Starting to fit the new bow roller

No progress yesterday as we went to a distant family funeral. Then today has been one of those days where you plan one thing and end up doing something completely different.

Jane was going to work on mast tangs and I was going to work on the main mast. However, when we discovered from Keith at Anglesey Fabrication that our new bow roller was ready for fitting we switched to that.

After struggling to lift it up the ladder last time we decided to do it sensibly with our man overboard block and tackle.

Once in place we had to figure out the changes to make to be sure it fits properly and all the original holes line up.

After some grinding, cutting and drilling we have a good fit. We drilled out the old bolt holes which go through a solid timber core. In total 80mm thick. The edges of the timber had clearly got a bit wet at some point so we have then filled it with thickened epoxy and will drill new bolt holes through that.

We cut the old softer gap filler and have used thickened epoxy to fill everything. We now have some plastic and foam tiles in place to hold everything while the epoxy cures (helped by a fan heater). Just after we finished some rain came so we now have a fan heater in the old anchor locker and a tarpaulin over the lot.

Now we need to order new bolts and start preparing a replacement for the forward end of the old anchor locker (which becomes the backing plate for the new aft extension to the whole assembly).

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Hopefully we will have the actual roller fitted early next week and then we can test with the anchor and sort out the various rigging attachments and the “cage” to stop the anchor escaping and damaging the dyneema rigging.

Given that the bow roller assembly is critical to our safety while sailing (forestay attachment and holds the anchor in place) and when anchored (for obvious reasons) we are happy to have something that is oversized and that we are very confident is extremely well attached to the boat. Gary from GRP Fabrications thinks we plan to use it to attack marinas like a modern day Roman Galley 🙂

I’ve just checked and it has all gone hard to the touch so I have been able to pull off all the plastic, wood and foam. Ready for a quick sand and then we can continue with the support base and backing plate for the aft part 🙂 Not tomorrow though as lots of rain is forecast.

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