New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

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rushguy44
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New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

Post by rushguy44 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 2:03 pm

Hi all, I already posted one question, but figured I should create a thread for what I'm sure will be lots of questions, and to post progress pics of our new sailboat. I believe she's a 1985(maybe 84) Macgregor 25. (i still don't know if that makes her a 'venture' or not?) and I bought her on a trailer with a 9hp Merc outboard for $2600.

About us: I'm a disabled vet, my wife has put up with countless deployments and injuries and surgeries etc, and our plan is to become liveaboards when the kids graduate from high school (2025). In the meantime, we really need to brush up on our sailing skills, and since we have ZERO knowledge of anything mechanical, electrical (I'm scared to death of frying myself via electricity btw), plumbing, rigging, etc....we (I) decided that there's no better way to learn than by doing.... so we bought our little Mac.

I saw a great thread by Sisu on his/her restoration, but since it was posted in 2016, all the pics are gone.... I've sent Sisu a DM to see if I can get some pics/advice since I'm following in their footsteps.

Now on to our boat: She'd been sitting in a field for several years, unsailed. She was dirty, her upholstery is dated, the wiring consists of those heavy orange, construction project extension cords and all bundled up in a mess behind the winch that raises and lowers the keel, there is HEAVY oxidation on the exterior hull from sitting unprotected/unwaxed in the sun for years, and the bottom has seen better days for sure.

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We started by pulling everything that can come out, out of the boat. The cushions smell SO strongly of mold/mildew that we pulled covers off to wash them, and discovered mold in the foam... can these be saved? We're already pricing out new foam $$$$$$ - cheapest my wife found for interior foam is from foambymail.com (admin please edit if mentioning this website isn't allowed)

We pressure washed the exterior and cockpit, scrubbed with simple green and set off 2 bug bombs inside the first day and evening, we also pulled the jib and genoa out of their bags and put the bags in the wash on a 'gentle/sanitize' cycle after scrubbing with simple green and water as well, and that seemed to get rid of all mold on the bags. The hornets in the stern 'foam area' were dead the next day and I removed all the foam, got rid of all the hornet nests and threw the foam blocks back in there.

My wife began painting the interior to brighten it up, thanks to the threads here I previously read, we decided on what has worked well for others, Rustoleum gloss white (with a touch of blue added). I began removing all the oxidation on the hull, I tried using compound I use on vehicles, but it wasn't cutting enough, so I moved to 2000 grit wet sand, which did the job, but required so much effort I was not going to be able to use my shoulder the next day, so I moved up again to 1500 grit wet sanding, and got good results with medium effort. I'm waiting on some marine oxidation compound (arrives tomorrow) and will hit the entire hull with that, and then "the last coat 2" (haven't used on a boat yet, but I HIGHLY recommend checking it out, I use it on metal, glass, car exteriors, car interiors (except leather) and even in the house....the stuff is amazing and I checked, it's fine for gelcoat!) and a single layer of marine wax for protection with my DA polisher this coming week.


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I'm not sure what 'wire' I need to buy to fix the electrical mess (or what sizes of wires I need?), and I'm thinking I should hire an electrician, because again, I'm terrified of electricity, (is this something I can really do on my own?) I'm pretty sure that when I was learning to fly CH47's, we learned that it's supposed to go, Battery (pos) to switch, switch (pos) to device being powered, device being powered (neg) to a bus bar, bus bar (neg) to battery. I have no idea about ground wires....? Anyway, this mess doesn't look right... and I don't even know if it works. Getting a battery this week...if you don't hear back from me, I've probably been electrocuted to death.

My compass is not even attached, not that it points north anymore.... any suggestions here? There is some weird carpet like material covering it on the inside FWIW.

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The lifelines are coming apart so that the wires grab your fingers.... so I'm planning on replacing the verniers with a pelican hook attached to SS turnbuckles and the lifelines with 1/4" dyneema. I already have some experience making soft shackles and have the fids/D-splicer, so I don't anticipate it being terribly difficult, just waiting for materials to come in, and a rainy day to work inside on splicing to length.

Appreciate any and all comments, I've heard that the new guy buys pizza... unfortunately I just bought a fixer upper boat....so....I'm broke...would you settle for a beer and oh...can you help me with....

Maraquita
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Re: New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

Post by Maraquita » Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:17 pm

Looks like a good buy! In my opinion (if you aren't planning to pull water skiers or other "engine necessary" stuff) the 25 was the best boat Roger ever built. I currently have a 26D, but would trade it in minute for an old 25. You do need a real tow vehicle for it though, and if you bought it on the original trailer without brakes, you might want to add electric ones. Most states require them over 3000 Lbs., and in spite of what salesmen were telling people when these were new, a loaded V-25 pushes pretty close to that. I hate surge brakes, which is good because you can put a a set of electric drum brakes on an existing axle for about $500.00. I've driven with them for years, and as long as you unplug the electric from the tow vehicle before launching you will never have a problem. (that said, 8,000,000 people are reaching for the keyboard right now to tell you how wrong I am!).

The electrical wiring on all of these boats was terrible and should be about the first thing you change. The crew chief on your S... Hook would have had no trouble redoing the 12 volt system on this boat, but since you were just a pilot.... Seriously, about the only way 12 volts can hurt you is if you drop a wrench across the battery posts. But that doesn't mean is can't ruin equipment, etc. if you get it wrong. A friend who is reasonably proficient with automotive wiring, and a book from the library specific to Boat wiring will get you through. If you want shore power, or battery charging from a motor, probably should pay a pro.

While checking the standing rigging for damage, don't forget to check the cable that lowers the keel. When that Son-Of-A-Gun breaks the 900 pound pig iron keel hitting the stops will get your attention! Then you can't get the boat back on the trailer! It's a pain to get to where it attaches to the keel, but needs to be looked at.

Both of my children grew up using the area under the dining table as a play pen and bassinet from the time they were out of the car seat until they were old enough to help sail. I even installed a seat belt at the forward dinette seat for the car seat when they were that young! Great memories of 4 of us, and 2 boxer dogs, camping on Arizona lakes in that old girl.

Have fun and fair winds!

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Jimmyt
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Re: New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

Post by Jimmyt » Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:07 pm

Thank you for your service!

Looks like a good project! You seem to be making good headway with it, too.

The pictures actually look pretty good compared to your description. Where did you find the boat?

Welcome to the forum and keep the updates coming!
Jimmyt
P-Cub-Boo
2013 26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

rushguy44
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Re: New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

Post by rushguy44 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:49 pm

Thank you both!

I bought it near Rochester NY (found it on Craigslist) I'm still up near Ft Drum (near Tug Hill) and will put it in lake ontario/thousand islands area.

Agree that most of my door gunners could probably help me wire it, but as you said.... I'm just a throttle jockey.... :?

My Jeep GC with a 5.7L Hemi had no problems towing it, didn't even know it was back there on the 3 hour drive from Rochester to home. I had read previously that I should add some tongue weight, and so I had the anchor up in the bow, as well as the outboard to help eliminate the possibility of the tail wagging the dog (jeep) Will see about getting brakes on it though maybe in the spring.

How exactly would I check the keel cable? How would I know if it's bad? I definitely don't want to be that A-hole at the ramp with a boat gumming up the works unable to get it on the trailer....

Regarding the electrical, I'm learning a lot from here: and it seems to support my bus panel theory from my Ft rucker days... they also have some pretty sexy panels. https://newwiremarine.com/how-to/wiring-a-boat/

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Jimmyt
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Re: New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

Post by Jimmyt » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:29 pm

Unfortunately, you have to look at the keel when it's lowered to check all of the cable. So, if you want to do it on dry land and above water, either a travel lift at a boat yard or use your trailer and tongue jack to put it up on support frames so you can pull the trailer out of the way.

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Also check the pivot bolt.

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The link to the manual if you haven't found it yet... https://macgregorsailors.com/resources/ ... Manual.pdf
Jimmyt
P-Cub-Boo
2013 26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

rushguy44
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Sailboat: MacGregor 25

Re: New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

Post by rushguy44 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:13 am

Excellent, thanks for the info and the diagram, as well as the link to the manual. Much appreciated!

rushguy44
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Re: New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

Post by rushguy44 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:21 am

So there are two wires coming out of my mast, but as far as I can tell, there is only one thing at the top that requires electrical, and it's my mast light (LED).

One wire looks very old and is white, the end appears to be broken, and then there is a newer wire, which looks to be an old orange extension cord.

Can I simply cut the two wires near the top, run new wire via gravity or a fish tape?
What is the correct cable I should use for this (gauge?) or is there a 'mast light' cable I should order that is already wired to the 2 prong connector at the bottom?
Lastly - if the answer is 16 gauge or whatever is correct, can I use that on everything in the boat? I'm going to have a 2-3 lights inside and then it's nav lights and a couple USB power outlets and perhaps a drain plug underwater light and my auto tiller

TIA



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Last edited by rushguy44 on Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

rushguy44
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Re: New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

Post by rushguy44 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:28 am

UPDATE: Got my new ropes in, all will run to the cockpit.

Dyneema - for lifelines (waiting on turnbuckles still)
Jib Halyard (white and red) and sheets (solid red)
Main Halyard (white and blue)

You can see the condition of my old jib halyard at my feet.

My questions above haven't been addressed, still looking for assist there, but have another one.

You can see in pics above that my compass is garbage, and I took a pic of it with it removed - does anyone have a recommendation for replacing this? Thanks!


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ART005
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26S

Re: New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

Post by ART005 » Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:02 am

I'm just starting to clean up the bad wiring of a '90s, 26S. I think there is phone wire used in some places... I plan to install a 4" sq waterproof plastic elec junction box in the stern locker. I have some bus bars for pos and neg. I'm using 3/4" 90 degree conduit connectors as drip leg chase to keep water out of the box instead of strain relief style connector. The box is available at HomeDepot ~$8, the rest you can get anywhere. Make sure when you connect the pos bus bar to the box, there is no conducting fastener exposed outside the box.

It's a little pricey, but I recommend clamp on AC/DC multimeter. ~$100 if you find a good price. Mine is made by General. I think they got bought out and the new company raised price significantly. General Mdl CM660. You'll own it forever and you'll be able to better diagnose exactly what is going on. Harbor Freight might be an option. Read the details....some $40 options look good but do not have enough features.

chipveres
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Re: New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

Post by chipveres » Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:21 am

As an electrical person, I must comment on this. Many of the cheap clamp-on ammeters can only read AC current. Ok for your house, but useless for boat work. If you spend the bucks for an ammeter, make sure it can read DC current. If it can, you know everything you need to know. The voltage at any point and the current passing through any wire.

Chip V.

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Freedom77
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Re: New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

Post by Freedom77 » Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:02 am

Looking at your pics. If it's an 84/85 it's a MAC. If original sails there should be an M on the sail and the sail # is the hull #. Don't know how long it sat before you adopted but looks to be in pretty good shape. Upholstery fabric is Sorenson brown, which was the stock fabric. Freedom was in Sorenson blue. Rewiring is pretty basic. Keep us posted.
OLD SALT

rushguy44
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Re: New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

Post by rushguy44 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:12 am

Well, I finally got the boat to the water!

Unfortunately, that's about all. Long post, with pics.


I got the boat and the admiral and kids all loaded up, drove to the lake, and we got the mast up. (pretty easily btw, thanks to a snatch block I bought, and attached at the front cleat, then used the jib halyard to help raise the mast)

TLDR: Long story short, I never went sailing, the motor wouldn't start, the boat wouldn't sit correctly on the trailer when trying to get it back on, and the trailer winch broke, the trailer winch scratched the hull (badly!) and then the bow eye ripped out of the boat.

Got the boat home, (barely - we passed the town dump on the way home and i was tempted to drop the piece of junk off for the next sucker to come along and trailer her away) and put everything boat related away, all the tools, removed all the halyards, put her in the backyard and told my wife i was putting an ad up for a free boat.

Calmed down a bit after a few days, and thought about it, I know the motor starts, I started it when I bought it, but only ran it for a few seconds, which is exactly what happened at the lake, she'd run for a few seconds, then quit. I have ZERO mechanical knowledge, but thought it must be fuel, air or spark right.... ? So I built a motor stand, and started from there. Spark plugs, pulled them and bought new ones, but the old ones looked okay, so I put them back in. Also, I know that it's getting spark and air because it does start, but doesn't stay running. Air, I have no idea how to check that.... I'm breathing, so there is air, so the motor is probably getting some right?

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It's gotta be fuel. I watched a few youtube videos, and gathered my courage and began my first ever carburetor removal and cleaning (and hopefully reinstallation!).
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It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't clean. I managed to get it all put back together without any leftover parts, and with a little shot of carb cleaner behind each spark plug, she fired right up. I moved the rig to the outside and got a barrel of water, and poured some 'SeaFoam' into the gas, and let her run for about 15-20 minutes (the choke had to be on or she'd die, but at least she stayed running for more than 3 seconds!)
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I went to my local napa, and they agreed to take all of the fuel (about 2 gallons) from my tank, and i let it sit in the sun to hopefully air out/dry out anything that might be left in the tank. The water I ran it in was disgustingly black (2 stroke gas/oil mix plus seafoam = very gross exhaust) and so I had to use a bit of Dawn and a rag to skim all the crud from the top, very messy job, but dawn sure helps! At this point, I think (HOPE!) I have the problem solved, and just need to get fresh gas and some 2 stroke oil and try to fire her again. I also replaced the fuel line, just in case.

As for the trailer winch, I haven't even begun to tackle that yet, other than spraying some PB Blaster on the very rusted nuts and bolts. I will have to tackle that another day. First, I need the eye bolt repaired. This forum was helpful, as were a few others, and so from reading I learned that it's a pretty common problem. My boat did not have any wood that i could see as a backing plate, it was just some small washers.

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To access the bow eye bolts, I went in a few inches above the 'floor' of the bow, and got lucky (kind of, I had measured it from the outside as best I could first). I drilled a hole to start my cuts, but if you have an oscillating tool, it's not needed, just cut in and make your box/hole, this will be covered with a mirror, or perhaps I'll find a 'glovebox' type storage box to put in here. Use a mask, the smell is awful, and a shop vac is handy to clean up the dust.

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Inside I found more floaty foam, and then my bow eye nuts. I pushed the bow eye in from the outside and then attached the trailer cable so it that I could remove the nuts, and then the bow eye fell right out. I contemplated using wood for a backing plate, but the bow eye is to short to allow for that, I wouldn't have enough room to attach the washer/nuts or the wood would be so thin that it'd be useless. Luckily I have a neighbor who is quite handy and I brought him a case of beer and told him my sad tale. First we thought a lawnmower blade would do it, but I was adamant that I wanted stainless. We found a piece, cut it to what I guessed was the appropriate size, sanded the edges, drilles some holes, and now I have a stainless steel backing plate!

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My plan is to put some flex glue in the holes and behind/all around the bow eye on the outside, and then insert it. Then, from the inside, I will again liberally apply the flex glue, and then put the backing plate on, and the washers/nuts.

Here is what was on it:
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And below is what I'm replacing it with:

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Anyone see any flaws with this? Anyone have any recommendations for a trailer winch (when you crank the handle, nothing happens, so I had to lower the boat into the water further to push it on manually, then put the brake on)

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Jimmyt
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Re: New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

Post by Jimmyt » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:00 pm

Sorry you had a bad day! It will get better as you get your boat, more importantly yourself, dialed-in.

Fuel: Needs to be fresh, clean, and ethanol-free. At the end of each season, get rid of what's left in your blower, weed eater, or wherever you can safely get rid of it.

Carburetor: you may still have an issue. It should only need choke for a minute or two as it warms up. After a couple of minutes you should be off choke. Could be the bad gas. Shouldn't have run that through your freshly cleaned carb. A spec the size of fine ground pepper can keep it from running right. You can take a single strand of wire and run it through each orifice, jet,etc in the carb while it's apart to make sure you get them clean.

Plugs: you can't tell a good one from a bad one by looking at them, unless they have been run too long and the electrode is worn/gap is excessive. Plugs fail internally in small engines. All that to say, if you have new plugs, put them in. Particularly if you don't know the history of the motor.

Water pump: how old is the impeller, or did I miss where you replaced it? 5-7 years max. After that it's a time bomb.

Lower Unit Lube: change it when you acquire the used motor. Check it for water every year and change it per mfrs instructions.

Fuel Hose: change it when it gets stiff or starts cracking. Replace it end to end including tank and motor fittings to get new o-rings in the fittings. Air leaks in the hose will aggravate you.

Bow Eye: Don't know what flex glue is. I would use marine Tex or thickened epoxy to fill the holes and re-drill the correct size. Then, I would form the backing plate to match the inside curve of the hull. I would bed the plates and u-bolt with 3m 4200. Make the backing plate to cover as much area as you can. Lots of stress on it.

Winch: go to harbor freight or look on amazon and get a new strap winch. Don't waste time working on one that's rusted up. Post pics if you think its salvageable.

Boat didn't sit correctly on the trailerr: What? You need to go deeper into this item.

Bottom line: it will get better. You may have gotten ahead of yourself. Take a breath, calm down, and just ease into it. Do you have a boating buddy in the area that could go with you a couple of times to get your confidence (and skill level) up? Check your motor before you leave home. I put the water muffs on mine the night before, or day of, and run it a few minutes before I go. Get a set of muffs do you don't have a nasty barrel of water to deal with. Also, don't test your motor between 1930 and 0730 unless you hate your neighbors.

Also, you are shaking down a "new-to-you" boat. Expect a few outings like this until you get the boat, and your procedures, de-bugged.

Keep asking questions.

Hang in there! It will definitely get better.
Jimmyt
P-Cub-Boo
2013 26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

rushguy44
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Re: New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

Post by rushguy44 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:20 pm

Jimmyt wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:00 pm
Sorry you had a bad day! It will get better as you get your boat, more importantly yourself, dialed-in.
couldn't get worse!

Fuel: Needs to be fresh, clean, and ethanol-free. At the end of each season, get rid of what's left in your blower, weed eater, or wherever you can safely get rid of it.
Yes, I thought of that afterwards - I've found that some stuff I bought called Gas RX is the only thing that delays phase separation in fuel - but I always buy ethanol free if I can find it. good link here for reading on GasRX and other fuel additives https://www.hardcoresledder.com/threads ... 72/page-11

Carburetor: you may still have an issue. It should only need choke for a minute or two as it warms up. After a couple of minutes you should be off choke. Could be the bad gas. Shouldn't have run that through your freshly cleaned carb.
Once I get the new gas and proper oil mix, I'll update, but any thoughts on what is the problem if it still needs choke...?

Plugs: you can't tell a good one from a bad one by looking at them, unless they have been run too long and the electrode is worn/gap is excessive. Plugs fail internally in small engines. All that to say, if you have new plugs, put them in. Particularly if you don't know the history of the motor.
good to know, will do! Thanks!

Water pump: how old is the impeller, or did I miss where you replaced it? 5-7 years max. After that it's a time bomb.
No clue - the motor wasn't pi$$ water at first, I removed the pi$$ tube and cleaned it out, and it then started pi$$ fine, the water was 55 degrees, and the pi$$ tube water was around 85-90 degrees F (kitchen laser thermometer) This leads me to believe the impeller is fine, but perhaps this will be a project I'll want/need to do this winter?

Lower Unit Lube: change it when you acquire the used motor. Check it for water every year and change it per mfrs instructions.
No clue on how to do this - will be a winter project for sure

Fuel Hose: change it when it gets stiff or starts cracking. Replace it end to end including tank and motor fittings to get new o-rings in the fittings. Air leaks in the hose will aggravate you.
bought a new one, will change it out - it IS end to end, from tank to motor. :)

Bow Eye: Don't know what flex glue is. I would use marine Tex or thickened epoxy to fill the holes and re-drill the correct size. Then, I would form the backing plate to match the inside curve of the hull. I would bed the plates and u-bolt with 3m 4200. Make the backing plate to cover as much area as you can. Lots of stress on it.
Flex Glue is great, waterproof, and as tough as woodpecker lips. The backing plate I made is formed to the inside of the hull and very strong, and about 4 inches long. Fits nicely into the 'flat spot' in the bow, where the bolts will go through.

Winch: go to harbor freight or look on amazon and get a new strap winch. Don't waste time working on one that's rusted up. Post pics if you think its salvageable.
Not worth it, will buy a new one and replace.

Boat didn't sit correctly in the water: What? You need to go deeper into this item.
this was a bit of me just b!tching about my $hitty day on the water, I was just struggling to get it to sit on trailer correctly, hence the scratch on the nose

Bottom line: it will get better. You may have gotten ahead of yourself. Take a breath, calm down, and just ease into it. Do you have a boating buddy in the area that could go with you a couple of times to get your confidence (and skill level) up? Check your motor before you leave home. I put the water muffs on mine the night before, or day of, and run it a few minutes before I go. Get a set of muffs do you don't have a nasty barrel of water to deal with. Also, don't test your motor between 1930 and 0730 unless you hate your neighbors.
I've been boating since I was around 6y/o and have owned boats before (Boston Whaler, and a Fountain offshore racing boat) but this sailboat stuff is HARD! haha! I have a set of muffs from my Fountain, but they won't work on my mercury, because the water intake is positioned strangely, near the prop underneath a stabilizer - I can take pics if this doesn't make sense

Also, you are shaking down a "new-to-you" boat. Expect a few outings like this until you get the boat, and your procedures, de-bugged.
we had frost last night, hopefully sooner rather than later!

Keep asking questions.

Hang in there! It will definitely get better.
Thanks for the input/advice, MUCH APPRECIATED!

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Jimmyt
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Re: New to Forum, new to Mac 25 doing restoration

Post by Jimmyt » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:28 pm

You asked this question earlier. Don't know if you've gotten this square yet. My compass is not even attached, not that it points north anymore.... any suggestions here? There is some weird carpet like material covering it on the inside FWIW.

If you are sailing where you need a compass, or you want to have one, Google bulkhead compass and have a shopping experience. You will get a load of options ranging from $65 to a boat buck or higher. Unless you plan on being out of sight of land, or familiar landmarks, I would get one on the lower end. I would look for one that physically matches the hole as closely as possible also. I sail in a bay that's only about 15 miles wide, and I have a chartplotter if it gets dark, so mine is just filling a hole.
Jimmyt
P-Cub-Boo
2013 26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

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