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:
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.
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.
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…