Maintenance, Cleaning and thinking

I’m not in a part of the country that is known for sailing, or really boating.  Denver does have a sailing/boating community but the local stores don’t see enough business to stock necessary items – even the local West Marine is REALLY bad about stocking.  I seem to have purchased the last 3M Restorer & Wax in the entire Jefferson & Denver counties.  I was actually rather surprised I found the bottle in an Ace Hardware.  I go to the store to get other items and there is still a big VOID on the shelf – guess the store only gets one bottle every couple of years.  I also have not had any joy in finding 3M Ultra Performance Paste WaxThe local West Marine doesn’t even stock it!  I’m now in the process of making a special order to get these items as I still need to complete buffing out the cockpit and then I’d like to put a coat of wax on the entire boat before heading to Puget Sound.

I’ve scraped off the worse of the trailer’s rust and treated it with Rustoleum to keep the old Trailrite rolling a bit longer.  The trailer’s lights were very dead (the wires had broken and most of the LEDs had quit working.  A new wiring harness and lights are now in place – good and BRIGHT!

painted trailer

I’ve mostly finalized how I’m going to upgrade the electrical system:

  • battswitchadding two USB ports: one has two 2.5-AMP sockets and the second has two 5-AMP sockets.
  • adding a digital 12V monitor.
  • adding second 12V port.
  • adding a solar panel (30W) and a charge controller.
  • the existing distribution panel was ‘home built’ buy Jerry’s crew back in ’83.  The wiring isn’t up to modern speck so I’m going to re-wire the entire thing.
  • adding a negative bus bar – the current setup in the boat is just one of the bolts that holds the panel to the v-berth half-bulkhead acts as a central ground for all components (yeah, a bit scary).
  • adding a stern light.
  • installing a new masthead light (the current one has exceeded its lifespan).

I have most of the stuff needed to do the project in-hand.  Still waiting for some items to arrive.

I’ve pulled all the halyards, sheets and miscellaneous lines off the boat. They will get a mild cleaning (the Woolite treatment) and I’ll then assess what is OK and what needs to be replaced.  I’d forgotten how large the sheets and main halyard are: 3/8″!  These are way oversized for the boat, especially for the genoa (a light wind sail).  I’ll use what I have if lines are still serviceable after cleaning.  The main halyard and sheets should be 1/4″.  The main sheet & jib halyard should be 5/16″.  The topping lift is also 1/4″ where 3/16″ is adequate.

I’ve gone over the standing rig and need to do a couple of things –

  • the boat has always had a double reef main and the mast is set up for this though the boom, strangely, isn’t set up for two reefs.
  • I had the main modified to have a loose foot and need to upgrade the boom outhaul to take advantage of the now easily adjusted sail draft.
  • some boat parts seem to have gone missing (I likely put them someplace for ‘safe keeping’ and they cannot be found).  Because of this I need to purchase a couple of blocks to get the backstay adjuster working again.
mainsheet traveler
Sweet Pea’s mainsheet traveler with inadequate and difficult to use Clamcleats.

The mainsheet traveler has a poor setup using plastic clamcleats to hold the control lines.  I’ll be upgrading to Harken camcleats.  This requires removing the old, fiberglassing closed the old mounting holes and then installing the Harken units.

After the running and standing rigs are reconditioned I’ll raise the mast, a bit of ‘driveway sailing’, and confirm all is as it should be.

tired bottom paint
Tired bottom paint.

I’ve also decided to paint the bottom with Pettit Hydrocoat.   The bottom paint is a ‘have to do’ as some of the existing antifouling paint on the boat has come off or is flaking (was applied 9+ years ago by the prior owner).  If I was going for cruise of just a few weeks I wouldn’t worry about it, but SWEET PEA will be in the water for 5+ months in the heavy fouling waters of the Salish Sea.  This is going to be the least enjoyable job I have to do on the boat – dirty and TOXIC!



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