This is an informational post from your FSS Vice Commodores /Safety guy / Mast Wedge Inspector on various things that are boat (Friendship Sloop) related.
Well it’s officially winter. We here in Massachusetts have experienced our first hard freeze and the Rhododendron leaves are curled up tight. At times like this it’s hard to think about working on the boat but there are still lots of tasks that can be accomplished out of the weather, things that can accelerate your return to the water in the spring.
- Take all the sheets, halyards and dock lines and put them in a tub of fresh water to soak out the salt. A little mild soap won’t hurt them but remember, don’t use harsh chemical cleaners. Whatever you do don’t put them in the washing machine or you’ll be untangling the gargantuan knot until sometime next fall.
- Use the deep sink in the basement as a tub and a plumber’s plunger as the agitator. Any mild laundry soap, without bleach, will work. (The plunger also works well for clamming, but that’s another subject.)
- Overhaul your blocks. A fresh water rinse of the bearings and a little light oil do wonders for older traditional blocks. The newer high tech blocks only need the fresh water rinse.
- When the lines dry look them over. Now is a good time to renew the whipping on the ends or re-splicing loose or worn out thimbles.
- It’s a good time to renew any chafing gear that’s attached to dock lines or mooring pennants.
- How about the sails? When was the last time you gave them a good inspection? This may be a little ambitious if you live in a small house but a sailmaker is more likely to get the job done before spring if he gets the sails now rather than in March.
- Sail covers and cockpit covers should also be included in the inspection but that you can do yourself. They could probably go into the washing machine without causing much of a problem.
Now sit back and reflect on the great activities the Friendship Sloop Society had last year. We are certainly looking forward to more this coming year. Happy Holidays everyone.
Bill Whitney is Vice-Commodore of the Friendship Sloop Society and master and owner of GAIVOTA, FSS #214