Friday, March 5, 2010

A Little Early Spring Fitting Out

I completed three little projects this past weekend:
  • All winter long, the wind blew. And the inner forestay hummed and vibrated like a guitar string. Apparently due to some weird kind of musical convergence, this vibration causes the turnbuckle holding the stay to unwind. Last spring, when I re-tensioned the rig after installing the new bowsprit, I installed cotter pins or keepers on all the turnbuckles in the rig to keep this from happening. Um... well, except for the inner forestay, that is. Oops. I re-tightened the turnbuckle, and this time I put on the keeper rings.
  • Our VHF radio is capable of including our location as a part of an emergency broadcast... if only it is told where we are. And we installed a new GPS last year, which is capable of telling the VHF our location. All that was missing was the 25 feet of wire between the two devices. This weekend, I bought some 2-conductor shielded microphone wire from Radio Shack and used it to connect them. The only hard part was routing the wire - that took an hour and a half, or about 0.28 ft/min.
  • At the top of our mast boot, I used to seal the boot to the mast with special, long-exposure tape from 3M. This stuff was expensive, and had an outer coating of aluminum powder to resist UV damage. It worked great. But, of course, it is no longer available (at least at the places I have looked). So, at the Boat Show, I found some self-bonding rigging tape. This silicone-based material supposedly welds to itself after being in contact a little while. So I bought a roll and used it to seal the mast boot - it looks very nice, being white, with the white mast and white mast boot. We'll see how it stands the test of time. (This reminds me that I had planned to blog about how to cut a mast boot which will fit both the mast and the larger deck ring, and fall in a smooth line between them. OK, noted - it's now on the list. Done.)


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