The first thing I would recommend you do is get your local cat 1 inspector to have a quick look at your boat, make a note of what he or she is concerned about and then use this as your work list. Cost approx. $120.00 or if you know them well some suitable reward.
One of the other major areas of concern to the Cat One inspectors are the main cabin windows(There are several ways of dealing with these), rig, bilge pumps and general condition of the boat and crew competency.
(Please, I intend no disrespect here with the latter, but just know what they require before they will sign off.)
OK so lets start with the cockpit. The normal H28 cockpit when fill of water holds 1.5cu metres = 1.5 tonnes. This will tend to have a bit of an effect on the way the boat sits in the water and exponentially slows the ability of the drains to get rid of it. Also if your boat has a stern lazerette with the opening in the rear face of the cockpit, then this not only needs to be watertight when shut but also very strongly mounted.
Decrease to size of the cockpit by building in a hollow bridge deck with a secure lid across the forward end. Some use this area to stow their life raft and grab bag.
To deal with the large surface area of the two aft windows you can fit a solid wooden bar that runs across and effectively halves the size of each pane and increases the support.
You will need to also make and fit storm shutters to cover all the windows. These need to be able to be fitted in minutes.
Getting the water out:
Other areas are your bilge pumps. You need a good large volume manually operated one which you can work while standing up. I addition a large volume electric one with a built in automatic float switch.
All through hull fittings need a wooden tapered plug tied to them and you need a shut off valve for your exhaust just where it exits the hull.
I would fit an inner forestay and double up the backstay.
Have several spare halyards fitted and some mast steps.
All rigging should be thoroughly checked by a rigger.
Get a storm jib and a storm trysail made in bright orange.
Get a light weather nylon drifter made for on the wind. Very useful when you are in 3-10 knots.
Make sure you have 3 reef lines in your main.
Fit a good simple to use SSB radio with a weather fax facility.
Also a #406 epirb. (Emergency position locator beacon).
Have a look at the self steering system designed to fit on an H28 in the tech section of the H28 web site.
Other alternatives are the Fleming, Monitor, Cape Horn or Hydro vane systems. These have the advantage of offering a second rudder system if you should loose yours or damage it.
One of these frees you up to keep a good watch and enjoy your passages.
These are a few of the things that pop into my mind so if you get the boat inspected drop me a line with what needs to be done and I will help all I can.
Editor's Note: Kerry Blaymires, a key figure within the H28 Yacht Owners Association, tragically lost his life in a yachting accident off the Taranaki Coast in May 2004. Kerry had a great deal of expertise which he freely shared and he is sadly missed by all who knew him.