Tuesday, 8 March 2011

A-frame & more work done...

VERY busy Sunday this week...

With a little time on my hands, and as a result of finding myself in B&Q last weekend with access to some wood, I had knocked up a simple A frame last weekend (job # 12 done!) and was surprised how quickly I managed to put it together, and how cheap it was...

Two seven foot lengths of 2" x 3" set me back a fiver (they were on special), a couple of 10mm eye bolts was the same - drill the two lengths of wood about a couple of inches from the end and bolt them together with the eye bolt and a couple of washers to protect the wood.

On "Papillon", the seven foot length was perfect, as it reached from the anchor point on the side deck to the anchor roller perfectly...

I threaded a couple of 8mm ropes through the holes in the other ends and tied the ends of the frames relatively tightly to some cleats I have on the side deck just in front of the stays - on the Jouster we used a stanchion in much the same position. This gives an anchored pivot point for the frame..

Lay the frame flat on the deck with the eye bolt eye facing downwards and just above the bow roller..

Attach the main sheet, or handy billy, that you are using to provide the lifting - one end to the eye bolt, the other end to the bow roller. Then take either the forestay (which on Papillon has a roller foil), or jib sheet, and attach that to the eye bolt as well) - that then provides continuous linkage between foredeck and mast - with the frame providing the fulcrum, and a lever, in the middle.

If you decide to use the forestay have someone brace the mast while you connect or disconnect it to attach it to the frame - alternatively - use the jib sheet to provide a temporary forestay while you do it (or do as I did, and do both!)

Frame in operation...

After that it was just a matter of pulling or easing out the ropes you use to provide the leverage - mainsheet, or handy billy.

We started off by using it to raise the mast on my neighbours boat which is a Westerly Jouster - you may remember that we weren't too successful lowering this at the end of last season [click here] but suffice to say it was a far better raising than it was a lowering..! His boat is bigger than mine so it was a good test of the frame.

He used his main-sheet for the leverage, and because the mast was down we used his fore-stay as the lifting point. The mainsheet gave 4 to 1 leverage, and that was only just enough as the owner said he would have preferred a little more leverage as he couldn't have pulled any harder.

We then swapped to my boat so that I could lower the mast - and did exactly the same in reverse... job done - very, very, pleased how easy it was to do, and this means that I can now realistically launch from the club side of the bridge, motor under the bridge, and then put the mast up when on my mooring... it also means I'm not tied to quiet times in the pub car park - any weekday with a half decent tide will do.. much much less stressful!

So - why take the mast down?? Basically, I have two pieces of work I'd like/need to do before I can launch, one of them is easier to do with the mast down, and one them needs it down...

First job needs it down, and that's to complete the checks to get all the lights working (job #10 on the list); bro-in-law came over last weekend and we tried them out - only the deck light is working so that leaves the steaming light, masthead port/starboard, and anchor light to get going. I'll check the bulbs this Friday, but he's coming over again on Saturday morning as we might need to do some re-wiring...

Second job is the glass-fibre'ing I need to do for job #18.. having the mast down takes pressure off the shrouds and makes it easier to crank the deck down on the hull... I'm going to take a half day this week to go and pick up the necessary supplies...

Elswehere,
  • the outboard has been serviced (#19 done)
  • I started work on the windows (#21) - half done, will finish them this weekend...
  • I'm also going to find some material to replace the curtains (#1 morphed into that)...
  • SWMBO has advised me that she is going to steam clean the existing cushions - Heaven knows they need it!


Phew... be pleased when I'm done....

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