Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Time to give love to the ground tackle

Well, now that it is the turn of the year, I use this occasion to trigger many of my offseason maintenance projects. Most recently, I pulled out all my ground tackle to give it some love after a hard year of use and abuse.

For me this entails pulling out all the chain and line and detaching the chain at both ends from the anchor and the 3 strand. This top photo is the ground tackle laying beside Aeolus on the dock. I do this to switch the ends of the chain, so one side isn't always getting the abuse. Since I mark my chain with colored cable ties for depth markings this means I have to cut all those off and remark the chain with the proper depths in the new direction.

The most fun is cutting off the 3 strand splice and re-splicing it to the chain. It is so much fun to splice lines and I got to sit on the deck of Aeolus on a rare sunny morning last week and do it up just nice and pretty.

As part of this I actually cut down my chain a bit as I had about 220 feet plus 150 of 3 strand, and have yet to come anywhere near the chain alone. So I cut off 20 feet of chain and now have a total of 350 feet of total capacity. My chain is 3/8 BBB and my line is 5/8 3 strand. Primary anchor is 35 lb CQR that has never dragged or caused any concern. This ground tackle lets me go 5:1 in 70 feet of water, and in our local cruising waters we have no need for more than that. Especially since our tackle is oversized to begin with, it is rare even in a good blow that I have used more than 3:1, and again I have never dragged even in 40 knot blows at Sidney Spit or near Sooke in BC.

The anchor locker on a Gulf 32 is just big enough to accomodate this amount of tackle. You can just see my lovely Lofrans Tigres windlass at the side of this photo. Anyway, it is great to have the tackle in great shape and be changing filters and everything else as part of the winter projects. We hope to get out for a quick sail tomorrow, on 1/1/09, to start the year off right.

We had an absolutely amazing sailing year in 2008. A quick list of destinations would include: countless trips to Jones Island, trips to Portland Island, many trips to Stuart Island, Spencer Spit, Sidney Spit, Victoria, Beecher Bay, Oak Harbor, Saanich Inlet and Todd Inlet, South Pender and gosh other places that don't immediately jump to mind. We sure pass a lot of water under her keel considering we are not full-time cruising.

No comments: