Monday, February 27, 2006
So, in honor of Chairman Meow, Johnny Cash, and Steven Hawking (obscure) we went with black for the boat bottom. That's the first coat going on and a second coat will follow tomorrow. We are scheduled to launch on Thursday if all goes well with the other projects.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
we will be back in the water on Wednesday at the earliest and Friday at the latest. Details yet to be accomplished are...
shove the propellar shaft back into the boat
attach dripless gland (one on boat and one on the captain!)
install the sail cover - Mack Pack
re-glass and paint the rudder
re-attach the steering
get the two missing lifelines installed
change all engine fluids and filters
reinstall the backstay...almost forgot that one!
connect the few remaining SSB connections
buy beer buy beer
reattach hose clamps on the forward head plumbing
Seems like a lot but we are not in charge of all these projects. Stem to Stern is doing much of this while we
Have I mentioned that we are just a tad tired of living in a parking lot in Ft. L.?
For all you faithfull readers who are also runners you should check out a really cool running blog. .. especially you Chicago runners! It's my daughter's blog and while working on a PhD in physics she is managing to keep up her training for various runs. Good for her!
Here's some pictures of our recent adventures in good old boat maintenance...Stay tuned for dramatic change in hull tomorrow.
The first picture shows the hull down to the bare fiberglass when we washed it every few days to help dry it out. We needed to wash away the salt as it oozed out of the very wet fiberglass.
The next picture (to the right) is when we finally began to apply the barrier coat (looks alot like barium!) and already looks much better.
The 3rd picture (bel0w, below) shows the pink fairing material used to smooth up the jagged areas and fill in any gaps of which there were just a few. Nice job Erik from Stem to Stern!
The fourth picture is of a happy captian who can almost taste the salty sea in his face. The final of 3 (this means 3 days in a row....I mean 3 long days in a row) coats of very important barrier coat.
What will the final version of Enee look like? What color will her bottom be? How fast will she go? Stay tuned!
Thursday, February 23, 2006
The project list is getting visibly shorter and shorter!
Engine – Engine is back together with rebuilt water pump. I have to change oil and filters and replace coolant before we go. Stem to Stern is installing the new dripless shaft packing as I couldn’t get the coupler off by myself.
So, we could be underway in another week to 10 days. We hope we remember how to sail!
So, we could be underway in another week to 10 days. We hope we remember how to sail!
Saturday, February 18, 2006
I worked for Stem to Stern thursday and Friday mostly sanding and painting with the exception of yesterday morning when myself and Ahmed installed a rebuilt transmission on a 50 foot, what Art would call, F*** boat! Twin diesels and, as usual, no room to work. The transmission probaly weight 150 pounds. We got it down into the engine room and stuffed it back behind the engine. Now all we have to do is lift it about 6 inches and shove it forward to engage the crankshaft. No way in hell! We roamed the yard picking up odd pieces of 2x4 and metal rods to use as levers. After about 30 minutes of grunting, swearing and pinched fingers we got it to engage. Whew! And I thought this would be an interesting break from sanding and painting!
Ahmed will be on our boat all day Monday putting the engine back together and installing the dripless gland. Lots of other stuff will be happening next week as well. . . Backstay is to come down so as to turn it into an antenna for SSB, rudder should come off (may have to lift boat) to reglass, hull sanding could start late in the week depending on the next set of moisture numbers.
Hey, we may make it to the keys afterall!!!!
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
So, we shifted gears and got back on the refinishing job. I think that is a job that will always be with us as long as we own this boat. If we always look to do a little bit, though, it should be ok. re-doing all of it at once is a large task though. We’ve sanded the toe rail and rub rail now portside. Tomorrow the first coat of Cetol…as soon as the frost is off the boat.
Have I mentioned that there is a FREEZE warning for
As things tend to go, today we received a book we’ve been waiting for: A gentleman’s Guide to Passages South. I can tell already this is a good book for us although the author seems just a trifle arrogant. The title refers to the old saying that, “Gentleman never sail to weather” - an old saying from the early days of yachting. Of course to get to the Caribbean from
So the boat is getting ready and the crew is getting ready. As tired as we are of
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Between working for Stem to Stern and making trips to
Meanwhile we have finished the refrigerator project. I’ve put an exhaust fan in the door to the cabinet where the compressor lives. By connecting it to the existing fan the two fans come on together. The one on the unit pulls air into the cabinet while the little fan from Radio Shack drives it out. This should help in warmer climes. Refrigerator itself is working fine and is keeping things (beer) plenty cool and not running too much. I mark this project DONE . . . for now.
* When asked, the nice man at West Marine assured me that they had no such item. Later, I showed him where they were. Strangely, they were by the winches.
Finally we had time to both work on putting the bow pulpit back on. The woodwork and welding was done weeks ago it seems but with Scott working and this and that we didn’t have a full day for reinstallation. Recently we did. The plan was for me to insert the bolts from the inside of the anchor locker up through the holes in the stanchions where Scott would add the lock washer and nut and tighten as I hold onto the 2 foot long screwdriver below. The 2 foot long socket deal didn’t work.
Sue's tools of torture
Sue: Scott could you put a bolt through from the top.
Scott: You want me to put a bolt in so I can take it out again? (Now who is having the menopausal moment?)
Sue: So I can see where the hole is.
(As clear as the holes are on the top deck, there is much smudge and crevices on the underside.)
Sue: Ok, I see it. Oh wait, the bolt came off the screwdriver. Shit! Ok, now I have it. Go ahead, tighten it.
Scott: I can’t quite get the nut on. Push it up a little more.
Sue: I’m pushing as hard as I can . It won’t go any further.
Scott: I’ll loosen the other one. Try it now.
Sue: Yeah, that helps. Now it’s going. Do you have it tight yet? (as her knuckles are scrapping against the fiberglass hull gripping the screwdriver).
Scott: Yes, that one is tight. Now do the forward outer.
Sue: (Thinking – forward outer, that must be the one over my head furthest against the hull – as I am looking upside down from below) Okay. (I pull myself out of the anchor locker, tape another bolt to the giant screwdriver and gently ease myself and the tool back through the 2 foot hole.) Okay, now which hole?
So this project is DONE…for EVER!
Meanwhile back in the bilge…The bilge and area under the engine is still dirty with oil from our oil leak which has been fixed by the Stem to Stern guys. While messing with this the other day I noticed that the bilge pump itself was acting up. Running but not pumping. That ain’t good! Also noticed that neither pump nor float switch were even connected to the bottom of the bilge and that REALLY ain’t right! Today I discovered why they weren’t connected. The bottom of the bilge is actually a shelf of the big fresh water tank. Don’t really want to drill holes in that so I made a mounting board out of a chunk of Starboard that we had. Both switch and new working pump are mounted on this board. I’ll then 5200 the starboard to the bottom of the bilge. I took this opportunity to wire the pump into its circuit with quick disconnects. I’ll have a second pump at the ready with these same connectors. This should make it a shorter job to switch out pumps if necessary…like if the sea comes in! Project is stamped nearly done.
Yesterdaywe made measurements for replacing all of our lifelines. We did this by using some nice stiff nylon cord (from guess who!). After threading the cord through the stanchions I put the cord around the forward loop on the pulpit and then Sue marked where the cord met the aft connection point. We used the same piece of cord and just made different colored marks for the different aft connections for our 4 long, forward lifelines. I know, you’re thinking, “Why not just take the old lifelines to the rigger?” No, because these old lines were jerryrigged in a number of ways due to broken stanchions and broken pulpit so this measurement would be better than the lifelines themselves. Now the four little lines for the aft deck are ok as to their length but still need to be replaced so we did take those to the rigger to copy. So, Paul, the rigger is making our new lifelines and we should have them within a week.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
So where are we here? Many things have happened in one month and change yet we’re still living in a parking lot. Hmmmmm. Let’s look at the positives. Scott is gaining some boat repair experience although most of his time lately has been spent sanding the topsides of a 45 foot fishing boat. We think his finger prints have been removed in the process. Enee’s hull is actually drying out. After 10 days most areas of the hull are significantly less moist. This could mean that the bottom will be ready for sealing and painting in a couple of weeks. Sue did the readings this time as Scott was busy at work. The question about how does this little box (moisture reader) really work came up. She put the meter against her hand and sure enough it went off the scale. Of course since we are made of 90% water give or take a few. So is this proof that the meter actually does measure moisture in the hull of a boat. Then the idea of testing other boats occurred. Here are the interesting results. The steel hulled boat was also off the scale and the aluminum boat also off the scale. Does this mean that these impenetrable boats have moisture in them? No! It means that the meter is calibrated to measure moisture on fiberglass boats. When other substances come into play, the meter goes way off.
Now think about this. ( I had to and am still thinking.) These wonderful meters that we use in our everyday lives such as thermometers to take our temperature, barometers to measure the barometric pressure, they don’t ‘know’ about hotness or coldness or highs or lows and such. They only know what the human programmed them to do. Measure some level of something and when the conditions are such the meter reads low, medium, or high. What a concept. Of course the machine doesn’t know there is water in our hull and frankly doesn’t care. Because it can’t care! This was a revelation to Sue.
To reiterate the positives so far, Scott is working and learning and deducting the amount of some of our bill for our boat. Sue is learning about physics (she actually did an experiment on her own) in a meaningful way. Gracie is still alive although she may argue whether or not this is a positive. And it’s usually 70 or 80 degrees during the day and a comfortable 60 or 50 degrees at night.
We’ve met up with several friends and family while staying in Ft. L. including recently with Sue’s cousins Mike and Sharon who drove up from the Keys for dinner. What fun to get together, catch up with family, and find out about living in the Keys and fishing tips as well. The Keys will be our next stop once we get back in the water.
The brakes went out on the Mazda that we drove down from Chicago, but Art helped us get them fixed without going to a Car X or Midas or other expensive shop. Friday morning Sue got two used tires to put on because Lammert (the brake fixer) discovered a split in one and both are very worn. Lammert suggested a tire place near by and sure enough they replaced our tires for only $50 bucks.
The guy who lives near the boat yard and walks up and down inspecting everything that’s going on (we call him the admiral since he is always inspecting the fleet) said hello to Sue the other morning as usual and then talked about his beautiful flowers blooming in his yard and gave her one for all the hard work she was doing on the boat. Apparently he has seen Sue sanding, scrubbing, carrying buckets of bilge water down the ladder, etc.
So you see there are many good things that are happening as we sit here ‘on the hard.’ And what about the negatives, you ask? Well of course, the down side is that we aren’t sailing. We’re not even floating. But that time will come and we still have several projects to complete before then anyway.