Rigging; cleaning; etc

Last Thursday I finally got off my butt and gave Oia a good scrubbing to get rid of the accumulated filth of a few months in the marina coupled with various recent dusty projects.  She’s looking… decent.  I still can’t wait for a new paint job, particularly on the deck, which is in dire need of it.

I also finally got around to cleaning the track and car on the boom (with turpentine) and liberally applying some Sailkote to smooth out the operation of the furling mainsail.  Sailkote is pretty great stuff, and it definitely helped, but unfortunately the only thing that’ll really solve the problems with the furling mainsail is getting rid of it.

Toward that end I spent a good part of Friday taking photographs (easy) and measurements (hard) of the rigging, to send to David at Precision Shipwright in Phuket so we can start planning the overhaul.  Here’s an overview of the current rig:

Compared with a lot of other boats these days, Oia is pretty simple: your basic sloop rig, no inner staysails and so no running backstays, only one set of spreaders, etc.  There are a few things I’ve identified that I want to work on:

  • Replacing the furling mainsail with a standard slab-reefed one
  • Pulling the mast and boom, giving them a good paint job, and inspecting/replacing hardware as necessary
  • Getting a rigger to go over the standing and running rigging and make sure it’s all okay, replacing where it’s not
  • Installing some lazy jacks so the new slab-reefed main is easy to deal with
  • Re-routing some of the running rigging along the deck and through the hard dodger, and probably adding at least one winch atop the cabin next to the companionway
  • Improving the purchase and the routing of the traveler lines: this was definitely an annoyance during previous trips
  • Adding a solent stay with a highfield lever, which seems like a great idea mainly based on Lee and Rachel’s experiences with theirs.

So far I’m mostly thinking about the details of the mainsail overhaul.  The gooseneck was rebuilt to incorporate a furler:

After the furler is gone, the whole gooseneck will need to be cut down which will bring the boom quite a bit closer to the mast.  That seems complicated but probably isn’t such a big job: just some cutting and welding at a machine shop.  The worst part of the furler modifications made by the last owner is what they did to the boom:

The forward 1/3 or so of the boom is untouched and still has the usual inset groove in which the foot of a slab-reefed sail is inserted.  But the aft part of the boom has been modified with a raised track and car installed.  It doesn’t look like it’ll be easy (probably not even possible) to remove:

Not only was the track bolted on (and maybe welded, it’s hard to tell), but the inset groove was filled with a sealant that probably can’t be removed.  It seems my best hope of not needing a new boom altogether may just be to install similar track on the forward section of the boom and then modify my slab-reefing main to attach to the track somehow.  I’ll wait for David to advise me on that.

The PO also removed a portion of the external sail track on the mast.  There are two: mainsail track and trisail track.  I still have all the track sections that were removed though, and re-riveting them should be simple.

When we were sailing to Tioman and back Doug suggested some modifications to add purchase to the traveler, which is really hard to control under any kind of load.  In thinking about that I also decided the traveler lines should probably be routed back to the cockpit, probably just under the dodger.  The current traveler is just a raised SS tube with a car on it.  It actually works just fine, except for the difficulty in adjusting it under load:

Looks like I ought to give it a good polishing sometime soon though.

I’m also planning to get some new sails made in Phuket, so I measured the whole rig as precisely as I could and was up and down the mast a couple of times for that.  I ended up with some rough diagrams that need some cleaning up:

I’m happy to have finally gotten the ball rolling on getting rid of the furling mainsail.  It’s actually the last major project in the pipeline before I feel we’re ready for some serious cruising: there’s light at the end of the tunnel!

I also spent a little time working on edge gluing teak planks so I can build a box for the chartplotter.  Here’s my makeshift clamping contraption:

It’s working pretty well so far, but it is definitely hard to get the two planks lying perfectly flat when you start to tighten the side clamps.  Also, I’m going to need some bigger bar clamps to finish the job.

Last but not least, I put on my scuba gear Sunday and went for a dive to do some bottom cleaning while Charlene supervised from above.  It’s certainly a lot easier with scuba gear than with a snorkel, and it’s nice to be able to take some time to inspect the hull, through-hulls, prop, zinc, etc without running out of breath.

My dive tank is a little small: it ran low just as I was finishing scrubbing the hull.  I’m hoping to stick to a 2-3 week schedule of bottom cleaning to cut down on the messiness of the job.  After about a month the barnacles really start to stick.

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Filed under deck, maintenance, photos, planning

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