Windvane Struts Mk III

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 27 May 2014 12:00

Alongside Nakanoshima
South west F0-5
Weather: sunny, mild

Today has gone very well all things considered. I purchased the length of one inch galvanised water pipe that I had spotted while walking around yesterday from the Panasonic shop shortly after opening time this morning and soon had it cut up into the appropriate lengths and beaten into shape using a bollard as an anvil.  Once the ends were flattened out I used a narrow crack in the concrete wharf to hold the flattened sections while I leaned on the pipe to bend them to the correct angles. Then it was just a matter of some careful measuring and drilling a hole in each end of the flattened sections and voila, two wind vane struts.  A final tidying up with the angle grinder and they were ready to bolt on.

I also drilled out and re-tapped the holes where the struts bolt onto the casting so as to take a larger and stronger bolt. Now they have been bolted on and I feel pretty pleased with myself in solving this little engineering problem with only the most rudimentary of materials and facilities. Whether they will be strong enough only time will tell, but certainly these new struts are much stronger than the last puny set I made up.  I will be very surprised if they don't get us to Alaska and beyond (touch wood). I think the only weakness now is where they bolt onto the casting. I shall have to check these regularly because if they work loose at all they will soon chew the casting out and strip their threads. Rust will undoubtedly be a problem as well, but being galvanised pipe this should only occur at the ends where I had to cut them to length and beat them into shape. Indeed, if these struts prove up to the job then when I get to the other side of the Pacific I may just get them re-galvanised and keep them for as long as they last. But perhaps I am getting ahead of myself.

The forecast remains good for continuing north. Tomorrow we sail.

All is well.