inspecting and tuning the standing rigging

I noticed the white electrical tape was coming off the standing rigging, so I figured it was time for it to come off and polish everything up and make sure the cotter pins were still in place, that the turnbuckles moved, etc. The mast went up in March of 2017, so two years is probably too long to have waited to do this. I had tried cleaning the turnbuckles up a few times and wasn’t able to get those green spots off. I see the most rust at the end of the wire section leading to the turnbuckle. I always clean those up to try to keep them from breaking, as that’s often where standing rigging fails. To those who don’t know, the turnbuckles need to be greased annually. (whoopsies)


Upon doing some research, I realized the green spots were patina coming through from the bronze underneath as the turnbuckles are apparently chrome plated bronze. I don’t know if there’s something I should have done to prevent those spots from showing up, but according to this article¬†cleaning up the threads of the turnbuckle with mineral spirits is all you need to do, and lubricate using a dry lube (Team McLube’s Sailkote seems highly recommended on the inter webs).


This video was a nice and simple explanation of how to clean the turnbuckles, although for mine it was the top one that was usually seized not the bottom. The most difficult part of this was getting the cotter pins out and putting new ones back in. I got better at bending them so they would be more flat rather than curved and poking out. The wire brush in the photo below has come in handy aboard Coconut! A toothbrush was too big to fit in the smaller shrouds, this brush worked perfectly.

I used Nevr-Dull metal polish to clean up the wire and turnbuckles themselves, and after wiping that off with a clean rag I’d put car wax on another rag and rub it in until it was nice and shiny. Surprisingly, this has made a big difference in Coconut’s radiance! And come to think of it, I never have tuned the rig. But that’s a separate post all together because I am certainly no rigger!


I was going to leave tuning the rig to another time, however, this video popped up on my YouTube recommendations and although long it was very informative.

When I had the mast polished a few months ago the man I hired checked everything up there, so it should be okay. Famous last words, right?! I am terrified of heights, so climbing the mast isn’t something I’ve done yet. I know I will need to learn, as it’s just an essential part of being a boat owner along with a solo sailor. Working up the guts for that first. I need to rig up a self climber, if anyone has any tips feel free to share!


cleaning up the manual windlass

On my sail south, I stopped at the Channel Islands because it was a “must see” according to everyone. I’d heard enough about the Santa Ana winds that I was pretty terrified of going, but what is an adventure if you’re not going to at least try to anchor out at an island you may wash ashore on? I hadn’t anchored since a month before my hand injury (so… three years). My anchoring skills were rusty to say the least.

I ended up getting caught in the Santa Ana’s my last day there and yeoup, it was pretty terrifying! As soon as I got to the nearest dock 32 miles away, I kept saying “this stupid windlass doesn’t work!” As people asked why or how, I realized I didn’t know how to use the dang thing. Previously, I just pulled the chain up by hand, but in 50+ knot winds that is simply impossible.



The windlass is a beautiful chunk of bronze that had two coats of different paint over it. I cleaned it up, probably made it worse as I spray painted the rusty innards, and put it back together again with some new grease. I thought it would be along the same lines of painting an engine, but that’s a different type of metal that is better off painted. Apparently, painting stainless that is rusty will make it rust from the inside since it can’t breathe. Oops.

Pretty much all the steel parts had corrosion pits in them, so at some point in the future I will have to find a shop to remake these parts anyways. At first, I was using a wire wheel to remove the coats of paint off the bronze. Someone told me to try paint remover. I did a combination of both, it was very time consuming to get it all off and probably took the most amount of time. I’d switch between getting rust off the inner bits and pieces, and then fighting with the bronze piece, and so on.

I learned this baby has two gears, and how to operate the break (very importante!!!). A nice man on the docks, Peter, was curious how it worked and he helped me get it back together. I also met an Instagram follower and he lent me his sons car to run errands and get stuff from the hardware store! It was a great stop and I am glad events lead me to that marina.