I’ll have a gin with that

Boats are terrible things to be working inside when they are up on the hard and its hot. They turn into little ovens without even the cooling benefit of the ocean around them. Most of today was spent outside though where the heat was a little less bad helping Colin with positioning the steelwork for the Hydrovane Wind Vane. The Hydrovane is a wind powered self steering device that will help the boat stay on course without me holding the tiller.

Today was the first time I was able to the see the steelwork for supporting the Hydrovane up against the stern of Trilleen. The welder has done a beautiful job with the complex joins in the stainless and I’m very grateful for their success in producing such a nice piece of metalwork – especially since it’s going to be on very public display.

Each of the windvane metal support frames weighs about six kilograms. That coupled with their very awkward shape means that getting them into position to drill the receiving holes into the transom (back end) of Trilleen isn’t something that can be done by hand. The alignment has to be done very precisely because the Windvane shaft is positioned at 90 degrees to the frames and if the frames aren’t in there right place the Windvane rudder will be angled and the boat won’t steer straight.

In the end Colin and I got the position right with a complex cats cradle of lines and the help of the spinakker pole rigged as a gin pole (standing derrick) on one side and the outboard motor crane on the other. I probably should have paid a lot more attention to the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship in my youth as the solution was not … elegant. The slow careful work of drilling and checking and drilling and checking then began, and at close of play we had four bolts of the eight in and the support bracket horizontal enough to avoid disaster.