Restore a Sailboat - February 2020

It’s the shortest month of the year, I’ve turned up the heat to get things done! And had lots of progress.Welcome

296. How is the mast standing? Why didn’t it fall over while sailing?  I don’t know!  A clevis pin on one shroud is over length and at quick glance one might think it is falling out, not just long. I get a new one of the right length, loosen the shroud, remove the old, put in the new and???? The pin in the shroud was 3/8″ in a 1/2″ hole. That means we had about one-half the strength pin in the hole as required. Starting all over, I order a new 1/2″ pin and go check all other pins on the shrouds which are fine.  When the new pin comes in, I install it and re-tighten the shroud. Gulp.

297. We have been without a usable tachometer on the engine. I order a new one and install it.

298. It’s closing in on three years since the boat was purchased and new batteries installed then. I make it a habit to clean the battery terminals on my car annually, and figure its time to do the same to the boat. One battery is for engine starting. Then we have two other batteries in parallel deep cycle batteries called the “House” batteries that run everything else on the boat underway. Not one to leave anything alone, I do not like the way the battery boxes for the House batteries are installed. One of the battery boxes is hanging off the edge of the shelf by about 1/3. Also, the strap that holds them in place goes under the boxes and the slide latch on the strap is really really hard to open.  I install a larger plywood platform, move the battery boxes having to trim and cut things to fit. Then cut slots in the shelf so the new strap with metal latch goes under the shelf for extra security to hold the batteries regardless of the heel and pounding the boat goes through in waves. Also I use the hole saw to run wires and cables under the shelf to make it look clean. And cleaned all terminals applying a light coat of lithium grease to them.

299. In a storm on the mooring in the fall, the cover for the LED display of the autopilot blew off and overboard. I ordered a new one and installed it.

300. An utter oddity, the throttle for the engine has to be pulled backwards to speed up, and pushed forwards to slow down. I contact the Edson who built the wheel and pedestal where the throttle is located to see what they could offer. Their answer was, “None.”  I contact the engine maker, he said that on engines that have been returned for rebuild, he notices a few of them have an extension on the throttle bar on the side of the carburetor sticking out the opposite direction with the throttle cable attached to that. I have some 1/8″ stainless sheet, cut out a long bar, drill holes and install it on the existing throttle bar. Then the throttle cable has to be moved after, the bracket that holds the throttle cable re-adjusted with final testing of this once the boat is launched. Lastly, the labels on the wheel pedestal replaced showing the new direction of faster and slower.

300!  Time to party?  Nope, things just go on and on when restoring an old boat.

301. Before the boat cover was put on for the winter, the hoses in the shipyard were still running, so I washed the deck and topsides. My neighbor thought it odd, but I said I want less work to do in the spring! The shrink wrap specialist shows up on what must have been the rainiest day, and tromped sand and dirt all over the deck (the ground is gravel/dirt). I couldn’t wash it again, because the shipyard removed the hoses and blew out their water lines so they wouldn’t freeze. This hampers the prep work of sanding, stripping some varnish, and getting the remaining 1/4 of the deck ready for painting come warm weather. So I take a dry scrub brush and the vacuum to clean as much would come off, so I can proceed with the prep work.

302. When I made the new main hatch last summer, it was on a tight deadline. There was excessive caulk that needed to be removed, but there just wasn’t time for it. The easiest way to remove the caulk is to remove the hatch and flip it upside down, remove the caulk, flip the hatch right side up and reinstall.  Done.  Added bonus – the gasket material sticks heavily to the hatch opening making it really hard to open the hatch each time. Since it’s upside down, I put black electrical tape onto the gasket material so the non-sticky side of the tape now rests on the hatch opening. We’ll see how that works this summer.

303. The engine and bilge pump exhausts out the back end are bronze. They are heavily patina’d, so I tried Barkeepers Friend to polish them.  Didn’t put a dent on them. Then the internet suggested lemon juice and baking soda.  Each application made them one shade lighter. Could not get them back to original mustard/yellow.  Done.

304. Greased the head of the rudder post turning wheel from side to side while filling it with a grease gun.

305. The front hatch had seen better days. The plastic dried out, crazed and not clear anymore. The wood has its varnish coming off and black in some spots. Time for an overhaul. First remove the plastic lens and the fittings from it. The varnish is stripped off the wood, and the wood cleaned with Teka. Some joints are falling apart and re-epoxied. A good sanding, then five coats of Cetol (4 coats applied 4 days in a row, dry for 3 days, sand, then re-coat). Buy a new sheet of plastic, the new lens requires 29 holes drilled including the large hole for the solar vent and is assembled with Sikaflex caulk mating it to the wood. The hardware is cleaned to remove dirt, tarnish, paint or varnish, then remounted with Lifecaulk. New gasket installed and the “magic” electrical tape applied to it so it doesn’t stick to the deck.











































306. When I built the new battery shelf and hooked all of the wires back to the batteries, I knew all of the wires I attached, except one. It’s been bothering me wondering what it goes to? I traced it and found it goes to the voltmeter on the panel.

307. Sailboat racing requires extra safety gear above and beyond the USCG required safety gear boats must have. Hanging on the back end of the boat is a yellow horseshoe lifering with a drogue, strobe light and pole with a flag. Theory being, if someone went overboard, this would be deployed as a meet up spot for the boat and the victim. It’s a lot of stuff. A company called Switlik makes a Man Overboard Module (MOM) that includes all that stuff in a small plastic box. Pull the pin, the stuff pops out overboard and self-inflates. We decide to declutter, bought one, had it re-certified, bought the brackets that hold it to the pushpit and mount them. Ready for summer!

308. Found a little loose tabbing under the starboard berth. Re-epoxied it.

The work list is now at 29 items (a few small ones got added this month), 8 items are “wishes.”  7 items can be done in cold weather, 14 items require warm weather. Wish me luck in March to get all of the cold weather projects complete!

The next owner is really going to enjoy this boat.

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