'81 Spirit 23 in Charlotte, NC - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 36 Old 11-21-2012 Thread Starter
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'81 Spirit 23 in Charlotte, NC

Just thought I'd start my own thread for updates and modifications to my new to me Spirit 23.

Got it for $1000 with the trailer but no motor and brought it home this past weekend. Looks complete other than that. Came with the original sails and one other jib and one genoa. Upholstery for the V berth and the port berth is in good shape, although they used 6 inch foam for the V berth which is too firm and too thick. I may cut it down and resew it just to gain a few more inches of head room and it will be plenty comfortable with the addition of a one inch memory foam topper. I could then use the other bit of foam for the starboard quarterberth.

There is rot in the bulkheads from leaky chain plates, a couple of cracks in the forward hatch and the cable to the keel is broken of course. I haven't gotten it in the water since one of the cockpit thru hulls is broken off so it wouldn't float for too long! Also one of the winches is missing/broken off. And probably my least favorite, is the hull has been painted, some of which is flaking off with a power wash. Hoping it will strip easy so I can work from that, otherwise it will need to be sanded and painted at some point.

So projects for now:

1. Replace thru hulls, getting some stainless ones
2. Add bilge pump (nothing at moment).
3. New mounts for battery in front under vberth.
4. Replace winch (found one on ebay for $60)
5. Get my little 3.5HP motor running well enough to get around. That will be fine for the lake around here.
6. Add a keel board to the trailer, keel rests on rollers right now, not good.

So that will let me float it and play a bit, many other projects to follow.

And here are the before pictures.







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post #2 of 36 Old 11-24-2012
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Re: '81 Spirit 23 in Charlotte, NC

you planning on using it in lake norman ?
make sure you read the threads here the mention the swing keel ,its really bad if it comes down and gets stuck between the trailer rails .

S/V Erin Go Bragh
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post #3 of 36 Old 11-27-2012
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Re: '81 Spirit 23 in Charlotte, NC

If your going to take the boat off the trailer to replace the keel support, AND your swing keel cable is broken, now would be the time to do the cable pulley mod described in another thread. I highly recommend that mod, if you don't do it you'll be replacing the cable in another few years. Do it and the cable will outlast the boat.
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post #4 of 36 Old 11-27-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: '81 Spirit 23 in Charlotte, NC

I definitely plan to add the pulley as you did. But I need to figure out whether I want to try to weld stainless or get someone to do it for me. Did you get someone to do it or do it yourself?
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Re: '81 Spirit 23 in Charlotte, NC

I welded it myself. There really is very little load on this bracket, it's supported above & aft (with the cable fitting) & even if your welds stink you can always grind & redo, hell ho one's going to see it! When you route the cable through & finally swage an eye on it make sure you use 2 swage fittings I only did one initially & it slipped out this year (after 2 years in service) so I had to take the keel out again just to re swage!
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post #6 of 36 Old 11-28-2012
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Re: '81 Spirit 23 in Charlotte, NC

if you do pull the swing keel please take pictures of how the cable is attached to it and i a total lenth of the swing keel
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S/V Erin Go Bragh
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Re: '81 Spirit 23 in Charlotte, NC

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Originally Posted by Southron Spirit View Post
if you do pull the swing keel please take pictures of how the cable is attached to it and i a total lenth of the swing keel
I don't expect to ever take it out again. Swing keel length is as long as it can be to fit in the trunk slot, just measure from the pivot pin back. The cable is attached with 2 stainless bars through bolted with 2 bolts through the keel & a third with a bushing that fits in the cable eye. Pretty simple really.
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post #8 of 36 Old 12-01-2012 Thread Starter
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Started in on power washing and replacing the bulkheads so I can get the chain plates solid again. I also epoxied the heck out of the rudder stock and tiller. The tiller was really rough, but at least epoxied and varnished it will be solid.

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post #9 of 36 Old 12-02-2012
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Re: '81 Spirit 23 in Charlotte, NC

be careful when double swaging, to get then as close to the mounting piont as possible, otherwise to CB will not retract fully into the slot (ask me how I know)had to redo mine after finding this out.
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post #10 of 36 Old 12-02-2012
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Re: '81 Spirit 23 in Charlotte, NC

Omg !! Yes keep the swages as close to each other as possible and tight up to the swing keel fitting for sure!! Then you should be OK. There's not that much room up there but enough.
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