The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

Retire early, be passionate, don't worry, die poor

Friday, March 28, 2014

Maximizing Time, Minimizing Expenses

Minimalism and not giving a hoot about a "delusional materialistic life" has never felt so sweet. It's about time I put on the Kerouac hat I discarded some twenty years ago when I made the foolish mistake of switching to a "normal" life.

In keeping with my serious commitment to maximize my time (LIFE) and to minimize expenses (WORK), instead of paying over 800 euros for a new self-tailing winch, I decided to buy two small second-hand Barlow 20 winches on Ebay. 

On my trip from Sagres to Sines, Portugal, my Barlow 24 halyard winch seized. Later, when I dismantled the winch, I found a broken pawl, a failed bearing and, amazingly, a missing part whose name eludes me. Incredible, Barlows are so good they don't even need all the parts to function for 14 years.

Here's my winch setup. The barely visible winch near the bottom right corner is an Arco 43 2-speed.
Barlow 26 winches

And here are the Barlow 20 winches I just bought on Ebay from the US (300 euros including shipping and nasty import duties).
Barlow 20 winches

I'll install this matching pair on the coach roof, mount the bronze Barlow 20 on the mast for the topping lift and use the Arco 43 to replace the failed Barlow 24.

The Arco gives me more muscle for the halyards, I will have a pair of matching winches on the coach roof - instead of the current ridiculous mismatch - plus an extra winch for the topping lift. And I SAVE over 500 euros for my next trip to the Algarve. Minimizing is the way to go.


  1. Congrats! Now you have more funds for the bruskies on your next trip! Plus old winches are simpler to take apart and service (hint hint).
    Did I ever mention I lived in Lowell for 3 years? Kerouac is still running in the veins! I've had a few pops with his wife Sofia's brother, plus another guy who said he clocked him (for being an asshole one night) and he landed "just about over there..."

    1. You lived in Lowell, that's amazing! Of course, he was long gone by fact he was long gone before he went.
      Now, there's a perfect exemple of "Zen to Zero". Even so, the man was the anti-TV, anti-middle class prophet who sadly died eating food out of a can while watching a ridiculous gameshow on TV. Life is complicated.