Sunday, December 18, 2011

Old Rivets

I like to walk the deck before every sail and set my eyes on all the pins, buckles, etc.... pull the rigging wires in little circles, testing how much play they have.... make sure shes sound before heading out. As I was inspecting the mast base I set my eyes on the boom and noticed one of the rivets that fastened the boom to the goose neck was tweaked a little sideways. I inspected the rest and was shocked to see that three of the five rivet heads were gone! That left just one intact rivet and the tweaked one holding it together...not good!
How did I miss this on previous deck-walks! It was a reminder to take my time and be thorough in the inspections. I inspected the other rivets on the boom and the heads looked good but we decided to replace em all to be safe. Jeff and I spent the evening replacing the rivets at both ends of the boom. Even though the aft end looked good I would never trust it without pulling it apart and inspecting it for corrosion etc.

After that I looked up the mast at the long row of rivets fastening the sail track.  I hope I don't have to replace all of those!
Today I broke out my assender setup and inched myself up the mast a foot at a time on a special rock climbing rope. I wanted to inspect the rest of the rivets and fittings up the mast, if some of the forty year old rivets were bad.....what of the rest?
I got to the spreaders and immediately spotted some problems. The top rivets securing the port spreader plate had failed and the plate was separating from the mast. the starboard side looked intact but a thin gap that was not there before was evidence they were stretching out and needed replacing.
I swung around to the sail track and spotted six rivets with heads missing.
Ok.....a major rivet refit is required before sailing!
I descended on the grigri to the sailing tomorrow as planned......sigh.
If you have a "classic plastic" vessel with old rivets be sure to inspect them before every sail for potential problems. When things go bad under load it can really ruin ones day!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Things That Worked - Kiwi Grip

Kiwi Grip nonskid paint has really impressed me. Almost a year in the tropics and it has retained its color and its non-skid properties and its holding up very well. Being a one coat - one step product I give it high marks for ease of application and durability.
Their special roller produces a nice texture but does throw little threads of paint when rolling out the product, even when I rolled it fairly slowly. The solution was simple; ensure that you mask adjacent areas very well. We used a paper and tape dispenser and papered at least three feet from where we were rolling out the product and that solved the problem.
I wrote about the application process in previous posts. Here is the link for those interested.

Cheers, Don

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Things That Worked

As I get time I will write about the products we used and how they performed on the voyage, and how they have done now that the boat has been in the water for almost a year.

Disclosure: I am Co-Owner of (under construction) and sell or intend to sell, many of the products I will be reviewing. That said, I will give an honest assessment of what I liked or didn't like and how the products performed.

Feel free to ask questions.

Cheers, Don