Spirit 23 modifications - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 51 Old 11-19-2011 Thread Starter
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Spirit 23 modifications

hey all -

Interested in what folks are doing w/ their cockpits & cabins.

I put on a prefab $300 bimini this last year and it was worth it - has to be installed forward enough for the mainsheets to go from port to starboard.

I pulled the house battery out of the locker and placed in a Battery Box secured to the seetee area directly under the electrical system of my boat - losing the berth underneath but gaining storage for sails, spinaker pole, grill, pop-top encloser - awning, etc.

The battery offfsets the weight of the motor - and allows easy access for recharging.

I also made a new cabin hatch boards from clear thick plexiglass, as well as splurged for the new front hatch.

I have pictures of the set up when the boat was still a mess - MobileMe Gallery

1977 North American Spirit 23
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post #2 of 51 Old 11-19-2011
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I put a permanently installed 12 gal tank under the cockpit floor, with the filler cap on the starboard side. I'm just now installing 2 batteries on the port side (engine is on starboard). The VHF radio just fits under the CB panel. I also put a 110V plug on the port side aft bulkhead, for when I'm plugged in, So I can use a vacuum, trouble lights etc. Also installed a windlass on the fore-deck. All cabin lights are LED's. Also installed a CMC PT-35 power tilt unit, those 4 strokes are heavy! (125 lbs) One thing I like was making use of the bilge slot these boats have just forward of the keel. It drops down a couple of inches here so I built a mounting bracket for 2 electric bilge pumps (on different float levels) and the pickup for the manual pump is also on it. It makes the boat very dry as all but a few cups of water at any time is in the bilge. This prevents any kind of bilge stink and mold buildup.
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Bilge Tray Side.jpg   Merc LH Side-.jpg  

Last edited by windyway; 12-14-2012 at 10:54 PM.
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post #3 of 51 Old 11-19-2011 Thread Starter
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Did you retrofit the led bulb into the factory dome light?
You really have customized your boat -
sounds like an extended cruise next year?

I pulled my cabin battery out of the starboard locker and onto the seettee - are you putting 2 batts in that locker?

1977 North American Spirit 23
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post #4 of 51 Old 11-20-2011
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Originally Posted by GoodOldBoater View Post
Did you retrofit the led bulb into the factory dome light?
You really have customized your boat -
sounds like an extended cruise next year?

I pulled my cabin battery out of the starboard locker and onto the seettee - are you putting 2 batts in that locker?
Yes I just changed the bulbs for the lights, it gives the interior a soft blue look to it. Nothing to read with but ample to get around in. Oh yea the starboard locker has been modified to be an ice box now with the drain tied to the transom drain. Now I don't have to leave the cockpit for a cool one. The single battery was just under the CB panel and starboard settee. I'm currently putting this battery + another one under the port settee just in front of the rear bulkhead.
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post #5 of 51 Old 12-28-2011
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Side Stay Chain Plate Mod

The side stays on the deck were constantly angled the wrong way when either raising or lowering the mast. Consequently the "T" bolt kept getting bent. I was afraid that constant bending would eventually break it at the worst time...under load. I also didn't like the turnbuckles that the boat came with. Also the sidestay turnbuckles were too close to each other, so they were always interfering with each other when adjusting. So I decided to cut the old turnbuckle off the cable & put 4 nicer ones in place. Since I didn't want to replace the whole cable (did I mention I'm economical? ) I bought some 1/4 316 stainless chain & used 3 links on each sidestay to lengthen the sidestays to make up for the cable I had to cut off. It also brought the turnbuckles higher up on the rigging so they don't interfere with each other anymore while adjusting, and having chain in place here prevents the rigging from being angled the wrong way when moving the mast up or down, the chain just acts like a chain for 3 links! This is called a "Chain Plate" isn't it??
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Last edited by windyway; 11-27-2012 at 07:10 PM.
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post #6 of 51 Old 12-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodOldBoater View Post
hey all -

I pulled the house battery out of the locker and placed in a Battery Box secured to the seetee area directly under the electrical system of my boat - losing the berth underneath but gaining storage for sails, spinaker pole, grill, pop-top encloser - awning, etc.

The battery offfsets the weight of the motor - and allows easy access for recharging.

MobileMe Gallery
I looked at your battery setup. If I could be more diplomatic I would be. I've seen better jobs, the wiring could get caught on something & tear off, & the connectors you used will get corroded over time. (I find it better to solder & use heat shrink) Perhaps this is a temporary setup? Raising the battery up on top of the settee worsens the effectiveness of the battery weight as well. The lower the battery the more it acts like lead in the keel!
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post #7 of 51 Old 12-28-2011 Thread Starter
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Yah I know the battery set up is not the best - I have to clean up the cables too.

BUT - I do like having access to the battery for recharging. It's also very secure although it doesn't look it.

I have turned that berth into storage as we never used it anyway...

1977 North American Spirit 23
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post #8 of 51 Old 12-29-2011
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You don't really need access for charging you know. I have a charger mounted on the bulkhead under the settee hardwired into the boat. Whenever the boat gets plugged into dock power it powers up the charger at the same time. I leave it connected all the time cause when the power gets pulled from the dock it turns it off. Chargers are fairly cheap for single banks. Actually I have a single bank charger for sale cause I just wired the boat for 2 banks of batteries.
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post #9 of 51 Old 12-31-2011
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Mast Pin Modification

I always had a hard time removing the pins without tools when stepping or unstepping the mast. When mounted on the boat I'll have a lanyard attached to the removable pins so they don't wander off like they like to!
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post #10 of 51 Old 12-31-2011
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Swing Keel Pulley Mod

A lot of people have been requesting more info on this mod. Unfortunately this picture below is all I have for the moment. When I decide to remove the swing keel to inspect the pulley & cable for damage in the future I can take better pictures. All this mod takes is very little fabrication knowledge and even less welding. I've just posted a thread concerning this mod on it's own as it is a problem with all the Spirit 23's...
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Last edited by windyway; 06-03-2012 at 05:09 PM.
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