Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Finisterra Update

In the last couple of months we've been sailing the boat quite a bit. The stackpack system works well. It's different from typical systems in that when we're sailing it can be rolled up and secured along the boom instead of staying deployed. It's a bit more work to roll it up but I much prefer the sail unfettered by the bag and lazy jacks.

Slick stackpack contains the full battened mainsail

Awhile back I mentioned that the autopilot was not working properly. After searching the Internet for ideas on how to fix it, I removed the linear drive and rebuilt it, then reinstalled it, confident that I'd solved the problem. But I was wrong. So I've ordered a new drive which should arrive next week.

The boat came with funky pleated cloth curtains on all the portlights. I suppose they're stylish in a 1990's sort of way, but they are eight years old and at the end of their useful life. We really liked the OceanAir shades we had on the Honcho so we ordered a set from Defender and installed them last week. These shades block out 100% of the sunlight and are good looking.

One thing I've wanted to change since we got the boat was to upgrade the ground tackle system. The original equipment included a 40 LB Bruce anchor, 40 feet of 3/8" BBB chain and 150 feet of nylon rode. The new system includes a 55 LB Rocna anchor, 200 feet of 5/16" G40 chain and 150 feet of nylon rode. This requires changing the chain gypsy on the windlass. To do that, I had to remove the windlass. This is a simple matter of four bolts. When I got it out of the boat I discovered a lot of corrosion around the base of the unit. I've noticed that the shelf in the anchor locker where the windlass is mounted is often wet, either with seawater or fresh, so it's no wonder the aluminum housing of the windlass is corroded. When I re-install the unit I'll make a mounting plate out of 1/2" StarBoard to raise it up so that it never sits in water.

My winter project is to go through the exterior canvas on the boat. I'll lower the dodger by an inch or two, make some changes to the bimini and have side curtains made for it. I'll also set it up to mount solar panels to it. 

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