Saturday 15 July 2023

Fitting Out | Mainsheet Block Issues

As mentioned in the previous post, I was able to fit all of the deck hardware apart from the mainsheet ratchet block. There was a significant issue with it.

It is supplied with machine screws and dome nuts for through deck fastening, even though this is not possible. The mainsheet block is located on the cockpit deck in the centre of the forward wall of the footwell, right on top of the centreboard case. It is impossible to install it there.

I read on the PocketShip forum that one builder had addressed this by drilling screw holes into the centreboard case and using the inspection port to somehow tighten the nuts from the inside. That seemed highly unsatisfactory. What I would call a 'bodge'.

I am guessing that every builder who purchases the hull hardware kit hits this problem, which again makes me question why such issues persist after so many years of production. It should not be this way!

I decided to make a pad to allow the block to be installed in the right place but properly supported and using through deck fastenings.

I made a drawing of the support pad, as here.

This will allow the block to be through fastened to the pad with the nuts being contained in a recess underneath the pad. The wider pad can then be through fastened to the deck, either side of the centreboard case.

This piece of cardboard shows where the pad will sit.

I made a second drawing to make sure that the pad fastenings would be located well outside the sides of the case and its cleats. This is it.

I made the pad from two thicknesses of 9mm ply, with a recess cut in the bottom layer. Here it is being glued up.

Then the pad was cut to size and planed fair, like this,

Holes for the fastenings were drilled in the pad, as here.

This view from underneath the pad shows how the block will be fastened through the top of the pad, with its locknuts in the circular recess.

 And this is how the mainsheet ratchet block will look when installed on the pad.

Then I gave the top of the pad a 3/8" round over on the router table, to make it elegant as well as functional. Here it is in progress.

A couple of clear coats of resin were applied and sanded smooth before the first coat of primer. This is it.

The small squares are part of an experiment to solve the ventilator fitting conundrum. I will explain later ...

More primer and lots of gloss will follow before polishing and fitting with the block. A lot of work to resolve a simple design issue!

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