Friday, January 2, 2009

Rigging the Whitehall

Last weekend was the warmest since I bought the Whitehall so I decided to try the rigging again. The problem is that this boat is more complex than most Whitehalls or similar boats. Between a lot of research on other boats and some trial and error, I think I have the basics right.

I did have one revelation while putting up the sail - all of the lines are new replacements. They either have not been used or have been used very seldom. There is no wear on the lines. While it is nice to have new equipment, this does make things harder in a couple of ways. First, I don't know for certain that all of the lines are the correct length or that I even have all of the lines I need. Similarly, the lines themselves have no memory. When you use a rope for the same purpose for a while, especially if it is under strain or if it gets wet then it is reformed. It remembers the shape it was in. This is handy later since it gives you a good indication that everything is where it should be.

A couple of related issues - the rope that was used has whipped ends that seem to have been hardened in something. They don't want to go through the grommets. I may have to replace some of the line with thinner rope to make it easier to lash the sail to the mast and boom. Also, there are two thumb cleats. Normally you could just jam the line into the cleat and it would hold but this new line is too hard and does not hold. The solution is to tie a quick-release knot where you want the line to hold but this is less than ideal.

One thing that bothered me when I got the boat was the floorboards. While everything else is perfectly finished, the floorboards were a faded gray. I realized that they are teak and require a different finish. While it was warm I applied some teak oil to the floor. It worked perfectly. After soaking in for a few days the floor now looks like fresh teak and compliments the cherry in the center. Apparently, like the outer paint, this is a maintenance item that had been neglected for a couple of years.

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