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Haulout at TYC (Day 10)

Posted by on March 15, 2012

We got up early today to mask the boot topping off ready for punting.

The boot top is the area between the bit below the water (the hull) and the bit above the water (the topsides), and we use a hard anti foul for boot topping paint to create a pleasing contrast between the two.

Then it started to rain:


In between downpours we got the masking tape on, the area dried with a towel, and paint applied. However, due to the rain, we couldn’t do the rub rail or the inside face of the toe rail. They will have to done on the water, later.

I took advantage today, of an opportunity that presented itself earlier in the haulout. When I was taking the starboard keel anode off, the head of the bolt snapped off. Inspection revealed a clear case of crevice corrosion. The way the anodes were fitted port and starboard on ERIK has always given me grief; they are different bolt patterns on each side. That means custom drilling a new one for each, come replacement time, and it annoyed me no end.

Well, with head snapped off, now I had the perfect excuse to drill a new hole to match the bolt pattern on the other side, which I did.

Here’s a shot of me hand tapping the thread to accept a quarter inch bolt in the new hole:


About 30 seconds after the shot, I snapped the tap off in the bloody hole!

After much appealing to a range of deities for less perfidy in the world, or at least, in my bit of it, I tromped off in the pouring rain to Nuts and Bolts for another one.

While there I got some excellent advice on hand tapping threads:

  1. make sure the hole size is the right size. Absolutely critical, this one. It has to be bigger than the inside of the thread diameter of the bolt, but smaller than the outside thread diameter. There’s a nifty chart of bolt size to hole size available online. If the tap binds up half way in (like mine did), the hole is probably too small.
  2. Taps come in three types, a highly tapered one for starting the cut, an intermediate tapered tap for refining the cut, and a near square ended one for finishing it off. If you only have an intermediate tap like I do, then for blind holes, you have to drill them deeper than the bolt to allow for the taper in the thread depth.
  3. when actually cutting the thread, twist a little, then back off, then cut a little more, then unscrew the tap again. Every three or four tweaks at cutting, unscrew the tap entirely and clear the hole from swarf. It stops the swarf from grinding into your newly cut thread.

I didn’t know these little tips today, and it took me an hour to get halfway and I busted a tap in the cast iron keel as a result. With a new tap and the right sized hole, it took me 15 minutes to cut the thread into a new hole.

With anodes fitted here she is, scaffolding gone, ready to go back in the water on tomorrow mornings high tide at 0830.


We pulled all our anchor chain back on board and cleaned up all the rubbish. Tomorrow morning we’ll pack away all our tools and paint, and fill our water tanks.

Time for a beer!
What a relief it is to be done!

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