Archive for November, 2006

Replacing port gaskets

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

When we bought our boat in September of 2000 the original rubber gaskets on the ports (the rubber that seals the port or window to make it watertight when it’s closed) were dried out and shot. No doubt they were still the original ones from 1979. With the recommendation of some fellow members of the Hans Christian Owners Association I picked up some 3/8″ round EPDM foam rubber from McMaster Carr part number 8605K43 and replaced the gaskets. They’ve sealed well ever since and if I ever need to replace a gasket again I’ll be able to do it in about 5 minutes.

Rebedding chainplates with butyl mastic

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

After having rebed all of my chainplates with polysulfide and having them leak again within several years I was fed up. Polysulfide just isn’t designed to handle the stretch and pulling that happens with chainplates under heavy load in a seaway.

I realized I needed something more elastic and had read good things from people who had rebed bowsprits, toerails, and chainplates with butyl mastic. So in 2002 I hit McMaster Carr and picked up some Butyl-Coated PVC Foam Sealing Tape part number 75875A661. I knew this stuff had great potential because with it’s PVC core it’s highly elastic and extremely sticky. So I rebed all of my chain plates in late 2002 with it and since then I’ve only had one start to leak, a much better track record than I ever had with polysulfide.

The best part was that rebedding was so much easier because the tape stays intact so you just pull it out, clean the contact areas with a putty knife and some acetone, and then re-apply. It’s also a lot cheaper than polysulfide!

MacBeath hardwoods in Berkeley serves up the teak

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

I needed to replace some cracked teak boards in our cockpit and teak is crazy expensive.

Then a fellow Hans Christain owner Bill Novak of s/v Beyond Reason told me about MacBeath Hardwoods with a location in Berkeley and I was shocked to find high quality 4 foot long teak boards there for $6 per board. The new teak is installed thanks to Bill’s help in cutting and routing it and it looks fantastic!

Cheap Ham radio copper grounding foil

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

Most of the Ham radio grounding foil which provides the counterpoise on Sugata was corroded so I pulled it out and was looking to replace it. When I saw that West Marine was charging $69.99 for 50 ft of 3″ wide and 0.003″ thick copper foil it seemed a bit extravagent.

So I hit McMaster-Carr and sure enough they carry copper foil in varying thicknesses and 2″, 4″, and 6″ widths so I picked up 50 ft of 4″ wide and 0.003″ thick copper foil for $38 and when it arrived I was pleased to see that it looks just like the stuff West Marine is selling!