Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May 27, 2013 - Lopez Pass and Spencer Spit

4 full days on the boat!  With light winds forecast for the weekend, and some sun also in there we decided to extend the 3 day holiday weekend into 4 days on the boat.  Friday we made a mad dash to get out of Shelter Bay before the tide dropped low enough to make it impossible.  As it was we only had about 1.5' under the keel at one place inside Shelter Bay.  That's cutting it pretty close!

As we motored up the Swinomish Channel towards Anacortes I was hoping for wind so we could get some decent waves to test out our new stabilizers.  But, it was glass smooth all the way over to Lopez Pass.  A few boat wakes did give us a little clue as to the amazing ability stabilizers have to steady a boat from the side to side rolling that can make a long journey VERY uncomfortable.

We were hoping to drop the anchor in the little anchorage adjacent to Lopez Pass, but it's small and is usually occupied.  Much to my amazement however, there was nobody there.  So, we took it.  This is a great place because you can get quite close to shore so rowing in for the kids is very doable, yet somewhat of a challenge.

A nice beach fire.  We made s'mores once the flames died down.

Our friend's Earl and Louise swing by to say "HI"

Kathy and Cindy out for a row.  Adagio anchored in the distance.

A beautiful sunny, calm, and WARM day at Lopez Pass!

More to come..........

Sunday, May 19, 2013

May 19, 2013 - Kiket Island

Finally, we get to go out on our boat again.  Even if just for an overnighter.  Saturday morning Kevin had a little league game, which was cancelled at the last minute due to the heavy overnight rains turning the ballfields in Burlington into a marsh.  Cindy and Kathy were doing the Bayview Women's Run.  Cindy is an amazing runner and she finished 8th overall (3rd overall for women) in the10k run.  Cindy is 10 and she was the only person under the age of 16 even doing the 10k run.  Had there been a category for 16 and under she would have had a first place ribbon.  There were more than 60 runners.

So, after the Saturday morning commitments were over we headed out on the boat.  This is our first time out since all the projects began.  We motored over to Kiket Island which is our favorite close-in anchorage.  It's only about 40 minutes away but feels like we are far removed from civilization.  Very few houses are visible, and there are almost never any other boats anchored here.  We usually have this place to ourselves.  We dropped the anchor and then began to clean up the boat and start putting our things back on.  The boat had been pretty much emptied because of all of the projects.  So now it was time to clean out the drawers and cabinets (dust went EVERYWHERE!) and sort through our stuff and put them back where they belong.

We decided to go sailing because there was a nice little breeze.  So, I put the Walker Bay down in the water, put the rudder and the center board in and started off to get the mast and sail.  I turned around to see the Walker Bay floating away!  The knot holding the line to the Walker Bay had come loose.  Darn-it!  Well, I guess we have to put the other boat in the water so I can go get the Walker Bay, which is drifting away quickly in the current and wind.  So, I go to tighten the drain plug on the big dinghy but I can't get it in all the way.  Oh well, it will be a quick trip to get the dinghy and I can just turn on the bilge pump if water does come in.

Trying to install the drain plug.  It gets stuck about 1/2 way in.
The rowboat is just a white dot in the background.

So I lower the dinghy without getting the drain plug all the way in.  I hop in and tip the motor down and squeeze the fuel bulb.  It is soft and never does get hard.  I can hear the sound of rushing air with every squeeze.  This is NOT good.  So, I climb over the seats to have a look.  After a minute or two I find the problem; the fuel line has a split in it right where it clamps to the fuel/water-separator fuel filter I installed a few years ago.
Searching for the rushing air sound.  A-ha.  There's a
split in the fuel line.  The Walker Bay is almost to shore now.

By now water is starting to come into the boat and flood the floor.  So, I decide to lift the boat back up so I can get the drain plug fully seated and work on the fuel line.  We lift the boat up a few feet above the water and swing it over the swimstep.  Kathy has to hold the dinghy in place while I work on it.  Her hands were changing colors from the strain of hanging onto it.  Sorry Kathy, and THANKYOU!

I get the bad section of fuel line cut off and reinstalled into the fuel filter.  By now the starting battery is weak and will barely turn over the motor.  So, I go get the battery charger and start recharing the battery.  The Walker Bay is now on shore probably 3/4 or a mile away, or more.  After a few minutes on the charger I try again and get the motor running.  It sounds just fine.  I leave it running for about 10 minutes to make sure.  No problems so I jump in and head to shore to retrieve our other boat.

I get it dislodged from the bottom (the centerboard was hung up on a rock) and tow it slowly back to the mother ship.  I take a little break and then Kevin and I head out for a dinghy ride, since the motor is now working just fine.  Kevin takes the helm and does some donuts.  Kevin loves to spin the dinghy in tight circles, and we call that doing donuts.

View of the big boat from the dinghy.  
We cruise over to the old sunken sailboat that has been there for years now.  The mast is now gone.  It's starting to fall apart as the sea beats it down.  We get close and slow down and the motor dies.  Oh no!  I take the wheel and try starting it.  No luck.  After a few minutes of trying to get the motor started I can see it's not going to run.  It doesn't even sputter.  It's got fuel.  Maybe it has water in the fuel?  I don't know.  What I do know is that we are drifting quickly away from our big boat.  We start trying to row but it's a big boat and we barely make any progress in 5 minutes of rowing; the wind and current are more than we can overcome.  I try starting it again and it fires up.  Wow.  We take off and head straight for the boat.  I'm going to cover as much water as I can before this dies again.  But it doesn't die, we get all the way back.  What luck!

We tie the boat up and decide it's best not to head out in that again.  By now it's too late to go sailing as we need to think about dinner.  So, I put the sailboat back up on the swim step and start the BBQ for some yummy BBQ honey chicken.  We let the kids watch a few movies and then it's off to bed.

The kids each take a bunk.  The bunks are new to the boat and the kids seem to like them, except we are going to have to work some sort of system to trade off who gets the upper bunk.  Both kids want the upper bunk, of course.  Kathy took the nice new queen bed, and I retired to the watch berth in the pilothouse.  The forecast is for the winds to kick up a little overnight, so I usually sleep top side to keep an eye on the situation.  We had no problems overnight despite a definite rise in wind velocity around 2:00AM.

In the morning we hang out, do some cleaning, and I decide to test the outboard motor again.  I just do high speed circles around the boat, and slow to an idle several times.  All seems fine.  The I do it again and this time when I slow to an idle the motor dies again.  I can't get it restarted.  Fortunately I'm close to the boat and only have to row for a few minutes.  I put the battery charger back on and leave it there for several hours.

Kevin hanging around in the salon Sunday morning.

Cindy finds her own way to hang out.
By now the sun is out, the winds are light, and it's quite warm up on the boat deck.  So we decide to have lunch top side.  Oh, it's nice to be on the water again!

Lunch in the sun, on the boat.  We've been missing these fun times!

This is what happens after eating too much, in the warm sun.
After a nice nap in the sun, our day is about over.  I head back to the outboard motor and it still won't start.  So, I hoist the thing back up to the boat deck and strap it down.  I'm going to have to have a look at this situation in the next few days.  We can't really boat without a reliable dinghy, and this outboard has been perfect for almost 4 years now.  Not so much as a hiccup, until now.

Time to head home.  The conditions were not conducive to testing out our new stabilizers much.  Although I did get to run through a fishing boat's wake a few times.  Once without the stabilizers and once with.  There was a very noticeable difference with virtually no side to side rolling with them on.  I can't to get in some rough water and really test them!  The trip generated a few more items on my to-do list.  But I also managed to check a few items off the list while we were out.  So, I guess I broke even...

What a perfect day to be back out on the water.

Kathy at the wheel bringing us home safely.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

May 18, 2013 - what is left to do, project wise?

Despite how much has been accomplished these past 6 months, there is still a ton of work left to do this year.

In the salon/galley:
  • Install a tile backsplash around the back of the galley countertop
  • Finish building the cabinet that boxes in the refrigerators
  • Build a storage cabinet above the upper refrigerator
  • Move the valances up so they touch the ceiling
  • Install 12 volt LED rope to the bottom of the valances
  • Install new window blinds in the relocated valances
  • Build several new drawers
  • Convert a plain wall into useful storage with built in book shelves and cabinets
  • Insulate the starboard exterior wall
  • Build a new TV enclosure out of nice wood.  The prototype is made of cheap plywood
  • Build in the surround sound DVD player into a cabinet
  • Install hinges and a pull handle to the freezer lid
  • Hook up the new freezer to the water cooled compressor
  • new LED interior lighting
  • get rid of the two bulky chairs and heavy table.  Get nice folding chairs that can be moved to cockpit when it's nice outside.  Also, folding them up will give the kids more floor space to play on.

Master stateroom:

  • install carpet pad and new carpeting
  • make a cabinet door front and three drawers
  • install drawer tracks to 3 drawers
  • install 2 high bilge water sensors near hydraulic stabilizer actuators
  • install car stereo and connect to existing in-wall speakers
  • install 4 reading lights, 1 for each berth
  • install NMEA 2000 multifuntion display.  It will alarm with: high wind, shallow depth, dragging anchor, and low battery voltage.  This will let us sleep well at night
  • install Corian counter tops to nightstand and dresser.
  • new interior LED lighting
  • new curtains over the portlights
  • build a shelf in a storage cubby under the bed for the sleep number bed air pump.  Run 110v power.

Master Head:
  • new flooring
  • skin base of toilet platform with teak veneer
  • LED lighting

Main Head:
  • new flooring
  • install new electric toilet.  Simple to use automated push button flushing.

Forward Berth:
  • build new over/under bunk arrangement.  A double bed up higher, and a single bed lower.
  • new wall covering
  • insulate the hull sides
  • new carpeting
  • run plumbing for a dedicated anchor chain washdown system
  • run wiring for remote control of anchor windlass (deploy and retrieve anchor from helm station)
  • install new rubber dot stair treads for better traction.
  • Re-skin the step faces with mahogany
  • install flush mounted red LED step lights on each step

  • new railing for boat deck
  • have new mounts fabricated and welded to radar arch for: 2nd radar, satellite TV dome, forward facing remote control spotlight, forward navigation light, PA/hailer speaker, various LED deck lights
  • Mount self-inflating liferaft to deck somewhere
  • New 5NM forward facing LED navigation light.
  • Complete anchor stabilizer system.  14'-15' poles that stick out to sides and a device hangs off the end of the poles and resists movement upward.  It greatly reduced the boat rolling from side to side while at anchor.
  • Wax the topsides towards the end of summer after the new paint has had a chance to really cure in the summer sun
  • install 12 volt rope light to cockpit side walls

Engine room:
  • Move the house batteries to space now available because I moved one generators sea water intake
  • install second inverter (our old one) as a spare.
  • install 2nd high output alternator
  • install transmission temperature gauges
  • install new fuel filters to both generators
  • finish painting engine room walls and floor with white BilgeKote paint
  • track down engine oil leaks.  this is a hard one.  Detroit diesels have a reputation as being "leakers".
  • install improved lighting
  • Adjust stabilizer hydraulic pressure.  Increase from 1200psi to 1350psi per Naiad recommendation for OUR boat, with very large stabilizer fins.

Friday, May 17, 2013

May 17, 2013 - back in the water!

Late last week our boat was finally launched again.  It's been a much longer project that I ever imagined.  We still aren't done, but there is no longer a need to be in the boat yard.

Here we go, after almost 6 months "on the hard"

Heading into the water.  See the new stabilizer fins?
We did a lot of stuff to the boat while it was in the boatyard.  Here's a list of things we did:

  • Naiad active stabilizer fins, complete with a new hydraulic system including 1 pump per motor
  • New larger swimstep with new brackets for added strength
  • two new boarding ladders on the swimstep.  They mount to the bottom side so no more trip hazard
  • New mount for a rowboat/sailboat on the new swimstep
  • 3 new pop-up cleats on the swimstep for tying dinghies to.
  • Big dinghy up on the boat deck repositioned to give us much more open space
  • New electric motor for the davit (crane) that lifts the big dinghy
  • Davit base modified to provide much larger surface area at friction/pivot point so it will turn with ease
  • All 3 exterior wood sliding doors repainted
  • All decks repainted with non-skid surface
  • Flybridge completely repainted
  • Salon side walls repainted
  • cockpit ceiling "cleaned up".  Old light holes filled.  Ladder hole filled.  New texture.  New paint.
  • Cockpit interior and top surface repainted
  • Stainless steel rub rail polished and buffed, and resealed
  • Hull polished and waxed
  • new bottom paint
  • props and shafts painted with Pettit Barnacle Guard paint
  • new zincs
  • Anchor roller modified to fit our Rocna anchor
  • New settee in salon, U-shaped with hi/lo table that will convert into a spare bed
  • Completely reconfigured the master stateroom.  New walk around queen bed and bunk bed
  • new NMEA 2000 depth sounder transducer
  • Moved two existing depth sounder transducers due to stabilizer installation
  • Moved the two generator raw water intakes and installed new thru-hulls and sea strainers
  • In total, there are 11 new/moved raw water thru-hulls
  • Removed the generator exhausts, filled the holes, and painted them.  Exhausts re-routed to main engine exhausts.
  • New custom built chest style freezer in corner galley cabinet.  Sea water cooled.  VERY efficient.
  • New master toilet.  It's a manual flush toilet using seawater.  It will work if we run out of water, or if we lose electrical power.  It can even be routed directly overboard (where legal).  We will ALWAYS have a working toilet even if we take a direct lighting strike that takes out all electrical.
  • New stern LED nav light, 3NM in custom build "pod"
  • Modified the galley Corian countertop by straightening the long edge and adding a sea rail.
  • Repaired several areas on the boat deck where water seeped in through screws and ruined the coring.
  • Repaired the broken door frame for the rear sliding door.  It was damaged in the trip from San Francisco.
  • Insulated the port and aft walls of the salon
  • Added drain holes to the forward end of the boat deck.  Water used to pool up at the top of the steps
  • Installed 4 new portlights (portholes that are also windows) to replace failing old ones.
  • Fixed mounts for all 4 portlights to make them vitually watertight.  We should have no more leaks in rough water when the waves slam against the portlights.
  • Black rubber dot flooring installed under settee.  No damage from spilled drinks or dropped food.
  • Installed about 40 square feet of copper foil to inside of hull for SSB radio counterpoise, per NMEA.

Our new settee in the salon.  A HUGE improvement in livability.  Rubber dot flooring.
New bunks in master stateroom.  Top bunk folds down convert into a comfy couch!
New "walk-around" queen bed in master stateroom.  Almost like home!

New master toilet.  Manual and uses sea water.  It will ALWAYS work.
Dinghies ready for use.  New swimstep.  Davit base modified with
more surface area.  Custom built rear nav light mount just under big dinghy.  
Fresh paint almost everywhere in this picture.  Look at all the space on the
"boat deck" in front of the dinghy.  We gained a lot of space here.

Modified davit base.  This used to pivot on only 1/8" contact area and was
quite literally metal grinding on metal.  Now it glides on super hard and slippery
UHMW plastic with 1.5" surface area.  It is so easy to pull the dinghy around now.

Building the mount for the rear nav light out of fiberglass.

Lots of brackets for the swimstep.  Dinghy mount by Steve; it's super easy to use.
You can see three new zincs too.  Also some blue LED underwater lights.
Dinghy tips down and floats on the tube.  A gentle push from the top and it
slides into the water ready to use.  Retrieval is quite easy too.  This rowboat
is also a great little sailboat.  We look forward to much sailing in the future.
An example of the difference some machine polishing can make on stainless steel.
From dull and lifeless on the left, to shiny and new on the right.
Modified Corian countertop with custom "sea-rail"
Removing wet coring material from boat deck.  Yuck!
New custom built chest freezer sliding under countertop.
Super insulated and very efficient.
Hole cut in Corian to access freezer.
New lid for freezer.  You can hardly tell it's there.  Still needs hinges and a pull handle.
There are even more projects going on along the way.  But these are the highlights.  Needless to say, all this work has consumed an unbelievable amount of my time.  But, the good news is that the boat is once again usable!!!!  We intend to start using the heck out of it too  :-)