The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

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

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sailing south...soon

The race against time continues, but I'll be sailing south soon - the latest on August 2, me thinks. 

Thursday afternoon I drove out to Peniche with my newly acquired Barlow 28 winch. It's heavy, I tell you.

Changing the bearings on the Rutland 913 wind generator was the priority. No way I'm going to run the engine to charge the batteries. Besides, I'll be leaving the boat anchored in Culatra for a while, and I need power for the anchor light. The LED bulb I'll be using won't draw much power, but the house battery is going on 7 years and not holding its load so good any more.

Rutland 913
Ready for the beheading.
I lowered the post, pulled out the turbine, cut the wires and then called Fernando the electrician. He's too busy, way too busy, so I called Luis the mechanic. Luis loves to fiddle with new gadgets so he told me to bring it on over.

Next, I dismantled the Barlow winch. It was all dried up and gummy but the gears and bearings are in great shape - must have been owned by a non-sailor. I removed the part I needed, stuck it in the other winch and installed it. 
Barlow winches
The winch operation. Nurse, hand me allen key no. 8.
Like solo sailing, solo maintenance also requires a certain ingenuity. How do you hold a nut inside the boat and turn the screwdriver on deck?
Vicegrips for boat maintenance
Vicegrips, a solo sailor's best friend.
On the way home, took the wind generator to Luis' shop and wrote down the URL for a Youtube flick for him to watch. 

Why didn't I do it myself? I already did it once years ago, but it took me all  day and I'm busy.
I crave the day when I'm not always so fuckin busy. It better happen soon.

Your boat slave...better a boat than a car, but that's just my humble opinion.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Multicolored Cats, Cheap Barlow 28 Winch and Getting the Ship Ready

I have exactly 15 minutes to write this post. That's how life is now - I'm a dog chained to a time leash!
multicolored cats
Did you know that, except for rare exceptions, only female cats have 3 colors. Here's our new Roni and Pati in the yard.
I'm not going to bore you about the new kittens, other than to say that they have consumed some of my free time (or, should I say, unfree time).

In the last regatta one of my big Barlow 28 genoa sheet winches gave up. All it needed was a sliver of bronze braised on to keep a pawl from slipping out. That would take more of my unfree time, so I had a look on Ebay and - low and behold - I found a used Barlow 28 on auction. Hold your breath. I bought it, delivered to my door yesterday, including customs charges, for a total of 70 euros. I think I deserve a break now and then.

The PLAN. The plan is/was to sail out of Peniche to the Algarve on July 22/23, with the usual three stops at Cascais, Sines and Sagres or Alvor. After getting drunk in Alvor watching the crowd of British women walking up and down the narrow streets, I'll sail to Culatra, drop my big Rocna anchor, hang out for a while and take the bus back home to take care of business.

This plan implies doing a few tasks first: rearranging my winch setup; installing new bearings in the busted wind generator; buying a LED anchor light; scraping the obscenely dirty propeller; and a few other things I can't recall right now.

If that plan falls through, I'll be leaving on August 2. Ana's birthday is on August 3. Ouch! No matter how hard I try, life just keeps getting more complicated. Damn!