Winter Layup

September 22, 2014 at 10:58 am

Weatherweb was saying the high at the beginning of September was only going to be short lived, and by the time it was apparent it was sticking around a little longer I had made plans that could not be altered.  So Duet’s been out of the water a couple of weeks now and I’ve been off to Norfolk to collect the van and the dog (and been to Ireland but that’s another story… And the Southampton Boat Show, but that’s another story again!).

I went back to her yesterday to empty her and finish the layup. She looks pretty tired.  She’s been pressure washed and much of the boot top has come off and her topsides are quite stained too which is kinda sad, but on the other hand it’s all the mark of an awesome summer (and I know the yellow will come off with some Cillit Bang and elbow grease).

We filled the van. Amazing how much stuff she holds really…

Hurley 22 Winter Layup

So much stuff!

Duet’s layup procedure is pretty straightforward, as she is a pretty simple boat.  There is minimal plumbing to worry about and no inboard to winterise. It’s just a case of trying to minimise decay and corrosion really.

This is what I’ve done so far:

  • Removed the sails (which will go in to R&J Sails for a check over and to be laundered.  I also want a 3rd reefing point put on the main).
  • Removed all the running rigging from mast.  Ropes have been brought home for a wash and check over.
  • Removed the dodgers.
  • Really good clean inside, round the cooker and in the lockers.
  • Remove all food, cushions from forepeak, books, charts, anything paper, anything fabric (including the curtains), any removeable electronics and anything with a battery.
  • Rinse over the interior with a cloth with water and a little bit of bleach (as there is salt residue on everything which will attract damp).
  • Rinse out the bilge with fresh water and dry it with a cloth.
  • I’ve taken the dinghy and outboard off for safe storage.  Though I want to sell the dinghy – it’s too big!
  • The pans and cooking utensils have all been washed and stored in an airtight box with some big silica gel packets.
  • I’ve left the remaining cushions up ended and the lockers are all open to allow air to flow.
  • The water tank is empty and my water containers have been left with the lids off.
  • I’ve left all the seacocks open so the cockpit will drain when it rains.

I still want to step the mast, as I want to check over the work I did earlier in the year, but it was a bit windy and I thought it was safer to leave it up til I was ready to work on the mast and get it back up as soon as possible afterwards.  I had to repeatedly tighten the standing rigging over the summer I’ve wondered if hull sagged when the mast was down for a couple of months.  Apparently this can happen (and Contessa 26’s are notorious for it apparently?)  and with the Hurley’s propensity to mast compression I have wondered if this was the reason my rigging kept going slack…

I also still need to get the ouboard off and serviced, but I’ve rinsed the lazarette out with fresh water.

Duet’s iroko rubbing strake was looking a bit battered, even though I’d given it a top up coat of oil a month or so ago.  She had a green scrape down one side from a starboard marker in Poole Harbour, and the anchor chain had rubbed the bow.  So we gave it a rub over with some wet and dry, a rinse with white spirit and it got 2 coats of Deks Olje D1 which will hopefully stop it going grey over the winter and give me an easier job to do come spring.

I just need to think about my winter to-do list now…

Hurley 22 Winter Layup

Tucked up ready for winter. She’s chocked this year rather than in a cradle… but I’m not sure how I’m going to repaint that boot top?

Shakedown Week 2 – Alderney?

July 28, 2014 at 7:38 pm

So at the start of Duet’s second shakedown week it was looking like a trip to Alderney in the company of Moonlight (a 30’ Jeanneau) and Offcutt (a 28’ Twister) was on the cards.  The wind was from the West and Alderney is actually the same distance as Brixham.

I’d been out a few times, and confidence was up, and nothing had broken… But I knew really I wasn’t ready for that, and would soon be left behind the other bigger, faster boats so needed to be ready.  Also the wind was f4-5 from the west with moderate sea. No good at all for Dartmouth, but better for Alderney, although Alderney has a harbour entrance that needs careful timing, and accuracy of arrival time is not so easy to predict in a 22 foot boat after 60 odd miles.

So it ended up that Bob and Moonlight left alone for Bray after we all rendez-vous’d for the 0530 shipping forecast and fried egg sandwiches, and I went off back to bed.

Later though, I took the opportunity to take a little spin out to the East Shambles buoy where although it was lovely and sunny, it was gusting a good f5 and the sea was looking pretty darn moderate. I got out there on genoa alone and lay ahull before raising up the mainsail which I had put one reef in before I left, and then put the genoa back up with a couple of rolls in it.  However, the mainsail wouldn’t set properly as I’d done the reefing lines wrong and I then careered back downwind towards Lulworth clearly with far too much canvas up: she was two handed heavy on the helm and felt totally out of control!  I thought she was going to broach. It was also very clear that the rigging was far too slack, and the leeward cap and aft lowers were flapping in the breeze.  All pretty scary to be honest. At one point I logged 6.9 knots on the GPS, and I would love to know our speed through the water.  Our wake was fizzing!

I did manage to drop the main, and get some sail ties round it from the hatchway so I didn’t actually have to go forward on deck and as we continued down towards Lulworth I started to feel we were getting too far downwind to be able to get home easily so I tacked towards White Nothe.  But as we closed on it, the sea steepened and the wind rose.  At one point it was regularly gusting 25 knots (apparent wind) on the windometer, a f6.

I did a couple of tacks back and forth but only gained about 200 yards up wind as it was blowing West.

So I put the engine on and tromped home into wind for an hour and a half, but kinda glad I hadn’t gone to Alderney.

In the end, we had some problems but I resolved them pretty easily without anything breaking, and no-one got hurt. On the bright side, I had managed to find the Shambles buoy using my new handheld GPS for the first time!  This is what shakedowns are for…

There are no pictures for this post: I couldn’t take my hands off the tiller.

The evolving riddle of Duet’s mast rake – Part 4

July 18, 2014 at 2:10 pm

See Part 3 here

So by this time, I had lowered the mast on the tabernacle but at was pretty precariously balanced on the coach roof.  We had propped it up and lashed it as left to its own devices the weight of it dented the coach roof. Also, it seemed that the yard I was in had no capability to restep the mast as they only have a travel hoist and not a crane, but suggested I make contact with a local rigger who had a pneumatic lift thing (!)

So the rigger arrived and together we took the mast off the tabernacle and moved it forward on the deck so it was resting on the pushput and the pulpit, and lashed it down again safely.

He also looked over my rigging for me, and although it had been replaced in 2009 (and 2011 for the back stay) he deemed that it was of poor quality and needed replacing really…

Duet’s mast is supported by 4 wires to the top of the mast.  The one from the top of the mast to the front of the boat is called the forestay, and the one to the back of the boat is called the back stay.  The wires running to each side of the boat are called ‘shrouds’.  The cap shrouds run each side from the top of the mast to the deck, and then there are what are called ‘lowers’ which run from just under the cross trees to the deck, with one forward and one aft, giving you what are called the the forward and aft lowers.

Basically, the forestay is used to control the rake of the mast (which is why I have shortened mine to correct Duet’s mast rake).  The cap shrouds (from the top of the mast down the sides of the boat) run through the cross trees and are really important in supporting the mast laterally.  The lowers are important for supporting the bottom half of the mast and keeping it rigid.

The rigger wasn’t happy with the quality of Duet’s rigging as although the fore and back stays had been made with swage fittings (where the wire is fed into a proper eye fitting and compressed), the cap shrouds and lowers had what are called talurit splices (where the loop at each end is made using a compressed copper band).  Ideally, a boat my size and above would use swage fittings all round as they are stronger.

Rigging Splices

We also took the spreaders off and found them to be really heavily corroded, especially at the ends where the cap shrouds run through them.  He suggested that I have some new ones made up by a local fabrication company and as they were just aluminium tube they shouldn’t cost much.  In fact, in the end they cost £26.

Corroded Spreaders Hurley 22

Duet’s corroded aluminium spreaders

The rigger looked at the bottom of the mast, where the work had previously been done by a professional yard to remove the corrosion and he also said that this was of poor quality.  The mast was not sited squarely in the shoe and A2 bolts had been used to secure it, so it needed to come off and be re-sited and then properly riveted on again.

Hurley 22 Mast Foot

The mast foot is not square on the foot. One edge has a wider gap than the other end (and one bolt has been removed here)

Finally he looked over the mast cap which was wobbly and also needed refurbishment…. So in a nutshell, he pretty much condemned it all and started talking in terms of a new mast and rigging.

Oh crap.

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