1/2/2013 – GAH!

See anything wrong in this picture?

what's wrong 1

How about now?

what's wrong 2


Still no?  OK, let’s look closer:

what's wrong 3


Q: When is an eyebolt like a neutered dog?

A: When it has no nuts.

That’s right.  The eyebolt that our inner forestay is connected to is being held in place strictly by habit, friction,  and good luck.  I don’t even like to think about the mayhem that could have ensued if the bolt had come completely out of the hole in the bowsprit while we were close hauled in 15 knot winds, much less anything higher.  I have no idea when the nut worked its way off the bolt.  I’d like to think I would have noticed it if it was gone before we left San Carlos but I can’t be sure I would have.  The only reason I happened to notice it here was that I’d been reading an account of a sailing adventure in one of the old magazines up in the marina office and the author happened to mention the eyebolt that his inner forestay was connected to.  Don’t remember the context but it caused me to look at mine when I returned to the boat later.  I was aghast at what I found.  The bolt had worked its way a good 1″ out of the bowsprit and there was only about 5/8″ of thread still sticking out the bottom.

I checked my stash of hardware but didn’t have any 1/2″ stainless nuts.  Might have a couple bronze ones in the lazarette that I can use in a pinch but I’d rather avoid using dissimilar metals if possible.  A foray into town on New Year’s Eve day showed that, harbor or not, this is not a particularly boat-y town.  I did manage to find some SS 1/2″ nuts at one of the larger ferreterías but he didn’t have any washers to along with them.  Fortunately, I did have a few appropriate washers in my stash.

The eyebolt is now resecured and double-nutted with Loc-Tite Red to hopefully keep things where they belong.

All better.

All better.

We might have to consider a new bowsprit one of these days.  There was a little bit of water damage around the eyebolt’s hole as would be expected after 37 years.  It’s not too bad yet but will bear watching.  When we replace the sprit,  I think we might just go for a nice stainless steel one.  But for now, our old Douglas Fir pole still has a few good years left in her.

Happy New Year and check your nuts.




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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15 Responses to 1/2/2013 – GAH!

  1. Sandy Holeman says:

    I tried to check my nuts, but I couldn’t fine them…


  2. Tate says:

    Come to the dark side… I mean… The shiny side.

  3. Nut check……
    check… still got ’em
    2013 sure is going to be “interesting”!
    (old boat-magazine-quick-reads are a gem)

  4. Sammy Jo says:

    My nuts were missing too!!!!

  5. vicki bugbee-reed says:

    I’ve always known you two were a little nutty. Missing you. Happy 2013!

  6. Joan/Raymond Yoder says:

    Nuts to you too, Love, Mom

  7. Chuck says:

    best to drilll a hol4e thru the nut & bolt so you can put a clevis oin thru botht. That is how most mast bolts are done. It will insure the nut does not back off again,

    BTW Bronze and SS are fine together.

    What happened with the engine re-alignment??


    • sryoder says:

      Good idea, Chuck. Thanks. As far as the realignment, what with the holidays, exploring a new port and my general laziness, I haven’t gotten to it yet. Planning on hitting it tomorrow and I’ll be sure to report what I find. Didn’t know that about SS & bronze. It seems like they’d be OK since most propshafts are SS and most props are bronze. But, then again, they also usually have a big ol’ zinc mounted not very far away. Thus, my confusion.

  8. Ron Weibel says:

    I love reading your blog from SLC, Utah, where the high today is 21. When I had my Westsail 32 in L.A. in the 70’s we were sailing back from Catalina in over 30 knots of wind, having a great downwind sail. All of the sudden the staysail and stay went flying out like a kite. The bolt sheared in half. When we went to the Westsail factory in Costa Mesa the next day and took it back to the shop area the person behind the counter yelled to his partner “We’ve got another one!” Although you are many years removed from that batch of eyebolts, check it carefully. Thanks again for keeping the blog!

  9. Paul Rae says:

    You also have another potential problem. I notice that your shackle connected to your Rocna anchor is not seized with wire. Also the split pin at the forestay eye bolt needs one of the legs slightly bent away from the other leg. This prevents them working out and if they did, there is a good chance you could loose the clevis pin.

    • sryoder says:

      Thanks for the reminder on the clevis pin. I noticed it when I looked at the photos but didn’t get up and fix it right then. Now I have. Amazing that it’s been that way for almost 3 years and I’ve never noticed it before. The shackle on the Rocna does have seizing wire on it: three wraps. It just didn’t show up very well in the photo. I was pretty sure I remembered seizing it but your comment made me go look just to be sure. Thanks.

  10. Holy moly! I love stories where something is brought to someone’s attention in this serendipitous way. That could have been disastrous. But it wasn’t!

  11. J&J "Worldwind" says:

    Hey guys, we almost learned the hard way to check things constantly and still forget. Things change in Mexico. When we were in Santa Rosalia in 08′ they allowed you to tour the motel for free and Julie had breakfast there with friends. If all goes well we’ll be back in Mexico thus fall, we really miss being there.

    Fair winds,

    Jim & Julie “Worldwind”

  12. Patrick Nelson says:

    Steve, I checked my nuts and they’re all double nutted – just to be sure I applied some lock-tite, but I used blue – I might want to loosen them up someday, who knows.Pat Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2013 20:27:39 +0000 To: patrick_nelson1945@hotmail.com

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