Just a quick note to let you know we have gone a bit rash and spent some cash, replacing the old “crab winches” with new. The old ones, much restored and well used were possibly the original equipment and were from the ‘Seager’ foundry in Faversham, now long since gone out of business and replaced by a housing estate of the same name. These winches, which are mainly used to raise and lower the lee-boards but also have different gearing shafts etc for dolly lines and working with any other aft-end gear (vangs etc), were lovely old things but were constructed of old castings which have now become rather brittle. Let go a lee board a bit roughly and they would tend to shatter off teeth from the main sprockets which then meant you would jump that tooth and smash the mechanism up against the next good tooth and break that, till you had stripped enough teeth to make the winch unusable.
In my own experience, we managed this in a Swale Match and had to come home, tacking up the narrow Swale with one of the lee boards permanently down, tacking board for board with Mirosa. Great fun but not ideal, and I was only the bowlin’ man. I was yards away from the cussing and swearing. You can repair these teeth with a good welder but they are never as strong, so the Trust decided to replace the entire winches with modern, new equivalent kit. I am promised some more detailed information on these but meanwhile a couple of pics to look at.
Meanwhile, I am trying to set up a Twitter account for those of you who follow such things. I will then post notices that there is a new blog post and any other info that comes to hand. Please respond or re-tweet as you think fit. I have also linked this to Facebook, so it may pop up there also. The account is headed @SB_Cambria . I tried to get the real deal, SBCambria but some guy in Rio de Janeiro has grabbed that one already, claims his name is Sebastian Cambia but he has never posted on Twitter. We’ll make do, I guess. Look after yourselves.