Tuesday, 27 January 2009

boat update

The boat is now out of the water, which means we can get on with the serious jobs-to-do list of servicing winches, repair the sails, fixing gelcoat cracks, eating big breakfasts and spending far too long in the chandlery looking at all the nuts, washers, shackles and other shiny stuff that is really expensive. We actually spent so long in there on Sunday, trying to find a supplier for a new water tank, that the guy offered us a cup of coffee. Nice people.

The boat yard is only a twenty minute cycle form home, so I'm hoping that it'll be easy enough to nip down every so often to take apart the winches, clean them of all grease and grit to slather them up in grease again. It took just over two hours to tackle the first one. I'm not counting the half hour spent unbolting the five nuts that seemingly attached it to the deck to find that wasn't the way to get intside it. I had to remove the circlip from the top (a flat keyring type thing). Then I was away. The winch (what you use to wind ropes round) is a stainless steel canister about 10 cm across,30 cm high and contains all these things

and some of these

So my anxiety when I had it in pieces was not so much degreasing it and then regreasing it, but putting it all back together again in the right order, so it would look like this

and rotate correctly so the rope will slide around it. Of course I kept this worry to myself and worked quietly and greasily until two hours later it did.

Only another five to go.

And this is the easy bit.

What is looming on my internal horizon is the time when I'm on the boat and it's in the water and there are other people on it who expect me to calmly and confidently tell them at the right time how to wrap ropes around these winches, pull on them, cleat them off so the sail is nicely filled with wind and we glide across sea in full control of where we're going. And nobody loses a finger in the process.

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