The Halifax Work List, Monte Restored

28 Jun

Having done with the greasier mechanical systems, I moved on to restoring Monte.

Soon after our Halifax arrival, I reattached the vane pendulum* and went for a test sail to see how the frame, bent upwards on starboard when wrapped by the drogue bridle in a gale, affected the vane’s functionality.

Could Monte sail Mo when so out of alignment? On test day, the winds were light, but the answer was that, yes, he could. (Alignment is a funny concept on a vessel that is moving in three dimensions within two mediums, water and air.) Ops were tricky, however. The paddle required finer adjustment and seemed to have less range.

This is the point of the story at which I get to mention (again!) what a spectacular human being is Mike Scheck, owner of Scanmar International, the maker of the Monitor Windvane. Monte could sail as is, if with a bit of a limp. Moreover, there was a chance that his frame could be straightened by a metal shop in Halifax–with care, given the bend in the tube included a fold. Even so, Mike offered to send a new frame along with Joanna’s carry-on luggage. The phrase, “in for a penny, in for a pound,” comes to mind.

Mike and Randall at the Scanmar Shop in San Leandro, California. The very cool world map behind us describes the circumnavigation of Scanmar International founder, Hans Bernwall. I’m guessing he used a Monitor.

Wanting easy access to Mo’s derrière, I moved us back to the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron for a few days and went stern into a slip. Sadly, this maneuver didn’t keep me from being all thumbs. Over the course of the long afternoon required to complete the exchange, and even with Monte hanging mostly over the dock, I was able to drop into the water: five pinion bearings, six stainless steel shims, a rubber mallet, a 1/2″ spanner, a 10mm Allen wrench not required for the job–just lying around, a #2 Phillips head screwdriver, and a wooden dowel. The last of these, at least, floated, but it immediately swole to an unusable dimension and a spare had to be fetched from the forepeak.

Removing the old frame.
New frame on. Transferring the hardware.
Cutting the new, lower leg down to size.
New Monte rigged, ready and all aquiver with anticiaption.
With daylight remaining, I took the opportunity to replace Wattsy’s very worn plastic parts.
Visitors. It goes without saying.
In this case, they were friends of the family, Fred, Emily, and John.

*I’d not done this directly after the blow because reassembling the pendulum and pinion gear in a seaway is a tricky business. When the gale knocked Monte for a loop, we were approaching Halifax, and I had the luxury of riding the autopilot all the way in.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


  1. Michael Dicks

    Randall, I’m in Quebec City today after leaving Erie, Pa 4 weeks ago and headed your way. Don’t know how long you will be there but it will likely take 5 weeks to get there with lengthy stops on the Sauganay and the Gaspe peninsula. I am sailing a 46 ft Beneteau Oceanis and would love to meet you and suck up as much information as I can.


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