HAUL-OUT NEWSLETTER 2- Continuing Fiona‘s Re-Fit

Long Island, November, 2003

During Fiona’s haul-out from October to approximately May of 2004 I will briefly list the work needed to get her shipshape for the next cruise.

As soon as the yard had the mast out and the rigging was removed I started work to get it ready for the sand blaster and the welder. The welder was needed because when the halyard winches were removed we found deep corrosion on the mounting plates. The corrosion has also attacked the base of two of the winches, causing them to crack. Walter (veteran of the 1995-97 circumnavigation) helped to get the winches off, his strength was needed to break loose the stainless mounting bolts. Fortunately I was able to locate second-hand winches to replace the cracked units. My friendly machinist, Bob Berg, made new mounting plates but despite many phone calls the welder has not shown up yet, neither has the sand blaster. Red and I inserted numerous pop rivets to re-secure the tube carrying the wiring. We pulled out the old wires and dragged new ones through the tube. Also I made a new bracket for the anemometer, which blew away in the roaring forties, I also found a source for a replacement anemometer itself. I removed the cosmetic filler on the boom which had bubbled due the ingress of moisture underneath. It will be replaced when the sand blaster cleans up the old paint. Three sails were repaired by Doyle and returned. I removed the swivel from the Profurl jib furler and sent it for overhaul. I ordered new couplers so that I can replace the bottom extrusion, which was damaged when the bobstay broke. So that is the state of progress on the mast, boom and accessories.

Early in the month I sketched up the new fuel tanks and solicited a couple of bids. The preferred material these days is aluminum. I decided not to use the original automobile type fuel gauges and switch instead to the ‘Tank Tender”. I had to replace the sending unit on the original tanks half a dozen times over the last twenty years because the incessant rolling of the boat underway caused the variable resistance element to wear out. The Tank Tender uses air pressure to measure the head of fuel, I had a similar system on my old boat Iona and it worked like charm with no moving parts in the tank. The tanks were made by a welder from the old country who had once made aircraft fuel tanks for Grumman. He could not believe I was not mounting a conventional fuel gauge sender but once we got that straightened out he made two beautiful-looking tanks which are now at Weeks awaiting to be Awlgriped. The yard workers repaired the ding inflicted on the keel last summer when the boat came a little too close to one of Maine’s infamous rocks.

Walter and I removed four sections of the teak railcap, the forward sections had been damaged by the bond between the hull and deck moldings separating, another consequence of the bobstay failure, I fear. The starboard bond has been repaired, but the port side still needs attention. I bought a six foot long teak plank to cut the new railcap from, that stuff is getting expensive! Three sections have been re-installed with lots of 3M 4200 caulking underneath. Walter and I removed the chain plates on the port side; they have not been off since I repaired the damage caused by the dismasting in 1988. The caulking had dried out long ago and I suspect they were a source of drips in heavy weather. Two half inch stainless carriage bolts had to be ground off because the nuts on the inside were trapped by a fiberglass tab.

The angle grinder also came in useful when the coupling from the propshaft to the engine transmission would not budge despite heat, whacking it with a sledge hammer, and applying a substantial puller. So I cut my losses and the shaft. The cutlass bearing, gland, propeller and a new shaft are all being taken care of by Bossler and Sweezey, Inc. They are also re-bushing the lower shoe of the rudder post.

Numerous small jobs occupied my spare time such as:
Watching nine hours of video tape twice in preparation for editing the trip video in December.
Removing diesel injectors for testing.
Rebuilding fresh water valve manifold.
Removing log and depth-finder transducers.
Removing SSB radio ground plates.
Rebuilding port cockpit drain through-hull valve and coupling.
Numerous visits to Bob’s machine shop to organize repairs of starboard jib sheet winch, the Aries clamping T handles, re-bush masthead sheaves, etc.
Soaking all twelve turnbuckles removed from the rigging in WD-40 and getting them to turn freely.
Removing port and starboard lifelines and ordering new ones.
Ordering a new mainsheet.
Starting to refurbish the engine monitoring system.

Work on the bent bow-platform is proceeding very slowly; in order to get the 2 inch diameter tubing in the bending machine all the cross bracing and the pulpit will have to be cut off and then re-welded when the tubes are straight. Let’s hope that works.

Until next month, Have an enjoyable holiday season, Eric


The wound inflicted on the keel by a close encounter of the Maine kind.

My friend Red inserting pop rivets to re-secure the in-mast wiring tube.

Two shiny new fuel tanks await painting.

The rudder post lower bearing with shoe removed.

The keel ding nicely repaired by the yard crew.

The propshaft in pieces with the recalcitrant coupling still attached. The pulley drives the shaft generator.

Forward section of the toe-rail exposed in order to refasten the hull-deck joint.

New teak railcap on the starboard side – plugs still need to be trimmed.

Father Neptune wishes you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS.