Thanks for the advice on welding. I do know of someone but was hoping to find someone that was recommended.
As for you other advice.... I just love those white turnbuckle covers and how they make that the boat look so .... so... I just can't do it. I can't say anything nice about them. They are nothing but corrosion collectors. As for taping the spreader tips, sometimes it is a nessarary evil. The shrouds on this new to me boat are held in place by seizing wire. I would hate to see that grab a hold of my jib on some tack or spin take down. I just untape them and spray them with T9 twice a year and that seems to keep them in good shape. I try to use as little tape as possible leaving some breathing room at the top and bottom. I do live in SO Cal so we don't get the rain the rest of the country gets and that helps.