Minor Modifications and Improvements.

I thought it would be good to share these in case anyone would find the modifications useful,
 or would like to share some of their modifications in the Text Box at the bottom of this page.

I totally stripped CRINKER during the winter months and while doing general maintenance I decided to improve a few things that I had noticed during the previous sailing season, removed all fittings including chain plates, fairleads, thwart, cleats etc.

All timber sanded and re varnished including mast, spars and oars, antifouled, repainted bootstripe, waxed and polished inside and out. ! dont use International Yacht Varnish.(2008)

New centreplate housing trim made in Malaysian Meranti and varnished. The previous one was being destroyed by the centreplate having no stopper on it when hitting the wood. It hit causing a nasty looking dent eventually splitting the wood down the middle. Also it was being seriously ground on one corner and chafed by the mainsheet tackle.


 Last updated   17 October, 2012

  • Simply put a small piece of soft rubber on the centreplate shackle.
Mk1 Installed a wire spliced   New Horse/Traveller(donít know whether I should call it a traveller or horse) to raise the mainsheet tackle above the centreplate trim to stop the chafing. Another benefit is it eliminates the need to adjust the mainsheet when tacking. The mainsheet tackle used to be on the port side now it is amidships. Ahhh less work when sailing more efficient and less speed lost.



Mk2      After some time and some heavy sailing weather the wire on the Mk1 version started to fray and would eventually fail. So a new design was made quite simply with some spare pieces of stainless steel and a shackle. It has proved far superior and is extremely strong. Again it keeps the mainsheet centered and does not chafe the centreplate trim. I am certain no more modifications will be needed now. It also leaves me with two handy eyelets for securing accessories and for lashing things to the boat.

  • Made a safety jack line, which more importantly (donít laugh) can be used as a trapeze attachment                                    (Going to have some fun testing that out  :-)
  • Made what I call my instrument panel. In reality it is a nice bit of varnished timber that simply holds my 
    GPS and a compass.
  • Got rid of the multicoloured plastic Parrel beads and made some hardwood Parrel beads and soaked them in Dutch Oil. Put some tallow on the leather part of the goose neck.
    Before                  &                            After

  • Below is a picture of CRINKERS Keelband. It was a bit short and would not lie flat to the hull. It would catch weed and other flotsam slowing CRINKER down. I molded a piece of Sugru to fill the gap and then antifouled over it. 

Before                        &                                               After

  • Made two self steering devices. One of these also doubles for securing the boom to one side while motoring.

Crinker steering herself under sail.

  • Put 4 rubber door stops in the Bilge cover to stop it sliding out when you step on it (dangerous).
  • Installed a quick release shackle on the Bowsprit for the Jib. Fiddling with a normal shackle while leaning over the bow was not a good idea, especially in a sea with the chance of dropping the pin or losing the D part.
  • Added two gunmetal fairleads to the stern. Essential for mooring up with a good pair of strops.
  • Added stainless steel eyes in the bows and quarters for securing fenders and also my self steering devices.
  • Noticed the mast was tilted back a little in photos. So I have raked it forward a bit and am certain this has given me a slightly better windward performance and speed.
  • With fairly frequent night sailing and anchoring out, I decided to make a masthead light. Not wanting to have a 12volt system with the usual heavy 12v battery. I made a light from 10 super bright LED's connected in series running on 3volts. It will run on AA,s and has a burn time 80 + hours. It was made from an old Caviar Jar and has some reflective tape around the base.
  • Masthead Light made from Old Caviar Jar      Genoa made from a Marquee
  • It is generally understood Picarooner sail rigs are bit underpowered, so for light winds and with some help I made a large Genoa out of a Marquee stall cover. The corners have all been reinforced and have brass eyelets the cost was only 12 Quid.
  • Have added brass strips to the bilge runners.
  • Building a Modified Picarooner Rudder

    Blue Original.          Red Modified
    The standard Picarooner rudder extends about 4" below the keel and it is necessary to ship it if the boat is going to take the ground or dry out.

    Not wanting to saw off 4 or 5inches from my original rudder I thought I would make a modified rudder that is shallower in depth and compensate for the loss in wetted area with a slight increase in length. As I chose not to glass the entire rudder it is now lighter too.
    See video below of constructing new rudder.

 A brief report on the Picarooner Modified Rudder

After launching CRINKER at Penmarlem Quay yesterday, I put a dab of grease on the pintles and found the rudder much lighter to lift and fit over the stern. She went on much easier than the original as I think the pintles and gudgeons were better alligned. (for better or worse? see why later) The turning circle under power was much better and going astern was fine. Motoring down the River Fowey the tiller seemed a little lighter, perhaps there is more leverage. After leaving the Fowey River and heading out to sea there was a good WNW blowing, so it was perfect to try the rudder under sail. All went well. Tried all points of sail and let her self steer no problems. Chased a few old Luggers and gaffers that were heading out of Looe after their Bi-annual Lugger regatta (See short video below) Being close hauled and flying along I thought I would just see how tight the rudder fitted and leaned over to give it a gentle pull up, whoops! the rudder came up immediately and popped off the gudgeons. Rudder in hand I eased the Main and backed the Jib to heave too. This allowed me a chance to hang over the stern and pop her back on. Stuck a bit of Monel wire throught the Pintle hole for safety and off we went again. Conclusion.........very happy with the Modified Rudder and found it more relaxing coming in to my moorings knowing we are not going to pick up a line and not worrying about grounding. From now on as a precaution I will be using an R clip through the top Pintle. 


Hope this if of help to other Picarooner owners.

Tacking a Picarooner

  • Many Picarooner owners have had similar results when tacking.

  • Ready About !

  • Lee Ho !

  • ď%*&)*&$?  A few expletives later you lose all your way and all your canvas starts flogging while you are in irons.

  • Problem = The Jib sheet has caught underneath the horn on the Jib Halyard Cleat.

     Ahh that was unlucky, well then it happens again and you start to think what I can do to fix it.

     Things I have seen and heard of so far are:-

  • Peggy   put a 'defender bungee' from the gooseneck to the extreme ends of the bowsprit beam Works a Treat!

  • Winnow has a line spliced above the gooseneck on the mainmast that ties forward to the base of the bowsprit. Works a treat!

  • Coil your Jib halyard long and with a twist, to stop the Jib sheet getting underneath the horn. Works occasionally!

  • Many old fishermen when their lines get caught on cleats shove a piece of old hose pipe over the end of the horn (adjust the length to suit). That works too.

  • Aboard Crinker I simply secured the Jib halyard and run the loose end with a quick turn around the Bow Cleat.


  • Although this is not part of the boat. I changed the trailer rollers that were causing serious chafe to the hull also she is now even easier to launch and recover single-handed.

  Before                                          &                                             After

Trailer Maintenance

Check your trailer bearings  NOW!!!

I have always kept a check on the bearings on my trailer and made sure they are well lubricated with grease including a good hose off with fresh water after launching or recovering.


After hauling out my boat this year 2008. I drove home (approx 10 miles) stopping off at the local service station to power wash the bottom of CRINKER. On reaching my garage and starting to reverse I noticed a terrible grinding sound. 

On Inspection the Port side Wheel Bearings had completely collapsed with the wheel holding on at an acute angle and the dust cap was lying on the tarmac. I managed to get the boat in the garage and jack up the trailer and chock the boat. 

Safety Note:- make sure when you jack up your trailer especially with the boat still on it, you chock the opposite wheel and also put some other supports under your trailer in case the jack fails.

I called the trailer manufacturer with the serial number of the trailer and they advised me of what parts would be needed. It was a messy afternoon after the parts arrived through the post, cleaning off old grease hammering the races off the spindles and knocking the old races out of the hubs then installing new bearings and races. 

For good measure I decided that while I was at it I would replace the trailers bearings and races on both wheels .I also purchased a pot of marine quality grease.

 It was fortunate for me that I was not traveling a great distance to take the boat home as being stuck at the side of the road with bearings gone is definitely going to spoil your day. Not to mention the risk of a serious accident. Or heaven forbid damage to CRINKER. 

From now on, as I only do one launch and one recovery a year. I have decided to remove the hubs after a dunking then clean, dry and re grease if necessary. 

It does not take long and only costs a couple of split pins. As with all things your first attempt to do this will take a little longer but once you have seen how it goes together you will be much quicker. The benefits are peace of mind, safety and bearings that should last a long time.

Moral of the story for Boat and Trailer owners is check your trailer bearings NOW! don't chance it.

Many mechanics and books will advise you to just wiggle or spin the wheel for any unusual grinding sounds or looseness.
 This is not enough ! I did this and it gave me no indication for what was about to happen. Take off the wheels and hubs and have a good look, clean and re lube. Believe me its worth it. 

If you have had a successful season practicing your good Seamanship I would hate for anyone to experience disaster on the way home by not practicing good Trailermanship if there is such a word.


The above modifications and maintenance were all fairly easy to do with little cost and just help to reduce maintenance, make her easier and more efficient to sail with the added benefit of being a little safer and more fun. I will add some before and after photos when I get chance!


Hope you may find something useful here for your Picarooner.     


You will find many pictures of Picarooners and some of their modifications on the Picarooner Boat Register.

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