Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Wiring the Pulpit Blog # 143

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

Ok, let’s get this out-of-the-way first:  In this vid there is some pixellation / editing going on.  Some intrepid viewers have already raised an eyebrow and asked.  So here’s the somewhat embarrassing tale of woe.

The blue coveralls I am wearing are cheap, paper, throw-away coveralls. I like them because they breathe really well so I stay cool. However, they have one MAJOR design flaw. When worn, if the wearer bends over far, or squats the crotch rips out.  In fact it rips out without so much as a “how do you do?”.  At least with fabric the wearer gets the tell-tale ripping sound with these things … nothing.  So I was happily vlogging away completely oblivious to the naughtycal wardrobe malfunction exposing the main junction.

I didn’t realize it till I got home and started to edit the vid. I then took about 5 minutes out of my day to laugh at my  idiotic self.  Once the giggle fit ended I decided not to re-do the vlog but to just edit out with a pixel mask any offensive bits that may or may not have been making a bid for freedom.

Truth be told, while this catastrophe was unfolding I, being a neighbourly type, helped a boat returning to the dock get tied up. All the while oblivious to John Thomas making his début appearance. I did notice the odd looks but they were thankful for the help, so I suppose it’s all good in the end. So to speak.

So that being said, this vid isn’t about old pirates being blissfully oblivious much to the chagrin of the boating public. It is about wiring the pulpit and replacing the pulpit lights.

Enjoy. And don’t laugh.


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




I said, don’t laugh.

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: Cape Horn Windvane pt.2 Blog #134

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

In this session I complete the installation of the hardware for the windvane. And the sun comes out! Yaaay. It’s always a pleasure to see the sun!

I apologize for not getting a better close up of the install I know this would have been of interest to other DIY’ers. But it’s not rocket science and pretty straight forward. I’ll likely do a video of the vane in action once I get it rigged and we’re out there sailing.

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

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Cape Horn Windane pt.1 Blog #133

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

With his episode, I get to install a bit of hardware that Little Bear has never had before: a windvane.

I chose Cape Horn Windvane for a few reasons:

  • Price
  • Simplicity of construction
  • Reputation
  • Proven track record

I’ve never sailed with a windvane before but I can see the value of not being glued to a tiller / wheel.  I expect to do a lot of single-handing so being able to roam about the boat without having to tend the tiller seems to be a very good idea.

The Cape Horn also has the ability to integrate an auto-pilot. And because the windvane supplies the power for the tiller a smaller, efficient pilot can be utilized. Bonus.

Installing the windvane was fairly straightforward. However, for the first time during the refit of Little Bear I hurt myself.  I caught the tip of my  finger between a strut and the chuck of my drill. I basically ripped my finger nail off.  In the video you can see the moment it happened.  I dropped the drill but it is tough and suffered no damage.

I have yet to rig the vane with blocks and line but I don’t think that will be a big deal.  I just have to follow the instructions correctly and away I go!

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

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Bowsprit Platform on! Blog #132

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

This episode is all about getting the platform installed and aligned. There was a bit if a curve-ball I had to deal with but nothing that liquid joinery didn’t take care of! Oh the wonders of modern technology & chemistry.

The one part of this job that I wish I didn’t have to do was to take off the forestay. But the bowsprit pulpit won’t go back on with the forstay / furler in place. So, off it came.

The biggest challenge was to drill the holes for the support blocks and get them aligned. I explain in the video where you can actually see what I’m describing.

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: More Mast Fun Vlog #122

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

It’s time to run the i70 instrument pack cable through the mast. This proved to be a bit trickier than anticipated due to the bundle of connectors that needed to be run through the conduit.

I also needed to figure out where to mount the mount. The mast head doesn’t have much room for bits `n bobs. I ended up putting it on the forward, port side of the mast head. Close enough to where the wires come out, and out of the way of all the other stuff that lives up there.

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