The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

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

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Spring that Needed Viagra

Drove to the boat thinking about a new gig writing short articles for a website. Sounds like fun but it's real work and not much boat money. Even if I worked all day pumping out articles, I'd starve. I guess that's why some activities are called gigs instead of work. Here's my first article.

Anyway, having recovered from my Berlin cold and the consequent laziness bug, I got to the boat ready to strike something off my bucket list. Walking down the pontoon in long purposeful strides I noticed that Nigel the unlucky sailor had finally left for England where he plans to sell his Bowman yawl which is already listed on yachtworld.

During Nigel's 18-month stay in Peniche he had the boat hauled out at the shipyard where the yard's highly professional workers ironed out some bugs. These guys build and repair huge and small ships and anything in between, so his boat should be in fine shape. I was saying, at the boat I ran the engine in gear for a while, shut it down and then changed the oil and filter. Hardly spilled any oil this time.
Changing the oil on a boat
Used the bag-over-the-filter trick to remove the filter with only a few spilled drops.
Kubota oil change
My highly complex oil removal kit. Cut the top part of a 5 liter water bottle, tie two garbage bags to it, slip it under the engine and unscrew the drain plug. Obviously you need a certain amount of space under the engine for it to work.
What I like about this oil-change method is that it removes practically all the old oil. I know it because even after running the engine for quite a while it remains nice and clean.

After lunch I attacked a big winch.
Servicing a Barlow 28 winch
No way any parts were going to fall in the water with this big bucket over the winch base.

Barlow 28 winch parts
All the bearings in the order I removed them so I don't forget the sequence. If I screw up, I'll know it when I open the other big Barlow 28.
I had a hard time removing the plate holding the sprockets in place. Lot's of WD-40, a screwdriver and some tapping with a hammer got the job done. 
Each gear has two pawls. The spring on one pawl was in need of some Viagra. I tried fixing it with pliers, without much success. As I fitted it one last time to the pawl, the damn thing went "ping" and disappeared. Ain't that a bitch - it didn't have enough thrust to erect the pawl but it had the balls to fly out of sight, sneaky bastard.

Luckily I have the springs from the failed Barlow 24 that are the same size. Next time I'm going to fit the springs and pawls inside a clear plastic bag. I cleaned the winch parts with old outboard engine gasoline but didn't have time to reassemble it. It won't be long before I'm sailing instead of playing with springs.


  1. "Ping!" Sneaky bastards indeed! Seems like the viagra can stay on the shelf for a while.
    But your bucket setup is awesome. Also awesome is the fact that you can stick a bottle under you engine. I indulged in a 50euro oil extractor... a cry once deal. My oil filter screws upsidedown (frickin' Brits) so there is always a little mess.
    Don't put off too long the reassembly of the winch, as I was advised to and figured out why. Thank god for schematics!
    What's with the new webpage...... no boats??

    1. Now, if I could apply my awesome little tricks to retire tomorrow, that would be genius.
      The new website is not mine, I was just asked to write articles. Maybe I'll sneak in some stuff about boats, say "top 10 reasons to own a boat" or "top 10 reasons not to own a boat".
      Your upside down oil filter makes perfect sense to Brits, that way they don't get confused about which way to screw it on.Maybe they like being original, like driving on the left side of the road.