Saturday, December 13, 2014

New bow chainplate! And so very very busy...

After I removed the stem fitting (bow chainplate) on Thanksgiving I had to decide how to replace it. There is a good machinist, Bruce, at Independent Boat Yard, but I wondered about cost and the inconvenience of having to go over there. Another option would be to send the old one to CatalinaDirect and have them make one up to fit my boat based on a pattern that works well for my model.... and the cost, including shipping, would be about $250.
First move: I called Catalina Direct to ask about how soon they could have it back to me.
"Well, at this time of year we are probably looking at early January."
"Oh, ok. Thanks, but I need to get sailing sooner than that. Have a good one!"

I took a morning to deliver it to Bruce on St Thomas.. who was out, so I left it on his desk. When I called later from my boat he told me: "I'm very busy right now, so it might take nearly a week.... if I have the right material..... um... and I don't: I have everything around that size, but not that. You could pick it up for me at Sub Base Haulout, or I could go get it when I have a chance in a week or two."

The next morning I once again caught the bus, the ferry, another bus to Sub Base, and then wandered around getting directions and misdirections until I finally found the place, bought 20 inches of 0.25"x1.5" stainless steel bar for $20, then returned it to Bruce and made my way back home via ferry and bus.

He said he hoped to have it for me early this week and to call him about progress. Sure enough, Tuesday at ten he had it done and said to come on over. The deck plate and anchor roller had cracking and other damage, so he had made the simplest possible fitting. I paid him $100,  brought it home, installed it that evening, and, yesterday, connected the stay and tightened the rigging until it sang the right notes.
(new and old chainplates)

​What else? Well, bought a fitting to replace the cracked on on the aft stay and replaced it last night.
Bought a couple missing bits of my roller furler and that should now work much better. Tightened the fore-stay so that the cable that had unwrapped is much tighter and, I pray, much less likely to create trouble.
(before and after pictures)
 Installed a U-bolt in the deck to secure the foot of the furler. Patched the old deck holes and coated the repair with gelcoat (too white, but better than rust stains and holes. I'll match some gelcoat soon.).
 Ordered a new anchor roller. And THAT is just my list to do with the replaced bow chainplate!
I've also set up my anchor with new line and stainless steel chain (so, so beautiful!), installed a new solar PV controller with a meter so I can see what is going on at a glance... and use power more effectively, collected more coconuts (now have seven on my shelf), bought safety shutoff valve for my propane system, installed a pad-eye to secure my propane tank in place, tossed out a moldy suitcase, etc, etc. My days are just packed and that is satisfying!

This morning I've already been working on re-installing the doors for the anchor locker and climbed the mast to check the forestay. A homeowner's work is never done! And found nice spot to view the harbor at sunrise....

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