Removing the Traveler

This morning was pleasantly cool and a beautiful day all around.  I wish that the day was spent sailing but Erin had to work so I went out to the Alberg and decided today was the day to remove the traveler.  Very little hardware is left installed and its about time that I finish the job of removing it all so we can start preparing to paint.

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This is a great heavy duty traveler but it is handicapped by its inability to sheet the main sheet up and down – really its just a set it and hold it in place type traveler.  We have already purchased a new traveler with port and starboard block and tackle so that you can actively travel the main sheet up and down.  Ultimately we decided on the Lewmar Mainsheet Traveler Kit size 2 with a 4:1 purchase system, designed for boats up to 49 feet.  From what I understand “size 2” is Lewmar’s heavy duty system for big boats, they don’t make a more robust size so I feel pretty good with this system.   Here is a picture of it back from back in late 2015 when I got it on sale for half off 🙂

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Anyhow, back to the old traveler… It was held safely in place by 12 stainless steel through bolts.  I was quite impressed that these bolts were in excellent shape and it was relatively easy to crawl down into the aft lazerette and spin the nuts right off.

The only major issue I ran into was that the shore power outlet was in the way of one of the bolts which meant disassembling that piece of hardware.

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I was pleasantly surprised to find that the fiberglass it 3/4 inches think even on the side walls of the cockpit – nice and sturdy!  Unfortunately – like the rest of the hardware – there was exposed balsa core! 😦   Luckily for me none of it was rotted out and I didn’t open up a new can of worms.

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I did want to seal it up right though, so I clawed out all of the balsa that I could, reaching deep where the screw holes were and then mixed up a small batch of thickened epoxy to squirt in there and make sure everything is solid around the hole.

I taped up the seam and squirted the epoxy into the top holes until it came out of the bottom.  Then I taped up the bottom holes and squirted until the epoxy came out of the other top hole.  After that i squirted some more until it started oozing out from behind the tape and then I taped off the last hole and let it cure.

After that unexpected side project was complete I got back to work on the traveler.

Once all of the nuts were off I had to break the sealant bond and pry the traveler up.  It looks like this was the original set up and sealant so after 36 years it wasn’t too hard to hammer some 5in1 tools under there and break the bond.  I then used a hammer claw to pry it up.

I sealed the underside of each hole with some silicone and then filled each hole from the top with the rest of the thickened epoxy.

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Two more pieces of hardware down!  Yay!  I think we have less than than 10 to go and some of them should be pretty easy.  After that its time to sand sand sand and get ready  to paint paint paint.  🙂

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