Jib halyard tension - an important aspect beyond sail trim
Last night we had Steve White giving us a presentation on rig inspection. We learnt about corrosion, different materials for running rigging and what is important to look at on a daily inspection.
First some general comments on rig inspection and what to look for when getting on a new boat and after you have snugged down for the day:
Check all connections to the mast, boom and don't forget life lines: Turn buckles (cotter pins?). That includes shrouds & stays at the chain plates, boom-vang, goose neck.
If you are a boat owner: Once a year in spring go up the mast and check connections aloft and spreader tips.
The marine environment (moister, sun & salt) is brutal on any gear. This is acerbated by the fact that many connections & fittings on spars (mast & boom) are made of dissimilar metals resulting in a galvanic reaction (corrosion). If you see a white powder around connections, there is a corrosion issue.
One thing we all can do is to wash down the boat after each use. Spray all fittings, spares, connections, lines etc from the boom down. The sail cover over the boom creates an ideal environment for corrosion. Washing it down after each sail, goes a long way to extend the life expectancy of your boat.
2) Running rigging
The big issue is chaffing: Areas prone to chaffing: Clutches, sheaves.
One issue I like to highlight here is job halyard tension when using a roller furled head sail. The picture below show a properly set up at the mast head: A halyard deflector holds the jib halyard away from the forestay and the foil (which will be turning when furling and unfurling the sail).
If there is no halyard deflector, the halyard runs close to the forestay and if the tension is not enough, it can wrap itself around the forestay during furling. The next pictures shows what this looks like.
Note the jib halyard wrapped around the forestay. This is the result of not enough tension in the jib halyard and the halyard running to close to the forestay.
The results can be catastrophic. The wrapped halyard ripped the forestay right out of the swaged end terminal.
If you like to read in more detail what to do in an annual rig inspection and over the lifetime of the rig I recommend reading the rig inspection guide by NAVTEC.
I also recommend the "West Advisor" article series. This one is on rigging.
Stay tuned for more - next we will organize a splicing work shop at our Granville location.
The season is in full swing and we have been busy on the water. If you are like me you were hoping for some warmer weather to work on the boat. Now it’s finally perfect boating weather and all you want to do is cast off the bow lines and head for your favorite anchorage. Then again, you remember your diesel mechanic telling you that your should change the oil once a year. Arrrghh, I should have really done this in January.
Well, let’s get on with it anyway. To make things less painful, run your engine for at least half an hour to warm it up. This will make pumping out of the old oil so much easier. Diesel engines don’t like running in idle, so put the engine into reverse gear and crank the throttle to maybe 1500 RPM, or a little bit less, depending on how much you trust your mooring lines.
After maybe half an hour the oil should be flowing easily rather than be sticky like honey. You might be tempted to change the oil filter while you are at it, but you might want to wait a few ours with that until the most of the oil drained as much as possible back into the sump and is thick as honey again. This will allow you to change the oil filter without a drop of oil spilled. Changing the oil filter before the oil had a chance to flow back into the sump and while it’s still warm you will find yourself cleaning the engine bilge - it’s a messy job (yes, been there done that).
Oil and filter change: Check! Great.
Ahh, there are a few more filters on the engine. When is the last time you checked your Racor or secondary fuel filter? Just replace them. All a diesel engine needs is clean fuel and compression. So why not change the fuel filters once a year to keep things running smoothly.
While we are at it you may as well change the impeller on your raw water pump. “Oh, it should have a couple hundred more hours on it”, you say. That is what the manual says, yes. On the other hand, the last time I looked at the impeller on my Yanmar 3YM20, a paddle was missing and that just over half the life expectancy of the impeller. At $12 a pop, I make it a habit to change the impeller once a year. It will take less than 10 minutes of your time.
Since you are checking your cooling water level and the raw water strainer each time you take your boat out you are probably good on that front.
Have a look at both your belts (alternator & raw water pump). If they are approaching 500 hours since the last time your replaced them it’s probably a good time to get new ones.
So there you go - less than a hundred bucks out of pocket, maybe a days work on the boat and your marine diesel is ready for another season. No time like now to get this done.
Easy for me to preach. The work is done and I am sitting at anchorage sipping on a rum & coke watching a beautiful sunset.
Your Simply Sailing Team
Christof is the owner and operator of Simply Sailing. An enthusiastic sailor he loves to share his knowledge with other sailors.
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