Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of the finished bushing;
however, it came out very nice, and once I inserted it, the
furler spun nicely in a circle without any eccentricity.
I also re-rigged a new furling line, which had gotton
fuzzy and fat from use, and would tend to jam in the mechanism,
and lubricated everything to make it work as well as possible.
When I was done, it was easy to turn the furler by hand, whereas before
it had been somewhat difficult.
One final improvement I'd like to mention is Winch Buddy.
I had debated the need for an electric winch while we were
looking at boats. Some boats we saw had them and it sure
seemed like a nice idea to have the extra umph, especially
on these bigger boats and their bigger sails.
The thought was driven home to me after I purchased
Rhapsody and sailed her from Mission Bay to San Diego
Bay. At the end of the sail, when it was time to bring
in the genoa, I was huffing and puffing at the winch
to wrap up that huge genoa. I even got Steve to
help (just until I get into better shape, eh?).
Since I'm gonna have to furl the genoa virtually every
day, as well as furl the mainsail, I could see that
an electric winch would be very useful on the trip.
However electric winches are very expensive (around $3000),
require massive cable runs from the batteries, and
lots of installation work.
Then one day, John Gardner recommended I look into
an electric winch handle thing he had seen in a magazine, so I did.
I found it on the net, and it cost about $1000. However, it didn't
take me long to figure out I could make my own for well
It's just a heavy duty
Milwakee 28V right angle drill
combined with a special bit that fits in the winch.
The bit is available on ebay or at
The drill is powerful enough to do the job, recharges
in an hour, and can furl the sail about 5 times on
a charge. I got the drill and an extra battery for about
$400, and the bit for $50, and voila I had my very
I tried it on our initial sea trial
and it worked like a charm. I highly recommend this
setup for someone like me, who's a little lazy or
has a large boat and is tired of struggling with winches,
and who can't afford or doesn't want an electric winch.
This might even be considered a piece of safety equipment
if you ever had to use the winch to pull up an anchor
in a hurry or something.
Summary of Improvements Thus Far
So, that's what I've done to Rhapsody so far. The webpages
up to this point are all stuff accomplished in the first
3-4 months I owned the boat. There were many other things
that also got done during this period, like sewing new fitted
sheets, getting gaskets for the hatches, stowing stuff,
and so on. In fact there were so many
"improvements" that they were too numerous to list.
However, these previous pages give you some idea of the amount
of work I have put into the boat in preparation for
the big trip. I consider everything up to here to be
"Phase I" of the work. I'm also in the process
of selling, storing, or otherwise disposing of
most of my possesions, renting the house out,
taking care of medical and dental issues, figuring
out how to handle the mail, bills, and a million life
issues that need to get done in preparation for the
- Pat Horton, 7/15/07