I have the boat back at the dock after yard work this spring. It is a bit of an unusual boat and I enjoying sharing pictures and my progress to make it easier to single-hand. First the unusual part, the boat model is Clearwater, built by Holby Marine in 1990, they only made 7. I have posted about it before, it has a swing keel and rudder that kicks up to draw 1' 10", but since I had it out of the water I thought I would show some pictures.
Hauled it is shown here with the keel and rudder up (which you cannot really see). While it was on the crane we weighed it at 9,000 lbs mostly empty.
This is what the rudder looks like kicked up:
the rudder pivots in a cage and is raised and lowered by a pair of lines. the PO must have had trouble getting it to work, so he over-sized the lines and that made matters worse. I actually had to use the winches to raise and lower the rudder, so this was one of the things on the to-fix list. It cost me new sheaves(the old ones were bent) and lines and more than a few hours of labor to access the parts inside the rudder cage. But the results were great, as I can raise and lower the rudder easily by hand now.
Here is the keel fully retracted:
It is a lead keel (2500#) and is raised with a manual 2 speed winch on the cabin top. More about that later.
After power washing one of the first things we noticed was that there was little bit of play in the rudder shaft, so I had them pull the cutlass bearing to check it.
the old one looked like this, so that was another job added to the list.
I had wanted the Max prop serviced anyway, so once it was off they replaced the bearing, then serviced and polished the prop.
And I had the bottom painted and the topsides waxed and polished. You can see the rudder and keel in the down position in this pix.
My reason for purchasing this boat (our first boat and we have had it 2 years now with this work needing to be done) is because the creek we are on in NC is nominally 4' and I have to raise and lower the rudder and keel every time I come back to and leave the dock.
Previously both were giving me trouble, with the rudder now fixed I looked for a solution for raising the keel.
This was the old method, a ratcheting winch handle on a two speed winch on the cabin top. It needs to ratchet because the Dodger prevents making a full turn.
I looked into a motorized winch, but that is big $$$, so I went this way.
A 28 volt cordless Milwaukee right angled drill. I picked up the drill, charger and battery for around $400, then had the shop cut down an old winch handle and weld the bit to square shaft to fit the drill. It used to take me a good 10 minutes of cranking, now the keel comes up in less than a minute on slow speed for the drill and winch.
My mainsail lines are at the mast.
I looked into adding reefing lines and running them and the main halyard back to the cockpit, but it really did not seem practical, so I just use jack lines and a harness when I leave the cockpit to handle the sail duties. Since I knew I would be single-handing the boat, for day sailing, I added an autopilot last year (that job I wrote up in another thread).
I have instruments, compass, radio, autopilot controller and gps at the helm.
I was out sailing this week when the wind was gusty (10 - 18 knots). I normally don't sit at the wheel, but rather on the Lazaret with my back against the lifesling bag, its comfy and I can look up and see the sails.
The boat heads up when a gust hits and I have to steer into the wind, set the autopilot, move around the wheel (the big wheel is nice for sitting outboard as well, but it is tight getting around) to let out the main sheet. So I am questioning how to handle the main sheet when seated aft or on the outside? What do people do in this situation? Do you sail with the main sheet always in your hand, so you can make adjustments or should I lead it aft to someplace I can temporarily cleat it off?
One last little addition, the lines for the rudder were previously gathered and laid onto the top of the rudder cage structure. I was worried they might fall thru and wrap the prop (I suppose I could cut them shorter) but I found a nylon bag in Walmart that is used for washing items like sneakers that seems to fit the bill as a line bag that sits nicely under the seat at the helm.