Time to pull out and ready your gear


Steve Duhamel our local ice boat, equipment, and all things merchant sent in a few things to think about while the days are still long and the leaves are not down just yet.  Steve will be at the Swap Meet on October 25th with his trailer full of goodies.  He usually brings a ton of stuff reach out to him at North Wind Ice Boats before hand to be sure he brings what you need.  I can tell you from experience, it is a whole lot easier to buy a bob-stay or two from Steve before the season starts than going to Home Depot at 10:00 pm and fabricating one the night before you leaving for VT.  Even worse, finding out you need one while setting up.

2014 Swap Meet/Meeting
Saturday October 25th, 2013
PLACE: Same as last year Knights of Columbus Hall, 17 Willow Street, Westborough, MA 01581 Map
TIME: Swap Meet 9:00 am with Luncheon at 11:30 followed by the Annual Meeting with more swap time for the die hards

Steve, thanks for your your pre-season prep advice.  Take it away Steve…

Once again iceboat season is upon us, time to dust off the equipment and get ready for the upcoming season.  Now is the time while it is still warm to get all the gear out for inspection.

Simple Check List.

Pay attention to:

Hull to plank hardware, rougher ice at the end of the season adds additional stress to screws.  If loose but not damaged, remove and clean surfaces and add a few dabs of 3M5200 adhesive. Flexible enough to keep the hardware bonded to the hull or plank. Takes shock without fracturing like epoxy.

  • Check chock caps and bolts for tightness. Another area of high stress and for 3M5200 if loose re check alignment. Like epoxy, 3M 5200 parts can be removed with a little heat if necessary.
  • Check rigging for damage or frayed wires. If you see a black or discolored stand it most likely has a wire broken internally.
  • Check mast and hardware.  Hound and halyard hardware for wear and frayed wire.
  • Check sail batten pockets for wear and windows for cracks or holes as this material becomes brittle over time.  Also look for missing and broken battens. Tell tails do work if they are there. Are they gone, worn or frayed?
  • Check steering post, rod and chock for wear along with the bushings for play.
  • Look at hull side panels for cracks. These can easily be repaired before the get worse.
  • Clean and inspect blades.  Dull blades on black ice is dangerous to others as well as yourself.

If everything is in A1 shape than  how about going to the next level in detail! Find a comfortable place to work, flip the boat upside down, put on the plank, and remove the front chock and steering tube. Make a dowel bushing for the steering chock bushing and then attach a long thin scrap of wood and swing and ark from inner center hole of the plank chock from one side to the other. Is the plank on the boat straight? If not, you know what needs to be done. You will be faster for it.

Did you think to yourself, while you were sailing around last season,  I would like to change, modify, add, adjust this or that before I get the boat back on the ice next season. Boy wouldn’t a hiking rack, sheet line nose picking devise be nice? Basically anything you would do before the season arrives that makes things easier, nicer, and safer for a good ice boating experience. Spend a little time on the boat before you get to the ice, instead the projects I see going on in parking lots at the launch site. Now is the time to haul your gear out and give it a once over

Have a happy and safe ice boating season.

Steve Duhamel
North Wind Ice Boats
Phone: (781) 724-0648

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