Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lines and Splicing

Last week was a bust boatwise with other social obligations.

This week, I settled down with some new friends, a special type of virus that made standing up rather cumbersome.

But, since I am not the guy to complain or sit around and cry (yeah...) I used my downtime to figure out how to splice double braided line.

Somehow, when I was looking into replacing my running rigging I wasn't thinking it was going to be so expensive.  Its just rope right?

 Well, just rope and some handrails which hit me for something over $600.  That and the mooring rental fee blew my boat budget for the next month or so. Good thing for me I don't pay attention to the money that goes towards Jenny.  As the wise man says, "what the boat wants, the boat gets"...

All the lines are Sta Set from New England Ropes.  Red for main halyard, (Whoohoo! The meathooks coming off the wire to rope halyard were really getting annoying) blue for main jib halyard on the roller furlter plus jib sheets, green for the secondary jib halyard - for the assymetrical spinnaker mostly.  The halyards are all 7/16 line - for comfort on the hands not needed strength.  There is also some 1/4 inch green for the assymetrical for those light air days.  The old 7/16 sheets really pull the genoa down.  I didn't replace the main sheet this year just because it looks fine (enough) and I figured I spent enough already.

Since I was lazy and procrasinated too long I had to learn to splice the eyes in the double braided line myself.  It wasn't too hard.  Then again, I left a bit of room for improvement, but overall I am happy with the results.  I tried to read how to splice the eyes but reading just didn't make sense to me.  After reviewing a couple of videos I found this one to work quite well.

Well, turns out Google wants me to link to one of their sponsored pages and is giving me a hard time linking to the video I want so here is the link if you are interested.

(I am really starting to hate Google frankly)

I made the left one first and was reasonably happy with it.  The green was my second attempt and I was feeling pretty good about it.  I made the red one last and... well I decided to stop for the day.  It is plenty strong but looks a little fugly.  Good thing it is so high up where no one can see it.

Of course I hadn't spent enough yet this month so this week I ordered two blocks (Garhauer) for the jib halyards as the one original was really really decrepid looking and now I am rigged for two jibs so I needed another one anyway.  I ordered new shackles for all three halyards too.  Jenny currently has a mismash of shackles none in particularly good condition.

At over $120 a piece I decided my old snap shackles for the jib sheets look pretty good so I will be re-using them. I need to cut the lines to length and splice the snap shackles to the jib sheets and the rigging will be al set.

Maybe next week I will even go to the boatyard...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring Thaw

No posts in four months is despiccable and no excuses are good enough to justify the laziness.

Except maybe that nothing has happened with Jenny so there was nothing to blog about.

The week after the last blog post we had a storm come through and winter hasn't stopped since. 

You are not missing much.  As I have found I spend more days building a winter cover that I can work in than I actually spend using it I haven't found it productive to make a workable winter cover. 

This new yard also has some added complications.

Just getting access to the boat is difficult enough.  Add a little cold and snow and I find it is just better to concentrate on something else and not burn out trying to fight a losing battle.  With no boat work in recent memory I am finding myself refreshed and very anxious to get back to it which is something good to say about a "one year boat project" that is going on eight years now...

So, I have decided to take a suggestion given to me by a friend which is to make my own running rigging instead of having it made.  I am slightly scared of braided line but I think if I own a boat with braided line I should know how to do basic stuff like make a halyard and sheet.

When looking for braided lines I was surprised at how much the prices varied.  I found 7/16 sta set x going anywhere from $1.15 a foot to 2.40 a foot.  In case you can't guess Worst Marine sells it for $2.40...  I could probably continue shopping around and maybe even get a better price but I like Hamilton Marine and find they are good to work with and have generally good pricing so rather than "waste" a week humming and hawing I ordered some line and fids.  I also went on Youtube and found some videos on splicing braided line (and a few more about cats but that is another story).  Funny, even after watching the videos I still can't quite picture how to splice braided line.  I think I just have to do it.  It can't be that difficult can it?

So, finalizing the rigging has always been part of this year's goals.  That should be do-able.  Standing rigging is almost new.  Running rigging while functioning is old old old so that will be replaced.  I will finish installing the wind vane maybe leaving the final details of rigging it up until after the boat launch.  Varnish, as always will be a challenge.  I have little hope of getting enough good weather and time to do all of it befoe launch which should happen around the end of May.  I still need heated indoor storage so I can start varnishing in February.

And speaking of varnish, I am going to add to my list of stuff that needs varnish and I ordered some handrails.  Having guests on Jenny really showed me that I need these basic things even though I have become used to not having them.  I like sailing with friends, I  do not like fishing friends out of the water.

Otherwise, I hope to finish the freshwater system that was almost finished last fall. Running water inside the boat is going to be SO much fun I can hardly wait.  The stove is ready for install after some varnish on the stove cabinet so that might happen.  Who are we kidding?  That might get done on the mooring this summer.  By the way, I will be back in Salem harbor on a rented mooring again.

And most important, I need to replace the engine exhaust.  I think I mentioned that I found a weak spot and in my investigating managed to rip the iron piping in half so I plan on looking for someone this week that can make me a nice stainless steel replacement.  Really, the exhaust is the only thing that can hold up my launch.  The rest is just a bunch of nice-to-haves but after so many years I really want to see those nice-to-haves become what-took-me-so-longs. 

Fingers crossed. Technically boat launch is eight days away which means one dasy of productivity a week over eight weeks.  One week... I have one week. 

Oh boy...