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Temporary Fix

What’s your longest-lasting ‘temporary fix’? With the best of intentions we’ve solved some minor inconveniences while underway, swearing we’d create a more permanent and reliable solution once we hit the dock. But something strange often occurs once the docklines are secured. Sails get flaked, covers put on, washdown begins, friends stop by, and suddenly commitment to a long-term solution joins a list of other waiting-to-be-done projects.

We’re happy to report we recently crossed a small one off the list. Last summer the small screws holding up the jammer on the mainsheet block somehow came loose and vaporized into thin air. This caused a problem, because when you pulled down on the mainsheet to release it from the teeth, it would just tilt down and not release. Not good on San Francisco Bay, where releasing the mainsheet can be important. It was a beautiful day, and we wanted to keep sailing. Searching the trusty Tupperware container filled with various bits of line, we found some small nylon braid to lash the jaws up, so when we pulled down, the mainsheet released. Problem solved.

Rather than replacing the fraying line of the ‘temporary fix’, it was finally time to insert the little replacement screw you can see on the side plate. Like the Christmas shopping we’ve been meaning to do, it took months to find the time. (That frayed line is now removed.)

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We eventually got in touch with Don Whelan of Harken to describe our problem with an exact description of the ‘thingamajig’ we needed that, you know, goes on the side of a mainsheet block. With appropriate questions narrowing the options he figured out exactly what we needed, and, once acquired, the project took all of five minutes.   

We recently asked more enterprising and skilled sailors about major DIY projects and received replies about some pretty ambitious projects that we’ll share later. On the other end of the spectrum: Is anyone out there using these sunny days to fix a few of these ‘temporary fixes’ that might otherwise last the life of your boat? Let us know. (Reminder: Thin nylon cord and duct tape always make great Christmas presents.)

We swore we’d fix it right away but it was working and there were other things to do. Now we’re trying to remember, did that happen last summer or two summers ago?

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The following is a December 11 blog post from Captain TEEM, a group of sailors we made contact with as they were passing through Sausalito in October.