I’m happy to report that when we installed the new backstay with new Navtec fittings and HAM/SSB insulators the project went flawlessly. It took not even all of a Saturday. Phew.
We had noticed that the Barlow winch on the mast used for hoisting both the mainsail and persons up the mast was making some pretty funny noises. It was time to take it apart and rebuild it.
We took the winch below and carefully disassembled it, cleaning each part with paint thinner. I had feared that, from some of the terrible clicks the winch was making, we’d find mangled parts inside but luckily all we found was salt and dirt and sticky old grease. And some cat hair too.
Here’s the winch ready for assembly on the mast:
Another item that needed taken care of was the old wire/rope genoa halyard. The wire part had a permanent kink in it so that if the halyard was pulled too far down the furling gear the halyard would jam in the sheave at the top of the mast. Not an admirable quality for a halyard. While at the top of the mast unjamming the halyard, Michael noticed the sheave on the Harken halyard restrainer was almost worn through by the wire rope. No problem replacing this right? Well no– the halyard restrainer was the smaller size Harken sells and it would not work with the shiny new larger diameter rope halyard we were getting ready to hoist.
So Michael spent the good part of one Saturday at the top of the mast while I hoisted various tools up to him to install the larger halyard restrainer. Of course the old one was hopelessly stuck on the mast due to corroded stainless screws so he got to Dremel 55 feet in the air off what he could of the old part. Then he installed the new one right below it (which was actually at a better angle for the halyard) with pop rivets.
So we were finally able to thread our new headsail and main halyards. Nothing makes a boat look nicer than new line! We can hardly wait to add her sparkling white sails next week. We’re driving down to San Francisco this weekend to visit Michael’s brother and will stop by the Doyle loft in Alameda on the way home to visit the loft and pick up our precious cargo — a new main, genoa and storm staysail.