Monday, March 12, 2012

Drill Baby, Drill...More Holes in Jep's Deck!

No, I'm not referring to one of the Republican campaign slogans from 2008. We had some beautiful weather this past weekend so I thought I'd start my spring prep work and drill some more holes in Jep's deck!

After purchasing my new mainsail last year, I decided to run the main halyard through a rope clutch and back to a winch. This allowed us to put desired tension on the luff of the sail. The jib halyard, however, simply ran back through a Spinlock PXR Cam cleat. The PXR is a great little cam cleat but its prized selling point is also its fatal flaw.

The cleat features an adjustable release spring that allows you to control how easy the cam cleat is to release. The feature certainly sounds nifty, but even at the highest resistance level, if one sits on a halyard under tension, the cleat will release and down goes your head sail! After this happened for the third time this past season during a race, I decided I was going to give the jib halyard the same setup as the main halyard.

I purchased another Spinlock XAS Powerclutch and Forespar #6 Marelon winch. I was a little hesitant getting another Forespar #6 as we tore up the main halyard winch in one season. After talking to the fine folks at Forespar, they sent me a brand new replacement under the product warranty. Once I received and inspected the replacement, it seemed they made some product improvements as the winch operated far smoother than its predecessor. Combined with the positive customer service experience, I decided to give Forespar another go and get a matching winch for the port side of the boat.

Drilling holes in the deck has almost become second nature since I've installed deck organizers, a winch, clutch, cam cleat, and genoa track. Chad came to help with the installation and we popped the new winch and clutch on in no time.  Afterward, we finished up a few other miscellaneous projects, had a couple more beers and called it a day.

Next up: bottom paint!

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