Replacing the standing rigging, furler etc.. just like visiting the dentist

Replacing the standing rigging on Stops was something I knew I had to do but was dreading. I knew it would cost an arm and a leg, but I was worried it might end up costing both arms and both legs and then where would I be..  Stops has rod rigging (muchos dineros) on the shrouds which means I am limited to two riggers in the area who have a Nitronic Rod press. KKMI quoted me $20K minimum and Svendson's estimate came in much more reasonable at about $13k. I have always had a great experience at Svendson's so didn't think that long and hard about it. Was still worried about them finding crevice corrosion in the chainplates or something like that which would mean another $5k-7k for labor and parts. It was with with trepidation that I took Stops to Svendson's in March.. reminded me of going to the dentist, except this dentist specialized in diamond encrusted solid gold teeth!

First I had to derig the boat with Munzie's help. Then Kalem from Svendsons dropped the mast. Nail biting stuff..

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And Stops becomes a powerboat and my affection for her drops like a lead balloon. Never liked 'em power boats..

Next Chris and Barret from Svendsons went to work on finding spreader tip cups and other rod fittings that wouldn't require a major changes.. While they were doing that I rewired and replaced all the lights and instruments on the mast.. that's another saga I will write about in a separate post.

As part of standing rigging replacement I also wanted to replace the furler and backstay adjuster. For the furler I was toying between the Harken Mark IV, the Profurl and the Shaeffer 2100 which is well regarding for cruising. Chris dinged Profurl, so that was out. The harken was highly rated in all the forums, but more importantly it would just look cooler on Stops than the shaeffer. And it in end that's all that matters. I went for the Unit 2 which is oversized. My old Facnor furler was the bane of my existence and wanted to make sure this furler had the oomph to deal with what needed to be dealt with..

Next decision was the backstay adjuster. My old one was a block and tackle encased in an aluminum tube. Seemed like the dumbest idea to me because you couldn't monitor and maintain it easily. Anyway, that puppy's days were numbered. Until, I found out how much the hydraluic backstay adjuster cost.. ouch.. Sailtech was $900, with Holmatro at about $1,200 and Navtec a little bit more. Holmatro has been doing Hydraulics since Obama was born, so I figured I would buy from the pros.

2 weeks later, Stops was ready to become a sailboat again. New standing rigging, new furler, new running rigging, new lights, new wind instruments, new vhf aerial, new backstay adjuster, all new wiring.

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The new spreader tip cups and rod end fittings.. really well built.. Going to feel a lot more secure in a big blow.

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P3040948 The new Holmatro hydraulic backstay adjuster.. my Number #1 reef!

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The new Harken IV furler. The old Facnor furler drum was recessed inside
the anchor locker but needed a big hole which just made be uncomfortable.
So we moved the Harken IV drum outside with a couple of long Shaeffer
link plates and will create a rubber gasket to reduce the size of the hole. Only problem I now need to get the genoa recut.. off to
Roosters sails..

Chris, Barret and Kalem were great. It wasn't a startforward rigging job because the old fittings were original (from 1992) and moving the furler out of the anchor locker wasn't that straighforward. Would highly recommend Svendon's rigging service!

Installing the Kiwi feathering prop

For a long time I have been wanting to install a propeller that had better performance when I wasn't using the engine. Yes, my 2 blade fixed propeller was a big source of drag when sailing (in the order of half a knot). I looked at both folding props (the blades fold away when sailing) or feathering props (the blades turn and feather into the flow presenting a smaller profile) to reduce the drag.

After a lot of research I decided on a feathering prop since it would give me better performance when motoring, better performance in reverse and less likelihood of the blades seizing up in their off position. The big negative being cost.. All the brass feathering props were over $2k, until I found the Kiwiprop from New Zealand for about $1,200.  It uses composite blades (same material as aircraft blades) and reduces vibration because the blades are lighter. Practical sailor as well as all the sailing forums recommended it highly. Done.

Thought I would need a prop puller to get the old prop off, but it was a already loose because I had put in a new shaft a couple of years ago.

P2170861 The old 2 blade fixed prop. Will do nicely as a spare

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I removed the old zincs and cleaned the propeller shaft well

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Installing the kiwiprop which was tailor made for my shaft was very straightforward

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Finally I painted the Kiwiprop and shaft with Propspeed which should prevent fouling. I heard that composite blades were less resistant to fouling because they didn't contain copper and so was wary of the feathering blades seizing up due to marine growth.

The kiwiprop works great. The boat moves faster forward at lower revs, vibration is reduced and it packs a punch in reverse! So far so good, I would recommend the kiwiprop.