Windlass Install for Dummies- if you have never installed a Windlass, this might be the blog and post that will help you along. To recap, my Windlass was installed and I had finally put it all together, but the custom woodwork around the outside of the Windlass was torn up…..fixing it was out of my skill level….what to do?
After putting them all together and looking over the surrounding woodwork, I knew I could never fix it and the job needed to be done right. I called in an expert woodworking company in the San Diego marine industry, the Yacht Docktor’s. This company has a small group of expert carpenters who specialize in boat repairs, any size or shape boat. But…they are a bit more expensive than some other companies in the industry. We had used their services before so I knew I would get a high quality build with minimum fuss and I would learn from them in the process. Our carpenter for the build came on the boat and did the initial survey, taking less than 20 minutes to talk through expectations and allowing me to ask what I could do to defray the cost of the project. Although it doesn’t always happen because owners work or are just not around, most folks around the area don’t mind owner involvement as long as you have a learning mindset (I’m up front that I want to learn and NOT micro-manage). Anyone who didn’t want me involved…I might find someone else to do the work.
Top Arrow: He wanted that whole piece to come out, above and below decks. It was already loose, so it was easier than it looks. I like to break things too. Once out, there was a huge hole in the deck, right into the chain locker. I sealed the hole from the bottom with a piece of wood; allowing me to fill the hole from the top with hardening epoxy and chunks of fiberglass, strengthening the overall bond and setting him up to use a smaller piece of teak filler through the deck. You’ll see this in the next photo.
Second and bottom Arrow: Despite the directions telling me to put in bedding compound, the carpenter insisted that it come out. So I had to scrape it all out. Once finished, I had to sand it all down including taking out the broken chunk right below the arrow.
Lines: A groove needed to be put in so water can escape from the Windlass. Little details that are so important but easily overlooked if you’re in too much of a hurry.
The top arrow shows you the waterproofing epoxy core I put in through the deck when finally completely dry and the second arrow shows you the cleaning and sanding job I did in preparation for the carpenter to come in and finish the job. He would take this in steps, as he started by taking exact scale measurements, then creating the teak pieces on the cutting edge machines in the shop on Shelter Island. Once finished, he came back to the boat at least twice to measure and finish detail work. This process took at least a week or more, so it wasn’t a rush job.
And now, deep breath!
Lest you think I stopped and rested on my laurels because the Windlass was done…I didn’t. I had the old A/C power to the Windlass and Bow Thruster converted to a two-battery DC system, I cleaned out and painted the entire giant chain locker and I took out all 275 feet of chain and carefully checked it, took off the cruddy old chain markers and added my own custom sewn chain markers. These are the next three project posts I’ll write, but for now……PROJECT WINDLASS DONE!
Writer and Editor: Son of a Sailor