Wednesday, December 19

Hanging a Keel in the Paint Shop

Hanging a keel in the paint shop for access to all sides
Among other things going on in the paint shop this winter is keel work for a race boat. This one is headed out to the west coast to compete in several regattas including the Transpac.

Paint Shop Project Update

By Andrew Spaulding
Beneteau Oceanis 45 with AwlGrip 545 primer going on the hull
Beneteau Oceanis 45 with AwlGrip 545 primer going on the hull

It is time once again to update you on the progress we’ve made on our Beneteau Oceanis 45 paint job. In November, we answered some reader questions about the project and now I’d like to update you on the job progress.

The first picture shows the gelcoat being sprayed with AwlGrip 545 primer which is the gray going over the white. The second step, seen in the second picture, is painting the boat with AwlGrip high build primer which is beige.

Beneteau Oceanis 45 with AwlGrip high build primer going on the hull
Beneteau Oceanis 45 with AwlGrip high build primer going on the hull

Strictly speaking, applying 545 primer to the hull, before applying the high build primer isn’t necessary. The high build primer is thick and therefore doesn’t do a good job of filling the pin holes, so the 545 primer allows us to ensure all imperfections are filled. The initial layer of 545 primer also helps seal the gelcoat and Awlgrip suggests this method to achieve the best results with the high build primer.

We use the high build primer to fill in larger hull imperfections and scratches. High build primer is named particularly well since its job is to build up a thick layer on the hull that is sanded to remove evidence of any defects, scratches or dings from the hull. This job could be done with many coats of the 545 primer, but as the name implies, high build primer gets the job done in fewer coats.
Beneteau Oceanis 45 in AwlGrip high build primer ready for sanding
Beneteau Oceanis 45 in AwlGrip high build primer ready for sanding

We sanded the whole hull fair with 150 grit sand paper. Once that was done, we sprayed the hull with 3 more coats of the 545 primer. This final layer of primer gets sanded in preparation to spray on the topcoat of Awlgrip paint.

Wednesday, December 12

Hose and Hose Clamps

By Andrew Spaulding

Wire reinforced hose

By now you’ve felt the chilled bite of winter’s arrival. What to do to keep warm over the long winter months? Work on the boat of course! A hose and hose clamp inspection project isn’t too taxing, although beware those few extra cookies around the middle don’t trap you in the lazarette.

What is the hose and hose clamp project you say? Checking all of your hose and hose clamps…bow to stern. Hose related failure can lead to dramatic, catastrophic failure. Anyone that has even a few years working in the marine industry can tell a horror story about a hose gone wrong. An annual ritual ought to be a comprehensive survey of your hose. The winter doldrums are a perfect time of year to inspect your hose.

I prefer to break down the boat compartment by compartment as I go looking for my hose. This way I know which hose I’ve looked at and which hose still needs inspection. Every hose and hose connection is suspect. Check each hose for cracks, discoloration, and kinks. Make sure that any place where the hose can abrade on a bulkhead or piece of equipment, that there is protection for the hose.

In any place that you have wire reinforced hose make sure to check for signs of rust. Rust indicates that the hose has suffered some wear and tear that is exposing the internal structure. This is a case for immediately replacing the hose, as this situation can lead to a dangerous failure. Typically wire reinforced hose is used in exhaust systems where even a minor hose failure can lead to carbon monoxide building up in the main cabin.

While you're checking the hose, make sure each hose clamp is tight. Even if it looks tight, loosen the hose clamp a quarter turn and then tighten it back up. If you don’t feel the hose clamp tighten right back up, it could be breaking, twisting apart, or the teeth could be loosening. Any of these situations require a new hose clamp. 

Since you are going to make the effort to look at all of the hose and hose clamps, take advantage of the current camera technology and take digital pictures of all of your hoses. This way you can compare your hose year to year to identify any degradation to your hose.

Taylor Canfield and Team USone Win the Monsoon Cup

Taylor Canfield from the Chicago Match Race Center and the rest of Team USone has won the World Match Racing Tour's Moonson Cup.

Wednesday, December 5


Harken MKIV Furler SALE! See below for details.

By Andrew Spaulding and Jon Paige
Harken MKIV Furler

One of the greatest labor saving inventions to find its way onto a sailboat is the jib furler. The jib furler was invented in Britain over 100 years ago and the original design was upgraded by a rigger from New York in the 1960s. Ever since jib furlers were invented a steady stream of upgrades has increased the reliability so now a properly maintained furler will provide a decade or more of faithful service. Furlers have a long history of innovation:   First they freed cruising boats from needing large crews and now furlers can be found on the latest racing boats furling spinnakers from the top down.

Harken’s MKIV Jib Furler is the iconic brand’s latest edition of a world renown furler. The MKIV is designed to be a performance cruising and racing furler. I prefer it from the cruising furler because it has a double groove headstay with robust construction for racing which means a long, trouble free life in a cruising application. The double groove forestay allows you to fly double headsails down wind which is much easier to do short-handed than flying a spinnaker.

One of the upgrades the MKIV offers over Harken’s cruising furler is the foil joints. The MKIV foil joints are triple-interlocked with shaped connectors, adhesive and screws. When attached together according to Harken’s specifications the foil joints will withstand years of torque loading.

MKIV Foil Section
Another great feature of the Harken MKIV jib furler is its ability to perform well on wire or rod forestays with rod, swage, Norseman, or Sta-lok terminals. It has multiple toggle options to adapt to a variety of turnbuckles and it can be fitted for a fork or a toggle chainplate installation.

Harken’s recommended MKIV maintenance is to flush the unit frequently with fresh water…easy to do here on Lake Michigan! Also, periodically it needs to be cleaned with a mild detergent and water solution…we recommend at least once a year. It is this easy to maintain your furler and protect your investment in easier sail handling.

This December (2012), we are offering the Harken MKIV at 25% off retail, including new forestay.  For example, the Unit 1 furler (typically sized for a 28’ – 36’ LOA) with new forestay is normally $3266, your price $2450 + $570 installation.  That’s a total of $3020, still less than the retail price of the furler.  This offer only applies to installations carried out at our yard.  For further details and a more detailed estimate for your boat, contact Jon Paige at or 773-364-1339.

Picture of the Week - December 5, 2012

Taylor Canfield from the Chicago Match Race Center
Taylor Canfield from the Chicago Match Race Center competing in the World Match Racing Tour's Moonson Cup. Currently Taylor is in third place. Click here for the latest results.