Author Topic: Learning from my mistakes  (Read 30 times)

John Burton

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Learning from my mistakes
« on: January 11, 2020, 10:33:02 PM »
Peter Cook once said that he learned from his mistakes and can now repeat them exactly. Hopefully I have learned from my mistakes during our first year with Cressy and can now not repeat them this coming season.
It was a steep learning curve coming from dinghies, but helped enormously by the Forum, Martin Cartwright's book and most especially the help given by David Bone.
So Cressy is now in my barn and I am enjoying working on her almost as much as sailing her.
What needs putting right after last year?
Firstly the rigging. The 3 strand halyards that came with the boat looked fine but twisted infuriatingly leading to several embarrassing moments when the mainsail was jammed half way up. However often I untwisted the ropes, they always conspired to twist again when I looked away. I have replaced all the running rigging with multiplait, I understand new 3 strand doesn't twist and certainly looks the part, but the cost put me off.
Secondly I had used the port aft locker for storing the outboard petrol tank and had "sealed" the locker by applying expanding foam to all the gaps. Unsuccessfully, a mistake. The cabin had a very strong petrol smell, so the aft locker now has all its joints and gaps sealed with glassfibre tape and resin, an awkward job but hopefully it will fully isolate the locker. I have also installed a ventilator just aft of the locker lid to encourage air flow.
Thirdly, the bilge slowly filled with water over the summer, a few gallons but surprisingly the bilge pump never removed any. The suction is good but presumably the hose end is curled up above the water level. A session with the hosepipe when Cressy returned home revealed a surprising amount of water trickling down into the aft lockers from the gallows tubes. Over the wet summer that had slowly accumulated. Now I found lowering the gallows at the start of a sail was a bit of a nuisance, but raising them up at the end to lower the sail was often awkward, sails flapping, trying to find the holes to insert the split pins etc. So now I am going to  bring the mainsheet attachment forward instead of behind the gallows and always leave the gallows in place. That means I can tape over the base of the gallows tubes where they meet the bronze deck fittings with self amalgamating tape and stop the water getting in. I couldn't find any other leaks and the cabin portholes were water tight. I use the cleats on the aft lockers for several purposes, so have attached two eyes near the front outside edges of the locker openings and will use a rope strop for the mainsheet attachment, although a traveller would look nice at some stage.
Lastly the bilge boards stick when raised up and just as we moored on the last sail of the season the port side board detached and surfaced by the side of the boat, still attached by its cord. luckily there was no damage to the hull, just missing bolts, but the board had obviously had a hefty bash in the past driving the pivot hole an inch backwards. Two new boards to make and I will be following David Bone's method off adding some lead ballast to increase the weight. It was interesting that the board floated when it became detached, I would like some extra ballast.
So some enjoyable fettling still to come and hopefully the little niggles and mistakes of our first season will be put right.
Happy New Year everyone!