Saturday, 19 March 2016

Pasito Blanco - Day 5

Days 3 an 4 were spent working mainly on improving the installation of the solar panels. I had previously installed new stainless tube rails supported by uprights bolted to the toe rail. The panels are fitted to the tube rails and can swing up to the horizontal or down to the vertical stowed position. The first problem was lack of rigidity and therefore I had brought over some aluminium flat bar and bits and pieces to attach the bar to the upright tubes. I fixed two bars on each side at roughly 45 degrees to prevent the whole assembly from moving backwards and forwards. That did the trick but it took all day Thursday to accomplish. Hours of drilling and filing were involved.

On Friday I remembered another problem which was that when we fitted the Bimini in Horta we had to move the solar panels forward because the Bimini fouled them. Unfortunately we moved them too far forward so that when in the stowed position they fouled the winch handle . I therefore had to move them again which involved amongst other things re-positioning most of the fixings I had spent all day Thursday working on. Eventually however it was all completed and another day was accounted for.

Today I started off by hosing/scrubbing down the decks and the cockpit which were covered in grime caused by the fine sand that sometimes blows in from Africa. Then I re-fitted the boom that I had removed in order to replace the goose-neck fitting. Agustin had very kindly drilled a hole in the new fitting so that a retaining pin could be inserted. It was the shearing of the old pin in the old goose-neck fitting that had resulted in the boom almost falling off on my failed attempt to sail to Flores in the summer. I didn't realised what had happened at the time. Indeed it was only when I got to Pasitio and took the old fitting off that I figured out the cause.

Then I tackled a job that I was feeling quite apprehensive about - repairing the connecting tube on Angus. The original had cracked and I had taped it up before leaving Horta. Whilst back at home I ordered a stronger carbon fibre tube. This afternoon I ground out the wooded dowel fittings from the ends of the old tube with a hand file and glued them into the new tube. Tomorrow I will reinsert the bolts/connecting fittings into the dowels. That will be the critical point. Will the dowels stay firmly in position or will they rotate as I screw the bolts in? Fingers crossed! If all goes well I can then re-assemble Angus.