2014 – General Maintenance

Winch - exploded showing all the moving parts

Winch – exploded showing all the moving parts


I decided since sailing depended on winches to haul in my lines, I should do some general maintenance on my winches.  I took a 2-hour course at the Women’s Sailing Convention in Dana Point to find out how to do this.  Its easier than it looks – to take apart.  Its slower to put it back together without landing up with spare parts, but entirely do-able.

Back to West Marine to buy the Winch Maintenance kit, and out came the latex gloves on a sunny morning.

I have 3 winches – 2 regular Lewmar 30s, and one self-tailing winch.  You have to be a lot more careful on the self-tailing winch because it has springs, and bits and pieces that threaten to bounce out all over the cockpit.

Once  I took the winces apart – one by one!! – I found inside that the grease had congealed into a mess, but Thinners and a toothbrush quickly removed all caked grease.

Once the winches were back together, they worked smoothly and soundlessly.  Nice!



One of 6 salon lights (not LED)

One of 6 salon lights (not LED)

Galley light - nice & bright, takes 2 bulbs

Galley light – nice & bright, takes 2 bulbs

Some bulbs in the salon and kitchen lighting had gone out, and needed replacing. I removed one of the burned out bulbs and off I went to West Marine. I showed the attendant what I needed and we found they had them in stock. I have 6 lights in the salon, and 4 in the kitchen, and 3 in the cockpit – so I figured if one bulb has blown, then they are probably all ready to blow.

So I said I would take 12 bulbs.

I asked how much. $6 EACH, was the response. $72 for tiny little 12volt bulbs?!   Hell, no.

I said I would go to Camping World and see what they had for RVs. The attendant then said he could give me a special price for a large quantity order. However, they didn’t have 12 bulbs in stock, they only had 9. The new price came to $20 for 9, or $2 each. That was better. I bought all 9.

I replaced the 2 in the kitchen and the 2 in the salon and the place brightened up considerably. When I opened the lights in the cockpit to replace the bulb, they were of a different kind. Back to West Marine.

So the LED bulb for the cockpit – ONE LED bulb – cost me $55. I have 3 lights in the cockpit drawing a lot of power and now just the one LED light in the cockpit gives the same amount of light for 1/30th of the power draw. I opened a book to read in the cockpit, and it certainly is bright enough to read. The WM attendant said the bulb would last 10 years. At that price lets hope so.

While looking over their stock of bulbs, I remembered that my port and starboard lights leak all the time. One small splash and their bulbs blow out. I have them wrapped in duct tape that seems to have sealed them but I figured that for safety’s sake I should replace them both, and while I was about it, replace them with LED lights.

So I ordered the port and starboard units. They are completely sealed and have a life in excess of 10 years, I was told. They also cost a mint.

Fruit Fly catcher - works GREAT

Fruit Fly catcher – works GREAT


Since living onboard, I have found the biggest nuisance is the abundance of fruit flies that hover all over the new fruit I have just brought on board.  I never had this problem in my condo?  Then my daughter-in-law gave me this fabulous solution.

In a small plastic dish (this is about 3 inches by 1 inch, add a layer of Apple Cider vinegar to the bottom, cover with some plastic wrap, poke some holes with a fork in the taut top – and voila! a fruit fly catcher.

I had some misgivings but was willing to try anything.  And this works!!  The tiny fruit fly is attracted to the smell of the vinegar and walks all over the top of the plastic covering looking for a way in.  Eventually he find the small fork pinpricks and climbs in.  Then he cant find his way out again and eventually falls into the vinegar – and dies.

I caught 5 fruit flies within about an hour.   And the beauty is that it is a small container.  It is plastic.  The plastic prevents spills and mess.  And it sits just fine on top of the fruit basket, or next to it.  Either way, the fruit flies will find it.


Winches - cleaned and greased

Winches – cleaned and greased

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