Thursday, January 31, 2013

REFIT Plan: Mast & Paint Project

This is a post to show what I plan to do with a mast refit. I have some worn areas on my mast that are worn enough to show the aluminum and old manufacturer stickers that are faded and cracked. I'm looking at refinishing the mast similar to how Drake did in this video below.

Basically, the steps he used (mentioned in the video) were:
  • removed all hardware
  • Sanded down to bare aluminum
  • scrubbed it with Ajax and scotchbrite
  • bathed it in alumiprep
  • bathed it in alodine
  • painted with zinc chromate primer
  • painted 5 coats of Awl-Grip 501 primer (alternative currently available: 545)
  • sanded
  • painted 3 coats of Awl-Grip Awl-Craft 2000 paint
While it looks like Drake painted his mast white, I'm looking at doing something different. I'm thinking of painting the mast yellow. Having a yellow mast would definitely allow the boat to stand out if ever at an anchorage. I've seen pictures of other boats (including another Nor'sea) with a yellow mast and I like how it looks. I found this link with info that looks helpful for this process.

I believe there may be rivets that need replacing. I'm also thinking to look over all the mast hardware to see if any need replacing. The ends of the spreaders seem to be degrading and I will look into whether they can be fixed/replaced, which I might look into when I put the boat in the water this year. I wonder if it's possible to have spreader ends with a spring loaded lock to keep the rigging in place. Anyone know?

Here's a picture of one of them, they both look the same.

An addition to the mast I'm considering is to put a mount on the mast for a new radar head. Scanstrut is the main company I found that have mast mounts that would work.

I want to have the hull, waterline and bottom painted differently. For the topsides I'm looking at a dark red like Awl-Grip's "Claret", with a "Federal Yellow" waterline and a black bottom. Then the yellow mast would match the waterline.

This picture I found on an ad on Yacht World show the colors I'm looking at. This burgundy color is my favorite color.

Again, this refit I'm looking to START sometime around 2015. I'll be pretty busy along the way.

Monday, January 21, 2013

REFIT Plan: Instruments

This part of my refit plan, I'm looking at replacing the Garmin 546s and Furuno radar. Lately, the Furuno stopped working which I may just need to trace the power to see if I can get it working again. While the 546s still works, I like the idea of having a bit larger screen.

Both of these are mounted by the electrical panel on a swing out arm to be viewable in the cockpit. Both take up quite a bit of space and I'm thinking it would be nice to consolidate the two into one system.

My idea for the upgrade is to get a Garmin 4208 chartplotter with a Garmin Radar, either the 18HD or 24HD. The Garmin 740s also seems to be popular and is touchscreen and costs less. Currently, the Furuno radar antenna is mounted on a pole on the stern rail. I'm thinking to mount it a little higher with a Scanstrut mount on the mast.

I can mount this single screen on the swing mount but I'm leaning more towards the idea of placing it where the bulkhead compass is currently mounted. This way, I won't have to have it swing back and forth on the swing mount. I'll look into how it might work out later but this is my current plan.

If this new chartplotter is mounted in place of the compass, I thinking to make a new companion way panel that is low profile, but big enough to mount the compass. This panel would removable for the times when not sailing.

Garmin also has AIS capabilities that can be viewed on the chartplotter. This is something I considered adding to this installation but I may not use AIS (yet). Maybe a VHF radio with AIS receiver could be a good alternative. Another aspect of some of the equipment is the possibility of using it outside of the US. That's when the FCC comes in where a Ship Radio Station license and Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit seems to be needed. Just something else to research along the way.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

REFIT Plan: Introduction

Right now, I'm planning on a refit of Rhapsody. Several posts following this one will hopefully explain some of the projects I have planned during this refit. They will start with "REFIT Plan" just as it does in the title of this post. I'll look for ideas along the way with research and likely receive some advice too before I actually get to work on them so some plans may change along the way. As I work on these projects, I'll post the progress and results.

This boat is over 30 years old and hopefully some of this will allow the boat to last even longer.

While I am still looking at using the boat this year, I found out that I will be going on a trip overseas for work in 2014. During that trip, I expect to have the boat out of the water and not long afterwards to start on a longer refit which is what I'm referring to in this post. So the main refit projects will likely start in 2015.