Last night I installed the center aka tubes on the vaka… this went smoothly, albeit a bit slowly, as I had to first drill the holes for the bolts, and make sure they were straight and true.
With a hand drill.
I actually got them within a 1/32″ of true, which was both pleasing and a bit of an issue… the original holes were off by about 1/8″, so I had to do a bit of reaming on the backing plates in order to get the bolts thru. In the end, all worked well. I also installed the new/old mast step on the vaka, instead of on the deck just behind the vaka where it was originally. It appears that later Sunbirds all had this modofication, so I suspect that if I simply rake the mast back about 2″ or so, my trim should remain the same.
Tonight I machined down the outer hinge castings so they would fit into the heavier-walled outer aka tubes. I’ll set them in using 5200 in the morning, and, as a backup, either drill and tap a couple of bolts, or use some stainless pop rivets.
I also scrubbed the trampolines and discovered that they are in better shape than I thought. Of course, they have also likely shrunk while off the boat, and they were a tight fit in the first place. I have an idea in mind to both condition and stretch them, but I’ll wait until I try it (and take some pics!) before I divulge my wily ways…