5th to 8th May: Anchor Strakes, Tiller Extension, Forward Hold

May is starting with unsettled weather.  On the 5th May we had a gale on the river. (The unsettled weather was to continue during the month.)  So I’ve been doing bits and pieces on Seatern. I’ve finished of the “anchor strakes”, treated myself to a new tiller extension, and re-arranged the forepeak area… my for’ward hold!

Anchor Strakes:To protect the toe rail where the anchor chain hits I used hollow stainless steel rubbing strakes from Baseline Marine because it was in proper 316 marine grade stainless steel. That seemed important given the likely wear it will get. However to trim the ends I had to use the short lengths of rubbing strake which for some reason only come in 304 stainless. It will be interesting to see if there is a difference. To get the lengths to align I inserted some joining plates underneath made by cutting down stainless angle brackets which I already had. The ends really tidy up the look of what I’m calling my “anchor strakes”.

Tiller Extension: I’ve never liked the feel of the Allen tiller extension supplied by Swallow Boats and it was a bit too long, tending to jam against the mainsheet track when not being used. The latter was probably my fault since, being used to dinghies, I ordered the longest that would fit!

The new one is made by Spinlock and has a thicker handle section. I also used some “Grip Kit” tape from the Force 4 dinghy store to bind the metal part since I often find I’m holding the extension close to the tiller. The old extension was 68cm long, the new one is 62cm which means it clears the mainsheet track and is still an adequate length

Forward Hold: Following problems I’ve had to reconfigure my power generating system (“work in progress”, contact me for details) and this prompted me to rearrange the forepeak area which I use as a “forward hold”. Going clockwise from the aft port corner this now has: Fridge (in locker well, corner just visible behind bulkhead); crate containing fenders and anchor and motor-sailing shapes; small dinghy in red kit-bag; clothes/kit-bag space and asymmetric bag (on shelf); kedge anchor (Fortress 7) and warp; plastic bin holding kedge anchor chain and cabin heater stove; cabin heater and green bag for spare clothes; and toilet (in starboard locker well). The cabin heater fits into the wooden chocks to the right of the round hatch when it is in use. The chimney fits behind the plastic box when I’m sailing.