Sunday, September 17, 2023

Broken boat bits

 Broke but didn't know my boat was in trouble.

We went down to the boat to clean up after a 100mile trip over the labor day weekend. Clean up included picking up the couple of things we left on the boat after the return to the dock on Tuesday, Scrubbing down the deck and resetting the Mainsail cradle cover. 

Resetting the cradle cover simply because the sail had flaked onto just the port side of the boom when we last lowered the sail. In order to sort that out, we had to raise the mainsail, it seemed it required a lot more effort, I thought that was due to the two reefing lines jamming on the boom. 

Nope! That's the first bit to break - the block at the base of the mast had broken! 
This was the new block I installed just a few years ago.

It was being used to turn the Main Halyard and the Main sheet at the base of the mast to the turning blocks on the cabin top and then to the cockpit under the Traveler & dodger.

This is how it looked when I realized the side of the block was broken. The broken piece was sitting on the deck beneath the Dingy.

Now this breakage is not a fault in production or design.

The problem was that when I installed it, I did not review how the lines lay when under full tension! 

With the Main halyard under tension, and the mainsheet tight, the block was turned at an angle that had the Main Halyard rubbing on the cheek of the block, and when at full tension ( Main hauled to the masthead ) the composite side of the block just couldn't take it and the line shredded itself on the broken edge.

Result: Replace the blocks and the  Main Halyard.
I was able to buy new 7/16" New Halyard at Sailorman in Fort Lauderdale and a pair of Seldon blocks from Nance & Underwood in Fort Lauderdale - they were about $55 each.

Back at the boat, I simply sewed the end of the new line to the end of the old main halyard and then pulled the line from out the top of the masthead and thus pulled the new line up inside the mast and back down to the deck. Removed the old line, heat treated the ends of the new line and threaded the new line through the new block, turning block and then through the line clutches on the cabin top under the dodger. It only took about 90 mins - that was because I played around with the direction that the lines went from the turning block to the new blocks so that there was no rubbing on the block sides even when the Halyard was under full tension.
Lastly, I used the excess 7/16" halyard line to replace the worn out Vang line and ran that back to the cockpit too. Now I  should install a new cam cleat under the dodger on the cabin top so that I can remove the cam cleat that is part of the lower vang line block - that way it will be easier to adjust the vang from the cockpit.

Ok, first broken bit fixed.

Next fix was not because something broke - My favorite HISC hat took a swim when we were heading down the ICW last weekend! Normally I would simply have pulled a U-turn and recovered the hat, but it was probably the busiest day of the year on the ICW - Labor Day! and just too much boat traffic to risk that maneuver for a hat - I was due a new one anyway. Luckily, our sailing club had a general meeting this past Thursday and I was able to buy two new hats - you know, one for spare!

The only other thing that needed fixing was getting our Propane tank filled - we'll go to the boat in the morning and pull that out for a refill at the local store.

Our trip up the ICW from Port Everglades to Lake Worth and back was an awesome Labor Day cruise for our sailing club and if the only issue was a broken block then I'll take that.

See you on the water.