Restore a Sailboat - July 2017

WelcomeWith the 2017 Mackinac Race missed with this boat, and the crew jumping to other boats to do the race, we begin to attack the lists that are constantly growing.  With the naked eye, you just see things that aren’t right, not going to work, not installed well and you scribble a note to fix later.  With the days available on weekends and holidays in July, here’s what I attack –

14. A fitting for a remote microphone for the VHF Ships Radio was removed, and there is a hole in the wall of the cockpit that can let water enter the boat.  I fiberglassed over that hole.

15. The Spinnaker Pole Track is not allowing the car to run smoothly. There are nicks and gouges, I file the whole track on all sides, and put a very light layer of lithium grease, now it functions as designed.

16. When hoisting a Spinnaker in strong winds, we all used to wrap and tie rubber bands every three feet around the sail.  We’d pull the sail up to the top of the mast, then pull on the two sheets and guys at the bottom of the sail, this would break the rubber bands and the rest would snap from bottom to top as the wind fills the sail.  Going “Green” this method has been outlawed as the rubber bands sank to the bottom of lakes, rivers and oceans around the world, and permanent Velcro now is the schnizzle.  Though the Velcro is all on one edge of the sail.  I lay the spinnaker out and make marks on the opposite edge of the sail at the same heights, so when packing it and Velcroing it for each launch is made easy, and with confidence.

17. On used boats, the decks are never spotless and commonly splattered with paint drops, varnish, grease tracked, etc.  I spend four hours using Soft Scrub, Dawn, Lacquer Thinner and lots of elbow grease removing 95% of the filth.  Removing the paints and varnishes will have to wait for another day.

18. A cockpit floor drain was clogged, removed the stainless strainer plate, and stuck a running garden hose down the floor drain.  Got the plug cleared and running well.  Replaced the strainer plate with Life Calk.

19. Moving into today’s technology, I bought a 12V cigarette socket with two USB sockets.  I mount this at the Navigation Station where all other electronics are located.

20. With new Ships Batteries installed, something is off.  Battery 2 at the circuit breaker panel has no reading.  Tracing things out, the Ground Wire from the Battery to the Engine Block had slipped out of the Terminal on the engine block – hence no voltage reading.  I get a new terminal fitting, crimp it tight, and reinstall the terminal onto the Engine Block – Walla!

21. While the floor below-decks is fiberglass, there are three 1′ X 1′ wood squares that allow access into the bilge. They slide around.  So I drill, countersink and install shore stainless screws into the holes.  Now safe and secure.

22.  Dad bought a spinnaker pole, though it was missing the rigging on it.  I fashioned pulleys, swagged wires with a Nico Press, added lines and lubed the moving parts to make it function right.

23. The prior owner(s) modernized the halyards and trim lines through turning blocks on the deck and mounted winches on either side of the main hatch with jammer cleats.  But looking under the deck, there were just washers on the bolts for these very high load devices.  I could just see these things ripping out of the deck under load.  We get four Aluminum backing plates that spreads the load over a larger surface area, drill holes through them, have to re-caulk all of the bolts, and then cut off the overly long bolts the prior owners had installed.

24. I don’t trust anything done by prior owners, so I check the Battery Voltage Test switch.  Sure enough, what shows as Battery 1 is Battery 2 voltage, and what shows as Battery 2 is Battery 1 voltage.  I reverse the wires so now it reads true.

25. The clasp that locks the aft lazarette hatch, is sharp and cuts the back of your leg when sitting there.  The clasp is removed and the holes filled.

26. The ladder from the deck to below is not held in place but by two brackets on top.  You bump into it, and it falls off the brackets and falls over.  I make two mahogany cleats that locks the base of the ladder in place and is not a trip hazard when walking around.  This works surprisingly well, even under sail.

27. There was no Reaching Strut with the boat, I find one on Ebay, when it comes in I sand it down and paint it to match the Spinnaker Pole paint (silver metallic). Then fashion mounting brackets to hold it on deck.

28. One really small bolt was missing in one of the hinges on the lazarette hatch.  While minor, it is a source for water to enter the inside of the boat. I put a bolt in with Life Calk, and cut it off to length with the Dremel.

29. There were no gaskets on any of the four hatches allowing water to pour into the boat in rains, or when the boat is heeled, or waves crashing over.  So gaskets were installed, though the installer missed on two hatches and didn’t get them into the right spot, and these were removed.

30. The boom at the gooseneck was on a pin that allows the boom to rotate 360-degrees.  With pulleys on the side of the boom for the reef lines, the boom rotated, the ropes bound in the pulleys and it just wasn’t working.  We took the gooseneck off, drilled through and pinned the rotating pin to the gooseneck so now it does not rotate at all.  We test it and see this is the right move.

31. Carbo blocks were installed on the side of the boom for the two reef lines.

32. Some prior owner loved to varnish, though without drop cloths or masking tape.  There is varnish everywhere.  On my hands and knees with a sharp awl I pick at the drops until they are loose, then sweeping them up, then washing that area with lacquer thinner.  After four hours, I’m halfway down below.  I also take a new single sided razor blade and shave off varnish off of flat surfaces everywhere, hours and hours of scraping.

33. Filled the screw heads in the cockpit teak walls with wood plugs and epoxy, chiseled, and sanded smooth.

I am not doing all of the work, professionals do some, my Dad and Sister do some, and I don’t track what they do.  But I am aware they did the following:

  • The mechanic replaced the three ships batteries as the previous batteries failed the Load Test.
  • Mechanic repairs leaky exhaust.
  • Sanded and varnished teak walls in cockpit.
  • An old Tank Vent on the side of the boat was removed with Dremel, fiberglassed, sanded and painted.
  • Masthead light is tested and works. Steamer Light on mast is repaired.
  • Travelers cleats and lines were not working, all replaced.
  • The forward lower shrouds were eased and the aft lowers taken up.

The next owner is really going to enjoy this boat.

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