Sitrep 6/7/14

July 6, 2014 at 10:39 am

Exciting news, but here’s the main problem with a little boat;

Proper posts coming soon, having a little trouble with connectivity (and time management!)

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.



The evolving riddle of Duet’s mast rake – Part 2 (How to take roller reefing apart)

June 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm

For a recap see Part 1 here

So the mast came down, aided by gravity rather than skill… and once we had the forestay off  it became apparent that not only was the forestay too long (as it was tightened on the bottlescrew as far as it would go) but the roller reefing foil that it fed through was also too long!  The ‘foil’ is basically a long aluminium tube that runs up the stay that the sail is would on and off of when using the roller reefing.

Forestay too long Hurley 22

This is the top end of the foil that’s attached to the top of the mast. The swage fitting on the wire is only an inch or so clear of the foil.

I was hoping that it would be a quickish job of taking the roller reefing drum off the bottom, sliding the forestay wire out, taking it up to Bussells and having them shorten it… but no, I now needed to shorten the foil as well!

First, the black end cap at the top end needed to come off.  It was “encouraged” using a hammer, and luckily one of my boatyard neighbours had a kind of flattened chisel with a squared blunt end.  We also helped it on its way by heating it with a blow torch… and slowly millimeter by millimeter it was indeed “encouraged” off the end.

Underneath the cap it had a couple of horizontal slits that had helped the tube compress as the cap had been fitted, and it was pushed on about 2 inches.

Measuring the genoa luff Hurley 22

After a lot of deliberation, looking at the foils on the other boats with binoculars, and even measuring out the genoa against the foil to make sure the sail would still fit, I decided to take 3 inches off the forestay and 5 inches off the foil!

This was actually quite easy to do.  I measured it and cut off the end with a junior hacksaw, and re-cut the slits and smoothed the cut edge with my new £20 multitool from Lidl. It’s aluminium, relatively soft and the hacksaw cut it without too much effort

Shortening the foil hurley 22

At the other end it was a matter of logic and patience in figuring out how the drum came off the end.  I couldn’t find a makers mark anywhere so didn’t have much to google… But first I unscrewed the the bottom part of the bottlescrew and pulled out the big ‘R clip holding the drum in place.

Roller reefing drum Hurley 22

At this point I admit to getting pretty stuck… But luckily my boat yard neighbours were able to assist!  First the fairlead was wiggled off and the drum was unscrewed to reveal the spindle.  There was also a circlip in there somewhere and as the drum was removed a handful of loose ball bearings dropped onto the floor.

But once it was apart the spindle could be unscrewed from the bottom of the stay and the stay pulled out from the foil from the top.  I took it to Bussells and had it shortened and a new swage fitting at the top, which cost about £14.

Roller reefing Hurley 22

Hurley 22

I cleaned up all the bits with white spirit, ready to re-grease and reassemble

Hurley 22 roller reefing

The bearings greased and reassembled

Forestay Finished Hurley 22

The bottom finished and back together again, complete with a new furling line.

Forestay Finished Hurley 22

The top finished and back together again. The foil is 5 inches shorter and the stay is 3 inches shorter

To be honest it took a couple of goes to get it all back together.  I hope to god I’ve done it right…

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