Restore a Sailboat - July 2018 PART 1

WelcomeThe final stretch is here. The Chicago Mac Race is July 21, 2018 and it’s time to finish all projects.  I even take a day off of work just to be sure we get it all completed.  Everything should work perfectly as the worklist is complete before the race begins. Famous last words, see July 2018 PART 2 for explanation!

153. Various handrails leaks are sealed, and then having to install wood plugs, sand them and varnish them.

154. Caulked a corner leak on the main hatch, it has stopped dripping.

155. Built and replaced panel in cockpit that holds the on-deck VHF speaker.  The old one had an extra 1-1/2″ hole that was Duck Taped over.

156. Added lock nuts on lifeline turnbuckles, and tightened the lifelines.  Good safety feature.

157. As time permits, I take Oven Cleaner and spray it on old varnish, grease and paint dripped on the fiberglass portion of the deck.  Then scrape with an awl or Scoth Brite pad to take the mess off.  It is slow, and takes a lot of diligence.

158. No matter how we fold the new mainsail on the boom, it always looks horrible.  On a no wind morning at the mooring can I raise the mainsail and slowly lower it.  I mark the front edge and back edge folds with green on the starboard and red on the port.  Once done, it looks like it was folded by Navy midshipmen, absolutely perfect.  Once the boom cover is on, you can see the folds in perfect parallel lines.  From then on, folding this sail is a snap!

159. We choose not to carry the spare jib halyard, and rather we install a messenger cord to pull the spare halyard through if needed.  This saves weight aloft.  The weight of a halyard causes the boat to heel more when sailing, and the spare jib halyard is stored in the lazarette.

160. With the rigid vang installed, the topping lift that ran from the back end of the boom, to the top of the mast, and down to a cleat at the deck level is all removed – the line, the pulley at the top of the mast, and the cleat on the mast.  Again this saves weight aloft, removes windage, stops wear of the topping lift rubbing back and forth on the mainsail while sailing and looks much cleaner without it.

161. I went around to all sheets, guys, snatch blocks, and halyards to put a spot of oil on all snap shackles.  Oiled the spinnaker and reaching strut ends.  And, re-greased the spinnaker pole track.

162. I sewed loops on ends of 2nd reef line and spare jib halyard for easy installs when needed.

163. I added a 2nd snap shackle on the bow for the jib tack.

164. I took lacquer thinner and cleaned the fenders spotless.

165. In order to have the mast display for the GPS not interfered by the outhaul and reef lines, I have to install three guide pulleys by drilling and tapping the mast.  Later tested in strong winds, they held just fine.

166. The Chicago Mackinac Race course is kidney shaped.  There are obvious points of land and buoys that have to be passed.  We call each one of these a “waypoint.”  I program all of the waypoints for the race into the Garmin chartplotter.  And updated the Garmin charts electronically.

167. After checking that there are spare parts for the engine, the one that is missing is a fuel filter.  I get one and place it with the other engine spares.
168. Never before have I had the time to calibrate instruments on any boat we had.  We are ahead of the curve. We get out on the Lake and calibrate the wind angle instrument so it reads true.  My wife is below, the wind is light, I am heading straight into the wind looking at the top of the mast, then looking down at the instrument.  Then reading the directions on calibration – press these two buttons at the same time for three seconds, etc. When I look up again and there is a hawk that has landed on top of the mast.  Now?  Right Now?  I start screaming at it to go away and my wife starts freaking out having no idea why I am screaming at the top of my lungs.  Funny.  The wind angle is calibrated.  We calibrate the boat speed (a paddle under the boat reads to a display at the steering wheel) compared to the boatspeed the GPS displays.  And we calibrate the ships compass (steering on the GPS), once calibrated, we create a Deviation Card.  This was much easier than anticipated, is so worthy, and makes plotting and giving a course to the captain so much easier.  I wished I had done this to all other boats before.
169. With all of the hatches open, there doesn’t feel like much air flows through the cabin, I get a portable clip-on 12V fan.  What a difference a little airflow makes.
170. The gasket around the opening head window leaks.  We get a new one from the manufacturer and follow the directions.  This is one of those things that the manufacturer never tried to install themselves.  It was a nightmare to install, the caulk acted like a lubricant to push the gasket out, not into the channel it was to go into.  The only thing that worked was caulking a few inches at a time, coming back day after day to do more inches.  In the end it worked, but there is caulk everywhere.  A new project for the future to clean off the excess caulk.
171. Marked the kingpin on the steering wheel (needed to be done since replacing the rudder).
My work list is complete, there is nothing left to do, this boat is completely ready to go mechanically, electrically, rigging, plumbing, major aesthetics, and cleanliness.
Others this month accomplished the following which includes Chicago Mackinac Race preparation:
  • Double check the fuel level, and added more fuel.
  • The two bigger windows on the side of the cabin leak water, Dad installs Flex Tape over the windows, you know that tape where they cut the boat in half on TV, tape it together and run it around with an outboard?
  • Installed a laminated chart of the safety gear on the wall.
  • Put water in water tank.
  • New mainsail.
  • Emptied the head tank.
  • Lowered the table, put sheets and blankets on the berths.
  • Wash/scrub floor down below – after drying, clean it with lacquer thinner to get the dark spots cleaned.
  • Washed the topsides.
  • Washed the deck.
  • SCUBA dove to wash the bottom under the water.  Once under, there was this 5″ fish that was just off to the right of my head and about 1′ away.  I reached out and poked him in the side, he swam another foot away and came back to the same position.  He stayed there the entire time I washed the bottom of the boat, down the rudder, up and down the keel, and over to the ladder when I got out of the water.  I guess I was one with nature.
  • Wiped down stainless, winches, etc. with towel for shine.
  • Store food and beverage.
  • All required safety gear inspected installed and set up.

The next owner is really going to enjoy this boat.

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