No. 80 - December 1988




One of the more depressing facts is that Tanzer thought they were building a power boat or one that was primarily used at dockside or anchor.  The supplied icebox works only if the boat is level or on a port tack.  However, on starboard tack it is an entirely different kettle of fish.  In past newsletters several members have addressed this problem.  Here is another look.


Ideally a top loading icebox should be well insulated, strong, as well as large enough to serve its purpose.  And, above all, be cheap and easy to install.  I think all the above requirements are, more or less, met with this project.


34 quart cooler (Cott)

3/4" Plywood, 24 X 12" (Construction Grade)

Eight feet 1 X 2" pine

Eight feet 1 X 1" pine

Six feet 1 X 8" pine

4 X 4 1/4" plywood

Two 12 X 18" louvered shutters

Six feet of 2 1/2" Fir door molding

Four brass hinges

Small brass door latch

#4 or #5 1/2" RH Brass screws as required.  Slow epoxy (fast or five minute epoxy is not suitable for marine environment)

This whole list of stuff should cost no more than $65.00 (US) if purchased new, a scrap box will yield some parts for free.  The money was spent over a period of approximately two months (I never said it would be a fast project; however, since the boat use is not lost, who cares?)  Several of these items were acquired on sale. e.g. the cooler was $12.00 less a $3.00 rebate!


Step 1 - To start this project the first thing is to remove the old ice chest.  This will leave plenty of room to work and plan out how things will fit and look.  The most difficult part was to make the first cut!  Making the 8 X 12" or so cut-out for the lid was shear agony!  However, if the project was to succeed it had to be done so there would be no turning back.  The location of this "lid" was based on using the edges of the ex­isting wood work as a guide for making straight cuts with the saber saw; it worked almost perfectly, only one cut wandered slightly.  Prior to cutting, remove all food and eating utensils; wear a face mask as the epoxy dust is fierce, as well as very toxic.  That counter top was made to survive a major war!

Step 2 - Using epoxy and four bolts mount the 1/2" plywood 12 X 22" shelf extending from under the berth into the open space; this shelf should reach to the edge of the sink cabinet.  It should be parallel with the centerline of the boat about 10 inches in.  The cooler will sit on this shelf so it must be sturdy.  I re-enforced the shelf with a cleat along its front edge.  Two legs were added to prevent the shelf from bending when the cooler is loaded.  These legs were simply epoxied from shelf to the inner hull.

Step 3 - The cooler is simply slid onto the shelf, drain facing the sink, and mounted to the top inside of the counter using cleats epoxied and screwed to the inside counter top.  If needed the cooler should be shimmed up against the counter as firmly as practical.  Then using RTV sealant and screws it is fastened to the cleats.  The bottom was filled with spray urethane foam, mostly because I had it; epoxy or RTV would have done as well.

Step 4 - A piece of 1/4" plywood was used to form the back of the cabinet in the left over space.  Sides were measured and cut to fit from the back to front edge to box in the cabinet.  In my case the resulting cabinet was not quite square and to fit the shelves neatly required a bevel to transfer the angles to the shelf stock.  The shelves that I made were about 17" long by 8 inch pine (actually 7 1/4" wide); at the narrowest side of the cabinet they just fit!  Even with the T-bevel, Yours Truly butchered three shelves before he got two (almost) good ones (wood working doesn't come easy to me).  The Fir door molding made fine looking fiddles and they were cheap as hell, too.

To complete the cabinet two shutters were cut to 17 inches length, the adjusting rods were removed and the louvers glued closed to prevent them from flopping around.  Still leaves enough gaps for ventilation.  Install them using the brass hinges.  With the brass door latch to keep them closed, they looked great.  Being naturally born lazy I only varnished the inside surfaces of the cabinet and used regular teak oil to do the fiddles and the doors.  Mitered lath wood was epoxied to the inside the ice box opening showing 1/4" to prevent the lid from falling in.  A suitable lift ring has yet to be installed (they either need a 3" diameter hole or a square cut-out, both too fancy for my taste).

Step 6 - Enjoy the new found security of sailing on a star­board tack without ice, soda and your lunch rolling on the cabin sole.  Parting shot: I used this ice box for the balance of 1987 and most of the 1988 season, including spending a week on Great South Bay and have not regretted going through the trouble to build it.  The food stayed cold longer and no more floor clean­ups.

The cabinet that fills the left over space is great for storing canned food, pots and other odds and ends neatly out of the way.  All together this project was very worthwhile in making the Tanzer a much more liveable vessel.



by BOB JOHNSON #2046

With a wife (my crew) who often has one of her many ac­tivities when the winds etc. are just right for a sail, Wind­finder II is sailed single handed quite often.  Those just-right days frequently develop conditions that require a reef to keep a single handed boat on her bottom.  After trying several schemes, I came upon a system that works quite well for a sailor that isn't as young as he used to be.

The system consists of the clew reef line rove through a boom-mounted cam cleat with a fairlead.  This line is turned through a small block attached to the boom vang bail.  Next the main halyard line and the Cunningham line are brought back to the cockpit.  The Cunningham is a hook with line through the loop made fast to an eye strap on the side of the mast.  The last mod­ification required is one that was described in Newsletter #77, April 1988.  The slug just below the luff reef cringle was re­moved and threaded through a jack line attached to the slugs just above and below.  This allows the reef cringle to be pulled down to the gooseneck without removing a slug.  Some form of tiller lock is handy, but since the procedure takes so little time, after a bit of practice, this is not a requirement.  We are now ready to reef.

Let the main sheet out just enough for the sail to begin to luff.  Let the main halyard go and cleat it at a premarked point.  Pull the Cunningham line until the hook is at the gooseneck, also premarked.  Next pull back on the leach reef line.  As you pull on this line it automatically is lead into the cam cleat so when it is pulled tight and let go, the main is reefed.  Tidy up a bit and you are ready for more wind.

The only reason for leaving the cockpit is to move the Cunningham hook to the upper cringle, a one handed operation.  Furthermore, the benefits of having all those lines brought back to the cockpit and being able to apply so much more tension far outweighs any inconvenience of having lines on the cabin top.


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Jim Todd has made a neat compass mount that fits into the companionway.  Made from pine it slides easily into position when needed and can be stored below when the boat is not being used, out of harms way and prying eyes.  And light fingered people!

The two sides have to have notches or slots cut so that the compass board will fit.  About 3/8 of an inch in each case.

The compass platform is made from 3/4" pine with two braces with a 1/4" hole drilled for the compass wire and a 1/4" hole through the compass board.

Stain with a teak colored stain, a couple coats of marine varnish and the job is complete.