It seems there is a never ending list of little things I can do to the boat. From maintenance issues, to “wouldn’t it be nice” projects or “why did they build it like that?” modifications.
Here’s a round up of spring 2015 projects:
The cockpit speakers were controlled from the head unit at the nav station. The main problem with this setup was that in order to adjust the volume you have to do a steeple-chase down to the nav station!
I chose the JBL PRV 175 as it is a marine unit (waterproof!), accepts Bluetooth, USB for MP3 and of course am/fm. I wired it directly to the cockpit speakers and ran a line-out to the head unit at the nav station so we will hear the same music inside and out. (I will run another set of lines from the head unit to the cockpit so I can use the cd player – but that’s a low priority.) Continue reading 2015 upgrades→
I tossed out the mounting frame from the original compass as I assumed I would never see it, then I got the compass…. It’s an OEM Suunto compass with a fancy Hunter logo inside, but for some reason the globe is full of “stuff” floating around. Looks like it was filled with dirty lake water?!
In the mean time, I sourced a well used Ritchie compass and fit it into the pedestal with a few strokes of a rasp. This compass however had a distinct lack of fluid. Not a problem, Ritchie is known for being rebuild-able, right? Now that it is winter project time, I opened the compass to discover a heaping glob of black goo inside. Hmm. Caulking perhaps? Sealant?
Upon further inspection I realize that I am looking at the bottom of the dial, how does the fluid stay in?
I find a parts-book online and see that there is supposed to be a rubber diaphragm inside – that explains the big blob of black stuff.
The diaphragm is about $20, the fluid $15 etc etc, being the frugal Scotsman and practical German! I figure, hey, there’s got to be a homemade solution here in the shop.
I cut a disk out of an oil can and put in some squeeze-cheese gasket, Permatex 2, screwed it all together, tossed in some lamp oil and splash of mineral oil. Seems to be holding.
I must say I’m a bit baffled that the fluid melted the diaphragm so completely. Did they not test the rubber? It seems like planned obsolescence but I suppose this is what they were referring to as “rebuildable”! ‘ cause you are going to have to at some point. It reminds me of the arguments I’ve heard about American cars, cheap abundant parts versus slightly more expensive import parts.
I’m under no illusions that this fix will withstand the full expansion pressures of a summer’s sun, I’m sure there’s a reason for a rubber diaphragm, but I am optimistic that under the shade of the Bimini it might not piss itself in a day.
My Tanzer 7.5 is officially 30 years old this season, so I think it is time I give it a birthday present or two.
I picked up a new compass as the old one has spit it’s oil out. I refilled it with mineral oil and epoxied it shut which seemed to do the trick, until the heat of the sun popped my glue open. The oil on the bulkhead was a good fly trap and kept the gel coat shiny… ahh well, it was worth a try. I can truly strike this off my to do list.
I sprung for new spliced nylon docklines, although they are a somewhat electric green, the price was right, ($13 for 20′ 1/2″), I might be running the risk of looking like a christmas boat with red and green, but at least they will match and are new!
I am currently enrolled in the Canadian Power Sail Squadron’s Seamship course, it is heavy on navigation and charting; a functioning compass will come in handy on the water!