Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sunday boat projects at the lake

As we awakened Sunday morning, conditions were brighter than they'd been early Saturday, but still frosty. I gathered what tools were available for work on Black Magic's boom and evaluated the four options for attaching the end of the backstay tackle to the plate on the front end of the boom:

(1) insert small eyebolts and find a shackle or swage a wire to use as a bridle.
(2) squeeze an eyestrap so it would fit.
(3) modify a small padeye so it would fit.
(4) drill new holes on each side of the boom near its front end and stick a bolt through the holes.

(1) The small eyebolts wouldn't be very strong. We didn't have swaging tools in the apartment. The bolts holding the eyebolts might get in the way of motion of the gooseneck fitting right in front of the boom endcap.
(2) The eyestraps were only moderately strong to start with; squeezing one could compromise its strength and lead to an unpredictable failure in a component that is not visible for inspection without disassembling the boom. We didn't have a vise in the apartment.
(3) A padeye would have to have a new hole drilled near its center, and have at least one end cut off so it'd fit in the boom's endcap. And, we didn't have much in the way of cutting tools.
(4) I hate drilling more holes in an old spar.

Although I was able to use vise pliers and hand tools to squeeze an eyestrap into the right shape and length, and even get the screw holes to line up with those in the boom endcap, solution (3) was chosen. Although a hacksaw failed to cut through the stainless steel base, I was able to use titanium drill bits to drill a new screw hole and a series of holes across the base of the padeye toward one end, allowing the padeye to be shortened.

Then I had to attach the padeye on the inside of the boom end cap. Unfortunately, the stainless steel screws available were a little long, which made it very hard to thread a shackle around the ring of the padeye. Eventually I succeeded, attached the first shackle to a shackle on the end of the backstay tackle, assembled the boom and endcap, and could chalk up one success.


Spin pole

We had a surprise when Carol Anne disassembled the spinnaker pole to replace the plunger sleeve and spring on each end. Apparently the design had chanced in the intervening years so the new parts wouldn't fit in the old pole ends. So, it looks as though we'll have to order new pole ends. At least better that than a whole new pole!


Brackets on boom

We also plan to install fittings to allow the spin pole to be mounted on the boom. However, the spinaker pole ring we tried had a base that was just a bit too much curved. We're modifying (flattening) the base so it should fit. The ring will be mounted starboard near the forward end of the boom and a ring constructed of heavy webbing fabric will be mounted aft. If it works well, we'll add another set of rings to port.


Bilge pump

The diaphragm has a crack so the pump sucks air and doesn't pump. Temporarily we have a portable manual bilge pump on board. With warm enough weather, we'll try patching the bilge pump. Otherwise, we'll try to find replacement parts, but the new manual Whale Gusher pumps look different from our third-of-a-century-old model.


At 11:59 PM, February 01, 2007, Blogger Carol Anne said...

A couple of corrections:

The hardware inside the boom is for the blocks that give purchase to the outhaul. There's nothing at all having to do with the backstay anywhere near the boom, let alone inside it.

We're mounting the spinnaker pole ring and strap on the port side of the boom, not the starboard.


Post a Comment

<< Home