Category Archives: Plastic

New windlass

Our windlass, a Simpson-Lawrence SL-519, has been running fine. While a creature comfort, any electric windlass has some disadvantages;

  • Requires engine to run to operate
  • Manual back-up is painfully slow
  • No feel for how hard the anything is stuck
  • If anything gets stuck and fuse is triggered, it requires  a trip below to reset the fuse
  • Adds to general complication of boat

This got us thinking about a manual double-action, two-geared Simpson-Lawrence SL-555 Sea Tiger. When we happened to stumble on one, brand new (!), from Trafalgar Yacht Services (www.westerly-yachts.co.uk), the project somehow started realizing itself. Especially when we saw from the original drawings of the HR41, that Olle Enderlein had intended the windlass to be located aft of the bow locker; just were we felt it would be better situated (mainly for getting weight aft and a better drop for the chain into the chain locker.

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Olle Enderlein, who designed the HR41 in 1975 and more than 120 other boats between 1946 and 1987, intended the windlass to be located just aft of the chain locker

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Base for windlass on bowsprit

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Epoxying new oversized holes

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Fiberglassing new hawse pipe running thru forecabin. The two forward bolts are centered in the bulkhead between the forecabin and bow locker

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40mm oak beam glassed in, taking the two aft bolts

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Mahogany covering of oak beam and hawse pipe

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Removing old base and preparing for new teak planking

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Bulkhead thickness increased from ca 15 to 45 mm in order to accommodate washer diameter of forward bolts of windlass. The added plywood, epoxied over with fiber glass, is also glassed to the underside of the deck.

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Job finished.

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… and then we had to sew a cover.

 

Rudder post cover

On the HR41, the rudder post exits thru the aft deck, allowing an emergency tiller to be fitted. The problem is that water enters between the bronze axle and the nylon bushing and soaks the upper side of the head liner in the aft cabin. Water also runs on top of the liner and onto the inside of the hull, onto the bunks. Admittedly, only a problem in heavy rain or large following seas.

The solution is simple; build a cover. One small problem; the head liner either has to be cut in two or the rudder post has to come out (the post is fitted into a hole in the liner…).

Perfect timing to fix this was when we were renovating the rudder and had to take the rudder post out anyway. And then we cut the liner in two, so we can remove it more easily in the future.

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Not so dry head liner

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Rudder post exit disassembled

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Always nice to see the solid deck construction of Hallber-Rassy. Here before epoxying the scraped out Divinycell.

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New rudder post bushing made by MoS2-nylon, thanks to www.profilplast.se is in place.

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Cover, made from PVC pipe covered with epoxied fiber glass.

Bow thruster control panel

The ‘old’ control panel of our Vetus bow thruster short circuited because of water entering the circuit board. Not good; the thruster started running suddenly and had to be switched off by means of the main circuit breaker. Thankfully, Vetus replaced it under warranty.

At the same time, we took the opportunity to go for the new a slimmer panel. The old, square and somewhat big panel had been mounted where fingers easily caught between it and the steering wheel. Also, the sheets sometimes got caught on it. So, we built a better housing for the new panel.

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Old, huge-ish panel

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Building housing for new panel

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Rudder renovation

 

Since we bought Anna, we have noticed a ‘clunk’ from the rudder, indicating some play between the gudgeons and pins. During the summer of 2015, the sound seemingly increased and we decided to do something about it. Hindsight being 20/20, we may not have done it yet, had we known that the play was only 1.5-2 mm.

The rudder is fixed to the skeg/hull in two places. Each place is made up of two gudgeons, one fitted to the skeg and rudder respectively, and a 35mm pin joining the two gudgeons. There is also a rudder post fixed to the top of the rudder (the rudder post has a cone with pin slot and thread and is fixed into the rudder fitting by a nut). All items are bronze. All fittings are puttied over.

This is how we went about fitting new pins:

  1. Remove putty covering the two gudgeons on the rudder. Do not remove putty from rudder outside the gudgeons.
    Lessons learned: We also removed the putty from the gudgeons on the skeg; not needed. We used a chisel to remove the putty; better cut with a small (Dremel?) disc around the gudgeon first.
  2. Remove putty covering the rudder post nut.
    Lesson learned: We used a chisel; better use a small grinding disc first to save on putty later.
  3. Remove all fittings from rudder post (quadrant, stuffing box nut etc) inside the aft cabin.
    Lesson learned: We removed the grease pipe from the stuffing box (it had become clogged with solidified grease) to fill new grease. The nut is made of brass and had dezincified; it split when refitting.
  4. Loosen nut at bottom of rudder post. Using wedges (one from each side), push the rudder post up into the rudder fitting. Remove nut. Continue pushing rudder post up into the hull. We used short (ca 25mm long) pieces of wood which fit into the upper rudder fitting, adding a piece at a time, to drive the post up, first using the wedges and later a small crow bar.
    Since we had difficulties getting the rudder post cone to release from the rudder fitting, we drilled a hole from the front of the rudder, starting about 25 cm below the nut, angling up to meet the bottom of the post (where the nut sits). Into this hole, we inserted a steel rod allowing us to knock the post up to release from the fitting, using a small sledge hammer.
  5. Remove the three rivets fixing each of the two gudgeons to the rudder.
  6. Slide the rudder out from the gudgeons. We used a car jack to support the rudder when doing this; it weighs about 60 kgs.
  7. Remove pins and two rudder gudgeons (the two gudgeons affixed to the skeg can be left in place).
  8. We fitted slightly oversized pins, machined from a 37mm bronze axle. The holes in the gudgeons were close to perfectly round, but were slightly wider at the ends, making it necessary to machine the holes somewhat. The holes in the gudgeons on the skeg were machined using a rotary file/sander.
  9. When re-assembling, we fitted a nylon washer (thanks to www.profilplast.se) in between each set of gudgeons. We used bolts instead of rivets. To be able to press the rudder into the gudgeons (it’s a tight fit with a lot of friction), we built a simple cradle to allow pressing the rudder and skeg together (at first attempt, without the cradle, the angle of the skeg made the nylon webbing slide down).

All in all, you could probably continue with a lot more play in the gudgeons than we had. For us, the main deciding factor was the ‘clunk’ noise each time a quartering wave caught up with us and the impression that the clunk was getting louder during the previous season.

Total time taken was roughly 25 hours. With a proper workshop and better prior information, you should be able to cut this in half, obviously spread over a few days, allowing for epoxy putty and paint to harden.

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Rudder post has a cone and pin slot and is fixed into upper rudder fitting with a nut. The pin is spot welded (soldered?) into the rudder fitting.

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Rudder post nut was easy to unscrew

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Getting rudder post up out of the fitting was also easy, once you got it moving the first few millimeters…

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We drilled first few millimeters of each rivet; they could then be knocked out. We replaced the 6mm rivets with 8 (10?) mm bolts

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The fiber glass had delaminated slightly underneath one gudgeon

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Grease line nut split when reassembling

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Gudgeons are substantial; probably you could machine these 3-4 times before you need new ones. Original pins are 35 mm diameter

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To press the rudder into the gudgeons, we made a simple cradle

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As we used bolts instead of rivets, the bolt heads and nuts can be seen underneath the putty

 

Tailor-made dinghy

When we bought Anna, she had a nice little hard dinghy in davits. However, Anna’s 41 ft on deck, increased to about 50 ft when taking both the bowsprit and dinghy in davits into consideration. For us, that was a bit too much to handle, especially in crowded Danish ports. The davits also made it difficult to bear off at the stern. Also, when moored alongside and reversing on a spring, the dinghy often hit the dock. Another contributing factor was that when crossing open water of several days, we prefer not to keep the dinghy in the davits, but instead keep it before the mast, which makes the foredeck a bit crowded and creates some windage.
So we decided to get rid of the davits, but instead of the obvious route of solving the dinghy problem with an inflatable, we put together a dinghy with a detachable transom that fits snugly around the superstructure before the mast. Cost of material roughly USD 700 (mainly West epoxy and 7mm plywood) and about 100-150 man-hours building time.

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A snug fit over the superstructure; minimal added windage.

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The fit around the superstructure also means that a minimum of the foredeck is used.

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Using the gennaker halyard, the dinghy is turned over to allow fitting of transom.

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A simple foam gasket and ten M8 bolts make the transom watertight and quick to fit.

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Transom has a cut-out for kedging out an anchor. Double oarlock positions to allow proper rowing position depending on number of person onboard.

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The shape is perhaps a bit unusual, but with a flat bottom with a moderate rocker, she is very stable while at the same time being easy to turn.

Compass bubble

On Anna, we have a pedestal compass, marked “Henry Browne & Sons, Barking & London, Sestrel, 17854IV”. Late 2014, a bubble, about 40mm in diameter, suddenly appeared in the compass. A small bubble is not a big deal, but this was sufficiently large to make me worry about possible condensation in the air space. Also, filling a compass is done in a matter of minutes, right?

After researching what to fill the compass with I tried to find Isopar (M or L); no luck. So I settled for petroleum paraffin (C10C13), which is sold as lamp oil. The often recommended baby oil is not suitable (and in any case more expensive) as it starts to go opaque below approc -15 degrees C; it’s not often that it gets that cold in southern Sweden, but it happens.

Looking back, this is how the work went:

  1. Remove bow thruster control panel (to get to the screws holding the ‘steel cage’).
  2. Remove steel cage surrounding compass (to get the compass out of the pedestal).
  3. Remove compass.
  4. Clean and epoxy holes in pedestal for steel cage (had started to work loose).
  5. Drill new holes in epoxy, once hardened.
  6. Sand and varnish teak trim surrounding compass.
  7. Remove old varnish on steel cage and polish.
  8. Scrape, sand, prime and paint compass cover.
  9. Polish out scratches from compass dome.
  10. Make gaskets to fit between steel cage and pedestal. Hopefully prevents it from working loose in the future.
  11. Solder new red diode onto compass night light cable.
  12. Fill compass.
  13. Refit compass, steel cage and bow thruster control panel.

Again, never think about how much work it will take to fix something on the boat. Just do it!

No, baby oil is not a good idea, at least not in Scandinavia. After half an hour in the freezer, it went from clear to slush.

No, baby oil is not a good idea, at least not in Scandinavia.

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The oil was simply poured into the hole.

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Might as well touch up the varnish on the teak trim. Steel cage can be seen bottom left.

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And better scrape off that loose paint on the cover.

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And those holes are starting to get bigger, making the steel cage a bit loose. Better expoxy them. And those non-matching screws have to be fixed.

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And the new epoxy-PU paint on the dome cover doesn’t want to harden, so it goes in the oven.

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This stuff, Xerapol plastic polish, bought from www.svb.de, works great to polish out minor scratches

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And a new diode, instead of the old and burnt-out bulb, gets soldered onto the night light cable (the cable should be twisted to prevent interference with the compass). Almost done now…

Storm damage repairs finished

As planned, the repairs of Anna were finished by the end of March and today she was taken down to the harbour from the winter storage warehouse. I’ve ordered a new sprayhood (dodger) and stainless steel tubes (the original are made of aluminium) – supposed to be finished before the end of April.

The repair works were made by Öresunds Marin in Höganäs, Sweden. Nice job and finished on time. Our insurance company, Länsförsäkringar, has handled the claim in the best possible way – we are very satisfied with them.

 

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Removing old echo sounder

The old echo sounder transducer was immersed in oil contained in a fiber glass box glassed to the hull under the floor boards in the forepeak. Removing this makes for easier routing of hoses and cables and frees up a little storage space as well.

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Old oil immersion box for transducer. Valve in the foreground is the only stainless steel one, all the others are made of bronze. Some day this will be changed too, but it is still in very good condiiton.

Bow prop installation

The previous owner of our boat is running a business (www.joinme.se) in Southern Sweden focusing on indoor winter storage of pleasure boats as well as technically advanced maintenance jobs, such as installation of new engines, electronics etc. Just before we bought his Hallberg-Rassy 41, he had fitted a brand new bow prop (or is it called a bow thruster?), a 8hp Vetus BOW95, including some immense cables running from the battery bank.

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Measuring all the time, with a laser…

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… and cutting once.