The Good, the Not so Bad and the Ugly

Much of my winter maintenance list consists of me ironing out the kinks in the "brilliant" paper ideas I had during the conceptual phase of Bolero's construction. In many cases Tim saved me from myself by pointing me in a different, okay better, direction. My toughest winter tweaks are those areas where I put my foot down and got my wish. Let's start with the Good.

The Good

I really wanted a capable rowing station. I had this grand vision of a rugged two piece river rafting oar with a proper oar lock, good keepers, easy cockpit storage and a place to set the oar aside when not in use. This great plan fell to pieces this fall when I assembled all the parts and found that the oar locks that I had didn't fit the oar and an oar locks that fit the oar didn't fit the sockets.

Luckily I didn't need to row during the short three weeks of windy fall sailing. But I probably will in the future so it was time to tackle this issue. Fortunately this solution was apparent right from the start and provided, I hope, a bettter setup than I could have imagine. The solution was to talk my new, by marriage, Uncle Dave into dusting off his metal lathe to turn down the 5/8 inch oar locks to fit into the 1/2 inch oar sockets that are stoutly mounted along the toe rails.

This turned out gorgeous. Not only is it a great fit, it also gave me the chance to elevates the oars to provide extra clearance for the coaming.

The oar is trapped inside the horns of the oar lock and the twin keeper arrange prevents the oar from moving inboard or outboard.

The distance into the water looks about right as well. Although I will need to check it out next spring.

And the best part is how well the oar stores along the side deck when temporarily not in use. This is really helped out by not have sheet winches along the side deck. This could work very, very well.

I still want to apply an oar leather to the oar to protect the tops of the coamings but that should be pretty straight forward. I also will be very careful as I break this system in next spring. Bolero is much larger and heavier than the old Bluenose and I have added a fair bit of bending to the oar lock and socket with the elevated oar lock. So I want to see if that will become a problem.

The Not so Bad

Somewhere during the end of the building process I came up with this idea of a combination cockpit sole, bilge pump and cockpit table all in one. The idea was to install the bilge pump on the underside of the cockpit sole and have a portable exit hose when I needed to pump the bilge. Also the threaded deck fitting could be used in the future to thread in a cockpit table (this idea is completely Tim's).

Well this sounded great and I even think Tim liked it. But the problem was the logistics of screwing in the bilge pump exit hose with its bronze fitting a length of very stiff hose.

I was mentioning this issue with my Uncle Dave when he casually mentioned that he had 600 feet or so of flat, roll-able irrigation hose that needed a home. This sounded great. It was flexible, stored well and was easy to install. The only problem was that it didn't work. I rigged up a test setup to check it out and found that the flat hose kinked very easily and then impeded the flow.

So I thought that I was back to the drawing board. But for some reason I kept thinking about the flat hose solution. I wondered if the contours of the cockpit and hull would be easier on the hose then my test setup was. So the next day I gave it a short and it kind of works. I need to try it with water to be sure and I will keep pondering for a better solution but this one ain't so bad.

And the Ugly

This one is pure ugly and it is all my fault. I just had to have a built in anchor locker. If there was a place where I told Tim to just do what I say this would have been it. By itself this might have been okay. But in addition I fell in love with these cool take-apart hinge / latch fittings that allow you, in theory, to open the door from either side or remove it entirely.

This is so messed up I don't even know where to start. First off it doesn't work at all. The close tolerance required from these hinges is so tight that they bind something fierce. In addition they actually hit their mating parts when opening and closing.

I tried grinding away a generous amount of the anchor door right under the fitting hoping that it would ease this binding. No dice.

The interference is between the fittings themselves. In addition I can hardly get the pins to release.

So I have been thinking about major alterations like removing the hinges from one side of the door and replacing them with pure latches. But I thought if I was going to pitch two of the hinges anyway I might as well have another go at the die grinder and remove a bit of hinge material to see if that helps. In addition I am going to clean up all the pin holes. This one is very ugly.