Refit:  Winter 2008-2009

Winter 2008-2009 Refit | Saturday, March 28, 2009

The modified dodger required some solid forward-leading braces in order to support itself when the wings were removed.  A couple weeks ago, I ordered the requisite materials to make a pair of adjustable braces, but with a week away in the mix I didn't get a chance to build them until today.

This turned out to be a straightforward task.  I'd ordered two pieces of 1" SS tubing cut to 24" long, which dimension I'd measured roughly in advance, but I thought I'd end up cutting an inch or several off the tubes they were in the shop, to allow for various factors that I couldn't or didn't want to take the time to anticipate.  As it turned out, the full 24" length was perfect without modification, so I avoided the need to trim the tubing.  This saved some time and fussing.  But this is getting ahead of things a bit.

The first thing I had to do was install a jaw slide on each side of the dodger frame.  Because the new fitting would be near the top bend, I first had to remove the two fittings already installed at the bottom, so I could slip the new one on.  I temporarily secured the new fittings in a random location just to hold them while I reassembled the rest of the frame.

Next, I assembled the adjustable braces, using an adjustable eye end at each end.  I adjusted the thread so that they were roughly halfway through their travel, to allow the new strut as much adjustment in both directions as possible, and after installing one end I held the strut in place to determine whether I needed to cut the tubing shorter and where the forward end should be placed.  This is when I determined that the full length of the tubing would place the forward base in a good location, so with that determination made I installed the adjustable eye on the other end of each tube as well.


I attached one end to the angled deck mount that would secure the forward end to the deck, and then attached the other end to the jaw slide, adjusting the slide's position as needed on the dodger frame to accommodate the strut.  The slide ended up just below the bend in the tubing, which is where I wanted it anyway.  I secured the setscrews to hold the slides in position, and then positioned the deck mounts and marked the edges with a pencil so I could relocate them for fastening; the mount ended up nearly as far forward as it could be and still be inside the dodger's attachment point to the deck, and there wasn't clearance to drill the holes with the dodger canvas in place. 

With the positions marked, I detached the dodger and drilled the screw holes, then temporarily mounted the deck mounts so I could test out the struts' function.    I was pleased with how they worked and looked, and they didn't impact vision or intrude on the space inside the dodger.  On the starboard side, the mount's placement was far enough from the handrail to allow one of my aft-leading control lines (the cunningham, I think) to still clear the new mount--though I admit that I didn't think of this potential conflict until after I had installed the mount.

I removed the dodger and frame, now that the modifications were complete, and removed the deck mounts so I could re-install them properly in overbored holes, etc.

Next, I turned to the bronze port frames' maintenance, and their annual cleanup and application of clear lacquer.  During an earlier project on deck, I'd taken the opportunity to mask off the two forward-facing ports; now, I continued with the remaining ports, masking off the inside and outside edges and covering all adjacent surfaces with paper to protect against overspray.  With the prep complete, I sanded the frames to clean them up as needed and, after two hours of prep work, applied 4 coats of clear, semi-gloss spray lacquer, a task which took about one minute per coat.  Later, when the lacquer had had enough cure time, I removed all the tape and paper that I'd laboriously installed.

Come closer, dear reader.  I want to let you in on a little secret.  Move in just a little closer so you can hear me...closer.  Just a little closer; I don't want the whole world to know.  Let me whisper in your ear.

I hate doing this port job every year.



With that out of the way, I masked off the bottom and applied a coat of paint, Micron CSC green as usual.  I put the engine battery on the charger, and that was that for the day.


Total time today:  4.75 hours

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Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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