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Chainplates : Before and After

Posted on Tue 31 May 2011 in Projects

Here’s a series of shots of polishing and installing our chainplates. We polished them by hand starting by cleaning them with water and a scouring pad, then sanding them with progressively higher grained papers. The first go was with 100 grit and we ended up at 1200 grit. Mounting the paper to a board or a table was helpful, but this is intense labor and is very hard on the hands. However, paying someone to do it ridiculous. We did not put the chainplates (or any of the rigging we polished) on an actual polishing wheel, the 1200 grit seemed like it was as good as we were going to get.

As as DIY projects go, this is pretty easy one and just requires sandpaper, a bunch of free time (or late nights in my case) and a desire to stick through it.

Thanks to Port Townsend Rigging for the tips and the encouragement!

DSC_7136 Here’s the chainplate pulled and lying on the deck when we were in the paint shed back in November 2010.

DSC00323 After cleaning them up we marked where the deck would be and covered that area with butyl.

DSC00340 The butyl was then tamped down by hand until it was a bit recessed to the deck (no shot of that)

image The small space was then filled with Sika Flex, the chainplate covers were installed and any excess Sika Flex was cleaned off.

DSC00342 A shot of the bolted on chainplate and the green bonding wire (which were also replaced) from below decks.

These pictures were taken in May 2010 and thus far we have had no chainplate leaking. (knock on teak)

Relocate, Rebuild and Rebed the Mainsheet winch

Posted on Thu 09 December 2010 in Projects

New winch layout

Backing plates

In it’s original, more outboard location, a handle in the mainsheet winch could only be rotated about 1/2 way round because it hit the dodger. to grind in the sheet you had to saw back and forth on the handle. I like to get up on the winch and grind so it needed to move inboard. In order to make that work and have the line run fair (shout out to Brion Toss) I added a cheek block just where the line comes under the dodger to align it to the new winch location (as suggested by Chris Tutmark). This block is mounted to the ridge in the cabin top and through a custom shaped starboard block I made. The rope clutch is also a new addition and replaces the cleat originally used for the mainsheet, it is also mounted on a starboard block I shaped. I added a fairlead for the traveler line so it didn’t rub so hard on the dodger canvas and although it is not in this picture there is a cleat for this line on the deck as well.

The picture on the right shows the backing plates, washers and fender washers used to back the various pieces of hardware all of which are a major upgrade from the very small washers used prior. All of the holes were drilled larger than needed, epoxied closed to protect the core and re-drilled to the proper size. Everything was bedded using Sika Flex 291.

A new mainsheet was made out of 1/2” Samson Trophy Braid because it’s a bit softer in the hand. This has also been installed. There are now only three original lines on the boat, the furling line and the job sheets and they are on the list.

Windvane Comparison

Posted on Fri 24 September 2010 in Systems - Rigging

Here’s a brief comparison of different windvanes I did including prices

Dawn up the mast

Posted on Tue 03 August 2010 in Destinations - Shilshole Bay Marina

Here’s a shot of Dawn at the masthead installing the stop on the sail track as the sun sets at Shilshole Bay Marina. You can see a close-up here.


I would have installed it when the mast was in the yard, but it was missing for awhile. Now it’s installed back where it belongs.

Big Weekend

Posted on Mon 21 June 2010 in Projects

I love to update the blog with checkboxes as we go. Feels good to celebrate the wins and document our progress. As you know we’re working toward stepping our masts on Thursday 24 June.

I got all the pins from Andersen Machine Shop in Port Townsend and they were beautiful. Had a slight mishap with them last week because I put in an incorrect dimension (too long) for some of the pins, but with PT all mail is basically overnight so we were able to send them back have them cut down and get them back in 2 days! I highly recommend Andersen Machine Shop. Olaf is a very nice guy and was very helpful. He made our pins on his CNC machine, they look awesome.  With pins in hand I was able to attach all of the rigging to the masts! I did all that in the pouring “Junary” rain we’re experiencing in Seattle this summer so no pics yet.

On the boat Dawn has been working on the ash battens to line the aft berth, v-berth and open lockers.


First she’s lining all our lockers with Reflectix Insulation which looks like aluminum foil bubble wrap. We’re laying it in loose along the hull NOT gluing it down. We don’t ever want to have to scrape the hull for a month again. The insulation will keep a tad warmer here in Seattle and a tad cooler in the Tropics. It’s pretty cheap, you can get it at Home Depot and its easy to work with.

Here’s what the battens look like when they are installed. Dawn as always does gorgeous work when I stay out of the way. ;-)


The only thing left to do before we step the masts on Thursday are to install the mast steps and make some leather grommets for the wiring exits on the main mast. After that I’ll remount the booms and winches along with a couple other things. Right after we tune the rig we should be able to sail again!

Custom Clevis Pins Ordered

Posted on Tue 08 June 2010 in Systems - Rigging

I only need this pins and then we can re-step the masts!!


+----------------------+----------------------+----------------------+ | A | .625” (5/8”) | .269” (7/16”) | +----------------------+----------------------+----------------------+ | B | .719” (23/32”) | .563” (9/16”) | +----------------------+----------------------+----------------------+ | C | .125” (1/8”) | .125” (1/8”) | +----------------------+----------------------+----------------------+ | D | .875” (7/8”) | .625” (5/8”) | +----------------------+----------------------+----------------------+ | E | 1.125” (1-1/8”) | .75” (3/4”) | +----------------------+----------------------+----------------------+ | F | .125” (1/8”) | .125” (1/8”) | +----------------------+----------------------+----------------------+ | Material | 316 SS | 316 SS | +----------------------+----------------------+----------------------+ | Quantity | 8 | 6 | +----------------------+----------------------+----------------------+

This post was updated 21 June 2010 with accurate pin size information for the 7/16" pins.

Installing Rebedding Chainplates

Posted on Tue 25 May 2010 in Projects



  • The chainplates were previously pulled and cleaned up with a Scrotchbrite pad and water.
  • They were then polished by sanding with progressively finer grades of sand paper starting at 120 grit and going up to 1200 grit.
  • DSC00328 DSC00324 DSC00323 Plates were then dry fitted and marked with tape so we knew how thick the desk was and where to apply the butyl.
  • DSC00342 DSC00338 Butyl rope caulk which we got from New Found Metals when we purchased our potlights was wrapped around the chainplate and then it was inserted into the deck again and through bolted. The butyl you see sticking out here was pushed down into the deck.
  • image The chainplate covers were then placed down with 3M 4200 and screwed into place.

We’ve had some really good rain and no leaks through the chainplates. The chainplates were previously hidden behind teak enclosures, we plan to leave them open so we can inspect them and notice any issues sooner. Plus look how shiny they are !! Dawn did most of the work on this one, I only did some late night sanding. Did I mention how awesome she is?

Things are coming along !!

Posted on Tue 25 May 2010 in Projects


Dawn has finished re-installing the chainplates. She used leftover butyl from the portlight installation to seal the chainplates as they go through the deck and then put the cover plates on with 4200 and screws. The picture is is before she’s pushed all the butyl in.

She’s also been working to fair up the mast partner (where the mast go through the deck into the salon before attaching to the keel) by laying on epoxy and sanding it down. This seals the core of the deck and provides a smooth surface for when we then seal the mastdeck opening with Spartite. Dawn has been kicking much butt!!


I’ve been finishing up the electrical installations on the masts, attaching all of the other bits that go up there and attaching the rigging to the masts. Along with that I’ve also been doing some Amsteel splicing for fixed sections of the running rigging. This is a pretty simple bury splice that is secured by thru-stitching and then whipping it. Samson has great splicing instructions on their website, this was a Class II 12 Strand Eye Splice (PDF). I didn’t use a fiddle as they show, I used Brion Toss’ Splicing Wands which are absolutely awesome! You can buy them online or probably at your local chandlery.


At this point I’m a couple of properly sized pins and some thru bolts away from finishing up at the yard. Finding the right length of clevis pins is proving to be more of a pain than I had imagined. I don’t know why manufacturer’s don’t make each pin diameter in all the necessary lengths. Now I know my old pins were so horribly long.

I will will also be having <The Yard> make me a new bolt that thru-bolts the main lower shroud tangs. It’s a custom lathed part. This pic is of the original one after it was cut off. Here is one of each side when it was installed.

All of this is goodness and will let us put the rig back up. I am going to order the new halyards this week as well. Once the rig is up we’ll finish up the booms and mount the winches. The main goal though is to get all of the parts and tools out of 3 places and get them all on to the boat so I can work in one place and not run around so much. Progress happens, and when it does we love it !!

Chainplate Installation

Posted on Mon 10 May 2010 in Projects

This is our chainplate. There are many like it, but this one is ours.

“This is our chainplate. There are many like it, but this one is ours.”

Dawn worked on the chainplates this weekend and here’s proof of progress. For our friends and family who don’t have boats, the chainplates bolt to the boat below decks and are the mechanical connection of the rig (the sail part of the boat) to the hull.

When we took the rig down we pull the chainplates and polished them. Getting them nice and clean not only looks good but the smoother and shinier they are the less likely they are to corrode in the future. It takes a LOT of elbow grease to sand them with progressively finer and finer sand papers all the way down to 1200 grit.

If you look at the picture above you will the part sticking and a plate screwed to the deck. The plates are actually a separate piece of metal. The verticalstructural piece you see sticking up is about 18” long and extends down below decks and it bolted to the boat. Dawn use butyl rope caulk left over from our portlight installation to seal the hole and then put the chainplate covers on with 3M 4200.

This is a sign we’re getting close to restepping the masts which means we’ll have a sailboat again!

Running Rigging – How much line do you need?

Posted on Mon 19 April 2010 in Projects

I just spent a good amount time tonight going over my spreadsheet for the running rigging. This sheet includes every line on the boat both ones I need to replace immediately before the masts go back up (topping lifts, running back, etc) and lines that I can wait to do when we get our sails. It also includes all the blocks, eyes, and shackles. Obviously it also includes the diameter, length of line, type of line, etc.

The thing you also want factor in is the type of splices you’ll be doing and how much length you need for that. For shorter lines this can be a significant percentage portion of the overall length you need.

For example, I need a 6’ x 5/16” Amsteel line with an eye in each end. A single Class 2 12 Strand Eye Splice (NOTE: how long is a fid) in this line takes 16.5” of line  and in this example I’m going to have 2 such splices so while the total working line I’ll end up with will be 6’ long I’ll need 8’ 9” of line in order to make the splice. I am leaving out the distance to wrap the eye, but in this case that is nominal.

Ideally when you were buying line online they’d have calculators that include the splice.