Fair Leads


This is another posting with nothing to do with plastic or fiberglass but I hope you find it interesting.

Just before I put my previous boat up for sale, a twin engine diesel of 36 feet, I blew an engine. I had previously installed engine overheating alarms, but had not yet extended them to the upper steering station. Many many boat dollars later I had the same boat as before I put out all that money. Thus when the alarm went off in my new boat I immediately shut the engine down. After a period of time I started it up again, only to have the alarm come on after a few minuites. So I shut things down again and put in a call to C-Tow. I was close to Collingwood Channel, between Bowen Island and the Paisley Islands and the water was fairly rough, luckily I was travelling alone.

C-Tow arrived and we hooked up a rope bridle through the fairleads on either side of the bow. Soon, due to the rough water, the cutting action of the fairleads, and the less than high quality rope, the rope parted. It broke a few more times before we reached safe harbor at Gibsons.

Later I examined the fairleads more closely. They were designed for the ropes being led through them to go aft only. When you lead the rope forward as we had to do for the tow, the edge, which did not look all that sharp was still sharp enough to wear a rope quite quickly. There must be a better way. So I began a search for a better design. All fairleads I looked at seemed to have the same problem. You could install them as aft facing or forward facing but I could not find ones that would work both ways. So I designed my own.

The design was sketched out and sized so it could handle up to 1” diameter rope. The drawings were then taken to Pro-Tech over at Lynwood Marina in North Van. They did a great job of producing the items as I had drawn them out .

Redesigned leads
redesigned leads
Redesigned leads
This is the new very skookum fairlead. The original one in the picture is great for tying up at the dock but not for towing, and is designed for the rope to led aft only. 

Oh yes, and that alarm which led to the tow and all this fairlead business – it was my newly installed depth sounder that had not been programmed properly.



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