Boat Improvement Projects

Rendezvous 2018 is going to highlight Improvement Projects and/or Repairs that you’ve done to your boat. There’s no better time to take a peek at projects other Nonsuchers have done then at a Rendezvous.
We’ll have a large flat screen TV with a presentation running through all the projects in a loop during the Rendezvous. Projects will range from simple refinishing jobs to more complex projects like heat installation and masthead repairs. Not only will you get a chance to see these projects on the big screen you will also have the opportunity to speak to the person who completed the project and take a look a the project on their boat.
We’re hopeful that the Boat Projects display will be a place where fellow Nonsuchers can get to meet each other and participate in some lively discussion. It should be a nice ice breaker and a great way to meet some new people and maybe get some great ideas too!
Jim and Linda Stanley – Annie II \1987 30U (378) Chester, Nova Scotia

Installed a 100W flexible solar panel from North Sails (Halifax) on our bimini. Ran the wiring through the bimini and down the stainless steel rails that hold up the bimini framing. Had to notch a section out of the top of the rails out where they go into the “t” joint. Thought the base rail fittings were solid stainless but they were not so I was able to drill through the coaming to allow access for the solar cables connectors into engine compartment. This avoided having solar cables attached to the outside rails or through a cable gland which the main sheet might tangle with at some point.
The solar cables were run to the controller and to the battery banks. Took the opportunity to install a Victron 702 Battery monitor and a Blue Sea Automatic Charging Relay.
Pictures are worth a 1000 words (or $)
Top of Bimini (wires run through a Velcro piece in the leather of the bimini)






Solar cables run through the back of the bimini into the two stainless steel rails that hold the framing up and from there to the solar controller. Too early to report results but hoping for positive [forgive the electrical pun] results.






Some of things that we have found are a real asset on the boat (wish I had invented some of them!) PYI Clamp Jackets—much better than cutting fingers and arms!






PYI-Seaview retrofit cable clamp (you don’t need to disconnect cables to install it)-used it on a GPS cable where the gland had deteriorated with UV damage over the years.
Retrofit Cable Glands






Rigid hosing over bilge vent (beats crushing the bilge vent hose when trying to work in the engine area)

Cover for the companionway doors and screen (keeps them without being damaged)






Clamp on solar lights from (work really well!)






Cover for Cleat – Added a cleat for the dingy but found out you can stub your toe and occasionally the mainsheet caught in the cleat! Saw this cover in a book and it works fine—it’s held by a small elastic bungee cord—stops the mainsheet from catching and no toe injuries since!

Here’s a sample project from Jamie Morrison, NS30U 225 Dexterity II:
 Masthead Sheave Replacement 
The first few times I sailed my Nonsuch after I purchased her I noticed the sail was very difficult to raise. Not knowing what had been done in the past I started with the easy stuff. I inspected, cleaned and lubricated the sail track and the bronze slides. That improved the situation but the sail was still difficult to raise, especially the last couple of feet. I got on the Nonsuch Google Group and got some great advice. Check the masthead sheave.
I had to wait until I pulled the mast but when I did I discovered that the sheave was worn badly on the shaft and when I put pressure on it with the halyard the sheave would tilt to the side and rub against the masthead casting.
I purchased a sheave replacement kit from Mike Quill and did the install myself. I don’t take photos to document the process, they’re more to help me remember how to put things back together.

Here’s the masthead casting and original sheave and shaft. Some castings have two sheaves but most are like my single sheave casting.

Here’s the masthead casting removed. It took a bit of work to get the stainless machine bolts out of the aluminum casting but with a little penetrating oil and some heat they all came out without any issues.

Photo 1: New sheave and shaft installed.

Photo 2: New sheave and shaft installed.

Photo 3: New sheave and shaft installed

Here’s a photo of the old sheave and shaft and you can see the scoring on the sheave indicating it had been binding against the masthead casting.

The entire project took only a few hours. I did it with the mast removed from the boat and that made things a lot easier. I also took the opportunity to tidy up a few other things at the top of the mast and make a few other minor changes. The next spring when I installed the mast the sail went up as easily as can be and better still it dropped like a rock when it was time to put the sail away. Ten seasons have passed since I did this project and the sail still goes up easily with no signs of binding. I regularly lubricate the sail track and clean the sail slides. 

Here’s some terrific projects from our Rendezvous co-chair Chris Oullette, NS30U Felina.

It’s been a long winter here in Nova Scotia and Chris has been very busy with some simply stunning boat projects.

Cockpit Table


Boom Boxes

Forward Bunk Slats

Forward Bunk Folding Mattress




Recessed Engine Control Panel

Electrical Accessories Box

Companionway Doors

Cockpit Cushions

Here’s a Few Nice Improvements from Allan Shaw, Nova Scotia Nonsuch Group President

Helm Seat – NS26 Chanterelle











Pulpit Seat – NS33 Chinatsu

Helm Cushion – NS33 Chinatsu










Holder for Companion Way Doors – NS33 Chinatsu

Here’s another project from Jamie Morrison, NS30U Dexterity II

Transom Mounted Davits
I originally had a set of Atkins & Hoyle davits that were deck mounted on the stern. After I was struck by another boat my dinghy and davits both required replacement. I purchased a new set of davits from Atkins and Hoyle, which are now built heavier than the original set, and I also purchased a new dinghy. The dinghy had a bit more beam than the old one so I decided to move the davits out to the transom so they would extend a bit further to accommodate the beam of the new dinghy. Previously the deck mounted davits were limited in there reach by the pushpit.

The photo shows the davits partially installed. I am about to install Dyneema stays from the top of the davits to the coaming to provide extra stability as instructed by Atkins & Hoyle. I should note that this installation required epoxying a piece of ¾” plywood measuring 10″ x 20″ behind each davit to stiffen the transom. There is also a 6″ x 9″ x .5″ aluminum backing plate on top of the plywood. Each davit is capable of holding 350 pounds. My dinghy with motor weighs 247 pounds.

Mast Step Replacement NS 26 Yellowtail – David Murdoch

One or more of the bolt holes were stripped and were relocated but their host ring was cracked. The “fix” was to weld but you cannot to cast aluminium unless at high temperatures, so another solution was needed. The G-10 was cut to the exact shape of the mast base and so no bolts required against the mast and no pin over the key. Mast is held by tensioned wire and deck wedges.

Here’s a few photos of the work being done along with a complete description of the step replacement.


Remove the vertical components of the existing aluminum mast step and grind down the base of the original step smooth.Remove Lag bolts encircling the vertical flange. Holes where the old lag bolts are removed shall be epoxy filled. Remove all residual paint and other contaminants where new epoxy will be applied. Power brush and clean with acetone solvent. The 2″ thick G-10 is to be cut and shaped so it is a tight friction fit to the bottom of the mast tube size and shape. A recess for the key on the mast base shall be cut to fit snugly against the G-10. G-10 outer perimeter to be trimmed to fit inside the existing step base external roving. A gap of a minimum 1/4” shall remain to allow excess resin and air to escape.

A plug/dam shall be made to locate the G10 in the EXACT original location of the mast. Layers of fibreglass cloth or woven roving shall be cut to fit between the plug/dam and the existing roving that holds the mast step in place. The plug/dam shall be made to contain the epoxy to the area covered by the fibreglass cloth and G-10 so no epoxy is allowed between the step and the base of the mast once it is in place.

Epoxy shall be poured over the fibreglass cloth to a depth of 3/4″. Small “Coosa board “ pillars” shall be fitted through the reinforcing to ensure the G-10 is exactly parallel to the step base. The G-10 shall be pressed down over the plug/dam onto the epoxy and held firmly in place. Care shall be taken to allow air to escape from the resin. Fibreglass reinforcing is to be totally saturated. There shall be no voids. Resin in contact with reinforcing shall be laminating viscosity.

Once cured, the remaining space between the G-10 and the original roving shall be filled with epoxy resin. This external epoxy shall be mixed with structural filler and filletted up the sides of the G10
New 3/8” diam. Lag bolts (6 off) stainless steel to be fastened into the mast step. New holes will be drilled through the G-10, epoxy and base to a minimum depth of the original lag bolts to accomodate new lag bolts Approximate1y 1-¾ inches longer than the originals.