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thebrakes 12-19-2003 09:55 AM

basic help for a newbie
hi all! i just bought my very first sailboat this week, a san juan 21. sure is exciting. couple quick things:

-the very simple electrical system is comprised of a bus leading to cabin, anchor, and running lights, plus bilge pump (which doesnt exist) and aux1 and aux2. there is, however, no battery of any kind. can i just connect any 12V battery to this bus and make the devices work? it need not be deep-cycle, right? i plan to add an outboard later. this may sound dumb, but can you run an alternator to an outboard to charge your battery/batteries? i know you can, and almost always do, with an inboard.

-my stbd shroud is looser than paris hilton on spring break. there is virtually no thread left with which to tighten it down. if it is broken, how do i go about fixing it?

-is there another, possibly better forum where sailors swap info? every car i''ve ever owned has had several good forums online. i am having trouble finding quality sources for sailboats. maybe i am looking in the wrong places.

-is there an easy way to reinforce the fiberglass on the cabin top? the area around the mast gives way more than i like (i am 235lbs though...)

these are the main questions i have for the moment.

thanks so much!


DelmarRey 12-19-2003 10:45 AM

basic help for a newbie
Here are a couple of sites that might be of interest!


sailingfool 12-19-2003 10:47 AM

basic help for a newbie
54 Attachment(s)
Any 12 v battery will do, but you will get better service from a deep cycle - you can buy a marine DieHard at Sears to save money, get one small enough to hoof home to recharge.
You don''t connect an alternator to a outboard, you buy an outboard containing an internal alternator. You might want a 2-4 HP engine for a 21'', you may not be able to get alternators in such small engines, so you may want to investigate a solar panel (can''t help there!).
Loose shroud is a big ??
- first make sure both shrouds are the same length and also the correct length, find another SJ 21 if you don''t have specs.
- then learn to tune your rigging - use the main halyard to to both toerails to ensure the mast straight side-to-side, adjust the shrouds to remove slack, go sailing to fine tune - find more detailed instructions elsewhere .
- if one shroud is still too long try to figure out whether your mast step is sagging, which may get you to your last question - the soft cabintop. I''d take the question about repairing a cabintop to a San Juan owners email list, I doubt you''ll be the first owner to find this problem. I wouldn''t think there will be any easy way to reinforce a cabin top, depends on what has gone soft. Also see if there''s a San Juan web site.

Good luck.

Silmaril 12-19-2003 10:59 AM

basic help for a newbie
You can hook any 12v battery up, and things should work, but a deep cycle is best. It''s plates have been designed to handle a long, slow drain, and should handle many cycles. You will need a way to charge it though!

Most O/B''s over say 7hp usually (but not always) have an alternator built in. I know Honda''s starting at 8hp do, so probably others in that range also.

As far as your shroud is concerned, you should check to see if the rig is centered. Use your main halyard. Bring it over to one of your chainplates and cleat it off, keeping a steady tension on it. Then bring it over to the other chainplate. It should be at the same height on the chainplate as on the other side. If not, then your mast needs to be moved over. Do that by losening one turnbuckle and tightening the other. Check from side to side as you do this, and you will eventually get it so the halyard hits the same height. If this does not happen, you either have a shroud that is a different length, or a bent rig.

Good luck! Happy sailing!

thebrakes 12-19-2003 02:58 PM

basic help for a newbie
thanks for all the help!

i have checked out and and i find them both lacking. the webmaster on hasn''t even allowed a post in over 4 days.

as for the shroud - i will do the halyard check tomorrow. i should mention that NO other shroud or stay is excessively loose or tight. all are just a few turns from being as taut as i have felt on well-tuned rigs. the mast appears straight (and it isnt all that long so it''s a bit easier to tell) the stbd shroud is REALLY loose; i think it must be broken. plus, just below the spreader, it is bent (elbow pointed out) yet it is still attached to the deck, and of course it has not fallen from the masthead. any ideas?

as for the battery, i reckon i''ll get a little one (30A) to keep in the cabin til i get my outboard. even a small charger can bring it back to life in a couple hours.

i''m sure i will have more questions as i go along. thanks alot!

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