There are always things to be done on an old boat during the winter, and its sometimes difficult to decide between the jobs which must be done, those that should be done, and those that it would be nice to do before too long. I try to stop taking things apart by the New Year, and start putting things back together which gives me a bit of margin for dealing with any unexpected and unwelcome problems which definitely have to be fixed before we go back afloat.
I thought I should check on the bolts holding down the anchor winch. This led - as things do -to the winch being removed and the decision that it was time it was taken apart and the components regalvanised. Designed by my father, constructed in an army welding shop in the 1940s, the winch was last galvanised about 20 years ago. Hot dip galvanising in a bath of molten zinc is by far the best way of protecting steel in a marine environment and all other cheaper forms of zinc coating are greatly inferior.
A galvanising works is a large scale concern and their yard was full of huge pieces of structural steel, great piles of farm gates and suchlike. My few pieces of rusty winch parts looked very trivial by comparison. However they seemed happy enough to take a small order. Their minimum charge is for 100kg. The winch seems pretty heavy when you move it about but its still only around 40kg, so its an opportunity to get some other bits of boat ironwork treated 'free'.
The picture shows the winch reassembled, waiting to go back to the boat. It seems almost a pity to put it back in a hostile corrosive marine environment.
What plans for the new season? Things are still a bit uncertain but we may once again be heading west. We enjoyed the Falmouth Classics last year and may try to fit it in again if we can.