30 January 2009
The other night I was congratulating myself for getting Lady Bug all spinnakericized. I was actually pretty proud of myself that it had only taken three years or so to do it. I realized that I now had to update my "play book" (that powerpoint that tells new crew members how we do maneuvers on the boat, where to sit, etc.).
So I was visually how we'd hoist, gybe, douse. Hoist made sense, get the pole sorted, raise the kite, sail fast as hell. Then, the gybe routine...whoops, a hiccup. The topping lift and the halyard were sharing a cleat and the topping lift would be under the halyard; so to gybe, I'd have to uncleat the halyard...whoops, big issue.
The thing is I've had a new rope clutch ready to install for this very reason for about two years but I've never done it. And now I only had three days to get it done. Crap crap and double crap, I'd have to take an afternoon off work. But it's a two man job, somebody has to hold a wrench down below while another person holds a screwdriver on deck. And it's during a work day so there was nobody who could help.
Turns out that if I don't mind bruising myself and stretching into uncomfortable positions it can be done. I drilled the holes, I gooped everything up with 5200, I put in the bolts, I contorted and twisted until I could wrench the nuts onto the bolts from below and, voila, I had a rope clutch installed.
I went to put the lines through it and it wouldn't hold! If I pulled from the cockpit it would hold but if I pulled from the loaded end it would slip right through. Was the line too small? Nope, I put the darned thing in BACKWARDS!!!!
Quick, how long until 5200 cures??? I undid everything I had just done, pushed and prodded until the darned thing came off the deck, flipped it around, re-gooped, and repeated the whole process. Success! I ran the lines through and they hold. I can officially clutch ropes now.