Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Post Splash Projects Blog # 140

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

“Moonch up”. That’s the operative term for this video.  I thought the projects would be well suited for a collage of video clips.  I was wrong.  Each of these projects, in typical boat-land fashion, have grown and taken a LOT longer than anticipated.

The first project was to replace the bilge pump.  Well that didn’t happen. The pump is still non-functioning.  Because.  Don’t judge me.

Ok, I’ll tell you why: the old pump had  a 1″ outflow port. The new one has a 1 1/8″ outflow port.  I tried to find a step-down coupler but couldn’t find one. I then thought I’d just force it. After all 1/8″ isn’t that much. However, when I tried I realized that the hose (it must be original; 41 yrs old) was cracked and checked.  So I ordered new hose. Then I discovered (of course) that the through hull for the bilge is tucked away behind a fuel tank.  To move the fuel tank the engine has to come out. *sigh*.   No! I will find a way to do this without removing the engine.

I did manage to get the coax for the VHF run. So, I have a functioning radio but I still need to tidy up / fasten down the cable.

For the very first time in my life, I took a trip up the mast in a bosun’s chair.  This has revealed a couple of ‘needs’.  One; a better solution than a chair.  My wife is just barely able to crank me up the mast, and she’s too short to see the stuff at the mast head when she is hoisted up.

The other ‘need’ was to get a new winch.  I was blessed to find a good quality winch for much cheaper than I had anticipated.  The new winch will facilitate sailing, and it will help with the bosun’s chair situation. It’s self-tailing, and 2 speed. So Dread Pirate Admiral will be able to hoist my lard-butt up without too much problem.

With the sails back on the boat and the boom flopping around it became apparent that the boom gallows need to go back on. That created a whole new set of challenges. But we overcame. Got it done. Yes we did.

The sail maker identified the need for a tack fitting for the inner jib / stays’l.  I decided on replacing the turnbuckle pin with a shackle. I did that without too much of a hassle.

I spliced the bow pulpit wire for the nav lights.  It took a while as my soldering iron struggles to heat up enough to solder the heavier gauge wire outside in the wind. Once the splice was done, I threw the switch and was amazed to see that the old incandescent lights actually lit up!  I’m going to swap them out anyways because LEDs are just much more power friendly than incandescent.

I work in a large company. We have GREAT benefits. One of which is generous sick leave. The idea is that if you get sick it costs the company less to have you off at home, than it does to have you come to work and make other people sick reducing productivity. One of the guys decided to be a hero and come to work sick. Of course, I got the bug too, didn’t I? You can hear it in this vid. I sound stuffed up. That’s because I was. Total cold-head. 😦  For the love of all that’s healthy, if you’re sick – STAY HOME. I have a boat to work on for Pete’s sake.  Ok, enough of a rant. Back to our normally scheduled boaty happiness.

As always fair winds, following seas, and God bless.

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: SAILS! Blog #138

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

The suit of sails I inherited with the boat are original equipment. That means that the sails are 41 years old. The genoa had been left to the wind and was tattered and torn. It was the first thing I threw out when I brought the boat home. The main sail has been stuffed in my shop-locker for the last two  years. I have had it out a couple of times to look at and refold, but my impression of it was that it was better suited as material for a sack rather than a mainsail.

In this episode I take delivery of three new sails. My new genoa (130%), stays’l, and main. This is what a suit of new sails from North Sails look like being installed:

As always fair winds, following seas, and God bless.

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Boom Install Blog #127

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

Putting the boom back in place should be a simple and straightforward little chore. Not so.

Once again, my ingenuity has been challenged and my DIY skills have been tested. The issue with this project was the bolts holding the boom in place on the mast. In my research I discovered that there isn’t a lot of stress placed on the up / down (vertical) travel of the boom. The bulk of the pressure is applied horizontally. When the sails are up and pulling, the boom is pressing into the mast. So with this bit of knowledge I wasn’t too concerned about the bolts in the mast.

With the old bolt holes stripped out I had the option of moving the goose-neck up above the old holes, or down, below them. I called the sail maker and asked what direction I should go. He responded that going up would be the appropriate choice. So that’s where the goose neck went – about 6″ higher than it was. This choice will come back to bite me in the bum at a later date.

Never-the-lesss, here’s how it went down:

As always fair winds, following seas, and God bless.

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Le Boom! Vlog #126

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

The mast is up but it has no boom! Fortunately the boom is a much smaller bit of hardware, one which can be easily handled by one old pirate.

I started by stripping it, cleaning the stainless, sanding, sanding, yet more sanding, priming, painting, and then reinstalling the hardware. I ran into the same stainless / aluminium corrosion issue that I found on the mast. I had to make time to buy bits and pieces so that I was prepared with Helicoils and other requisite stuff. I used Locktite Blue to provide a barrier between the stainless screws & bolts and the aluminum boom. The riggers advised me to use a product called ‘Lanocote’ and I ordered some but it didn’t arrive till after I had everything assembled already.

Experience is a wonderful thing. If I were to refit another boat I would know what tools and products I would likely need so I could order them beforehand. This would make projects MUCH shorter in terms of time. I have wasted a LOT of time waiting for things to be ordered / arrive. I suppose this also explains why taking things apart is so much faster than putting them back together.

As always fair winds, following seas, and God bless.

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: The Stick goes up! Vlog #125

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

Today is the long anticipated day – the mast goes back up today. What a huge milestone. There was much stokage, and much excitement on this day; let me tell you! Steve Wight Rigging was the chap who got the job of putting the mast back up. He also did all the rigging and repaired the roller furler foils. The roller furler foils got bent when I took the mast off. It took 3 months to order and have the new foil sections delivered but that’s just as well because I wasn’t ready with the mast anyway. Metro Cranes provided the lift and the day went off without a hitch. All the work and prep done prior to installation day paid off.

Next project: the boom. Stay tuned.

As always fair winds, following seas, and God bless.

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Spreader lights & Nav lights installed Blog #124

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

With the lights attached to the spreaders, it’s time to get the spreaders on the mast. The challenge with this project, was the grommets. Firstly, it was a surprise to me how rare these beasties are. I bought a box of various sizes at a local auto parts shop but they were pvc plastic and proved to be way too difficult to insert. So I had to hunt around on the `net and order some rubber ones because there were none to be found locally.

I installed the tri-light on the mast head and then I cleverly remembered to orient it correctly in relation to the boat. More on this come mast install day.

I then hooked up and installed the mast nav lights. I had to revisit the spreader light mounts because one side had been knocked loose.

With all the wiring and lights installed, the spreader stays attached to their new brackets, the coax has a connector installed, the next step is to have the rigger come and put the stick up but thats a story for another day…

As always fair winds, following seas, and God bless.

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Spreader LIghts Vlog #123

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

When I bought Little Bear, the spreader lights had been removed. The wires were still hanging ragged off the spreaders but the lights were long gone. The cost for anything with the word ‘marine’ attached to it makes the thing ridiculously expensive. I priced a pair of LED spreader lights at $300 per. (!!!) I then jumped online and did a quick search. I discovered these 6 LED each lights for $60 per pair. Nice savings and these suckers are BRIGHT. Yep I will be able to see the deck in the darkest and most foul of nights.

I also get to use my new label maker with some heat-shrink tubing. Very cool, very effective.

As always fair winds, following seas, and God bless.