As much as we might try to delude ourselves, there’s no getting around the weather on a sailboat, not even when it’s resting soundly on two inches of gravel. I’ve run out of in-the-boat jobs (for launching, that is) and am down to one epoxy job I can do in the shop for 20 minutes at a time. The rest of the items on the launch list are on the topsides where they have been intermittently soaked for the past week and a half. This, I suppose, is the natural compliment to the artificial lake that has been flowing under my boat for the same week and a half. And I’m supposed to be in the eleventh hour of launch…
Still, things have been happening, as they’ll continue to tomorrow, as long as I get at least enough sun for a fair shot at biking out to the boat without getting dumped on. I’ve found this a good indicator of when I’ll be able to at least get a little work done in between squalls.
I took the two speed genoa winches apart yesterday. Though it doesn’t show up well under my shop lighting, they are quite beautiful in their simplicity and craftsmanship.
|A single bolt is the only fastener in the winch|
|Then out come the guts|
|These two whistle-shaped pawls spring into notches in the top of the winch shell as it rotates around on its cone bearings (the tall skinny bits poking up in the outside ring- they normally sit lower on the winch body than in this photo)|
|The shell, with notches for the pawls to drop into|
|In one direction the spring-loaded pawls can slide over the notches while in the other they catch so that the shell is unable to spin back and unfurl the line. Two sets of pawls = two speeds.|
Without any self-tailing bits to complicate things these winches are so simple that it took less than a half hour per for the surgery. Things were in such good shape that I did little more than add a bit of oil here (to stop the pawls from sticking) and a little grease there (to smooth everything up, and keep water out) before putting them back together. Now they’re smooth and silent but I have one less task left to fill up my involuntary shop time.
Here’s to hoping for sunny days sometime this week…