Projects






New Cutless Bearing, Bottom Paint and Boot Stripe

July, 2011

Because of the noise the new pop was making we decided to haul out in Bangor, North Ireland and check the bearing, paint the bottom and other annual projects. We were happy to find no blisters, no weeping in the haul and very sound through hauls. The ruder on the other hand is a concern. It was weeping from a poor patch job square in the middle. We drilled a few exploratory holes below the patch and water ran out. We drilled a few more holes at the bottom of the rudder and more water ran out. Not good - we are going to need a new rudder sooner rather than later. We let the rudder drain for the week we were out of the water then ground the patch and holes down resealing them with epoxy. 





Sliding the prop shaft back in with new cutless bearing in place.


The biggest learning we had was that the prop shaft CAN be removed from the boat without removing the rudder. There are six bolts holding the ruder-shaft flange to the top of the ruder. These are easy to remove. Once the bolts are out of the flange the rudder can be tilted to Starboard just enough to slide the pop shaft out and back in. Be careful here, the rudder is heavy so we used two people to balance the rudder on its lower joint while leaning it to Starboard just a few inches. (see photo above). We did not try, but I think once the rudder is leaned over so it clears the rudder shaft flange it will lift strait up off the lower joint. We might have done it with two people but it felt heavy and a fork lift would be a good idea. If you have a HC38 and have any questions about this please drop us a line.



Stern Tube old Bearing removed.



 I did not take photos of removing the old cutless bearing but we used a hack saw blade to slowly cut threw the bearing from the inside toward the stern tube, being careful not scare the stern tube. The old bearing was very worn and need several cuts and then tightening the set screws to break it loose. There are many good descriptions on how to do this on line. 

 The new cutless bearing we received was slightly to large for the bore of the stern tube so we used a wire brush on a drill to slowly ream out the stern tube to the proper diameter. This worked well, creating a very uniform surface for the new bearing to seat but it took all day.


Mast Un- and Re-Stepping

April, 2011

Sophia took here first voyage in 2011 last Thursday. She left as a sailboat and came back as a powerboat. It was short trip - just up to the harbor crane and back.

Moving the crane in to position - about 10:30

Hooking up the strap - 11:00

Cranking the cable up the mast to the spreaders by hand - forever.


Lots of stuff happened here - took all the stays off, moved the crane over the land and lowered. Just one scary moment - the mast got hung up on the crane for moment then settled with a bang. 12:30


The mast step after we cleaned out the 30 years of dirt. We thought we might find dinosaur bones in the sediment. 


Taking off the spreaders - 1:00 

It took us another hour to move the mast on a wheeled dolly around the boats in this photos, swing one end over another person power boat (glad he was not there at the time, he might of been nervous), then move a guys bike, displace a women working at one of the picnic tables and roll the mast down the dock to a couple of free mast stands. All told it took us 4 hours from leaving the dock to back to the dock. whooo!

So, why did we take the mast down? Primarily it was for maintenance and also to add some wiring for a new steaming/deck light and new VHF antenna. But once it's down, there's lots to be done.

Karl sanding. Ohh ahh!  We first planned to repaint the mast, but since decided to take the paint off and leave the bare aluminum. It is better for the aluminum and less maintenance in the future. Unfortunately it meant a lot more sanding. If the photos were proportionate to the time it took, you'd be looking at a lot of sanding photos.


This is the conduit inside the mast for the wires. There were some old wires, which had been cut off at some earlier point inside the conduit, and very securely attached such that we couldn't pull them out. We had to drill out the rivets holding the conduit in order to remove the old wire. We then reattached the conduit, which is not an easy process...

Every few feet was a set of rivet holes. One for affixing the conduit and the other "helper" hole to hold the conduit in place.

Once the "holding" rivet was in place we'd fill the other "helper" hole with another rivet, just so it looks nice.


After the end of a long day, nothing makes Karl happier than tidying up. Actually he's been pining over a small wet/dry vacuum for the boat. We happened to see a 12-volt version earlier in the day so we can use it on the boat. See how happy he is!


Rachel got "Tom Sawyered" into finishing sanding the mast. Never had a better time in her life! 


This is the wiring job for the masthead lights, antenna, and wind instrument. There's a protective hose to prevent chafe and the zip tie helps take the weight of 60 feet of wire so it isn't hanging on the connections. Also, another messenger line for future use if we need to run a new wire up the mast.


We restepped the mast on Monday night, after 5 days of work, finishing up just at dark (10:00pm).  Here's what it looked like...

At the staging area doing all the final preparations before lift off...

I sure hope this thing holds! Here's the mast precariously perched part way above land and part way over Sophia.

And what it looks like on the Sophia end of things. Karl controlled the mast base with line.

The restepping went fairly smoothly. The forestay was a bit of bugger to attach, but with a quick pulley system we were able to get it tight enough to get the pin in. Then, just as we were finished the crane strap got caught and while we had a retrieval line tied to it, we couldn't get it clear of the track on the front of the mast. A quick tape job between the pole hook and a piece of pipe did the job, and we were able to get free of the crane. 


Out with the Old, In with the New

August, 2010



Part of our getting settled into life in Norway has involved getting settled into living on a boat. As many of you know, we've been living on Sophia for five months already as we sailed to Norway from the west coast of Mexico. Living on a boat while cruising (and with 1 to 3 other people) is a very different type of living than when tied up to a dock and trying to have some semblance of a "normal" life.  Part of it has been to organize, clean, reorganize, and remove unneeded items.


Andreas drew a diagram of Sophia's stowage areas (see photo). You would think that there is plenty of space, but somehow it fills up very quickly.  You can see us in the midst of one organization session!

One organizing session
Too, there were some projects that we set aside until we arrived in Norway.  All of that to say that Karl has been digging into Sophia's nether regions and finding, well, yuckiness.


A bit of a caveat is needed. Sophia is no spring chicken; she's over 30 years and, as many of you know, some things just degrade over time. Add to that some leaks and wear, not to mention 5 months of very heavy use, and who wouldn't be a little rough under the collar?


So, Karl began poking around the wood that lines the inside of the hull in areas that we know had been leaking. This wood is all superficial (in other words, not structural to the hull) covering the fiberglass hull, and included a layer of plywood under the teak strips. Alas, the plywood was mostly rotten in the areas around the chainplates (notoriously leaky), so out it came along with the teak strips. This occurred in the hanging locker and behind the dinette settee, and will soon in the pullman berth. Karl cleaned (there was a lot of mildew) and painted the fiberglass inside the hanging locker (no real good reason to install new teak inside a closet) and the storage area behind the dinette settee. Then, Karl rebuilt the shelf and storage cabinet behind the dinette settee. The series of the project is below. Quite an improvement!

Yuckiness under rotten wood
Cleaned up and ready for painting

Newly painted cabinets
Newly painted cabinets with door removed
(we since added tabs & toggle to secure doors)







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