Another crappy weather day, so no painting today, but I did work inside on bits and pieces of Madsu’s gear.
The masthead is done and ready to go. Yesterday I discovered that the new sheaves I got to replace the old wire sheaves didn’t actually fit.
I spent a bit of quality time with my Makita sander and the aluminum plate that acts as a spacer between the port and starboard pair of sheaves.
In the photo you can see the aft pair of sheaves – and the arrow points to the spacer that runs fore and aft and keeps the starboard side sheaves apart from the port side.
I didn’t want to sand too much since the sheaves just run free – there’s no bearings – the plastic sheave just runs on the pin – so I don’t want too much play in there.
The fit is perfect now – amazing what a little sandpaper on aluminum can do
With a new spin crane, a ridiculously expensive block for the spinnaker halyard, new anchor light post, Windex, and new sheaves for the all line halyards, Madsu’s sad little masthead has been transformed.
To keep me inspired while I’m working on this stuff, I’m reading There By No Dragons: How to Cross a Big Ocean in a Small Sailboat by Reese Palley.
(if you’re wondering what the hell that thing is sticking out of the TOP of the windvane, it’s the new ‘bird spike’ meant to keep freeloaders of the avian variety off the vane).
I should say that we sailed all last summer without the benefit of a masthead Windex. Instead we used Newport shroud telltales which were great, and we’ll keep them on board again this year.
One last thing to do before I can paint Madsu’s mast, and that’s installing conduit for wiring inside the mast.
Madsu had no steaming or anchor light, and last season I got by with a portable LED that I’d hoist when needed. It worked ok but wasn’t great. When I redid the electrical system last month I installed enough circuits to incude a steaming light and masthead anchor light.
I debated whether it was worth the trouble of running conduit up the mast – but figure if I don’t I’ll be regretting it the first night an anchor as the wires clang away inside the mast.
I opted for 3/4 inch PVC conduit that will have more than enough room for the 3 wires I need to run – plus room for VHF coaxial should I decide to add a masthead antennae later. I got a laugh when I saw the label on the conduit – C22 for a C22. Nice.
Of course the conduit has to be secured, or it will bang around. This is easier said than done.
The conduit is riveted in place using a technique I read about online somewhere. Starting at the base of the mast I was able to hold the conduit in place while I drilled a hole in the mast and the conduit and popped in a rivet.
From there it’s a matter of drilling a hole 6 inches or so along, using a small Allen key to hook the conduit through the hole (in order to hold it in place), then drill another hole a further six inches along and pop a rivet in. After I was done, I filled all the extra holes and was ready to etch, condition and prime.
The mast got it’s first layer of base coat this afternoon – the boom got its 3rd and final coat of base. I should be able to get a couple more coats of base on the mast tomorrow, then on to the topcoat in a couple of days, assuming the weather holds.