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Messages - Mike Seller

The Rig / Re: Screwed or bolted?
July 30, 2014, 05:55:10 PM
I agree - an excellent job done. Thanks for taking the trouble to share the photo's. Hope your refit proceeds without too many more headaches along the way!

The Rig / Re: Screwed or bolted?
July 29, 2014, 08:34:10 PM
I think in the bygone days of sail they were called "stops" however in the 21st century "Jaw supports" is just as  good. Ideally replacements should be made using a hardwood. A rough shape can be achieved by taking a block of wood and cutting it down with a saw to the shape required and then rounding the edges with a file and sandpaper. They don't have to be exact copies!

Hardwood such as mahogany, teak or oak is of course expensive and these days you would have to buy more than needed. If you cannot source a small piece from say offcuts or even old furniture why not go down to B&Q and buy just one hardwood baluster and have another go. I  think decorative ropework will just slip down with the forces placed on it by the jaw however hard you try to get the rope to stay put ie screws/glue.

The Hull / Re: log
July 03, 2014, 12:51:02 PM
Hi Tim - The answer is no but I do have nav aids which do help on a boat this size! I decided against installing a fixed log for speed that required a paddlewheel as I thought this could be damaged if ever I grounded or it got caught with the trailer roller bars when getting the boat on/off the trailer. I decided a hand held GPS would suffice. I do have a nasa depth sounder with the transducer fixed inside the aft starboard locker without the need to drill holes in the hull. The instrument itself is fixed in the cockpit above the U-bolt for the safety line harness. I made up a simple piece of wood (ply) about 6" in height which slots into the bottom washboard position which has a bracket for the GPS plus a compass. I know that some owners choose to screw their instruments onto the back of the lower washboard and use it in reverse whilst sailing however the height of the washboard hinders access to the cabin whilst in use. I also agree with Martin Cartwright's advice in his Winkle Brig Book - try to avoid drilling holes through the hull (especially below water level!).
The Rig / Re: Screwed or bolted?
June 23, 2014, 09:55:02 PM
The jaw on my boom has been screwed onto the boom. I doubt if glue was added because this would hinder removal should ever the jaw need replacing ie from splinting. The screw heads on mine are quite large so maybe along with the depth of screw, each side meets, hence the drilled hole through the boom. Providing the existing screws retighten on replacing the jaw all should be well but I see no reason why suitable bolts/nuts cannot be used if the jaw is still loose using screws. Another solution would be to fill the holes with a suitable filler and then re drill using the existing screws. Hope this helps with your ongoing project.

I also did a quick search on the web - you can buy the gaskets from America for a dollar or two but the shipping costs are horrendous.
Having played around with old classic cars over the years I would go for the DIY solution. Providing the existing gaskets are not torn or surfaces uneven from sticking to the metal surfaces of the carb when removing they can be used again - when replacing the gasket should be smeared with grease on both sides or use a gasket joint paste from Halfords - avoiding those that literally glue the parts together. If the gaskets cannot be reused either fork out for gasket paper from motor dealers or go for good old thick brown wrapping paper and seal the joint as above.

Why is everything associated with boating so expensive! 
The Rig / Re: Tabernacle
May 20, 2014, 08:56:36 AM
Clint - If you go with your local blacksmith make certain marine quality stainless steel is used and that any welding is up to scratch as this will be the weakest point.

Suggest you try Sailspar in Colchester who are mast/boom manufacturers who also make steel fabrications to customer requirements which should include tabernacles. Contact email

Miscellaneous / Re: How old.
May 10, 2014, 06:02:19 PM
Hi Clint - My boat Heligan is WB95 and was built 1994. I have know idea how often these boats came off the conveyor belt (so to speak) but yours must be around 1993/94.

Miscellaneous / Sticking Bilge Boards
April 30, 2014, 09:35:54 PM
Over the last few weeks I have been doing all those spring jobs getting Heligan ready for her new mooring on the River Thames at Cookham. The bilge boards were again sticking in the up position and on close examination found the iron sections to be badly rusted. Apart from the usual pitting the iron had blisters from the rust underneath the anti-fouling resulting in the plates having a wider width to the hulls casement. I decided to use an angle grinder with metal cutting disc to clean the iron back to bare metal and after applying new paintwork etc the plates drop perfectly everytime.
Great care is required when doing this job with the boat still on her trailer. The revs on an angle grinder are considerable and the grinder tends to fly off if you do not keep a steady hand - possible damage - cutting through the rope or taking a slice of GRP out of the hull.