In mid-May we sailed from our home port in southern Sweden, via the Kiel canal, outside the Frisian islands, along the English coast, up the Irish sea, through the Caledonian canal and were back home by early August.
Taking down the sails and getting ready to enter harbour only to find that something (discharged batteries?) prevents the starter motor from turning over at the usual pace is a somewhat tiring experience. In our case, the problem wasn’t discharged batteries but one of the brushes in the starter motor that had gotten stuck in its holder. Luckily, we had an extra brush holder complete with brushes on board; it took a bit more than an hour to change and the holder with brushes cost about USD 15.
Some time in its almost 40 year history, Anna had been fitted with two very odd ceiling lighting fixtures; one in the forward head and one in the passageway between the salon and forepeak. They really ruin the beautiful interior of the boat and gives it a haphazard look. But we’ve been searching in vain for the old style. Then suddenly they just popped up on some web site in Germany.
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 requiresÂ 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.
On our quest against corrosion, we have fitted a grounding plate, which takes the grounding wire instead of being connected to the ground thru shore power. Our solution follows the basic concept by Magnus Sterky; http://www.batteknik.se/landstrom/manual2.pdf
We’ve sailed surrounded by lightning several times. While impressive, especially at night, we have been very aware that we do not have any way for lightning to get out of the boat easily. After reading up on different solutions, this is what we built;
- A copper strip (150×6 cm) on the outside of the hull, as close as possible to the vertical line of the main mast
- A bronze thru hull post. This is what the copper strip is bolted onto.
- 25 mm2 tinned copper wiring from thru hull post to mast foot
- 16 mm2Â tinned copper wiring wiring from thru hull post to top and middle shrouds
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove the three rivets fixing each of the two gudgeons to the rudder.
- Slide the rudder out from the gudgeons. We used a car jack to support the rudder when doing this; it weighs about 60 kgs.
- Remove pins and two rudder gudgeons (the two gudgeons affixed to the skeg can be left in place).
- 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.
- 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.
Every once in a while, when working on one of the many things on our never-ending to do list, I come to think of the ship of Theseus.