49 Fitting Out for the new Season

Spring is at last on the horizon with a new season to look forward to. If you’re going to make the most of the season, a little time and effort spent now will reap its rewards once the good weather hits and should mean you minimise your lost days on the water and have a safe and successful season.


opefully you made a good start by following our advice when

you laid up your boat and packed it away properly. If you did you will find things much easier now but if you skimped on the laying up, your jobs list will simply be a bit longer. Boat maintenance, whether it’s a little dinghy or an offshore cruising yacht, is a continuous process requiring a constant watch for anything that may need attention. However, the beginning of the season is the time for a more comprehensive inspection and service of your boat’s systems and structure.

TOPSIDES AND DECKS Wooden boats are at risk of damage caused by failure of the paint, varnish or epoxy coatings and the ravages of freshwater and frost. Salt water is a mild preservative, so most problems are found where rainwater is allowed to settle. Any damaged paintwork or varnish needs attention. A polish and wax will give a GRP boat a new lease of life and is especially important for deep colours which tend to fade

relatively quickly. Check fibreglass mouldings for scratches, chips, stress cracks and other gel coat damage. DOWN UNDER Whilst the main job here is cleaning the bottom and antifouling, there are other important servicing tasks that must be carried out to prevent the risk of expensive damage at a later date. Among these are the anodes that protect the propeller, shaft and P-bracket from galvanic action. Make sure you check the cutlass bearing that supports the propeller shaft either at the P-bracket, or where it exits the hull, for wear. Ideally there should be little more than 1mm of movement of the shaft here. Yachts with sail-drive units also

have an anode (usually just ahead of the propeller) that needs regular inspection and replacement. Failure to do so can cause the alloy outer casing to succumb to corrosion. In addition, at the very least sail-drive units should have the oil inspected for evidence of water ingress while the boat is ashore, although some manufacturers specify renewing the

By Chris Robinson, Dartmouth Chandlery

oil annually. If any water is present in the oil (it will appear as a milky substance) the oil seals around the shaft that exits the drive underwater will need to be replaced. Rudder bearings should also be checked with the boat ashore – there should be minimal movement if you try moving the bottom of the rudder blade from side to side. Any play in the steering, whether as a result of worn bearings or other problems, should also be rectified as quickly as possible. On a boat with wheel steering, the entire mechanism should be checked for

1000s of boating & sailing bargains

Saturday June 2nd 2012 Newton Abbot Racecourse

May 2017

Why not bring a small boat to sell or a car boot full of nautical bits for only £20! For more information call Lucy on 01803 835915,

pop into Compass Books on Bayards Cove or check us out on line.

Why not bring a small boat to sell or a car boot full of nautical bits for only £20! For more information call Tim on 07831 337951. Check us out online or on Facebook – Compass Boat Jumbles

Devon Boat Jumble Saturday 27th

Newton Abbot Racecourse from 10am Gate opens 10am - Adults £3 - children / parking free - dogs on leads welcome Entrance Fee £3.50 for adults with accompanied children and car park free

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