Winter Jobs and Wooden Anchors… Pt1

Never ending is it…?

I’ve not been able to get to the boat since November due to snow, Christmas and other family things and I was getting impatient with my ever growing jobs list and no chance of tackling them. We had a planned meet up with a group of friends in Worcester a couple of weekends ago and I had planned on heading down to the boat on the Sunday after lunch, to get a few hours on the boat stop, over at the club and get a full days work done before heading home. Unfortunately driving down to Worcester the alternator on my car failed, leaving me with a wait for the AA. Short story, the wife picked me up so I could get to the meet. Sunday afternoon was spent getting the car home (no alternator but spare full charged batteries) and Monday was spent replacing it.

Lou and I agreed that I would head down after work the following Saturday and although it would be to late to start any jobs I could get up early Sunday without the two hour drive down and get cracking. On the list were three main things, reseal the raw water skin fitting, fit the new cutlass bearing and refit the prop shaft sterngland.

Resealing the through hull was fine, the old one came apart nicely, a liberal amount of Sikaflex and refit, bravo! The cutlass was next, I had borrowed a tool from a club member to remove the prop and pull the old cutlass bearing so I could measure it and order the correct one. I had hoped I could fit the new bearing into the P bracket with a couple of G clamps however this method proved a failure, I’ll have to ask Ray nicely if I can borrow his tool again (I would try to make a tool but I’ll hopefully not have to do it again for 10 years!). Lastly the sterngland, the Ballads gland is a lip seal type, well two seals with EP90 keeping everything lubed. I had already fitted new viton twin lip seals (with stainless springs) and I had bought a new rubber that fits onto the prop tube one end and holds the seals the other. This new rubber wouldn’t fit in place of the old one, it looks like the last time the rubber had been changed there must have been a leak and resin had been poured around it. This resin was stopping the new rubber being pushed on so I need to dremel enough of it out to slide the new uncompressed rubber and clamp in place (Fingers crossed it doesn’t leak).

So out of three things I had to do I only managed one, I had managed to get a few other jobs done. Replace the cockpit drain hoses, bilge pump hose and strum box. Clean the cockpit lockers of their years or dirt, grease and grime, I’m hoping this will reduce some of the musky diesel old boat funk smell. Clean the rigging screws, check some replacement wooden bits I had made, see what I need to mount my new midship cleats as well as a few other mundane things.

One thing I did do was cut out a template of a Rocna 15 and test fit it on the bow to see how it looks. I have a CQR with 30m of 8mm chain at the moment but the anchor is showing its ageĀ  and it’s not a great amount of chain, especially for Bristol Channel tidal range so I might upgrade it at some point. I wasn’t sure if the 15 would be to big for the bow but it fits quite well, I’ll have to get a new bow roller made to suit, probably mounting it on the port side so I can keep the existing roller for a snubbing line. I’ve been mulling over the anchor thing a bit and have flittered between a Rocna 10kg with 50m of 7mm chain which would increase the scope and would keep me pretty well planted for the small amount of anchoring that I’ll probably do, but it would also keep the weight at the bow about the same as it is now if not slightly less. But… they say you if you want to sleep soundly then buy the biggest anchor you can, and I don’t want to be crapping myself sitting out a blow thinking I might drag (especially as I don’t have a windlass to help reset). So I thought maybe go for the Rocna 15 but keep the 30m of 8mm chain I already have but buy 100m of 14mm octoplait to use to extend it which sounds like a plan. I may upgrade the chain to 50m as that seems a better amount, I do plan on taking Sundance further afield and I may not be able to get into a marina so I think it’s best to be prepared. I’m thinking that the weight from the extra 20m of chain chain can be offset by not having a windlass (although having a windlass does sound appealing). Who knows eh, I think the 15kg Rocna, using the chain I have already is the way I’ll go but regardless I need to get some octoplait even with the setup I have at the moment.

Here’s some more pics of that wooden Rocna!


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