Carl H. Clark
The beginning of the present month will, with the large majority of boat and launch sailors, mark the close of the season, and the next thoughts will be in regard to hauling out and storing the boats for the winder.
All cabin fittings and furnishings should be removed and taken ashore, and all loose dunnage and odds and ends cleaned out and removed. There is certain to be a large collection of loose stuff after a season's use, the larger part of which may best be thrown away.
The sails should be unbent and, together with the cushions and other fittings, should be thoroughly dried out in the sun. When completely dry and warm the sails should be tightly rolled up and packed away, preferably in canvas bags. If the cushions are expensive ones they may be done up in cotton cloth, otherwise they may simply be tied together in neat bundles. These furnishings and the sails should be stored in a dry place, such as a loft, as any moisture is sure to cause mildew and spoil the appearance of the sails. They should also, if possible, be protected from rats and mice.
Spars should be stored under cover, and in such po-position that there will be no tendency to bend out of shape. It is always advisable to unstep the mast and protect it from the weather, as it not only prevents it from rotting but makes it easier to scrape and varnish in the spring. When spars are left standing they should be either wrapped with strips of cloth, or covered with a preparation of tallow or similar sub-stance to protect the wood from the weather and prevent its becoming permanently stained.
All inside ballast should taken out, not only to make the hauling easier, but to relive the boat of the unusual strain which would come Vrom the weight during the winter. The boat should then be thoroughly washed inside and all rust and dirt cleaned out so as to have the bilge clean and sweet. It is far easier to get rid of the dirt in this manner, as chips and light matter will float and may be picked out, and then dirt will settle in the bottom and may be scraped up while it is soft. In this way the inside of the boat may be left clean. In the case of a power boat, all the grease should be carefully scraped out from under the engine and the plank and frames washed clean. Strong lye or potash will help in dissolving this grease.
For storing the boat a dry spot should be chosen, but if possible it should not be exposed to the direct sun on account of this drying tendency. While the ground on which the boat is hauled should be perfectly dry, it is advisable to take advantage of the shade of some building or trees to shield it as much as possible from the direct sunlight.
For hauling out the boat a cradle of some sort should be used; the simplest and most convenient form, shown in Fig. 1, consists of a pair fore-and-aft timbers slightly shorter than the boat, with two or three cross timbers whose length is about the same as the beam. For small boats the timbers should be about 4x4 in. while for larger boats 4x6 in., 6x6 in., or even 6x8 in., are used, according to the size of the boat. The timbers are bolted together with 1/2 or 5/8 in. bolts, the cross pieces on the top of the fore-and aft ones. Since rolls will most likely be used under the fore and-aft pieces, the ends of the latter should be bevelled off so as to more easily ride up on to the rollers.
To steady the boat on the cradle a pair of V-shaped chocks or braces are fastened on the middle cross piece, which fit up under the bilge and maintain the boat upright.
To put the boat upon the cradle, it is brought into shallow water, and in the case of a small boat a cradle may be pushed under her. With a larger boat this should be done at high tide; it may also be necessary to ballast the cradle in order to push it under the boat; when it is in place the ballast is pushed off and both boat and cradle drawn in until the latter grounds, taking care not to change the position of the boat on the cradle. When the tide receeds the work of hauling out may be done. Wood rolls 5 or 6 in. in diameter are used, with a double row of planks under each fore and aft piece. For motive power a winch or several purchases of tackle blocks are used, according to the size of the boat. For small boats, a cradle built according to Fig. 2 is very useful, as with it a boat of small or medium size may be hauled a considerable distance with the aid of a horse. In this manner the boat may be hauled into the owner's yard and be convenient for spring overhauling, repairs or alterations.
When hauled into place the boat should be blocked up level and well shored fore and aft. Shores should be fitted under the ends of the keel, and it should not be allowed to extend unsupported, as this brings an unnecessary strain upon the boat.
The boat should now be left open to the air for a few days in order to thoroughly dry out before being cov ered over for the winter. It should be arranged when possible so that a current of air will circulate through her at all times, as moist dead air is one of the best promoters of dry rot.
If the boat contains an engine it should now be thoroughly cleaned. Cylinder covers and hand hole plates should be taken off and the oil and deposits entirely removed. All bright parts should be polished and then smeared with thick grease for protection against moisture. Any parts which have shown signs of wear and need of repairs should be removed at this time.
In the case of a small engine it is advisable to remove the entire engine from the boat. It may then be taken to some convenient place and cared for, and any repairs or improvements may be made at leisure during the winter. All of the ports, passages and bearings should be liberally flushed with kerosene oil to remove all of the old oil which would become sticky and hard before the engine is used again. If the va-nished work shows signs of wear it should be given a coat of shellac to keep out the weather and preserve it. A coat of tallow and oil is also an excellent preservative and facilitates the scraping in the spring.
A cover, either of boards or canvas, should be built over the boat; if the latter, a framework may be built over which the canvas may be laid. Some access should be allowed for the air, to prevent the interior from becoming stale and musty, with possibilities of rust.
The practice of hauling under a shed, which is becoming quite common in yacht storage yards, is greatly to be recommended, as it not only saves the trouble of covering up, but allows the boat to be well ventilated at all times, and allows of much work being done in the early part of the spring when it would not be possible to work in the open, thus saving much time. This is by far the most desirable method of storage and should be taken advantage of whenever convenient.
The higher the compression in a gas engine the weaker must be the mixture; that is to say, the ratio of air to gas increases with the compression. Broken crank shafts and bad plates, as well as cracked breech ends, are generally due to the lack of strength and stiffness of the engine. A gas engine requires to be built on the lines of a gun, since its action is of similar nature; therefore engines of the vertical type cannot have the stiffness which is present in the horizontal engine. When the running of an engine gives rise to shock or knocking, it is likely that the speed is too great. Current practice for a 500 h. p. engine would be about 135 r. p. m. with a piston speed of 700 ft. per minute; but the engine would do better at 120 r. p. m., with the same piston speed.