Sorry it has been ages since I last posted – been a bit mad busy. There has actually been quite a lot going on in the way of charters and the Medway Match where we won our class and re-won the Cambria Cup. Perhaps one of my colleagues, reading this, might like to put pen to paper and furnish me with a Match Report. Or anyone else for that matter – if you were there and know what happened, we’d love to record it here for posterity.
Meanwhile I have this nice piece from Boss of Volunteers, Basil on the subject of Crab Winches.
“Last winter, at the refit meeting, it was decided to have New Crab Winches made for SB Cambria. In the three years of operation since rebuild we have lost teeth from the winding drum gear chain on three separate occasions not always from the same winch. Twice they were inoperable, the last time with one tooth missing on the smaller sprocket, operation was rather worrying. Initially the thought was to replace just the gears, but we have frames damaged on two of the winches already so went for complete replacement.
Tim Goldsack has always been very helpful and speedy in sourcing and fitting spare parts for us; but to keep an engineless sailing barge competitive is challenging enough without the added worry of winch failure.
The new ones have been made by the fabricators to be pretty much identical to the old cast iron ones. They are, however , a couple of inches higher making use more comfortable. The frames are cut from steel plate and welded up to the same profile as original, as are the gear wheels. The shafts are of stainless steel running in sintered bronze bearings, the spreading bars are of steel.
The warping drums have been reclaimed from the original winches, and used in the new ones. These would have been very difficult to manufacture , additionally the frames are galvanised.
When the teeth went on the old cast iron it was possible to see casting faults within the metal, with these and the aging of the iron is the reason for them becoming more fragile. The new steel teeth will only wear not suddenly give out. So far operation has been good, but painting still has to be completed. The new winches only went on board the day prior to Cambria’s move out of dry dock thence to Gillingham Pier to start the new season of charters.”
Thanks for that, Basil.
In general, I should add, the Cambria is always in need of volunteers. There never seem to be enough of us about, and some of us are not the young, sprightly Spring Chickens we once were, so if you want to get involved you can probably choose an area you’d like, from painting and cleaning, to indoor ‘Domestic Goddess’ stuff changing beds between charter ‘guests’, to repairs and maintenance. The gang will probably yank your arm off in their enthusiasm to welcome you aboard. If you fancy this, then get in touch – either come and introduce yourself at the barge, or email us on CambriaTrustSecretary@live.co.uk .