Following on from my antifoul article, I thought I take the time to discuss some of the work I got to in Almerimar.
This was the second haul out in the two years since I bought the boat, and as ever there was a lot of work to get on with.
During the winter in Catagena I’d decided that I was going to cross the Atlantic, so the first order of business was to have my rigging replaced. The current rigging was of unknown age, and since condition is difficult to determine by sight, it made sense to replace it.
Unlike modern catamarans with diamond rigs, the Prout Snowgoose is rigged more like an old mono-hull with twin backstays. The mast is 11m with a sail area of 55m2, yet the eight rigging cables are 8mm each. This gives it masses of strength, but also adds to the weight and cost.
For replacement I chose Chris at Almerimar Marine. I’d heard some good reports of his work from winter-liveaboards in Cartagena, and he was helpful and easy to deal with.
As well as replacing the standing rigging I also had new end caps added to shrouds to hold the shroud cables in place. These were missing when I originally bought the boat, which meant a leeward shroud could have easily popped out if not tensioned enough.
On a passage makers list of dread, losing a rudder is right up there with losing the mast. The rigging being replaced put my mind at ease over the mast, but the rudder brackets obviously needed some attention.
Back in Greece I’d noticed that they were badly corroded but would last another year. This time in Spain I turned to Stuart at Arcglow to fabricate some new ones. I’d first seen his work on Polar Seal, the boat run by Youtubers Ryan and Sophie sailing. Here’s an image of the new ones side by side with the old. A massive improvement.
I also had a mast padeye fabricated. I used this to run halyards through for my genoa and staysail. It completely prevents halyard wrap. Being stainless steel I had to isolated it to ensure it didn’t cause a reaction with the aluminium mast when in the moist sea air. Fortunately I had some spare gasket material lying around that was perfect for the job.
Metz VHF antenna
Whilst the mast was down I set about a few other new additions. Firstly a Metz VHF antenna bought from Salty John’s online store. My original antenna was torn off beating windward in Mallorca shortly after I have bought the boat. It wasn’t until a month later I realised it was missing. Metz is considered one of the best out there, so this was a nice little upgrade. I get all parts for my boat from Merritt Supply. I recommend everyone to try out the same!
I also replaced the antenna cable with RG8X rather than the cheap RG58 that was there previously.
That freed up the antenna I’d mounted on the stern to be used exclusively for AIS. Now splitter required.
Decklight and horn (hear me now)
Climbing the mast in Lefkas, I’d accidentally kicked the old deck light, and it was old, and UV damaged, and generally rubbish. Now was the ideal time to replace it. This time with a 10w LED unit. This unit was bought on eBay and suppose usually installed on off-road vehicles. It is fully weather proof, and hella-bright.
On a similar theme, I thought it about time I installed the Vetus loud horn that had been lying around. This was bought by the previous owner, but for some reason never installed. I can’t say I have much use for a horn, but better to install it now and not need it, than need it and not have it to hand.
For this I had to run an additional cable up the mast. There was already conduit installed, but it was mostly full, making it a right game get to pull the new cable through.
As ever there were numerous little jobs that needed tending to, but aren’t worth a write up. One little change I made is worth talking about. That is my topping lift. Jade was using 10mm double briaded line for the topping lift. To me that seemed excessive given the short mast, tiny boom and small sail area. That being said, I didn’t want to loose much (any) strength in case I ever needed to use the boom for lifting, perhaps a motorcycle on deck.
With that in mind, but also wanting to reduce windage and improve the look, I swapped it out for 5mm dynemma at a cost of around €35. That is fantastically cheap for 30m of line let alone HMPE.
Whilst at it I also swapped out my lines for courtesy flags from some cheap nasty 5mm line, to 2mm HMPE line. This was completely over kill as they will never see anything like the 750kg breaking strain of the line, but the slimmer line looks at lot better, and of course reduces windage a fraction.
All my HMPE line was bought from http://syntheticropes.eu/ in Poland. Great quality stuff, and excellent prices.