110 Cookson Lane | Whitefield, ME  04353 | 207-232-7600 |  tim@lackeysailing.com

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| Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The cabin top hand rails were in poor condition and already broken in several areas, and replacement was preordained.  With no pretense at saving the old rails, I chose to cut through the bases and fasteners, saving removal time. 



Continuing aft along the sidedecks, through the cockpit area and to the poop deck, I stripped most of the the remaining hardware, including the cockpit coamings and stern ladder. This meant that I spent a lot of time in the various cockpit lockers.  There were a few things still to remove within the cockpit well.






For the moment, the winch and winch base removal eluded me.  The first issue at hand, which I eventually solved, was how to disassemble the winches (Barient 24-45 ST).  It seemed simple enough:  there was a set screw within the top opening, but I found that the winch turned when I tried to loosen this screw. 

The answer turned out to be a square block of wood (cut to a strong 11/16" square, and a couple inches long) with a hole drilled through the middle, a simple replacement for a "removal tool" part that had apparently come with the winch when new.  The wood block allowed me to hold the winch drum from turning, while an Allen wrench inserted through the hole allowed me to loosen the screw and dismantle the top of the winch and remove the drum to expose the fasteners.



Unfortunately, the fasteners turned out to be carriage bolts, with their useless domed heads that make it nearly impossible--or at least extremely difficult--to remove them if the whole installation situation isn't hunky dory.  And this one wasn't hunky dory:  I'd already removed all the nuts from belowdecks, those securing both the winch through the thick wooden base as well as a large center bolt that I surmised held the wooden base itself.  On the port side, at least (which happened to be the first one I attempted), several of the fasteners had rotted out somewhere within the deck or winch block, their withered and rusted ends breaking somewhere inside.  (None of the fasteners on the starboard side had broken in this way when I removed the nuts.)

With no way to grip or turn the bolts from their top ends, I tried hammering the exposed bolts (those that remained) from beneath, to no avail; nor could I pry the winch base away from the winch block, or the block itself from the deck.  Clearly the long bolts were jammed within the wooden base.  Eventually, I decided to leave these for another time, but it looked like I'd need to destroy the wooden bases in order to remove them--and, more importantly, the winches--by cutting through the whole thing somewhere with a saw to release them.  The winches themselves seemed to be in fine shape.  With new coamings already a possible list item, I figured cutting apart the wooden winch bases wouldn't be the end of the world, though I knew it'd be a time-consuming job, so I hoped a new day would bring success to further removal attempts in one piece.

Total Time Billed on This Job Today:  8

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