I know it seems strange to be working on a sailboat with 7 inches of snow falling. But then again, it is mid April in Illinois. That means we can go from below freezing to 70 in one day. We are working on detailed blogs about each of these projects. This is just a sneak preview.
Spring in Illinois 4/14/2019
Things We Have Finished
Our motor was running great but Dave wanted to make sure we didn’t have any issue. This is after all the original motor. We ordered a new water pump and fuel pump kit from Crowley Marine. They are a great place to order motor parts from. You put in your model and serial number, it then shows you a schematic of your motor to order parts from. Dave decided to actually order two of each. That way we would have an extra onboard. The kits came with detailed instructions, so anyone can do it. The whole process took less than an hour.
Dave’s next project was the tiller. Ours was old and starting to split where it was laminated. I wanted the new curved so it didn’t hit us in the knees. We also wanted it to match all the wood on the boat. Dave gave the new tiller just enough of an angle that it clears our knees. It is solid oak with a mahogany and teak oil finish. A cover made of sunbrella, was just what we needed to protect his beauty from the weather.
Things We Are Updating This Year.
Here is a look at a few things we have purchased or are planning to purchase for the boat. We can’t wait to get them installed, darn weather permitting.
We are so tired of chasing after ice. Our Orca cooler kept things cold for days but you still needed to go get ice and the ice took up so much room in the cooler. We decided to go with an Engel Refrigerator/Freezer. It can cool to -5 degrees.
Our new depth finder/chart plotter should also work great with the new battery system. We purchased a swing mount from RAM mounts. We can push it back into the cabin and it can swing out into the cockpit. This Garmin is also Bluetooth so we can send the charts to our IPAD. We will post pictures when we get it installed.
Safety Items We Added
Some friends of ours had a small fire on their boat. They are convinced the only things that prevented their little adventure from becoming a tragedy, were the items below.
We have a fire extinguisher on board. We bought these for ease of use and to keep back by the motor. They put fires out really fast. On a boat that is exactly what you need. The other item they used to get their fire out fast was a fire blanket. These are great for battery or cooking fires also.
Our current project is rebuilding the rudder. We have done a lot of reading on how it is beneficial to change the tilt of the rudder on a Macgregor. This will help with the heeling and weather helm issues. He moved the pivot hole about an inch forward. We are told this makes a huge difference compared to the original design.
Dave decided we also needed to re-glass the rudder. Here are a few pictures of before he began. We are planning a whole blog on this project.
When Dave began looking into repairing the rudder, he found it had areas that were cracked, thin and spider cracking. This was especially true on the side that the previous owner patched. Dave cut out the bad area and is in the process of epoxying in a new section. Next, he will fiberglass and gel coat the entire rudder. This will also fix all the nicks and chips from hitting the propeller.
To Prevent Heeling
I try really hard not to freak out when the boat really heels. Usually, I am okay to about 15%. I am getting better each time we go out. Screams haven’t been heard coming from our boat in awhile.
The boom vane keeps the boom from raising up and causing an accidental jibe. It is great for running down wind to keep your boom flat.
The other item we are currently installing is a traveler. I had the winter to research these expensive little items. We decided to go with a Lewmar size 1 traveler. With our boat, we could have gone with a size zero to save money. But everyone we talked to said they wished they would have spent the extra and purchased the size 1. We ordered our traveler from Defender. After shopping around, they had the best price. They are not sold with the lines so remember to order that as well. We ordered red specked line for the port side and green specked line for the starboard side. In the picture they used all yellow. You need about 25 ft of line for each side.
The traveler adjust the angle of the boom to the boat, to prevent heeling. This will make me a very happy sailor. The traveler also helps control and adjust the twist in the main sail.
Other projects we will be working on this spring include fixing and gel coating some nicks and chips in the hull. We purchased a bunch of gel coat supplies from Jamestown Distributors. They came highly recommended by Andy Miller from Boatworks Today. This is a great website with tons of how to videos. This guy makes boat restoration look easy.
When the weather breaks, someday, we will be rebuilding our Macgregor Trailer. Dave wants to take the boat off, sand down the trailer, and repaint it. This will give him a chance to check for rust and repair any welds. This is after all the original trailer.
We are planning blogs on all of these projects so check back for pictures and videos.