New ingress deterrents. Theft and water.

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I changed the rubber gaskets/ washers on the keel pivot bolt for the Siren today. I did it the hard way. First I dropped the mast so I could get the boat onto the lift at the yacht club. Also so I can re-thread the jib halyard through the block… The one I pulled out by mistake on Sunday morning…

I had Jasmine with me to help with the keel bolt removal. She did some of the videotaping and handed me stuff as I needed it.

I put the boat on the lift and got it off the trailer and onto saw horses. Then I put my small automotive floor jack under it and used a 1×3 to lift up on the front of the keel. Just enough to take the weight off the bolt so I could remove it. About ⅛”. Then it was into the cabin to undo the nut and get the bolt out. That went really well. All told I was done in 20 minutes. That included taking photos and making a video of the whole process. It’s a pretty easy repair.

I’m going to write up a tutorial on how to remove and replace the washers as soon as I have time. I’ll email the instructions to all of the people that I’m sending the rubber washers to. So far I’m sending washers to 8 different Siren 17 owners in Canada.

I’m going to replace the block for the jib halyard with a new one I have. It’s a triple block but that is fine for now. I will order a new double block and install it in the spring. Then I’ll put the triple block on the chicken head for the main halyard and topping lift.

To replace the jib halyard I will need to drill new holes and move the attachment to the mast. It will be too low if I install the new one where the one that is their now is. The one that is there now isn’t in the best of shape. It’s corroded and sometimes gets the halyard caught in it. (It’s not meant for sailboats. I think it’s meant to raise bikes to the ceiling of your garage.) It worked for a year and that’s about the life span of this pot metal block.

I went by the shop after I was done at the club. I had to lock up one of my ladders that one of my buddies had borrowed and returned yesterday. (I forgot to go over last night after he dropped it off.) I was relieve to find the ladder where it is supposed to be. I was kind of surprised to find it still there too.

There’s been a rash of break ins and thefts in the area as of late. London has a little bit of a Meth problem… It seems to have migrated to the nicer areas of town from the East end. The shop is close to downtown and on the corner of a main thoroughfare. There seem to be a lot of people that use my yard at night to cut the corner… Not my front yard. The back yard! I removed the fence a few years ago after someone drove through it. Yes drove through my 4’ high chain link fence… Then drove back through and away… I’m thinking of putting up another fence so through traffic is a little more difficult.

While I was at the shop I noticed the lock on the new trailer tool box had been tampered with. It was bent and partly open… Someone wanted into the tool box… The lock is a small combination type lock that is good for a locker or something. (I use them on the boats and the trailer tongues of the boat trailers.) I have been switching to combination locks that I can set the combination on. This is so I don’t need a huge ring of keys for 20 different locks… When I saw the bent lock I was reminded of a lock set on sale at Princess Auto. I couldn’t recall how many locks came in the package.

Off Jasmine and I went to Princess Auto. The sale ends today… Turns out the package has 12 locks that are all keyed the same. All for $14. Yea! I picked up a set and set off for the shop again. I changed 4 locks at the shop. 2 on the new trailer, one on the small shed and one on the ladders. I use locks on the ball hitch of each trailer so I know the trailer will stay where I put it. I have the Siren trailer at the club and will put a new lock in it tomorrow. Then on all the other trailers as I come across them. I should have one or two locks left after I swap everything out.

One of my buddies had his trailer stolen with 2 new snowmobiles on it right off his truck. In a hotel parking lot too. The thieves just undid the bolt he had keeping the hitch locked on the ball. The attached their tow vehicle and off they went. The police caught the guys that stole his trailer etc. They were driving on the 400 going toward Toronto with it. They only got about 1 hour south of where they stole it from.

I really didn’t want to go back to using keys… The combination locks are really expensive but do save carrying a key. I’ll just have to keep extra keys around just in case I forget.

I will continue to use the combination locks on the boats themselves. That way I can give a new  personalized combination to charter clients. (The last 4 digits of their phone #.)


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