1/9/2011 – Projects

One of my primary jobs while Lulu is helping her Mom in Idaho was to clean out the “garage”. The garage is what we call the area that is normally referred to as a quarter berth on the boat. This is a tunnel about 26″ high and 32″ wide at the opening but tapering down to only a little over a foot wide at the far end which is maybe 6′ from the opening. The narrow end, towards the stern shares a common bulkhead with the lazarette (the other “garage”). The port wall is the hull of the boat and the starboard is the wall separating the engine room from the interior of the boat. The open end is at the nav station. Why do we call it the garage? Well, take a look:


Just like a real garage, no place to park the car.

In order to clean this area, everything in it needs to be removed and put somewhere else. That’s why I waited to do it until I was the only one onboard. There’s just no place to put this much stuff except where we normally live. Lulu did the same thing to the v-berth recently and I spent my day in town to give her the space she needed.

So, anyway, I yarded all this junk out. In the process I was keeping an eye out for stuff that was pretty much useless to us and could be discarded. Two of the things I found while I was in there were a bunch of hanks of 3/4″ manila line to make rope fenders out of. Although we did make some before, we still had material to make more. I also found the rungs for the port ratlines which I had removed to modify way back in August.


I put the starboard ones back up in Charleston, Oregon but still hadn’t put the port side up. I figured that, rather than stuffing these two things back in the garage, I’d solve the problem by completing the projects.

So, yesterday I sat on the dock (to keep all the fibers off the boat) and made 3 more rope fenders. The first one took me a little over 2-1/2 hours, and the next two took 2 hours each. By the time I’d finished these three, I had a couple of blisters on my fingers from the rough manila line. I still have enough rope to make four more fenders before it’s all gone. Maybe I can convince Lisa on s/v Gypsy to take a hunk of line so she can practice making a fender herself. Then I’d only have three more to do. Unless I could convince her that she really should have 2 rope fenders.


Today I hit the ratline project.

When I lashed the ratlines on last time, I had a problem with them slipping when I would really reef on the lashing of a higher one while standing on a lower one. In other words, while I was pulling a lashing tight, and you have to pull them REALLY tight, I would be exerting downward pressure on the rung I was standing on. Much more pressure than the rung is ever likely to see from normal use. Not surprisingly, the rung would slip down and I would have to re-lash it. The culprit is the bare wires that I’m lashing to.


They’re slippery. If I had all my standing rigging wormed, parceled and served, there’d be plenty of friction to hold the rung in place. Probably.


The “serving”, the final wrap, would leave a nice nubbly surface to lash the rungs to. But alas, that’s a LOT of work and it’s also not particularly good for stainless steel rigging which needs oxygen to keep from corroding (works great on galvanized wire, though).

So, I figured I’d hit a happy medium and wrap the area that the rung would contact with friction tape. Which I did. However, I think it actually made the rungs more slip-prone. The glue on the tape isn’t all that sticky and it seemed to provide a nice oozy path for things to slide on. So, since I can’t install the rungs from the top down, I guess I’ll just have to bite the bullet and know that at least half of them will have to be re-lashed. I can’t even come up with a good temporary lashing that I could use until I was finished with the upper rungs. Whatever I do, it has to hold my weight as well as the force exerted when I reef down on the lashings above during installation. So, I just have to do every lashing like it’s the final one and then resign myself to the fact that some of them aren’t.

The worst part of cleaning the garage was that, other than the rope and the ratline rungs, everything had to go back in. Oh, there’s stuff we no longer need/want, but I can’t just throw it away. I believe that I heard on the VHF the other day that there’s a swap meet the third Sunday of every month. That would be this coming Sunday. Now if I can just keep from dragging any new treasures home…


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About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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5 Responses to 1/9/2011 – Projects

  1. Anonymous says:

    On Satori, Ray Leonard used a black tarry substance that was worked into the standing rigging. The lashing went over the tar and did not show. I had no apparent problems with water intrusion IE rusting of the metal. A dolop of 5200 would likely hold the line inplace. Ken

  2. Love the rope fenders! Lulu's gonna have to leave you alone more often.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh, if you are anything like your Dad it will be hard to go to a swap meet and not come back with something that you can't possibly do without. Now your Mom on the otherhand unless it is fabric has no trouble coming away empty handed. course we did buy a sewing machine at the last swap meet and so that makes me owning four machines but only did not have one here when needed., Love, Mom

  4. Anonymous says:

    Steve, I'm just 1 of your blog followers. Options to help you pass your ratline; secure a temporary wire clamp under each side of the ratline you are standing on, be careful not to score the shroud, parcel the shroud with canvas or leather first. Better yet, if you have a Gantline rigged pass a half hitch around the center of your wood ratline and take up the slack good and tight and take it to a cleat. That should give enough added resistance to your downward preasure. By the way nice lace work. Cheers Mate.

  5. Thanks for the suggestions Ken & Anonymous. As it happens I've got 2 halyards lashed to the pinrail directly below the ratlines. Think I'll try fastening the rung I'm standing on to the halyard to help support it while I'm installing the ones above. My only problem with using tar or 5200 on the shrouds is that, if I remove the ratlines someday, I'll have all these ugly spots on the shrouds. As long as I can keep the rungs from slipping under normal use, I think I'll hold off using the goo. I'll keep the idea in reserve in case they do slip, though.-Steve

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