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Thread: Rope Clutch Base

  1. #1
    Contributing Partner Akavishon's Avatar
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    Rope Clutch Base

    Few days ago, I noticed that one of the bolts holding the port-side rope clutch (serves jib and spinnaker halyards) is leaking ... I took it out, then noticed that the wooden block which the rope clutch sits on is in bad shape - the forward edge (in the direction of pull) has started to crumble and disintegrate.

    The truth is, the 'easylock' rope clutch is old (though still working fine), and according to rigrite.com somewhat undersized for the E32 (it's recommended for boats up to 26' LOA). My first idea was to replace it with a new clutch, but that would mean fabricating a fresh wooden base (bigger, sloped etc) which is beyond my abilities. Whichever new clutch I'd pick, it would require drilling new mounting holes ... well, it gets messy. I got plenty of projects this spring already, so ideally I'd like to fix this with as little effort as I can get away with.

    So I'm thinking - maybe apply some wood hardener to the injured wood, build up with hardened epoxy, then redrill and remount the old clutch?

    Your opinions are asked for ... maybe someone has a better idea? What's the right thing to do here?

    TIA - Zoran
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    Last edited by Akavishon; 04-01-2009 at 05:53 AM. Reason: added source of spec (rigrite.com)
    '86 32-3 #678 "Vesna"

  2. #2
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    Just my opinion .... but i would just go ahead and do it right the first time, no point in visiting the same issue twice. I would pick up some teak and cut the block, fill the old holes with epoxy and redrill as necessary. I always regret half-ass repairs on the boat without exception. One other thought....if the wood has deteriorated to this point I would be wondering about water intrusion beneath the wood a small job done right now may save some serious headaches in future (rotten core)
    Last edited by Jarod; 03-31-2009 at 10:18 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Halyards, tension, & technology

    Presuming that the riser is needed to bring the line over some part of the boat to aline it with a winch...
    I would replace the teak with a piece of G10/FR4.
    (Your teak pad looks almost as bad as the spacer the first owner put under the under-sized bow roller he installed on our boat. Teak may be rot resistant, but it will indeed decay.)

    I used to have those same line stoppers on our former 26 footer in the 80's. They worked fine for small line, but technology has passed them by. If you change to the Lewmar "falling rings" design of Clutch Stopper, you will be amazed at how much nicer they work. No line abrasion and you can bleed off tension easily.

    It's your budget, and, of course, your choice... and we strangers on the internet get to advise you on how to improve your boat & stimulate the economy!

    Whatever you decide, consider using this opportunity to over-drill and epoxy-in the old holes. Put some good sized fender washers underneath. (Loads are in shear, but better to have some strength.) Size the length of the bolts so that they are flush with the nylock nuts underneath. And finally, have fun restoring the 100 staples that you probably removed at the edge of the headliner....
    "Been there, done that, got no T shirt"


    Lots of info on this site, with some searching. Here is just one thread:
    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...ad.php?p=16481

    Cheers,
    LB
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 04-01-2009 at 09:20 AM.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  4. #4
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    I'll second the Lewmar clutches. I have a double and a triple, the bigger ones, D2's I think? They work really, really well. The only negative to the Lewmars is they are limited in what line size they will accept, that is, you must choose the clutch based on a fairly narrow line diameter choice.

    Do you know a carpenter? Making a spacer block is very easy if you have the tools. If you get in a bind send me a exact pattern and I'll do it for you. It'll take me more time to set up the tools....

    RT
    Rob Thomas
    Wakefield, RI
    1983 Ericson E38 "Ruby"
    "I purchased a boat because setting fire to $100 bills was not an efficient enough way to dispose of them...."

  5. #5
    Contributing Partner Akavishon's Avatar
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    Guys, thanks for the guidance ... alas, seems that 'easy' and 'right' are not completely in line (as usual ).

    I like the Lewmars, but I also like the spinlocks, and PS liked them too just a few months ago ... will see what I can get off ebay, for cheap (recession budget).

    This may be a good opportunity to upgrade the port-side to a triple clutch - I have two halyards and two reefing lines there, so a triple would work nicely.

    The starboard clutch and three nearby winches are all mounted on teak pads, healthy and freshly varnished, so I would be inclined to go with a new teak pad, for aesthetics reasons.

    Rob - thanks for your offer, much appreciated, will be in touch if necessary!

    Zoran

    (Loren - no staples here, headliner has a nice zipper in the right place)
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    '86 32-3 #678 "Vesna"

  6. #6
    Principal Partner treilley's Avatar
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    Consider Garhauer also. They make great HW and stand behind their products. I will be replacing my orignal clutches with Garhauers this year. No existing base but if I need to add one will likely use Starboard.
    Tim R.
    Living aboard in Portland, Maine
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  7. #7
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    Rope Clutch Project

    I did this project a year ago and am very happy with the results. I used Garhauer clutches and find them gentle on lines, easy to use, and VERY well built. And the price was right! I also added extra clutch slots. I also used the G10/FR4 board that Loren recommends. This material allows you to use caulk to seal between it and the deck and between it and the rope clutch, starboard does not do well with caulk. It was a little hard to cut but patience pays off. I overdrilled the deck holes, filled with thickened West System. I painted the G10 pads with Interlux Brightside in off white, installed on deck and then installed the new clutches. I figure to keep this boat forever and I also figure I won't have to do this project again any time soon.
    Last edited by lbertran; 04-03-2009 at 09:42 AM. Reason: added info


    Laura Bertran
    Footloose, 1985 E35-3
    Annapolis, MD

  8. #8
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    Spinlock is my clutch of choice for a lot of reasons but if your easylocks are holding up why spend more money?

    The bigger problem is using Teak in this application. Not a good choice. Others have suggested the G-10 which is ideal. You can get it from www.mcmastercarr.com cheaply and quickly. It is not fun to work with as it is fiberglass plate but if you use an abrasive blade like a tile cutting jigsaw blade its not too bad. Wear eye and dust protection.

  9. #9
    Principal Partner Mindscape's Avatar
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    I'm replaced the clutches on my 32-3 with Lewmar D1's. IMHO the reason to get rid of the originals is they just don't work very well compared to newer clutchs. The ability to easily release under load and/or bleed off tension makes this a great upgrade to the boat. The downside of course is the cost, but it's easy for me to help you spend your money

    An option you might consider is removing the pads altogether. I don't think they are needed and although they add a nice cosmetic touch you have to maintain them. This would be the Keep it Simple approach.

    I'm sure any of the current clutches available would be a big improvement, and I felt it was a great upgrade that made single handing that much eashier.

    All this said I did create new teak blocks for a friends boat and the cost of teak thick enough for the job will drive to you to alternate materials! Of course you could build up the blocks from thinner pieces of teak, but the cost of teak is pretty high. Of course I have to buy twice as much as needed to cover for any errors I might make.

    Good Luck!
    Frank Bunker
    Mindscape
    The Journey is the Destination
    Ericson 32-3, 1985 - Hull #661
    Kenosha, WI

  10. #10
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    I got the Lewmars from www.riggingonly.com right near you in MA. They had the best price are were great to deal with. RT
    Rob Thomas
    Wakefield, RI
    1983 Ericson E38 "Ruby"
    "I purchased a boat because setting fire to $100 bills was not an efficient enough way to dispose of them...."

  11. #11
    Contributing Partner Akavishon's Avatar
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    Ok, so I ended up buying three sets of Spinlock XAS0612/2 clutches, from here: http://us.binnacle.com/product_info....oducts_id=2718. Not sure why I picked binnacle over riggingonly, there must have been a reason ... either way, at $326 (for all three, incl. s&h) I think I got a good deal

    Two sets (four clutches) will on on the port side (jib & spin halyards, 1st and 2nd reef), one set (two clutches) on starboard (main halyard, boom vang).

    Now, the pads: per McMaster-Carr, this GR10 stuff (Garolite) comes in several flavors, e.g. CE, LE, FR4 and XX: http://www.mcmaster.com/#grade-g-10/...rolite/=1ev2um

    Does it make any difference? The XX flavor is much cheaper than the FR4 flavor ... not sure I need the pads to be flame resistant?

    thanks, Zoran
    Last edited by Akavishon; 04-12-2009 at 08:09 AM.
    '86 32-3 #678 "Vesna"

  12. #12
    Contributing Partner Akavishon's Avatar
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    Closure

    Just to close out this thread ... I did pretty much what you guys suggested:

    I got a block of Garolite/XX from McMaster-Carr and had a machinist fabricate two pads according to my spec, then put it all back together ... overdrilled epoxy plugs, oversized washers, butyl tape bedding ... it's now rock solid.

    (pic is my friendly local machinist Peter cutting and cursing the Garolite )
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    '86 32-3 #678 "Vesna"

  13. #13
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    I have just purchased two Lewmar D-2 triple clutches for my cabin top. The old clutches are on teak pads with a compound taper on the bottom, front to back, and some taper to the side also. since I don't have a machine shop I figured I would have to use a belt sander to sand a block of teak down. so now I hear about this G10 stuff. I looked at the McMaster carr link and was confused as to which specific product to use.
    so which specific product should I buy, and can I just sand it down with my 4" belt sander?

  14. #14
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Lightbulb FRP plate material

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank G View Post
    I have just purchased two Lewmar D-2 triple clutches for my cabin top. The old clutches are on teak pads with a compound taper on the bottom, front to back, and some taper to the side also. since I don't have a machine shop I figured I would have to use a belt sander to sand a block of teak down. so now I hear about this G10 stuff. I looked at the McMaster carr link and was confused as to which specific product to use.
    so which specific product should I buy, and can I just sand it down with my 4" belt sander?
    http://www.mcmaster.com/#plastics/=2794af
    Pick the thickness you need, or plan to laminate two thinner ones to get to the required thickness. I have used a belt sander to shape edges and sides and that works well.
    Move the tools outside in your driveway or have some way to vacuum up the dust on-the-fly; frp sanding dust is no more fun at home than it is when you are grinding it inside your boat!
    It cuts well with any hacksaw or saber saw, but will use up blades... so go with the better bi-metallic blades for the extra dollar.

    You could always mold out your own thickened-epoxy bases, but the materials cost is high enough that I find that the pre-made sheets/plates from McMaster are cheaper for me.

    I also kinda wonder if this HDPE material might work as a riser for less money? http://www.mcmaster.com/#plastics/=27998z

    Best,
    Loren

    ps: and, find out which of your friends are machinists!
    pps: I wonder if Laura has any pics of the final installation to post?
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 06-06-2009 at 06:13 PM. Reason: details
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  15. #15
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Example of a cast Pad

    I was out at the boat today and took a couple of pics of the part of the pad that shows, under the ss anchor roller I installed several seasons ago.
    Note that I did have to trim off the old tack hook on the port side, but the undersized roller that the p.o. put on had already required that half of that hook be sawed off anyway.

    Since the mounting surface was angled and uneven, I had to put down some plastic film on deck, cover the ss base with more plastic film, and then press it down on thickened epoxy. I remember doing two "pressings" to get some small voids filled in.
    It really needs to have the visible part of the sides gel-coated, whenever I get "a round tuit."

    With the pad being perfectly formed to the deck shape, the ss roller assembly is really stable and strong.

    At least this sort of explains the general concept and proves that even a duffer can cast a mounting pad.


    Best,
    Loren
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    Last edited by Loren Beach; 09-03-2009 at 01:05 PM. Reason: clarity
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

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