Monday, 27 August 2018

Another storage addition.... Hatch in Nav desk footwell.

The 33-2 is not a huge boat, and this becomes evident very quickly if even a modest cruise is planned.  This is compounded by the production boat reality of the cost associated with adding access hatches and making some of the more oddly shaped bits of interior volume accesssible.   Case in point, the space under the nav station footwell.  Pics are self explanatory.
Am pleased with this addition - the volume available is surprising, and I like the idea of any opportunity to increase airflow throughout the boat.

Hatch is made by Viking products.  


Thursday, 28 June 2018


Mast step chocks and shims.

More fun with Shock cord- Bimini Frame

Had been annoyed for awhile with the arrangement for securing the bimini fore and aft.

As you can see, Windstar has three pieces of canvas, the dodger, the bimini, and a connector spanning the two.   The conector can only be used in harbour, as the main sheet track is in the cockpit.   As it is, the main sheet fouls the dodger slightly when running.
It's a good setup for this boat however it requires slacking and retensioning  the lines securing the bimini fore and aft in order to attach the connector canvas.
A perfect use for shock cord!
After puzzling this out a bit I positioned two fixed-length lines led forward.  these define the limit of rearward tilt of the bimini frame in the absence of the connector.  Below, port side.

I then added shock cord to pull the frame aft against those two fixed lines, and further added two lines parallel to the shock cord that can be tensioned with a rolling hitch.

The shock cord provides enough tension to spring-load the bimini against the connector or the forward lines, and the adjustable parallel lines define a limit of forward travel.
Works great and the bimini can now be pulled forward to operate the connector zippers, and it springs back into place when released.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

LED interior lighting on a Budget

Original fixture
Have been grappling with the replacement of the OEM square fixtures in Windstar, and was having trouble finding LED replacements that are:

  • similar in footprint
  • have a switch on board
  • have a night lighting option
  • are affordable.
  • not more cheap/cheesy than the originals.
  • Have space in the housing for the bulky butt splices used to connect OEM fixture to the boat's wiring.
 The fixture below was suggested by a fellow C&C mailing list member, he installed these as direct replacements.  His wife was made happy.  Meets all my criteria except for red night lighting.  So, I decided to purchase a bulk bag of red LEDs and see if I couldn't modify the fixture.

Princess Auto, C$14.99

 The LEDs were mounted in snug fitting holes arranged around the perimeter of the light source, and the micro switch was installed at the same and as the supplied switch.  The leads were taped over when done.  It is not necessary to glue in the LEDs.

It works fine.  The SPDT switch supplied with the fixture permits wiring the LED toggle switch so that it is powered only when the fixture is off.   In other words you can't use both at the same time.   The orange/white wire is +12vdc, the black is to ground.

Modified fixture with LEDs, micro toggle switch, and resistors.
Mediocre Photos requiring no explanation, other than the hazy lens which was wet sanded to reduce glare.


The following website wizard simplifies the LED circuit design.  You input your parameters, it outputs a schematic.

All done for around C$20 per fixture!

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Who made these cleats?

Looking to have one of my wing halyards terminate or at least be cleat-able at the mast, and would like to match the existing hardware.
Does anyone know who made these and whether they are still available?   I admit that I'm undecided about this style of cleat for a halyard.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

How to drain the ice box?

Here is a photo of Windstar's ice box drain pump.  It is a Beckson SiphonMate hand pump, mounted in a bracket below  counter.   The inlet is connected to the ice box drain, the outlet to a length of hose which is not connected to anything, but  is long enough to reach the sink.

When Windstar showed up, the self priming SiphonMate was not.  Replacing it with a new one solved the problem.   It is a simple, effective approach, however I would prefer a drain that was direct plumbed into an overboard drain rather than relying on a coiled length of hose.   Pretty low on the list of issues, and mainly,  I post this for those who would like to see the stock installation of the SiphonMate.

A recent discussion on the C&C mailing list was started by an owner with a blocked ice box drain hose, which left me puzzled.  Drain where?  The bilge?  Nasty.  Turns out there were others with the same plumbing, (a prior owners' fix?) and others who had addressed this in different ways.

Below is Lee's solution, repurposing a seawater pump and faucet.   I expect the seawater pump was a dealer option.   (Windstar has only one footpump, from the freshwater tank.)

 "I have no need to have lake water at the sink so we repurposed the pump to drain the ice box. The hose goes from bottom of ice box to foot pump at foot of sink. This pump used to pull lake water in an dispense in the sink."


Saturday, 27 May 2017

Cockpit VHF speaker without butchery

One item on my long list of things to improve was to ensure I could hear the VHF from the helm.  I have an aversion to cutting or drilling holes in a boat, and will do whatever I can to solve a problem without doing so. (drilling holes I mean!)   In this case, the solution was fairly easy - mount the speaker in the lid of an existing access cover.
The hole was cut using a flywheel-type adjustable circle cutter on a drill press.   I clamped two pieces of MDF in the drillpress (stacked) and cut a hole  equal to the cover plate's diameter through the first piece.  Removing the cut out created a fixture in which the cover could be placed, already centred under the drill press chuck.  I then re-adjusted the cutter to the correct diameter for the speaker hole, firmly clamped the cover in its fixture, then slowly bored the second, smaller hole through the cover.    Not for the faint-hearted, but it worked fine, and any lack of concentricty is not noticeable..
 The sound  is very loud and clear, the ICOM M506 VHF has plenty of power to drive this inexpensive Polyplanar speaker.