THE DREADED BUBBLES
Whoever attached these fittings to an expensive painted mast (see above) needs to have his grog stopped. The stainless steel machine screws have attacked the aluminum and welded themselves in place so that 1) they can’t be shifted without major surgery, and 2) corrosion is now bubbling away at the paint. (With a standard anodized spar we’d be seeing the oxidization directly.) There is simply no excuse for this. If the fastenings had been greased with some suitable agent, any action would be minimized, and the screws could be removed with diligent application. Proprietary products like Lanocote abound in every chandlery for just this kind of situation, although I still use a pot of lanolin I bought from a chandler down in the commercial docks when I was lad. You can find the stuff on the internet. It’s cheap, and you’ll be told it will make your skin beautiful into the bargain. Use it on every nonstainless nut and bolt too. Nothing will ever stick again.
EMERGENCY BILGE PUMP
One time, I burned the impeller on my main engine and ended up with an obstruction somewhere in the works. I hadn’t time to strip the heat exchanger, so I decided to bypass the raw water pump. I did so by hooking up a powerful deckwash pump to the engine water intake, connecting the output hose from the deckwash to the output hose leading from the raw water pump to the heat exchanger. I then fired up the deckwash pump and started the engine. Later, when I reconnected the raw water pump with a new impeller, I found the big pump had blasted the muck out of the heat exchanger and the cooling water ran like a mountain stream. Thinking outside the box can also save the day if your bilge pumps are struggling with a big leak. Shut the engine inlet seacock, disconnect the pipe, shove it into the bilge and start the engine. Ideally you should have a strum box ready to clap onto the end, but if needs must you’ll just have to take a chance. The main engine will shift a surprising amount of water.
What you see on the end of this halyard (as right) isn’t a beautiful Flemish Eye worked by a rigger, but it will make a big difference when you have to “mouse” a line through the mast. If the halyard has no eye on the end to attach the mouse line, don’t mess about with rolling hitches and tape. Get out the palm and needle. No special skills needed. Load the needle with whipping twine and make loops by shoving it three or four times through the rope half an inch from a burned end. For total security, finish off by whipping it round, then bury the twine deeply into the rope and cut it off at the exit point. It’ll take five minutes, but losing a halyard inside the mast through a botched connection can leave you with hours of tears. s
There was no need for this to happen
A simple mousing eye