As the date of the lift-in – scheduled for Saturday 9th April! – is rapidly approaching, the boathouse team, while still supporting the sailing winter activities, is busily going through a full maintenance programme and attending to the many Club’s boats (63 in total!) and other assets to start the summer season in the best possible conditions.
Below is a non exhaustive overview of what is taking place in the boathouse:
The annual maintenance of the 2 Club launches has been slightly affected over the past 2 winters with the Covid situation and resulting lock downs but is now back on track. Every winter, the launches are fully sanded down and repainted (outside and inside) and the wood re-varnished as the engines core annual service is done and ‘bigger jobs’ that cannot take place during the summer are attended to.
This year, the focus has been on ‘Anne’ (the blue launch) with the repositioning of its water evacuation outlets, replacement of the cutlass bearing and realignment of the engine as well as a full change of it exhaust pipes.
The RIBs (the Club operates 9 RIBs, 1 ‘Whaly’ and 2 Secus) are continuously looked after but major maintenance (engine service, antifouling, repairs to seats, consoles, steering columns, sponsons etc) also takes place during the ‘quieter’ months.
This winter, the most noteworthy maintenance are the full retubing of the Club’s oldest, non yet refurbished, RIB, the Avon 4.7m “NYC 5” seen here being collected for this purpose.
On its return, the RIB will be fitted with a brain new Yamaha 40bhp engine (already ordered and in stock in Killen Marine) to replace the old carburetor engine that reached its end of life and was deemed non-economically viable to fix.
This follows on the retubing of “NYC 4” , our oldest RIB, which came back ‘as new’ last summer and is currently been re-antifouled in the boathouse (see picture below)
Meanwhile, the origin of the issue which caused the steering column of the ‘Whaly’ rescue craft has been identified…it was mainly caused by the softness of the manufacturer’s console resulting in too much play and resulting load on the steering column. We hope that, with the addition of a custom made stainless steel backing plate, the Whaly will not suffer from this issue anymore.
We ‘jumped’ on the opportunity to acquire two 2nd jibs in very good condition to replace worn, ‘end of life’, racing jibs which came with the 3 boats when acquired back in 2019 with the Sport Capital Grant.
Also, two of the old 2 strokes engines that came with the boats have now been replaced with more modern, reliable and slightly Parsun 4 stroke engines.
The J80s are subject to ongoing maintenance (sails, running rigging, winches etc etc) as problems are reported bak to the boathouse. These 28ft sportboats are actively competing in DBSC (Summer, Turkey Shoot, Spring Chicken) series to support our Ladies on the Water and U25s programmes.
The fleet of 4 boats, used for match racing series, will boast full new set of sails (mains, jibs, spinnakers) this coming season. A lot of work has taken place last December to repair / reinforce their carbon masts and spreaders and to ‘tighten’ the mainsail tracks which had widened over time and resulted in the sails ‘popping out’ of their grooves under load.
The fleet is extremely popular with the younger U30s members of the Club but a new programme of Match Racing ‘day clinics’ as opposed to 4 to 6 weeks long series, will be unveiled soon and will address all categories of members.
The boathouse took delivery on 8 new sails to replaced the older ones on its fleet of 11 Toppers. All ‘wear and tear’ items have been attended to. The Club Toppers are very popular as charter boats for both the summer and winter Club junior training programmes.
Last summer saw the addition of 8 ‘detuned’ triangular sails for our fleet of 8 optimist to facilitate the younger children taking part in the nipper programme.
We also just took delivery of 8 new ‘standard trapezoid’ training sails, which are sleeved onto the masts and are much easier for children to rig on the boats, which will replaced the old and fiddly to rig racing sails that came with the optimists.
No more rust?
In order to better preserve all the above mentioned new sails, especially against rust stains, the old lockers in the boathouse where the sails and running rigging of the Optimists and Toppers were kept, have been replaced with new ‘food grade’ shelving and plastic boxes.
Also, for the larger boats, the sails bags stored in the container outside the boathouse are now isolated from their metallic shelves by aerated plastics crates.
Rusty marks will also hopefully be a ‘thing of the past’ in the Club RIBs as all the junior section ‘training marks’ (traditionally an empty plastic can anchored by weight made of a length of rusty old chain) have been replaced with a new ‘design’ of pick-up buoys anchored by…neoprene coated kettlebell training weights!!!Remember…you saw it here first!
The junior section ever expanding training programmes can now avail of 12 ‘in harbour’ and 6 ‘outside harbour’ taylor made training marks.
Repairs and ‘heavy maintenance’ of the breakwater:
The Club breakwater took a heavy ‘pounding’ during the storm that hit Ireland at the start of January and was broken while under severe stress from extremely high spring tides combined with NE Storm force winds.
It has just been repaired with new connectors and buffers and the wear and tear of the anchoring chains (20 in total) identified during a dive survey last December have been attended to with the replacement of all chain lengths worn by 30% or over of their original section.