Thursday, 15 May 2014

Restringing Autohelm 1000

Last year I aqcuired an Autohelm 1000.  It worked lovely for a while then made some clunking noises and stopped working.  On removing the cover the string had dropped off the pulleys so I restrung it, with out instructions or knowing what I was doing, and slung it back together.  From then on would not hold a course... In fact it would steer hard to port then hard to starboard.. very off putting and enough to spill the G&T. It was then consigned to a locker for the rest of the season.
Last night I decided to have a look at it.  I searched the internet and was rewarded with step by step instructions.  On investigation the string hadn't just dropped off but had snapped, the free end had got jambed so it looked/felt like it was still in place.   I nipped out to get some whipping twine and made up a new string.  I measured the old string which would have been approx 34" (86.5cm for the youth).
Replacing String In Autohelm
Below are the instructions which I lifted from the Yachting and Boating world forum

Thanks to Geoff, not sure who Geoff is but thanks anyway, I would never have figured it out on my own.

Easy, but then I did it for a living for a few years.
1. Put the ram right in.
2. Orientate the unit so the compass is on the RHS and the motor etc on
the LHS
2. Undo the end of the feedback cord with the spring on it and lay the
string out towards you.
3. If you look at the pulley, there is a big bit and a little bit, on the
big bit there is a notch, aim that down toward the compass.
Now comes the fun bit!
4. From where the string is attached at the end of the guide on the ram,
take teh cord to the LHS of the pulley and start laying in in the lowest
groove of the big bit of the pulley.
5. Keep winding round the pulley anticlockwise for about 3.5 turns until
all the big grooves are full.
6. The string should now be brought out of the groove.
7. Still winding anticlokwise, take half a turn round the lowest point on
the small bit of the pulley.
8. Now take the cord around the compass half a turn again anticlockwise.
9. Secure the spring end back onto the gearbox.
And that's it.
Except if your unit is mounted on the port side, then you doe all the way up
to 8, the go CLOCKWISE round the compass and finish off on top of the
Finally, when you come to put the top case back on, sit it on but do not
press it home, If you look up inside the gap, you will see the cord is over
the case bosses, just push it in so it goes inside and the case will then
drop all the way down.
Have fun!

There is one addition to these instructions, the string needs to be hooked over a peg on the ram,  I have included a picture below, also from the YBW forum.. This one posted by 'Dipper'

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

At last... the sails are up :)

With opportunities to sail being limited so far this year,bank holiday Monday had been ear marked, nay nailed down in stone as a day to get out on the boat,  There were a few jobs that needed doing before I  could raise the sails... not least bending them on.
The first job, started on Sunday, was to service my lifejacket. I inflated it to ensure it still holds air but my main concern was to find that the gas bottle had unscrewed itself and was just sitting lose inside the jacket.  Anyway by Monday morning it was still inflated, the gas bottle weighed and correct; screwed back in; webbing checked and all repacked ready for another season.

I had ordered a couple of bits,  the paddle wheel on the Nasa Duet had split due to the metal trigger rusting and swelling, a simple job but I did expect it to last a little longer.  I'd also bought a couple of rigging screws as on of mine had got bent while raising the mast.   Unfortunately, although these are the size spec'd for a Hurley 20 they weren't suitable due to the replacement shroud plates, these are quite substantial on Ciao Bella and too wide for the fork on these 5/16 bottle screws.   I did however find a bracket to allow me to fit one so that I could continue with today's adventure.
I was on Ciao Bella by about 9:30 but it took all morning to get sorted and get the sails on.  I stopped for lunch around 12:30 and just sat enjoying the view,  Ali in her Mirror splashed by to say hello.

Cap'n Ali

As I was planning my afternoon adventure, Bede paddled over to say hello.  Bede has just bought an Alacrity and wanted to compare it with the Hurley 20.  I persuaded Bede to join me for a leisurely sail around the harbour.
Bede at the Helm
The weather was perfect for Caio Bella and really flattered her performance.  A constant breeze from the SW had her sailing at 5knots through the water most of the afternoon,  verified by my now working Nasa duet :)
We took her around South Deep and back to the main harbour area, as we approached the RoRo terminal I could see Daisy Grace beating towards us, lovely to see her out on the water, she get used a huge amount of time but this is the first time we've crossed paths.

 From here it was time to practice our tacking skills back to the mooring.  I'd had a great afternoon, I think Bede enjoyed it.  Not without it's hitches,  Hadn't realised anchor chain hanging over the bow and Spinnaker halyard wrapped in the furler but that kind of what a shake down sail is for.
Back on her mooring looking dressed with boom, sails and new boom cover.