Duet’s Re Launch

July 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Bit behind with posts, I’ve been out sailing.

Duet was re launched back on the 4th of July.  Liz was busy with an aircraft carrier up in Rosyth but we muddled through.  I put out the fenders but forgot warps, which is why I’m pointing and running at the end of this video…

I’d replaced 2 seacocks and re-bedded a skin fitting and they didn’t leak a drop.  Quite chuffed with that.

However, I slapped on some final antifoul on the bottom of the keel and the leading edges, and also on the log impeller just before she went back in. Guess what? The log doesn’t work… I think I need to go for a swim and free it up some time.


The evolving riddle of Duet’s mast rake – Part 3

June 26, 2014 at 8:42 pm

So Duet’s mast was too raked and her forestay and roller reefing foil was too long… and then one evening I remembered that on a historical survey in her paperwork there was a picture of the foot of her mast showing corrosion, and there was a receipt from a local yard for removing 25mm off the bottom of the mast.  (This survey had been done in 2011 and had shown up a few issues that had been rectified before sale).

My hunch was then that her mast had been shortened to remove the corrosion but her rigging had not been readjusted correctly…

Survey Mast Corrosion

This is the picture from the survey of her mast corrosion before it was fixed.

So I contacted the previous owner who did confirm that this was the case and the work had been carried out by a professional yard.  Apparently 2 inches were removed from the bottom of the mast, and rather than adjust the rigging, the chainplates were shortened by the same amount… except that the forestay has no chainplate and couldn’t be shortened.  So they left it long!  The previous owner also admitted that he never sailed her again after this work was completed.

Professional Repair

This is a picture, also taken from Duet’s file, of the repair immediately after it was done. The yellow stuff is Duralac to help prevent further corrosion.

At least this confirms what I kind of have already figured out!  As mitigation on my part, when I bought Duet she was on the hard in a very tightly packed yard and it wouldn’t have been so obvious to see that she was so raked.  I did start to notice it when she was in the marina but thought it might have been due to ballast (she did have a very heavy engine hung on the transom) but it was only this year when she was out on the hard again at the Academy that it really started to niggle me and I put it together with the weather helm.

However, the previous owner did also give me some advice for reducing the weather helm:

  • Keep weight out the back end, keep the prop out of the water (but he had the outboard mounted on the transom and I’ve put it back in the well)
  • Reefing the main first (this will move the centre of effort forward)
  • Ease the mainsheet (again this will move the centre of effort forward)
  • He also recommended new sails, apparently he’s got a fully battened main on his new boat which made a big difference (this is quite an expensive option though)

I’ve done some research on this now and it seems that taking off a few inches of corrosion on the bottom is a really common, and is the correct way to fix this issue. Apparently if a mast fails it usually goes further up around the spreaders.  As long as the mast is sat in the shoe correctly it’s not a weak danger point. So that gives me peace of mind at least.



How not to lower the mast on a Hurley 22 yacht

June 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm

I needed to shorten the forestay, and the mast needed to come down for that.

Hurley 22s have their mast stepped on a tabernacle; effectively their mast hinges on a bolt on the cabin top so presumably all you need to do is undo the front stay and lower it gently to the ground. Sounds simple enough, and the mast only weighs about 40kg though at just under 9 metres it is a *bit* awkward…

So I rounded up a couple of friends, and proposed we used the method described on the Hurley Association website: to take a line (the spinnaker halyard) from the top of the mast, forward to a block and then back to the cockpit and round a winch.  One person would steadily lower the mast while another ‘catches’ it under the spreaders with a long ladder and the whole lot is safely and slowly lowered to the deck.

However they weren’t happy to lower it onto themselves and wanted to do it from the ground in front of the boat with a turn around the pulpit. Someone still had to be up by the mast to give it it’s first shove on its way and guide it down straight.  Guess who that person was? Yep, me.

Lower Mast Hurley 22

I don’t really think this warrants a caption, other than simply “Don’t do it like this”

So, I won’t go into detail but yes it did come down with some form of relative control, it was pretty quick but no-one was actually maimed or died, and ultimately the boat wasn’t damaged …so I guess you could call it a success?  To be honest though, that was probably only by luck rather than skill, and I probably wouldn’t choose do it like that again… Anyway, we propped the end of the mast up on a piece of wood, cushioned the cabin roof with a spinnaker bag and took off the roller reefing foil so I could get the forestay off to be shortened.  It looks a bit precarious so I don’t want to leave it like that for long, or it would probably start to bend the mast (more than it already is…) Hurley 22 Mast However, what we (I) hadn’t considered was how to raise the mast back up again (step the mast), but sometimes you just have to start the journey without knowing exactly where the destination is, right?  More on that next time then…

Oh, and this post is filed under Anarchy.

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