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Refit:  Winter 2008-2009


Winter 2008-2009 Refit | Saturday, April 11, 2009

I spent part of the morning installing the display for my new wind instruments--or what we call "Boat TV" (for the surprisingly riveting enjoyment one can get whilst sitting at anchor and watching the wind gusts and direction on the display).

Installation was straightforward in this case.  First, I removed the display head from my non-functioning old wind instruments, and the old power cable back as far as the point where it was spliced into "normal" wiring, in the engine room.  I also snipped off the wind transducer cable as much as I could at both the engine room end and the end where it exited in the head near the mast step, but refrained from any attempts to completely remove the old cable along its entire run, wherever I had run it years earlier.  I also removed the old terminal block and junction box from the head.

    

I aligned the supplied cutting template with an existing hole in the bulkhead from the old instruments; fortunately this was a small-ish hole, not much larger than the wiring hole required for the TackTick display, and even more fortunately it turned out that the placement of the hole was such that the new instrument would end up in a pleasing location, not oddly spaced away from the existing depth/knotmeter display right below.  So I could use the same hole, and simply marked and drilled the three small holes for the fixing studs required to hold the new display in place.


With a length of sheathed 14/2 cable, which I chose for aesthetic reasons since the cables would be exposed inside the boat (maybe someday I'll cover over these exposed electronic wires), I made up the connections to the back of the  display.  Since the masthead wind transducer was wireless and solar powered, this meant that I didn't have to run any cables other than the display power supply--again, one of the main reasons I chose the TackTick.  I removed the paper over the foam gasket material on the back of the display, threaded in the fixing studs, and installed it in the bulkhead through the pre-drilled holes, securing it from behind with the supplied thumbscrews.  I snipped off the excess length of the brass fixing studs.

    

After making up the wiring connections in the engine room and re-securing the wires as needed, I tested the unit by first powering it up, and then holding the masthead anemometer nearby and spinning the cups and directional arrow to create "wind" on the display.  Cool. 


Next, I went outside to the mast and pulled out the old anemometer cable and removed the base unit from the masthead.  This also led to me removing the protective hose that I'd used over the mast wires for years, which had become rather nasty-looking and which I'd been meaning to replace anyway.  Back in 2001, after the initial project, I'd simply stuffed the mast end of the hose into the large hole in the spar that had already been there, but now I wanted to install something nicer.  I ordered a 1" rail base to which I could attach the new hose (1-1/8" ID to fit over the rail base and also to match up with my 1-1/8" fitting in the deck), and would install that once it arrived next week.


I'd installed the old anemometer base unit atop a wooden block that I screwed and epoxied to the masthead casting.  The old block was in fine shape, but to better allow the new base mount to fit, with an anchor light bracket located immediately next to the old block, I decided to add a second block; because the masthead casting here had a downward angle facing forward, I made the new block angled to provide a level (with the waterline) surface on which to secure the new base, which would have the effect of raising the business end of the anemometer a bit higher and more in the clear.  It was too cold out for epoxy, so I held off on the final installation of the new block and base mount for now.


Working at the masthead reminded me that I'd meant to order a new anchor light, so I came inside and ordered a new Orca Green (OGM) LED all-around white anchor light with photodiode, along with a side-mount bracket, to replace my semi-functional-of-late Davis Mega Light.

    

I rounded out the day with some odds and ends.  A week or two ago, I'd overbored and filled some old screw holes in the deck where I secured the angled gate braces for my aftermost stanchions, forward of the opening portion, since the old holes, for self-tapping screws, were getting ragged and ineffective, since I remove these every winter for storage.  With the holes now filled, I redrilled and tapped for 1/4-20 x 1/2" pan head machine screws, and then secured the gate braces accordingly with the new screws and sealant.

I also installed new chainplate deck covers.  For years, I'd made simple covers out of wood, a quick-fix that I'd come up with in desperation the first year when I discovered that some pre-manufactured deck covers I had hoped to use wouldn't fit because of the chainplates' close proximity to the toerails.  This solution worked fine for years, and through three different sets of wooden covers, but I always meant to do something better.  Now was the time.

Sticking with the more-or-less readily available Schaefer chainplate covers that matched the chainplates I had, I marked each where it interfered with the toerail and cut off the excess down on the bench using a grinder and cutoff wheel.  Then, I drilled two new screw holes further up the plate, since modifying the end resulted in the destruction of the original holes.

Up on the boat, I drilled and tapped the deck to accept #8-32 x 1/2" panhead machine screws, milled small countersinks at the top of each hole for sealant, and then installed the chainplate covers with lots of sealant beneath. leaving the excess alone to cure for now (I'd taped around the bases before installation).


After a couple seasons where we sailed with only one anchor and roller on the bow, I found that I missed having the second anchor ready to go, mainly during a couple of cruising situations where an emergency need for the second anchor could have easily arisen (though ultimately it did not both times).  While I'd carried a spare "real" anchor in a cockpit locker, and had two additional anchors on board (one stern Danforth, one spare Danforth stored on the coachroof), the lack of readiness of a second anchor bothered me these couple times.  So I decided to reinstall my second anchor roller this season, which was a simple matter of securing four bolts.


Total time today:  5.25 hours

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