Spring Cleanup

Windex Light Repair

The Christopher-Jin's Windex Light took a hit this past winter of 2010. (Litterally)

Last year (2009) I had mounted the Windex Light on to the Windex Strut arm.  Originally it was the length of the two pieces shown at left.  The larger hole was the original mounting hole.  Sometime during the winter the bracket snapped.

The Windex Light sells for $26.99 from West Marine.

Not wanting to spend another $26.99 I did a quick repair.  As you can see in the first photo, I sanded down the area of the break and drilled a new, smaller hole in the bracket.  Normally the Light would mount under the support pole of the Windex.

I could have fabricated a small bracket extension out of a piece of scrap stainless steel (an inexpensive cookie sheet is a good source) or aluminum to the basic contours of the original bracket.  However, my strut arm has a second hole in it so I'll simply screwed the Windex Light onto the strut arm with a stainless steel screw.


This photo show how the Windex Light would normally be mounted.

Additionally, I purchased an LED bulb from Boaterbits on Ebay.  The cost was only $9.  It should last way longer than the incandesent bulb and draw much less current.  Boaterbits is a great resource with some pretty good pricing.







Bottom Painting and Hull Waxing

It’s that time of year again!!!  Yea!!!  There’s work to be done before you put your beauty into the water.  If your bottom is in good shape, great!  Give her a good inspection and touch up the paint job before you launch.  If not, get ready for a little…fun…work.

You are also going to have to clean and wax your hull and any vertical surfaces of fiberglass.  It’s not as hard as some make it out to be.  It usually only takes me a couple of hours to clean and wax and, wow, your sailboat looks great all season…and…the bird poop cleans off much more easily!!!

What You Are Going to Need

The best thing to do is always start with a list.  The only way to make a good list is to do a little recon.  Get in the car and go find your sailboat.

If you are anything like me, you’ve already been out to visit your sailboat several times this past winter.  What you need to do now is go back on a recon mission.  You need to find the nearest power connection and the nearest water faucet.  Estimate the lengths of extension cords and hose you will need to reach your boat.  Write those numbers down.

Painting – The Job
Scraping and Sanding

Time: 1-1/2 hours

Wearing your dust mask, goggles, hat and gloves, scrape off any loose paint.  Be careful not to gouge into the gel coat.  Use a good palm sander to feather out the remaining paint.  Be careful not to sand into the gel coat.  Follower up by removing the dust with tack cloths.


Time: 3 hours


Finally roll on  a fresh coat of paint.  Use a small brush to get close the the rollers of your trailer.  It’s that easy!
Bottom Painting Check List

Dust Mask


Masking Tape


Bottom Paint

Sander (I used a Skill 5" orbital sander, about $39 from Lowe's.  It's light weight and inexpensive.  It also has a dust collector.)

Tack Cloths

Drill & Spare Battery


Can Opener

Rubber Mallet

Paint Hat

Work Clothes
Paint Gloves

Roller Covers

Roller Handle

Roller Pans

Paint Brush


Small Bucket

Cardboard to Lie On

Knee Pads

Aluminum Foil (to cover brushes or roller during a break)

Paint Thinner

5 Gallon Bucket (to help carry items)
Extension Cords
Paper Towels
Garbage Bag

Waxing – The Job

First you want to clean the hull.  West Marine carries a great product call Star Brite Instant Hull Cleaner.  A quart was plenty for the Christopher-Jin.  It's amazing stuff.  Just wipe it on, wait a few minutes and watch the scum dissolve before your eyes.

Time: 30 minutes

Waxing was simple with a combined cleaner & wax, Pure Oceans, also from West Marine.  I used a 6" disk polisher.  I waxed about 1/4th of each side at a time.

Time: 90 minutes

Waxing Checklist

Polishing Cloths

Electric Polisher

Cleaner & Wax

Wax Pads

Extension Cords

Marine Power Adapter

Hose and nozzle

Hull Cleaner 
Extension Cords
Paper Towels
Garbage Bag
Tune up your knowledge base in The Class Room
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