Kaholee Refit, Phase 3 | Thursday, February 21, 2008

Today, I worked on the headstay and roller furler installation.  Earlier, having determined that it was prudent to replace the existing headstay, I'd ordered (and received) a new 3/16" 1x19 stainless steel wire headstay, complete with swaged lower stud and turnbuckle.  I had the rigger leave the top end raw, and a bit of extra wire over the length I'd determined I needed after measuring the old headstay.

The specified furler unit was the Schaefer 1100, a very nice, heavy-duty cruising system.

Installation was relatively straightforward, though not without a few minor issues.

I began by laying out all the parts and tools, and then disassembled the furler drum and torque tube as required to begin installation.


Next, I had to determine the overall length at which to cut the new headstay wire.  The overall system length, when completed, needed to be the same as the old stay, so to provide myself with that reference I set up the two wires side-by-side and stretched them out to compare them, rather than measuring from one to the other.  With both turnbuckles fully open, I secured the lower pins together with a zip tie, and then secured that to a fixed point (a garage door hinge, in this case) to hold the wires tightly.  To keep the wires together, I taped them together as I went up, and then used a string to tension the wires together for measurement.

At the top end, I marked the new wire (which I wrapped with some masking tape for ease of marking) right even with the pin center from the old stay.  This would be the completed overall length of the new stay, of course, but in order to allow for several additional fittings required on the furling system, I needed to deduct a certain amount before cutting the new wire to its required length.


Consulting the instructions, I discovered an error or discrepancy.  The instructions indicated, on one page, a standard deduction to be removed from the stay in order to allow space for the lower link plate (an extended, long-length one in this case, which would allow the drum to be raised above the deck for better clearance), as well as the length of the supplied Sta-Lok terminal end for the top of the stay.  The indicated total length of these two pieces was 12-3/8".

However, on the next page were some individual measurements of the pieces for custom installations:  1-1/4" for the Sta-Lok terminal, and 10-1/8" for the long link plate.  This totaled 11-3/8", a one inch difference from that noted on the previous page.  I thought this odd, and decided to rely upon the actual measurements of the pieces on hand. 


I confirmed that the long link plate was 10-1/8" pin to pin, and that the Sta-Lok was 1-1/4".  In addition, I'd ordered a double toggle fitting for the top of the stay (Schaefer 93-86), which required an additional 1-1/2" allowance pin-pin.  Totaled up, this equaled 12-7/8" to be removed from the original stay length. 


I measured this on the new stay, double-checked everything a few times, and eventually cut the wire at the new mark using a set of cable cutters.  I closed the turnbuckle on the stay all the way before beginning to install the furler, to allow maximum space for future adjustment.


With the wire cut, I began installing the furler components according to the directions.  I discovered with some irritation that the pre-drilled holes in the connecting supports, designed to accept the rivets, were frequently slightly too small and wouldn't allow the rivet to pass through.  Eventually I began reaming these holes out with a 1/8" bit and test-fitting the rivets before assembling the joint, since the undersized holes were the rule rather than the exception.  Minor quality issue aside, the installation went smoothly with no issues. 



Once I had all the furler extrusions in place, I opened the turnbuckle all the way, increasing clearance between the top of the furler extrusions and the end of the stay for ease of access, and installed the supplied Sta-Lok terminal on the top of the stay, completing the installation.  I stored the completed furler on the shop wall for safekeeping.


Total Time on This Job Today: 4 hours

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