Outhaul Replacement & Upgrade
When I started this project I was planning for our new mainsail to be loose footed to improve performance. In other words, it wouldn't be fastened to the boom using a bolt rope in the groove on the top of the boom--the clew would be the mainsail's only attachment point to the boom. As I got into this project a little further I realized that the clew slug may not be able to take the single point load if we were caught in very high winds before we could get the main reefed. My concern was that the high loads would either break the clew slug or pull it out of the track in the boom.
|Shown are the original clew slug and exit sheave at the end of the boom. Since the |
original exit sheave is intended for only wire rope, it had to be replaced as part of this project.
I had to grind the stainless steel screw heads completely off in order to remove the old exit sheave. The stainless steel screws were installed into tapped holes in the aluminum boom and they were solidly fused together by the corroding aluminum.
|At some point in time, the old exit sheave was clearly overloaded |
and the box-like structure became deformed.
|Fortunately, the holes in the new exit sheave are farther away from the boom's |
centerline--I don't have to be concerned about interference with the old mounting holes.
Expecting to find a frayed wire-to-rope splice, I was surprised to find a simple bowline knot tied to a loop in the wire rope. Except for the exterior of the rope portion of the line getting a little dirty, this outhaul line probably would have lasted another 32 years.
|I expected to find a frayed wire-to-rope splice inside the boom--not a |
simple bowline tied to a loop in the wire rope--it was all in good condition.
John Vigor has a unique viewpoint on a sailor's "anticipative style" of thinking. He writes in his blogpost titled Earning Luck at Sea (September 24, 2015) "I always imagine that every boat has a secret black box that collects the Brownie points you earn for every seamanlike action you take. Every time you check the oil level on the engine, no matter how awkward it is to reach the dipstick, you get a point. Every time you buy a real paper chart of an area you want to explore, you get a point. Every time you get up in the middle of the night and go on deck in the rain to check your anchor bearing, you get a point. For that matter, you also get a point for even having an anchor bearing to begin with. You get points (quite a few actually) simply for imagining what would happen on deck and down below if your boat were turned turtle by a large wave, and doing something about it. And so forth, ad infinitum. As I’ve said before, good sailors don’t live in the moment. They anticipate what’s ahead.
Other boats battling the same circumstances as you, but lacking points in their black boxes, are less likely to survive. Those who don’t understand the mysteries of small boats sailing on big waters will say you were just lucky. And, depending on how you define luck, or good fortune, they may be right. What they don’t know is that you earned your luck."
|The image on the left shows the end of the boom with the new exit sleeve and |
the new red outhaul while the image on the right shows where the outhaul
exits the boom and goes to the boom-mounted winch.