Note: I added another page under the "Projects" page that should allow smart phone and iPad users to access the separate projects via hyperlinks. I don't know why but it seems that smart phones can't access the drop down menus.
During the last week I have been focused on installing the traveler though I have also worked on some minor projects as well. I spliced and installed some additional ½” three strand nylon dock lines. I made a “Baja” water filter as described in the April 2015 Practical Sailor. I filled the 20 gallon port locker water tank (it supports the shower). I filled the 20 gallon aft water tank under the saloon cabin sole. I installed the last hose clamps on the water tanks and then opchecked the galley and head manual pump faucets. They worked great. The boat is also level with her lines though floating about four inches high since she has almost nothing on board save for 40 gallons of water. I also ordered 275’ of ACCO galvanized 5/16 G-5 chain. I finally received all the traveler parts from Antal, via their US importer Euro Trading. It is a beautifully made and very stout system. I also purchased an Antal 6:1 mainsheet system to go with it. I chose 6:1 because I don’t have a dedicated mainsheet winch though I can run the sheet to the windward primary winch if ever required. I had wanted to install the traveler aft, just forward of the lazarette but the angle was wrong. I was forced to concede that the best place for the traveler was across the bridge deck. It is a compromise but I think it’s the best choice of several options I considered. The problem with Antal, other than the price, is the traveler and its components do not come with instructions. There is a learning curve and I would measure a little differently if I had known how the end stops connect to the traveler track. I’ll add some pictures later explaining the considerations required to best fit the parts together. After positioning the traveler and checking for obstructions under the deck I drilled a small test hole (that would be under the traveler) to ensure the holes would end up in the small gap between the forward face of the cockpit footwell and the aft end of the bulkhead that runs ‘thwarship two inches forward of the cockpit. Once I was satisfied with the test hole I taped the traveler in place and carefully drilled two 5/16” holes about 10” from end of the traveler all the way through the deck. I inserted a bolt in each hole. These bolts held the traveler in place. Then, I drilled starter holes with a 5/16” bit, just enough to dimple the fiberglass surface. I removed the traveler and used the dimple to guide a 3/8” fostner bit down through the upper skin and the balsa core but not through the bottom skin. Next, I used a dental pick to carefully dig out the balsa core from under the deck skin. I vacuumed up the core and fiberglass. I applied tape to the underside of the deck for the test hole and the holes for the first two positioning bolts. Next, I poured unthickened epoxy mixed with half 205 fast hardner and 206 slow hardner into all the holes. It was a warm day so I only filled up the cavity half way and went to lunch. An hour later, I top the holes up with another batch of epoxy. About an hour after that I applied a small amount of epoxy thickened with colllidal silica and 407 medium density filler and used a squeegee to make it flush with the surface. Next day, I repositioned the traveler then drilled down through the epoxy plugs installing bolts as I went to ensure the traveler remained in place and that all the bolts would fit. With all the 8mm bolts installed, I installed the end stops and the 6mm bolts for which I had also installed epoxy plugs. I removed the traveler and chamfered the holes on the top to force the bedding compound down into the hole around the bolt threads. Tomorrow, I’ll bed/caulk the traveler in place.