Cleats, Winches, Pad Eyes and other Deck Hardware

Most if not all of our deck hardware is original (read: old), some of it is rusty, and even cracked (yikes!)  Some things might need to be replaced, but most of it is in good shape just needs some TLC.  When we rehabbed the decks and cabin top we took off all the winches, cleats, pad eyes, etc.  The backing plates for the deck hardware were originally mounted on top of the headliner.  I realize that’s handy if you need to re-bed something, or want to see if something is leaking, but it’s kind of ugly.

Since we removed the headliner, we also had to remove the backing plates and decided to remove the deck hardware as well.  Rich dug out any rotten core and filled the holes with epoxy.  Several pieces of hardware are mounted on teak blocks and rings.  Rich sanded and epoxied the teak pieces as well.  He then epoxied the teak to the deck and painted all of it with Awl Grip so hopefully we’ll never have to refinish those teak pieces.  He drilled new holes to reinstall the hardware (which he also polished), and bedded everything with butyl tape.


We’ve got 8 winches total.  Two big self-tailing Lewmar 42s in the cockpit for the jibsheets; a Barlow 23-26 for the staysail sheet on the starboard side, and a Barlow 20 for the mainsheet on the port side.  On the mast we have two Barlow 15s – one below the boom on the aft side for the reefing lines and one on the port side for the staysail halyard; an Eknes 20s on the starboard side for the main halyard; and a Barlow 23-26 on the port side for the jib halyard.


We have six really nice, large stainless steel cleats (two fore, two aft, and two at midship) that we use for dock and spring lines.  Two cleats will be at the back of the cockpit (though we haven’t installed them yet) that we’ll use for a stern anchor and other things.  We have cleats for the jib roller furling line and jib and staysail sheets.


Standing Rigging

On a sailboat, standing rigging generally refers to lines, wires, or rods which are more or less fixed in position while the boat is under sail.  We think most of our standing rigging was new in 2003 when the Ballenger mast was installed, except for the bob and whisker stays.  The wire stays still look good, but we will be replacing them either before heading over the horizon or during the trip.  We also might change the back stay to running back stays.  We have no idea how old the roller furlers are though.  Both furlers were in good condition, but didn’t roll as easily as they should have.  We decided to remove the staysail furler (it was the stickiest) and change it to a hank-on staysail.  We’re keeping the furler parts as a backup for the jib furler.

When we had the bracket fabricated for our SL 555 windlass we included an attachment point for the staysail stay.  We decided to remove the staysail furler and go with a hank-on staysail.  The bracket was a little narrower than we needed so the sides of the bowsprit had to be shaved down a little where the bracket was going to sit.


Chainplates are a pretty important part of the rigging and since ours are 39 years old we thought it would be prudent to change them.  Also, there was a bunch of rusty water leaking from them which is a pretty good indicator that water has gotten in and there might be a problem.  Unfortunately, the chainplates on this boat are glassed into the hull and supported by wooden knee-blocks.  We have a couple of options on how we can replace them and we haven’t decided which way we’re going to go yet.  Option 1 is to cut the chainplates out, check the knee-blocks and probably replace them, put new chainplates back in and glass the whole thing up.  Option 2 is to cut out the chainplates and knee-blocks and relocate the chainplates outboard.  Both options have their merits and their demerits.

UPDATE 9/10/2015

Not a lot of progress on this front, other than we’ve made the decision to move the chainplates outboard.  We’re also going to add one chainplate to each side (most of these boat seem to have three per side, while ours has only two).  We ordered cast-bronze chainplates from Port Townsend Foundry.  They do good work, but they are a hassle to deal with.  The chainplates were supposed to take about a month and it took over three months to get them.  In that time, Rich got a job and we ran out of time to get the chainplates installed before winter.

UPDATE May 2017

This project is DONE.  We had to finish it before we could finish the decks since we had to fill in the old chainplate penetrations.  It turned out to be easier than we thought.


I didn’t realize how important our bowsprit was until we took it of the boat.  It’s an integral part of the rigging and when we realized it was rotting we were worried.  The original bowsprit was solid teak.  It had several holes where the old bracket for the staysail used to be before a PO installed the roller furler.  The holes were never filled or covered so I’m sure that’s one of the reasons the thing started to rot.

The new bowsprit is three pieces of vertical grain Douglas Fir lumber laminated together with epoxy.  Rich made three stringers for supporting the bow pulpit out of Doug Fir as well.  The stringers are mortised onto the bowsprit with epoxy and screws.  Rich carved the back curve and front tapered end by hand.  The whole thing is covered with epoxy, two-part epoxy primer (Interlux) and two-part linear polyurethane paint (also Interlux).  One horizontal hole and one vertical hole were drilled for through bolts.  Stainless steel tubes were installed in the holes to prevent them from elongating once the bolts were in place.

Samson Posts

There are two posts at the back of the bowsprit called Samson posts.  The originals were solid teak, had stainless steel caps on top and extended all the way to the bottom of the chain locker.  When we took the caps off, the teak underneath looked in really good condition and you could really see how worn out the exposed parts of the Samson posts were.  The new Samson posts are two pieces of Sapele laminated together with epoxy.  We installed the posts and drilled a hole through the middle where the through bolt was going to go.  The posts are also bolted to a bulkhead glassed into the chain locker.

With the posts were temporarily in place, we installed the bowsprit.  We had a little trouble lining it up so that it didn’t look crooked, but we eventually got it right.  A king bolt is inserted vertically through the top of the bowsprit and through the deck.  A second bolt is inserted through the Samson posts and back of the bowsprit.  The kranz iron is installed onto the front and the whisker and bobstay stays attached.  The bolts for the Samson posts were tightened and then the bow pulpit was reinstalled and the lifelines reattached.  The final step was to seal around the Samson posts so they wouldn’t leak into the chain locker (we used 4000 UV sealant).

Running Rigging

Running rigging refers to the parts of the rigging that change fairly often while under sail.  All the sheets (lines that control the sails) are running rigging.  Running rigging gets a lot of use, wear and tear.  We are going to replace ours before we start sailing full-time.


In sailing, a sheet is a line (rope, cable or chain) used to control the movable corner, called a clew, of a sail. The sheets that came with our boat were in good condition, but as with most things, we are going to replace them.

Jib Track & Cars

The jib track cars are also part of the running rigging.  We plan to replace the jib tracks and cars in the summer of 2016.

Traveler Arch

The traveler arch is also part of the running rigging.  Tayanas come standard with a teak traveler arch.  We replaced ours with a Garhauer traveler that we think will work more efficiently.

Running Backstays

We also plan to change our backstay (part of the standing rigging) to running backstays.  We’ll try to tackle this when we do the chainplates.

To be continued …

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