It turns out that even on a well-prepared boat like Tahina, there’s a lot of work to do before setting off on a multi-thousand mile trip.  There are scores of maintenance and small repair tasks that build up while sailing, and all must be completed before setting off on the next leg. This past week in Panama has been filled with completing a two-page list of these tasks. This should be the last big push before lots of sailing and fun in the sun!

Task List

Our task list

One of the biggest tasks on the list was to perform the maintenance on all of Tahina’s winches and the anchor windlass. Winch maintenance is a messy job. It involves taking the winch completely apart and removing all the dirty grease, inspecting the bearings, gears, and other various parts for wear or damage, applying fresh grease, and reassembling. Each winch takes anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on how dirty it is, and how long it’s been since its last service.  Tahina has 2 large electric winches, 4 medium winches, and one anchor windlass (a special electric winch that can pull chain and rope anchor rode)

Lara was eager to learn, so she and I tackled the two spinnaker winches together. After completing the first set together, Lara learned what a messy job it is to break down, clean, grease, and reassemble a sailing winch. I offered to complete the remaining 4 winches while she worked on other items on the list. We neglected to take pictures of the winch maintenance, so the pictures below are only of the anchor windlass—the easiest and cleanest of all the winches on board to maintain. Unlike the sailing winches, the anchor windlass has a sealed gearbox that can only be serviced by a dealer, so there’s a lot less to take apart, clean, and grease before reassembling.

Windless cleaning

Windlass cleaning & degreasing

Windlass oxidation cleaning

Windlass oxidation cleaning

Windlass reassembly

Windlass reassembly

Windlass complete

Windlass complete

Lara working in the bilge to de-rust thru-hulls

Lara working in the bilge to de-rust thru-hulls

Apart from those tasks, we’ve spent the past week chasing down some electrical issues, washing down the boat, organizing TONS of provisions, and scrubbing rust off all the thru-hulls. Oh, and shopping. Panama has the most incredible malls. More on that one next time…

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