I have read most of the forum threads on Monsoons that report more issues with their boats than I experienced. I have included some notes on those I made to my Monsoon to prepare it for use. I am sure there are other ways to accomplish the same things but these suggestions are how I did it.
1. Stabilizing the mast –
The mast comes in two pieces to facilitate shipping, but the method the factory provides to keep the two pieces together is inadequate, and will not hold it together in proper alignment.The Fix = drill four 1/16” holes in the mast using the two holes the factory has pre-drilled in the mast pieces as your starting points. Drill all the way though the mast and the plastic coupling that bridges the two pieces together. Be sure the pre-drilled holes in the internal mast coupling are lined up with the holes you are drilling and with the holes in the plastic bridge piece, (It has two holes already pre-drilled.) Be sure the two mast sections are perfectly aligned before drilling. I suggest you secure the mast pieces to a straight edge that you can lock the mast to, insuring the mast is in the proper alignment before drilling. Use SS bolts, flat washers and self locking nuts. This is really pretty simple, but care is required to insure you don’t mess up the mast and the internal coupling.
2. Sealing the electronics bay hatch for a water tight seal - This fix is for the Monsoon. The Phantom hatch is different -a bit better set up, but it can be improved upon.
The pictures below shows the hatch modifications and the location of 4 servo arms which have been mounted to the deck. I used 4 small servo arms, trimmed to fit the space which now secure and seal the hatch. The 2 arms in the front, are rigid and don't move. The two in the back both swivel. I replaced the foam furnished by the manufacturer, replacing it high density foam (a good quality weather stripping will work fine.) The foam used on this boat was 3/8" wide, about 1/4' thick which allow the hatch to slide under the 2 front servo arms, which then compresses the foam and seals the front section of the hatch. The rear 2 servo arms are used as "lock down" arms that swivel out of the way to remove the hatch, and lock it down and seal it. I slide the front edge of the hatch under the 2 front "hold down" arms, and then I press down on the back edge of the hatch to compress the foam, and then swing the 2 rear servo arms in place. There is adequate pressure to create very water tight seal around the entire hatch. Simple and effective and doesn't look bad either.
3. Properly sealing the “rudder well”-
The cover provided from the factory for the “rudder well” is a thin piece of plastic coated cardboard. This issue here is that if you use their seal and use and adhesive to hold in place, you won’t be able to access the rudder connection unless you destroy the cover they provided.To address this I made a replacement from a plastic cap I had in my garage that I had saved for some unknown reason, and a cap plug from a hardware store. As the plug was just a little smaller the opening, I was trimmed piece of 2 sided foam tape to fit around the plug to making a good seal. It pushes in, and stays in. It can be removed to access the rudder well. Before inserting the rudder a lubricated the shaft with white lithium grease, and then I put a small O-ring on the shaft to help seal the tube the rudder shaft goes through. As I recall the factory supplies an O-ring for the rudder shaft (slights on the shaft first then insert the shaft in the boat) if it is not there get one and also put a little water proof grease on the rudder shafts before installing it.
4. Keel connections -
The keel is secured to the boat with a threaded shaft at the top, and bottom to attach the keel’s ballast pod. The factory shaft would be better if it were a bit larger in diameter to better support the weight of the keel assembly. Once you add 1.3 kg (1.3 kg = 2.8 lbs) of lead shot to the pod, there is a pretty good load on that shaft. As the boat goes though the water, the greater the load becomes. To date, I have not heard any reports of one breaking a shaft. I added a small O-ring to seal the shaft as it comes up through the hull. Put a light coat of water proof grease on the shaft before you install it.
My friend choose to epoxy the keel into the hull. This results in a strong water tight assembly. Granted, it makes transport and storage more difficult, but it fixes this issue. If you opt not to bond the keel, be sure you use properly fit O-rings on the shafts where the shaft meets the hull and on the top side as it protrudes upward. Use SS flat washers to prevent cutting into the fiberglass as you tighten the nuts.If possible use SS self locking nuts.
You may find that the keel SS shaft may need to be shortened or trimmed at the top to permit the factory provided trim plug to be installed (The plug hides the top of the keel mounting shaft) Mine was too long, and it had to be trimmed slightly for me to put the plug in the hole.
5. Securing the shroud guides-
My boat came with small plastic sleeves to prevent the spreader’s roughly cut holes from snagging the shroud lines, which sooner or later will cut them if the sleeves are not in place.The best way is to de-burr the holes in the spreader. The easier way is to put a little dab of silicone on each one to secure it in place. My shroud like lasted about a year, before they needed to be replaced.
6. Get a small bottle of clear nail polish and carefully apply or ”dab” a little on the all of the screw heads you can see. The factory does not use SS screws. Yes it is dumb, but they think they save a few pennies. This will inhibit rusting.
The yellow balloons inside the boat are just a little added protection for my receiver and battery pack should an unforeseen event occur that results in getting a lot of water inside the hull. I don’t know what type of radio you will be using if you plan on using a 27 GHz radios and receiver, they work and are cheap. They have issues! I would consider investing in a 2.4 GHz radio and receiver. They are far superior and provide a number of nice features that can add to your sailing fun. HobbyKing.com sells inexpensive multi-channel stick radios for under $40.
If atsome point you wish to upgradethe cotton string the factory uses for the shrouds with a "Spectra" type fishing line, that would be an inexpensive upgrade that makes a lot of sense.SomethingI have done to my other higher end boats, isreplace theoriginal shroud lineswitha 1 x 7 strand SSnylon coated fishing leader and installing some rigging screws to provide the needed adjustments. There are other choices for setting up an adjustable connect at the bracket. Dubro makes annumber plastic and metal Clevis deviceshttp://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXD875&P=7
"..that work well and are less expensive. Check out this link: http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXEVW6&P=7
This should get you started. Post any questions you have - I am sure forum members will jump in and help address them. Again, with the few minor modifications to the Monsoon, it will sail well and for a long time - if you take care of it..
See photos below for reference
There is a more active forum on sailboats at rcgroups.com - find the boat section and then go to sailboats.