Estrellita, IP38-138 Standing Rigging and Emergency Radar Arch Repair

Tuesday - March 17, 2009Views: 7475
We knew that the wire stay in the anchor locker was showing rust. This cable, that attaches the underside of the babystay to the hull, lives in a damp environment, never gets a fresh water rinse and I am sad to say no maintenance at all from us. But we have been carrying the replacement with us just waiting for the twinge of guilt to goad us into the task.

THE REASON I THOUGHT THIS WAS IMPORTANT TO POST IS as I removed the old piece, several strands broke in my hands! I thought fellow IP owners may want to have a little push.

Also, I thought IP owners may be interested in this emergency repair to our Radar Arch. We noticed cracks in the stern pulpit just above the top rail on the support to the davits. The stress on these supports would appear to be primarily in compression so we were surprised to see this type of damage. Because we were in a remote area with the closest welder about 400 miles upwind we had to make an emergency repair. With Fiberglass…

To strengthen the glass and stiffen the repair, we cut triangles of wood to fit the angles of the tubing, then we used a grinder to cut concave surfaces to lie against the stainless tubing and “glued” them in place with epoxy thickened with colloidal silica. Then we glassed the whole mess together.

400 upwind miles in varied conditions later and they look good. We have replenished our emergency fiberglass and epoxy supplies and will strengthen it with another layer of glass. Then we will have to paint the epoxy to protect from UV damage. AND then… Because “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary repair” we are going to sail it on our next passage as well and see how she does. We are trying to put off permanent repair until we get to a place with more resources where we can redesign and replace the structure.

Final note of interest to Island Packet Owners. When we replaced our standing rigging 2 years ago Amy and I were tightening the back stays when we heard a loud POP! From the bow. The bobstay had broken. Because it is rod-rigging there is not often warning, so friends, consider this your warning… When replacing your standing rigging, don’t forget the bobstay. Remember to loosen the backstays before removing the bobstay to avoid damage to the bowsprit.

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