Petestack Blog

2 July 2021

Retiring to Fly!

Filed under: Sailing — admin @ 11:07 pm

Some 15 months ago I started to half-heartedly get back to a few wee jobs outstanding from Fly’s big refit as it became increasingly apparent that Covid-19 restrictions were likely to prevent me launching with enough of a season left to make it worthwhile, and wrote:

So I was looking forward so much to getting Fly in the water this spring after 13 full seasons ashore followed by that late, late, post-refit launch last year. But now we all know this year’s just not like other years, who knows what’s happening?

And, now we all know what happened, I’m aiming to catch up and get her back in the water again ASAP. But isn’t this July again, you might ask… why so late and what’s changed to make it worth it this time? In a nutshell, I’ve just taken early retirement, don’t have to go back to school in August, and can sail when I’d normally have been working! So I was patient with the early part of this year and similar continued restrictions ruling out the necessary involvement of others, knowing I could hit the boat in early July and still have a worthwhile season left to both enjoy for its own sake and give some new sails and gear a good shakedown with a serious trip next year in mind. So some of what you see below was started last year and just finished just now, but I’ve been at it solid for the past week and am now close to being in a launchable state.

The first thing here is the circular cutout in the foredeck, made on launch day in 2019 when it became apparent that the furler gear wouldn’t fit the previous space even with the actual drum down in the well as intended. So what I’ve done here (all last year) is just tidy up that unexpected cut to make it a touch bigger and more elegantly symmetrical (the difference between the second and third photos is epoxy-coating the exposed wood edges):

Next we have a through-deck double block and stand-up block in the well to bring the furler line to deck level, where it’s led aft by Spinlock eyes on the forward two stanchions and a matching block on the third. The photos are hopefully largely self-explanatory, but it’s worth pointing out that the plywood contraption clamped in the well was to mimic the lead from the drum to determine the fore-and-aft position of the stand-up block and I reworked the walls of the deck slot with thickened epoxy to get the best possible fit for the through-deck block after filing out a couple of unnecessary corners when first adjusting it:

If I told you how much thought and effort had gone into testing and implementing a solution for the chamfered edges of the new acrylic washboards not meeting tidily where they join, you might say ‘overthinking’, but this was nothing like as simple as it first appeared! While it was obvious that they needed to run in narrower channels, my first attempt testing spacer strips of nominally (?) 3mm plastic last year foundered when my test gluing of two pieces to make a double thickness strip for the port side proved the plastic to be just about unglueable. So I revisited the problem this week with hardwood strips, finding 7.2mm for port and 3.3mm for starboard to be perfect apart from the boards binding at the top where the moulding actually leans back slightly into the channels. So I finally decided that short strips just where needed were perfectly adequate to hold the boards in conjunction with the moulding shape elsewhere, so that’s what I made, epoxy-coating them for both longevity and to limit swelling. To which I might just add that I was glad to have my Wolfcraft fine-nose clamps when sticking them in place, and you can also see the new Blue Performance winch handle pockets fitted this week to replace the Lewmar ones from last year that wouldn’t take my new one-touch winch handles:

Finally (for now), some routine antifouling shots. The blue 3M masking tape is expensive, but absolutely worth the money for its superior performance. The keel shot shows that it’s not unusual to find bits that need sorting at just the wrong time, and the shots of the dropped trailer prop how I’ve learned to be very careful doing this (it was just this afternoon and I’ve already put this one most of the way back up tonight in case anything moves):

And that’s it for now. As things stand, I’m expecting to get the boat towed down the road sometime next week for a launch ASAP thereafter, but sure that’ll be featured here too when it’s happened! :-)

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