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FPB 64 Intro
Working on Deck
There are six scenarios working on deck, each of which is considered for both layout and hardware specification. These include docking, setting our booms for use offshore, getting dinghies on and off the boat, anchoring, using drogues or parachute anchors in heavy weather, and using our jury rig. Several of these areas overlap.
We'll start with docking the boat. As there are just two of us aboard, one of whom is tied up with the engine controls, we have four small manual and one powerful electric winch to ease our chores when there is wind or current with which to deal.
The heart of the docking system resides in self tailing two speed electric winch. Any of the lines on the boat can be lead here.
Normally, we use a breast line, which is the first line ashore. Once this line is secured to the dock, it can be used to pull us directly against the dock or as a bow or stern spring line. This winch is controlled by buttons at the fly bridge and interior bridge, and with a remote button on a long tether (normally just used with getting the dinghies on and off).
There are #40 winches strategically placed to be used with dock lines..
The breast line (or any of the other running rigging on board) can be lead down the deck, and then to the electric winch.
The winches on top of the aft coamings are used for the spring lines. Once we're settled against the dock and fully under control we can switch from our light, high modulus fiber (Spectra) lines to the heavier, nylon.
Those coaming winches can also be used to tighten the fore and after guys on the booms when they are set up outboard.
Ground tackle is handled with a Maxwell windlass, model V4000. There is a chain stopper, and a double roller makes the 240 pound (110Kg) Bruce or ROCNA anchor self launching. The windlass is remotely controlled from the fly bridge and inside helm station, and there is an up/down control on a tether from inside the forepeak (which we rarely use).
All of this gear is mounted on a section of deck which slopes down as it runs forward. This allows the debris which inevitably finds its way aboard to wash forward.
Shown above is the ROCNA anchor we've been testing with good results. Note how snugly it fits against the bow roller.
Here's another view of this new hook. It appears to hold at least as well as our Bruce, and has a number of advantages.
Those "ears" projecting downward at the forward bottom corner provide a snug resting place for the anchor when it is winched up tight. This keeps the anchor from wobbling and banging when we're heading into large waves.
Looking aft through the anchor "sprit" at the double rollers. Note the difference in height of the roller centers. The forward roller is lower. This allows the anchor to self launch. In other words, when we push the down button on the windlass control the anchor drops. We do not have to go forward to kick start the process.
Those two large booms you've been seeing in our different images serve many purposes. They are the foundation of our back up stabilizing system should we encounter problems with our active stabilizers. The booms allow us to set "flopper stoppers" in rolly anchorages, they handle the dinghies, and increase our polar moments and slow roll period when offshore.
These look to us like the spinnaker poles we've handled for many years, except they don't have that cantankerous free flying sail attached. As they are always be rigged and ready to go, they have proven to be very simple to handle. We've gotten into the habit of carrying them aft, as shown below, when going upwind. When the wind and sea come onto the beam or further aft, they are run to their outboard position. Changing from one position the the other requires less than two minutes per boom.
The booms are also used to launch and retrieve the dinghies. The lift point is almost on center, and the halyard runs from here, to the gooseneck, and thence to the electric winch.
We've found that the easiest to deal with the dink and booms is to preset the afterguy - there is a red mark on it - and then leave the foreguy slack. We hold the dinghy with one hand while pushing the remote tether winch control button with the other. The dinghy weight pulls the boom outboard. Once there, we ease the halyard.
There are a series of eye bolt inserts welded to the after deck and toe rail. These are used with stainless steel eye bolts, as shown above, for tying the dinghies (or other gear).
When we don't need the eye bolts, they are removed and we have this flush insert (which does not catch toes!).
One other detail which you might find of interest are the lips welded onto all hatch coamings. These provide an edge for storm covers to fit over. These covers protect the hatch gaskets from direct wave impact. When the gaskets are reaching mid-life they sometimes start to leak.
With these covers fitted the gaskets have a much longer useful life, and you don't have to worry about mid-ocean leaks.
Using the booms for a jury rig is covered elsewhere in a separate article. There are be pre-made shrouds, and halyard system, so that we can deploy the jury rig mast and sail quickly, should it be required. The electric #66 winch will serve for controlling the sheet, with the sheet leading through the coaming rollers.
In severe weather, if we are hove to under parachute anchor, the towing bit at the bow will serve as a hard point, to which the para anchor rode can be attached. When the time comes to retrieve the para anchor, the rode will be run down the deck to the electric winch.
Likewise, drogues off the stern will eventually end up on the electric winch.