completed yesterday I didn't expect this to take too long, so I carried out a couple of other small tasks as well since I have the time.

The first thing to do was to coat the other side of the pads with epoxy and fill the screw holes. Here you can see the pads over the Rayburn in order to make the epoxy cure faster.

Whilst the epoxy was curing I lifted the spars back up in the hat barn. During the application of the last coat of varnish, the fourth as I recall, I noticed that some parts of the varnish were showing a tendency to creep, so I decided that this was the last coat for this season and now the spars are hanging up out of the ways to allow access to the bay and to allow the varnish to harden.

They rusty ends of the traveller were coated with rust converter and here you can see the converter at work turning any rust to a purple colour.

Butyl tape was put around the stops on the horse...

...and on the lower side of the upper pads.

The pads were then pressed lightly onto the after deck, the traveller mounted in the holes and the washer and nut, and the new starboard pad, were fixed on the underside and gradually tightened up.

The idea is to apply some pressure to the butyl tape so that it spreads out thinly filling the gaps but not too tight so as to crack the wooden pads.

The tape under the pad hasn't quite squeezed out in one place just yet, but give it a few hours and it will. Then the nuts will be tightened up a little more and left a while and this repeated until a really good seal is achieved. However, you don't want to go too far and squeeze all the tape out of the joint. when the nuts are tight enough I'll remove the excess tape and return it to the workshop as it can be used for something else.

The finish on the spars is remarkably good considering that the varnish was applied in less than ideal circumstances.

There are one or two dead insects in the varnish and a few drips, but nothing that is a concern.

Another task on the list was continued, that of washing the ropes. It is usual to wash the ropes at least once a season when sailing on the sea since the salt water gets into the ropes and evaporates leaving salt crystals behind which are surprisingly sharp. This damages the ropes from the inside if they are used too much when salty, so the ropes are regular washed in fresh water to remove the salt.

It's not so necessary when sailing in fresh water, but it is still a good idea anyway. The trick is to wash the ropes loosely coiled and placed into a laundry bag and to ensure that the washing machine is set with no spin. Heavy ropes like these can really unbalance the machine if it spins, so it is best to turn this off.

It is also needful to ensure that the washing machine is not overloaded. Ours has a maximum laundry weight of 8kg and you'd be surprised at just how few ropes that turns out to be.

Once the ropes have been washed they are taken out of the bag, recoiled and placed on a drying rack to drain and then dry. Here I have the last four wash loads of ropes drying. These were done a few days ago and are still a little damp as the weather hasn't been that warm. The next few days should sort that out as the forecast is for between 16 and 20 Celsius over the next three days.

Summer has come early for 2021. Make the most of it, by Wednesday we're back to Winter until next year.

Time for a fresh cup of tea.