Latest News: Forums Technical W438 – some newbie questions Re: Re: W438 – some newbie questions

Bob Harland

Oliver, in case you have not found it already the WIC have some useful information on restoring wooden boats;
you may find the techniques used help with your repairs.

I have given answers on some of your questions below – hope they help.

@Zindon wrote:


As you can probably see from one of the earlier pictures, the rear buoyancy tank is not accessible, as the section where the hatch fits was removed with a solid piece of wood. I have the original hatch; the previous owner said I could cut a hole and restore the hatch if required. I am a bit loath to cut a hole in my boat – any thoughts on this? He said this had been done to avoid leaks.

If you don’t need the storage space then ok – but I think you do need some bungs. If any water is getting in then it is vital that it is drained out.

The boat has taken a little damage at the front where it’s rubbed on the winch. Is there a standard way of avoiding this?

I would avoid using a winch – it puts a lot of strain onto a single point, not a good thing on an old boat. A rubber snubber instead.

The trailer has seen better days – I only spotted this after I’d towed it from Norfolk to Cornwall. Clearly this needs a new piece of box steel. This might sound a daft question but how should I get the boat off the trailer in order to fix the trailer? Without actually putting it in the water?

With your trailer I think you need to support the transom – eg on a workbench – then one person lifts the boat at the bow, another person slides the trailer out. If you have more people then it is easier!

Forestay – the wire part of the forestay is not enough to reach the bow. There is a rope attached to it which makes it long enough. This helps when raising the mast (which is very difficult on my own – is there a trick to this?) Is this right? Basically it means if the mast is up without a foresail attached so you pull on the jib halyard, the mast is slightly dubiously held up by a this wire/rope combination.

This is the normal method – the rope tail should be long enough to make a few turns and hence is plenty strong enough. Your wire forestay does look a few inches short though. Raising the mast is done by hand – from within the boat. Only use the forestay once you have the mast in position.

Cleats – These two cleats are the only ones at this part of the boat. I’m used to every line having it’s own jam cleat. I am alright to use these two old-fashioned cleats for main and jib halyard, kicker, and downhaul?

It looks like you have a fairly modern mast – if you don’t have cleats on the mast then fit some.

Outhaul – this is where I am completely stumped. See below pictures of the boom:

It should be possible to use a thin lanyard and take a few turns around the “horns” or lug at the end of the boom.
This would be a fixed outhaul, once set you could not adjust it underway. This was a simple and common method.
If you want to be able to adjust it then some mods are required. There some posts on the forum about this.

One final question – no battens came with my boat – I bought some but the lower ones are about 3 cm too long. They are Aquabatten tapered battens – am I alright to shorten them with a hacksaw and replace the end cap? Presumably I shorten them at the thin end?

Yes – that should be fine.