And one of those small items was as ordinary as a mooring cleat for the foredeck. For whatever reason, my Alberg arrived with both forward mooring cleats aligned adjacent to the toe rail and a skene chock which made tight fit for both mooring and spring lines. The main mooring line had no other route but to go across the deck and cleat. The sheer number of important items all crowding into a 2 square foot area at the bow is challenging. I added the anchor roller and anchor adjacent to the furler assembly, then removed the windlass (seen here earlier) and yet the routing of lines with these obstructions and limited angles and spacing required adding another point at which to tie-to. It needed a substantial 8 inch mooring cleat.
|So the problem. It's a fine-tuning thing. Here, the windlass is still aboard the fore deck but you see the dockline and the springline feeding into the skene chock and immediately must wrap to one cleat.|
Shopping for an 8 inch aluminum cleat was quite interesting. Seems that China is in the business of manufacturing lots of boat parts. Their products have invaded Ebay's market. Yet the quality of their cleats did not appear worth the savings. And, after purchasing some inferior headlights for my Suburban (from China) which quickly crazed and yellowed after one year, I decided I would stick to USA manufactured parts. Albeit more expensive, I was able to find an 8 inch cleat for a variety of prices here too, mostly high everywhere, I selected one at Schaeffer (bold link opens to cleat page). Prices were as high as 80 bucks for this item around the interent. I finally settled for a 62 dollar 8 inch cleat for the foredeck with 4 1/4 inch countersunk holes for attachment.
I decided the large washers were enough of a deterrent to any force that might be applied to the foredeck. This cleat is for mooring not lifting the boat. Perhaps in some circumstance I might loop a tow line on it but figure the forces involved will not be sufficient to rip the deck apart. The Alberg is built like a tank anyway so I'm really not worried with this addition.
|Skene Chock for those who wonder....|
The result of installing the large mooring cleat on the foredeck enables routing the mooring and spring lines to different locations for securing the vessel.
|This photo was taken as the cleat adhesive is curing. Once I tighten the nuts below decks, I will run lines.|
Sure, it's no big deal unless you have the problem. But that's the way improvements are, you have a particular need and you address it as you can, in sequence, and with patience.
While wrestling in the chain locker below decks, I also took the time to undo wire nuts and use proper wire connectors. When the weather breaks, I will crawl back into the locker and begin applying some bulkhead paint to brighten things up below a bit more. The cold causes condensation on the inside surface thus making it difficult to sand and/or paint at this time of year.
In addition, after several orders to Boat US for graphics, I had stowed away some backup templates for Nautica since Boat US always sends a double set. I took the few minutes to apply her name on the beam. This will enable someone to know her name as they get overtaken on a reach.
As Winter plays out in a couple months here, I am planing on rolling-on some non-skid paint on various areas of the deck surface. I've found that best applied in cool conditions as the heat in summer here causes it to become sticky and apply unequally. So that's on the agenda. One of the important features for any deck surface.
So Winter's work list remains, not as labor intensive as summer, but all the more important to get things shipshape aboard while having plenty of time to sail as well! I realize that many may not realize I've a number of Alberg videos of sailing on our lake and the cold of Winter can often drive a lonely sailor to the warmth of 3 minutes aboard quite happily. Here it is...enjoy 😎
Complete. Had a fellow sailor lend me his hands to hold the screwdriver while I wratcheted tight the bolts below in the anchor locker.