We have started and/or completed a number of tasks. The sails were taken off last week. A couple of screws had to be replaced on our furling unit which meant it had to come down. As mentioned before, this is a big project as we have to loosen the shrouds on the main and tilt it forward to get the furling unit off. But, it was all competed by the end of the week. We got the new jib sail installed on Friday. Hurray, it looks beautiful and new!
The old mainsail was a bit tough to get off. I had used a variety of cotter pins over time for attaching the sail to the mast batt-cars. Some were really tough to get off. Then the sail itself is a LOT of canvas and weighs 350 lbs (160kg). We had to remove the battens and then roll up the mainsail so I could use the main halyard to lift it up and off the boat.
After getting the mainsail cover off, we discovered the new cover did not have the sailtracks (slugs) installed so it could be fitted on the boom. The sailmaker must have forgotten to install them! It was the weekend, and we couldn’t get someone to install eyelets so we could transfer them to the new cover, so that had to wait until Monday, as did installing the mainsail.
Meanwhile, we need to have a piece of metal repaired that is the receptacle for the mainsheet block on the boom. The metal guy I found could do it, but he needs to take the boom to his shop. So, he’s coming by on Monday to pick it up on a lorry (truck) and do that job.
I’m particularly proud of a job I did this weekend. A week ago I had removed our main deck light. It was a floodlight (basically a car headlight) mounted on a custom black plastic “tripod” mount screwed into our mast a few meters up. The new light is an LED floodlight, which is much lighter and came with a little metal bracket for mounting. But, it wasn’t aluminum and I didn’t want to put a dissimilar metal on the mast. Also, it wasn’t shaped properly for the angle we needed.I had been looking for some material to mount the light, but couldn’t find what I wanted. Yesterday I started playing with the old plastic mount and came up with a neat way to bolt the new light inside the round plastic mount. The only problem was the light wouldn’t stay at the right aiming angle. The new light also came with a white plastic mount for a pole mount and I modified one of those to bolt into the bottom of the mount in a position that holds the new light at the right angle. It worked perfectly!
I then spent a few minutes preparing the wiring for fast installation before going up the mast. Karen then operated the winch to get me up there and in a few minutes I had it mounted. We tested the wiring and the light worked, so I finished the install and it looked great! Next, we had two other spreader deck lights and I needed to switch out the bulbs with new LED bulbs. I was worried because the new bulbs were about an inch longer, but I was lucky with the wiring and it all worked like a charm.The resulting new lights look great. But, the real payoff is in the power use. The old lights used almost 19 amps of power when in use. This was a heavy load if we didn’t have the engines on. Our navigation lights, chart plotter, radar, and other instruments use almost that much so it more than doubled our power drain when in use. The new lights only use ONE AMP! Wow! We can leave them on all night if we want.
This is only a portion of the tasks we have been doing. There were many other tasks done, and many more left before the end of the week. Back to work!