The Stringers and Windlass

9 Sep

I’m sure there are those out there that are a bit confused as to what is actually happening with Bushranger’s engine.  Ya’ know, how Boyd is ‘cutting stringers’ so the metal rails will fit properly, so the engine will be at the right height and angle for the prop shaft.  So, I have a few pictures that I hope will help to explain it all.

First of all, Boyd is cutting ‘the stringers’… see the rails that are the backbone of Bushranger that Boyd is cutting into…

That’s the stringer.  Notice that he is cutting it at an angle….that’s because the new engine that we are going to be putting in (remember the ‘donor-boat Molly Brown’?) is angled differently from the previous engine.  It is also smaller and sits lower than the previous engine.

Cutting ‘the stringers’ involves all sorts of messes.  For example, Boyd spent yesterday grinding off fiberglass (the worst job in the world!). Before starting the actual grinding, Boyd taped plastic all around the engine room, to try to contain the fine, white powder that is generated during the process.

Even with all the plastic, everything gets covered with this ‘talcum-powderish’ substance that is a bear to remove.

We also were working on the front bit of Bushranger.

See the anchor dangling on the piece of teak…that teak is the platform I am about to refer to.

I have been tackling some more of Bushranger’s ‘brightwork’ (that’s boat-talk for ‘woodwork’) and needed to work on the post at the front of the boat (I am sure that post has some sort of special nautical name, but it looks like just a post to me).

The post has a board attached to it that is the platform for the anchor and the windlass (I’m quite proud of myself for remembering the word ‘windlass’…. Of course I did cheat a bit and went to Wikipedia to confirm my understanding). Anyway, it’s a gadget for raising and lowering heavy things (like anchors!)). So, I figured that I might as well also work on the wood of the anchor platform and the gunwale (remember, a gunwale is the top of the low wall that goes around the deck…so, as ya’ do, I asked my big, strong hubby to take out all the nuts and bolts holding it all together so I could do a proper job of varnishing.

My GOODNESS, did I stir up a hornets’ nest! Some of those screws were so old that they broke off when Boyd touched them. We finally got the platform down, and Boyd worked to get the windlass off the actual platform.

That’s Boyd working on the ‘guts’ of the windlass….the cover for the windlass is the white box at the end of the teak platform.

After attempting to unscrew it off, lever it off, grind it off, and even whack it off, ….it finally DID come off! And what a mess! The interior was completely rusted out.


I am so glad we decided to varnish that post! If I had not wanted to varnish that post, we would not have taken a hard look at the windlass. I can just picture it: it’s rough waters, Boyd is at the helm, he asks me to raise the anchor, and as I turn on the windlass to bring up the anchor, rust starts to fly out and the anchor goes nowhere….and, if you think I am ever going to raise that anchor by hand, think again…. time for a new windlass…

2 Responses to “The Stringers and Windlass”

  1. jdepodwin September 9, 2012 at 13:21 #

    Yuck is right! What a mess! Glad to know that the rust was detected in time for the sea trials.

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