CRUIS­ING TIPS

SAIL - - Under Sail - with Tom Cun­liffe

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.

GUAR­AN­TEED RE­SULT

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

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