Working in the Wet

After demolishion

After demolishion

The rat's nest of wires behind panel

The rat’s nest of wires behind panel

I chose to finish removing the windlass in the rain. The good thick cables to the windlass had been terminated with soldered loops which had melted the insulation and was impossible to get through the holes. A hacksaw finished the job – I may live to regret that! Back home, I scraped, scrubbed and washed with fresh water a load of aluminium salts off the shell of the windlass – it does look better! I hope to remove the gypsy and pulley to grease the bearings. The first attempt failed. However, when the windlass was connected to a battery, it worked! Both forwards AND backwards!

The turning blocks on the coachroof had seized and they had to be removed. They are bolted into metal plates bonded into the fibreglass. I managed to remove all 8 bolts without breaking any, “success!” Back home, a great deal of heat, WD-40 and mole-grips (not necessarily in that order!) freed all the pulleys.

The washboard sort-of fits, a few more tweaks should fix it before it is varnished and fitted to replace the steel plate. The chart table panel needs a re-design; plan A has been produced. I also found a bundle of nine cables, they appear to be original and may be used for the nav instruments. A job for next time is to chase where to spaghetti of cables end up. From Totnes, I went to Plymouth to buy some “marine” ply both for the chart table and to replace some rotten bunk bases.

Back home, I tested the autopilot using the caravan battery and surprise, surprise, it worked! To celebrate, I created a mounting panel for the autopilot controller which we will fit into the port side cockpit locker. I’m quite pleased with it and glad that I’ve got a good router!

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