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2020-04-22

Earthed, wind and fire

Close, but not quite. Annoying, this.
This is a replacement solar panel for the one that fell off the boat a couple of winters ago. It's from the same maker, Kyocera, and it is the same form factor as the other three, but the flange to which the "rivnuts" (or "swage nuts", the terminology seems inexact) are mounted is about one-half inch more narrow than the older panels. The panel is otherwise identical, save that it delivers at peak output five more watts. Of course, the custom-built solar arch has hard-to-drill 1/8" stainless steel mounting tabs welded to the pipes, so I have been presented with a dilemma.
The old bits of tape were used to indicate where the two backstays transit through the arch.
Luckily, the man who is doing other fabrication jobs aboard, was aboard, and suggested we secure the outboard side with rivnuts as planned, and simply make up an aluminum 1/4" thick "tab on a tab" throughbolted to the existing stainless, and then rivnutted (that doesn't look right) from aluminum tab to aluminum frame. Pretty sure I can handle that job, and the galvanic isolation it probably wants doing.

There can be many versions, and I left a phone message today with a couple of further refinement suggestions.
Andrew was visiting the boat for an "as social as possible under the circumstances" reason, as well as further discussion on the fabrication of a pole for the Air-X wind generator I am finally installing to complete our renewable energy scheme, at least from the "watt creating" side.

You don't have to put out the red light...
Speaking of wind, I installed a Caframo "Maestro" 12 VDC fan in the galley. This involved drilling, wire-stripping, crimping, heat-shrinking and circuit-chasing, this time in the galley's DC subpanel. The fan has a bright white LED and a dim, red one, good for evenings, and its speed is controlled by a simple rheostat that clicks off.
I put in a little rocker switch, seen to the left of the pair of wires. The mounting plate of the propane sensor with necessary 3/4" hole for the mass of its leads is below.
Unfortunately, the rheostat appears cacked...it worked on the test run, in which I provisionally wire together the circuit to check for flaws before I dog down everything and drill multiple holes, and the light switch works fine, but it's "always on full" when attached to the terminal strips. I mean, I could turn it off, along with all the cabin lights forward, from the main DC panel, but that's just awkward. So I put in a little rocker switch from A1 Electronics on North Queen (25 cents, probably) and it works fine now. Still full on, but now with added off.
Yes, it works. I have a propane torch nearby for test purposes.
Mounting the new propane sniffer/alarm was a touch more involved as it required a hole through the cabinet (and cutting down some trim pieces and a hole through the bottom of the cabinet so that the sensor lead could go down to the front of the stove near foot level, where propane is likely to "flow" if we had a leak of it. Those wires will be cleaned up and mounted neatly later.

It's becoming a busy time. Eight days until it's home again.


2020-04-21

It's alive, again...

Just a brief one today. As part of the Drive to Reboard, 2020, we do the annual Tightening of the Hose Clamps. This is an exercise in preventive maintenance, as it claps eyes on our stainless steel hose clamps that keep the hoses on the dozens of barbs...which keep the water out of the boat...and which aren't always as stainless nor as clamped as we would prefer.

This consists of issuing to my wife and myself two socket wrenches and three (7, 8 and 9mm) sockets and methodically crawling about the boat tightening and peering, sometimes with headlamps, to Suss Out Current Events. Special attention is given to below the waterline (BTW) points, where the stakes are a little higher (and the boat, lower) should a clamp or two fail to keep hoses in place before the crew notices an issue or hears the bilge pump cycling. We also have a chance to examine these areas for corrosion or even paint fatigue, and apply touch-ups before problems occur.

Apart from the obvious areas of standpipe-related seacocks and galley drains, there are quite a few points on the engine (exhaust fittings, waterlock muffler, fuel supply and return, oil filter setup, etc.) that need to be assessed and serviced. Some of those, like an oil or coolant change, were done last fall and the need to do them again will depend on hours put on the engine this season. Others are simply "as needed"...for instance, there's a "calorifier" setup whereby we can get hot water to a sort of wall-mounted kettle that provides us with heated water from our tanks...that's been a relatively low priority we can do at dock some time in the next month.

So, about a hundred clamps (not an exaggeration) later, we felt it was time to fire up the engine to clear out the winter coolant. Gratifyingly, the Beta Marine 60 fired up immediately and the cooling circuit worked as it was meant to. Huzzah! Please pardon the dusty helm...it's on the to-clean list.

2020-04-15

Cloth and copper

Lee cloths on sail. Also seen is the small but intense future forepeak vacuum.
Part of the preparation to move back aboard is in the attempt to make living aboard in actual sea conditions safer. That's why Mrs. Alchemy is sewing up lee cloths for our respective bunks. There's nothing dramatically difficult about this: you cut them, hem them and put in grommets for the light line to secure them overhead. They keep sleepers from rolling out of their berths in a seaway when the boat might heel enough to impart motion.

This was donated from the Genco Marine loft. A small boat owner never picked it up years ago and it was sitting in a bag, unloved and unused. Well, now it will (after the plague recedes) get to go on a nice trip snuggling sailors.
Mordor on the Lake.
The dark and stormy nature of the day didn't deter me, although snow down the forepeak hatch was a little chilly. I completed (for now) the paralleling of the two Group 27 batteries dedicated for the windlass on deck. They are now charging as one bigger battery, and it will therefore be easier to keep them healthier longer.
Wire of this gauge (2 ga.) is more than is strictly necessary for battery interconnects, but I have a fair bit of it and the rest of the forepeak windlass and battery bank setup is comprised of it. I can't abide line loss, I guess.

As previously discussed, paralleling similar batteries is pretty straightforward: link pos to pos and neg to neg with same-sized "patch cords", and then put the charging wires on the positive of one battery and the negative of the other.  Both batteries are pretty new and should charge similarly over time and taking care to keep the electrolyte monitored.

Not marine-grade, but a nice addition to the forepeak in that if I ever have a problem with inverting the main bank, I can run a power tool forward if I wish.
My late sister did not know much about sailing or the gear involved, but she did give us some thoughtful presents over the years, and I've finally installed this one. It's a 2000W inverter meant to allow a car (presumably with its engine running) to supply inverted AC power to, say, a small, intense vacuum cleaner or other tool or string of LED lights when a regular outlet is not available. I'm under no illusions that this is marine-grade gear; for one, it's a modified sine wave inverter and probably not super-efficient, like, for instance, our Victron inverter for the main bank. But it's comparatively sheltered and can use the windlass bank in a pinch to do quick jobs when we're on the hook and I don't care to fire up one of the Hondas. Besides, with three AC outlets and a USB slot, it's "nice to have".

2020-04-13

An outbreak of boat jobs

Can't. About to move aboard!
The above request is courtesy of Marina Quay West, which has several dozen liveaboards in residence and where the good ship Alchemy is being readied to being a floating home once again, and, it is most devoted to be wished, a sailing home by April 30th, which is when our apartment lease and our marina dock lease expire.

There have been many, many changes since the last post. A major one was the offer of our boat club, National YC, to offer us a dock (good thing we never "cashed in" that dock right, right?) for the summer, which means going "up" the membership status ladder from "crew" to "senior"...which will cost us money. Given the extremely tentative nature of our plans to leave Lake Ontario this season, even to get just to Nova Scotia and get our hull recoated and our standing rigging redone, leading to the possibility that not only might we cruise in circles this summer, but might also have to haul out (because the antifoul paint will be rather tired at that stage) in Toronto, our plans scuttled for another years, we decided to rejoin the club and get a dock, a course both providential in terms of timing, but a little bitter in terms of dreams deferred.
The underside of the wind generator "body" has a compressing collar and Allen bolts. I believe it is happiest with a 1.875 OD pipe.
Nonetheless, while there remains even a glimmer of hope of leaving on May 8th (the first day of what was the "suspended until further notice"  aspect of locking down the Seaway for boats such as ours), we press on with the refit just because we should. One long-postponed project is the installation of an Air-X wind generator on the stern to supplement the solar panel portion of the shore-independent power regime. This 12 VDC model is not necessarily the best or the quietest, but I traded it for a 24VDC acquired at a yard sale from the people who sold us our solar panels, and it seems reasonably robust, although it needs a paint job. Andrew Barlow, fabricator extraordinaire, is going to make up a pole for it and a footplate on which said pole will be mounted, which in turn will be bolted onto the flange off the stern of Alchemy fit for the purpose. Its role is supplemental to the solar panels, and we'll see if it earns its keep in that regard on, for instance, night passages when we'll presumably want radar and AIS chewing amps on the night watch.
Because it wouldn't be a passagemaker without a load of gear off the arse.
Other improvements include the resurrection of Alchemy's original 20 amp charger, which I found was made not only for Westmarine, but in versions labelled by StatPower and Xantrex (as the Truecharge model). Manuals are available still, and this is a pretty straightforward unit suitable for keeping two Group 27 deep cycle batteries of about 210 Ah capacity and wired in parallel topped up.


Does the job and so did the 5200 in sticking the board to which it's screwed to the collision bulkhead.
The idea here, which I consider not overly crazy, is that if the main house bank fails or otherwise requires service (or simply needs to be moved out of the way for access or repair of the tankage and plumbing beneath it), I can have two Group 27s at the ready to "become the house bank" or the start batteries as needed. After all, the windlass can also be worked manually, if onerously. Belt and suspenders thinking at work!
The energized windlass breaker and solenoid box: This is tidier than it looks.
Part of the prep of moving aboard is sending things into storage. To that end occassioned a socially distanced visit from my nephew Ryan Dacey and his still-under-warranty missus, Alex. The two of them brought some of my late parents' records, old photos and other "treasures from the basement" of their mother, my late sister. Off to Trenton it shall go.
Try not to cough.
Onward to the construction of the bed platform, which, being 90° rotated from the original, needed accessorizing to serve as an athwartship double berth. First up was constructing a crosspiece on which the hinged "bed flap" could land smoothly and capable of supporting the weight of two dozing admirals. This required an aluminum backing plate for the inside of the hanging lockers.

Why, yes, the vacuum cleaner got a workout in this process.
The flap itself is 1/2" marine ply, reinforced by stiffeners underneath and hinged with a stainless steel piano hinge and two SS strap hinges at either end. It will be held just past vertical when not in sleep mode by a peg set into the bookshelf surround, backed up by an eye-and-hook.
The underside is shimmed 1/4" to make the whole thing level. There will be a strip of gasketing material to keep those bolts and screws from chewing at the wood and metal. Stowage is below.
The upper side will have, at first, thick closed-cell foam as a Velcro'd on base, with memory foam as a mattress. We will have to improvise to get the hinge covered for comfort, but expect to get fitted mattresses and a Froli-type substrate sometime down the road. Mrs. Alchemy is already planning out lee cloths.
Prior to strap hinges and, you know, the bedding.
Imagine, if you will, that we are on either starboard or port tack, at night, with Cabin Boy on watch. We can shift our head or feet to either end, and our weight is farther forward than it would have been. A simple movement gets us into the pilothouse (there's a new handrail just out of shot) and there's also new stowage (the rectangle cut out of the former port berth) for light items, such as fenders. We hope it serves us well. 
Moved logbook rack, restored 24-hour ship's clock and freshly repainted port-side helm area suitable for chartwork.
John Cangardel was kind enough to give us some anti-chafe gear that wraps itself around line, such as our "cross-channel" bow spring to the docks opposite. Handy, this.

Yes, our son finally cleaned the deck. Well, somewhat.
Lastly, I spent a couple of hours yesterday tracing some wiring glitches and restored the radar's power circuit and that of the AIS. This involves taking down the pilothouse wire loom secured on the forward part of the pilothouse just below its roof and getting busy with the heat shrink. When I deselect the B&G plotter's internal GPS for that of the Vesper XB-8000 AIS unit, which has its own GPS receiver above the radome some seven metres up the mast, the positional accuracy was improved...the big scribble in the second slip was "before" and the boat running its forward-looking sonar was "after": we are in fact in the first slip of this pier.
But not travelling at 0.1 knots.
A few fuses blown last year (perhaps during the October "thrashings" we administered while racking up sailing hours) were replaced; some legacy circuits at 2 amps or under have glass inline fuses, which is a better solution in some ways for small draws than endless five amp circuit breakers. So back on came the helm reading lamp.
Maybe too many pens, pencils and loose cable ties? Can confirm.
Mrs. Alchemy is prepping the saloon floor with a vigorous belt sanding so that our freshly purposed roll of Lonseal Marine teak and holly flooring can spruce the joint up a bit. It had better: it was impressively expensive, even for something with the word "marine" in it.
Wiring to be confined better before we actually leave, which could be in either May or 2021...sigh. The boxes are full of watermaker parts.
More to do, of course, but we are clipping along nicely, despite the dour circumstances. More to come soon as the seacocks are opened for business...after it snows this week.
That Chelsea clock is keeping near-perfect time now, thanks to Mr. Del Rosario's ministrations.

2020-03-31

Peak flooring

If it's going to be upside-down, who cares if I use a grinder to groove wood? NOT I!
A short one today, as I am a very rough sort of carpenter. A failed windlass battery, accompanied by the installation of an old but functional 20 amp battery charger,meant the removal of everything on the floor of the forepeak workshop. And a needed vacuuming to remove workshop debris and dust.
Irony: This is a job I'd normally do in the forepeak, which has loads of clamps and vises.
The "floor" of the workshop is just four planks sitting directly on the stringers. They are capable of movement, and this is sub-par on a boat. So I decided to replicate the stringers' angle and width at the places I wanted the floor. They won't move out of these "grooves" so easily, but can be lifted up for cleaning and inspection. I was going to take them to my club's workshop, which has a table saw capable of up to 45° of "tilt", but I soon realized that correcting on the fly and making the plank grooves with a big grinder wheel was going to be less pretty and accurate, but faster. This was a job that called for faster, as it was cold and blowing 25 knots from the east today, about my least favourite way to usher out the month of March.
That first plank is one inch thick and supports the anchor chain bucket.
The results were pretty good for a hack job, I thought. As can be seen, the stringers (the fore-and-aft metal "ribs" to which the hull plates are welded) tilt inward. The grooves are therefore a bit "grippy". Grippy is good in this application.

Seen below are the battery box tiedowns and the several 50 kilo "trim ballast" lead ingots.
A repurposed Zodiac thwart seat is the new support for the battery boxes. The foam is durable and will insulate them from hard knocks once tied together. That wide plank is where I step off the ladder; the batteries for the windlass fit under tidily. There's more wood and wind to come...stay tuned.

2020-03-29

Salve omnes artifices


You may think "oh, a brutal metal strap with holes in it", and you'd be correct. But there's more here than meets the eye.
"Salve omnes artifices" means, in Latin, "all hail the makers". Refitting a boat over more than a decade from a baseline of near-total inexperience in any of the industrial arts has meant I have had to learn a great deal about materials, devices, techniques and get to at least a broadly competent skill range in four or possibly five trades, because I still dislike painting, but I can weigh two-part epoxy and soak out FG tape like a near-pro, but I digress. I'm pretty good at diesel/gas marine engines, hydraulic steering repair, various forms of plumbing, fuel system layout and troubleshooting, props and their operation, an increasingly wide range of electrical and electronic repair, all sorts of heavy-weather sail tactics and I mix a mean rum beverage.

Most skippers can say the same, I suppose. My sailor buddies Matt Phillips, John Cangardel and Jeff Cooper have all been enormous help, but none of them, save Matt, who is the son of an electrician, practices a trade.

But over this long (and probably getting longer) journey of Getting Off the Dock, I have had reason to resort to professional help when I have either lacked the necessary skills, or my skills existed in too rudimentary a form. So we pause today to salute the craftspeople who have built, either from my design or from a mutual agreeement as to the best way forward, various parts of the good ship Alchemy to make it the vessel she is today. Some of 'em I never met; others are good friends. The "Hungarian guys" at "Treblex" who, for instance, built the Beta 60's motor stringers and thrust yoke I didn't meet, but "Jeff the Welder" came by and applied heat. "Greg the Other Welder" had done as much with the original solar arch the year previously. Tony Johnson has given very helpful advice in many instances, as has Brian Luckhurst when I had to puzzle out the arcana of helm pumps. Brian Mackey, who fabbed up Valiente's anchor roller years ago. Fred Blair, who recently dadoed together our excellent galley cabinet. And Genco wizard Mitch Kitz, who has been an invaluable source of knowledge over the years.

Fabrications have continued apace over the years, with millwright/welder/fabricator of fame Andrew Barlow's work on the companionway hatch, the engine bay hatch, the replacement standpipe, the replacement seacock and exhaust nipples and, lately, the Jordan Series Drogue chainplates seen above. And various other jobs...he's been great and, as the sharp eye may discern, has very good habits of mind when it comes to fit, finish and those little extras, like the chamfering and deburring on the shackle pin hole, I've come to recognize as Good Stuff. And he did a lot of these jobs while being a Vice-Commodore of Marine Operations and Free Stick Welding at our mutual boat club and therefore pressed for time.

My point is that working with these craftspeople has helped me to understand some of their techniques and concerns that really make the difference between "OK, I suppose" and "fit for purpose". Skippers don't always know the difference, or, sadly, don't care enough to know. If I can't do a job, or, due to lack of real experience, can't do it well, I will forgo the fabrications I can't (yet) do well and farm it out. And attempt to learn from the skills thereby revealed.
This used to be part of the previous iteration of saloon companionway stairs. Now it's going to be a charger holder.
I like to recycle things from the boat for sometimes unusual purposes. This was part of the old companionway stairs. The revisioned foredeck "workshop" needs a) weight aft when possible; and b) a way to mount things on the collision bulkhead that is both tidy and which doesn't put fresh holes into the saloon forward bulkhead unless strictly necessary.

Enter 3M 5200, the devil's toothpaste. "5200" is disliked because it works as advertised. It's a tenacious, goopy glue/sealant suitable for adhering keels to stubs and takes either a special chemical or brute force, such as I exerted to remove the pilothouse roof, to break its grip. We don't actually use it much, because less sincere goop will keep the sea on the outside without requiring sabresaw blades and vivid swearing to undo.

An old Westmarine 20 amp charger will hang here to charge the windlass pair of Group 27 batteries.

We'll see if it is as keen on gluing wood to metal as it is on, say, gluing fingers together. This bit of salvaged board will hold a recycled charger, a small inverter and a couple of lights...probably.

Meanwhile, irrespective of plagues and fear, spring has sprung. We continue in hopes of leaving, despite grim portents.

2020-03-22

Refitting in the year of the plague

The windlass battery bank is in place, and so are the new Honda 2200 gensets, which are making us look prescient in some respects, despite the fact that I've wanted a new pair for several years so we can fully charge at anchor...or weld things.
A realistic review of our situation has to allow that we may not be able to leave Lake Ontario this summer. This is because the situation at the American locks (and indeed, the Canadian locks on the St. Lawrence in regard to "non-essential travel") is at present unknown, and if I even bothered to ask some official, events unrelated to the toxicity of our boat's crew could overtake and alter policy quicker than we can whip out valid passports. I know we have to identify ourselves to the operators of American locks as Canadian boaters, but is chucking a line to a lock staffer crossing a border? If we never leave the boat? Can't say right now, but it's waking me up at night.
Mrs. Alchemy, who stopped being a wildlife rehabber last week, thinks she recognized the trumpeter swan in the foreground. We were measuring the templates for the chain plates for the drogue bridle when these two rolled up.
We are in our apartment until April 15, at which point we expect to be out of the marina and on the wall at National Yacht Club for a few days to finish up some jobs at the club workshop and generally prep for imminent passagemaking. There's a few personal matters to attend to, but we may be out of luck when it comes to any services or docks available on the trip down, which could make things...well, not impossible, but difficult in some respects, particularly given that it's still very early in the season to live aboard.
Found the prop puller! Now I want to stow it, greased up, in the Ghost Tank just because I hope not to need it for some time.

For instance,  our club, due to the "social distancing" aspect of the current pandemic, is considering delaying the club's boat launching, scheduled for April 25-26, until...who knows? The club is already largely closed for business, although the washrooms and the workshop is open and people are roaming about doing the usual commissioning jobs, but with no sure outcome that the crowds and the cranes will arrive at the end of April.
Another U-bolt firmly placed through the pilothouse roof...it will also serve as a tie-down for items such as the whisker pole.
Of course, we hope to be in Kingston or so by the end of April. We have to continue to work as if that's going to happen, if for no other reason than we will be living aboard, come viral hell or Lake Ontario high water, which, naturally in this year of the plague, is totally also a thing.
The keen-eyed will note that the current water levels  of March 18, 2020, are at the same height as those of April 21, 2019, meaning "high, indeed" and potentially record-breaking.
This adds several considerations to our departure plans: 1) High water levels may threaten yacht club and marina operations severely: fuel docks may be shut and electricity turned off to docks still clear enough of the water to use. Our early start may get us past (if we can clear the locks to more or less sea-level past Montreal), but we can't count on even marinas being open for business if the pandemic is cancelling boat launching plans; 2) The high water is increasing currents in much of the St. Lawrence river and estuary. While this is not necessarily dangerous, it is a consideration that may make getting in and out of marina and YC facilities tricky.
Took a trip by train out to our chandlery of record last week. Had no problem getting a seat as I am The Last Sailor on Earth.
Meanwhile, things are getting altered, improved or fixed. The "outside" throttle shifter was very balky and eventually seized in the shifter part for reasons that remained unknown even after a forensic review with the manufacturer's service tech via phone in Florida. So, not wanting to plate over and redrill fresh holes for something different, I invoked the warranty and got a replacement. So far, so good, but I won't actually hook up the Morse cables of the outside throttle shifter until we "dewinterize" circa the end of March and move the boat to a finger-end for coming and going, which will be after we remove the gradually failing boat cover this coming week. As will most boat things, creating an orderly action plan is part of the deal.

New shifter is identical to the old, save that this, you know, shifts.
Another job of some import is to fabricate and install chainplates for the series drogue. As discussed earlier, this involves cutting and shaping stainless steel bar stock and through-bolting the resultant plates to the hull at the stern.
Crosby G-209A 3/4" shackles with 7/8" pins and a seven-ton working load. I was told that a pair of 5-ton shackles would serve, but the size of these goes nicely with the closed thimble of the Dyneema bridle.
Because the five-inch wide, 1/2-inch thick SS plates are awkward to hold against the sternquarters on a windy day, I hit upon using some much lighter alu stock at 2 1/2" wide, which is what the SS will be cut down to, to measure out where the various holes should go. The idea is to actually make four 2 1/2" wide chainplates out of the two five-inch pieces and to drill all of them with matching bolt holes. Inside the boat, the "spares" will be rotated 180° and will serve as backing plates. The two will sandwich the hull and will be bolted together with six 1/2" SS bolts and locknuts per side.
Apparently, I was holding my phone upside down. The shackle end will be rounded off smoothly to lessen the slight chance of damaging the bridle. The dotted line represents the angle of the stern just below the pipe gunwales.
Meanwhile, back in the boat, I've started to saw this and reinforce that to swing the bed platform in the aft cabin athwartships, as described before, but I also did a small job to aid and abet the new shifter. That was to cut the compartment top for the hydraulic ram area so that the Morse cables for the outside throttle shifter, which also wend their way through there to get back to the engine, could have as few curves and therefore as little opportunity for friction or related hang-ups, as possible.

This involved some fun measurements and a hole saw to make a decent-looking slot. I've saved the cut-out and may tidy this job by restoring it so the cables just emerge from the hole and go straight to the shifter body.
The bed platform will feature a hinged portion that will "go up in the daytime" and will give us about four extra inches of width. More to come on that project as I do some more reinforcements.
The swans persisted. They were curious and unafraid, suggesting the dreaded bread supplement to their diets.
Every day is busy now, and last week saw the arrival, courtesy of a friend driving down from Barrie, of a replacement solar panel for our solar arch, which I will install once the plastic's off and I have easier access to the aft deck.
Now with five extra watts than its predecessor!

2020-03-04

Staying with the boat


Yet another gale bent the boat cover in new and exciting ways recently. Before...

I've given my opinions on the somewhat dubious odds of self-rescue, in my opinion, at sea before, and while we've invested in items both expected and slightly exotic, including the EPIRB route, the best way to not drown, as better sailors than us contend, is to stick with the boat.
...and after. The red tape of shame is doing a fine job, despite the abuse.
The best way to do that is not to fall off. Sounds obvious, doesn't it? It takes, however, some planning and, more importantly, the habit of clipping on. Even then, one has to be careful in assuring that if you do "stay with the boat", it isn't in an attitude of potential drowning.
Irises in Toronto on St. David's Day (March 2) suggest both spring and our departure are coming on fast.
There's no secret here. All crew must, in all but the most benign, all hands on deck situations, wear fully functional tethers that hold them to the boat, either at a padeye or on a jackline. Now, there's plenty of ideas about jacklines; a typical setup can be found here. But best practices of running them port and starboard with sufficiently strong webbing suit us; the existence of the pilothouse means we want them to run from the aft end of the pilothouse to the forward bollards, The tethers come in three-foot and six-foot (1 and 2 m., respectively) lengths, which will allow us to go forward to the nearest padeye or other suitable anchor point to safely work on the foredeck for anchoring or sail adjustment purposes, even in heavy weather. Which will likely be neither comfortable nor dry, but if there's one thing I've learned at sea, uncomfortable and wet beat waving at a rapidly shrinking stern every time.
The super-beefy Wichard folding padeyes, through-bolted and backed to the aft part of the pilothouse. And yes, those shavings and drill dross have been removed.
I put in two pretty massive Wichard folding padeyes for where our webbing will start. These feature breaking loads of 9000 kgs, so I can't imagine a force that would break them without killing anyone attached to the jacklines they carry. These will be lashed as tight as I can make the to offer as little deflection (and therefore a chance to pick up speed or add to the tether's length) as we can manage.
The tethers we have include strong and simple webbing ones, and these double ones.
In the above photo is seen the elements of getting out on the aft "sailing" deck at, for instance, watch change. The tether's smaller silver hook goes on the D-ring of the PFDs we have. Ascending the companionway, we clip on the shorter tether to the
That propane tank will be better secured shortly, I know.
Once on deck, the longer tether will be clipped onto one of two stainless-steel U-bolts, backed with 1/2" SS plate, around the solar arch at its strongest point.
Obviously, that plastic shrinkwrap will soon go, too.
The U-bolt isn't pretty, but that's not that kind of boat. Being capable of rotation, it can follow the tether into the footwell in which the watchstander/helmsperson stands. Once clipped on, the short tether is released, the crew moves into position, clips onto one of the two U-bolts and releases the longer tether which can hang from the PFD. Reverse order to get back into the pilothouse.


The starboard U-bolt. Despite the inelegant look, they aren't going anywhere. They have Nylok nuts and threadlocking.
I'll put the jacklines on once the boat cover is off in a couple of weeks. There's a bit more to do in bolting on padeyes to either side of the mast tabernacle to allow safe working at the mast, and perhaps the addition of further carbiners and Spectra loops instead of hard points to make everything run smoothly, but this is, I hope, a prudent start to a complex topic.
I also rewired the foredeck battery pair, but that's for another post.