Saturday, December 14, 2013

First Snow 2013

Well, the first real snow of 2013 is falling and Jenny is safely under her winter cover. 

Bringing her home so late caused some problems though as all my plans got backed up against the impending winter weather.  While I enjoyed my September/October sailing I think next time I will haul out earlier and have more time and better weather for putting Jenny  to bed.

Speaking of end of season sailing.  I have some video clips from the trip home.

Attempting to get much done on Jenny over the winter in the new boatyard is not really an option so rather than fight it I am just going to have to accept that nothing will be happening until spring.

The plan at this point is to NOT launch Jenny next year and instead finish the projects that didn't get finished this year and get an electrical system started.

I realize that life is short and I should sail as much as possible but for the second season in a row I am finding that leaving Jenny on the mooring all summer is not all that satisfying. I thought this past season that I would have time for a little cruising but my real job didn't allow it so once again I was restricted to weekend sailing. 

Day sailing on the weekends is okay but not really what I had in mind for the boat and I am finding the effort has not been worth the reward. Jenny, to me, is a vehicle to go places, not go around in a circle and having to make time every weekend to check on her even if the weather was not good for sailing became a chore by the end of the season. Plus, as I mentioned in the last post, Jenny  seems to be absorbing a lot of damage simply resting on her mooring all summer.  I think she chafes at the lack of cruising too.

So rather than experience another unsatisfying summer on the mooring I think I will keep Jenny in the boatyard where I can be so much more productive.  And if I want to go away for a weekend to see friends I won't have to feel so guilty about it and worry about Jenny while I am away.

That is the plan for now at least.  That could change by next spring.

I didn't get pictures of the winter cover this year for a few reasons.  One reason is that it looks the same as the past few seasons.  Another is that the weather was awful; cold and wet and hanging around taking pictures wasn't very fun.  A third reason is that this year Jenny is sitting in a very muddy spot and the frequent ups and downs on the ladder in the wet cold weather left the decks absolutely filthy and I am embarrassed to show the condition of the boat.  After the snow storm passes this weekend maybe I will get out to the boatyard for a check and take some pictures.

That's it.  This blog has gone rather quiet for a few reasons.  I can't say what the near future will bring. More updates come spring for sure but between now and then I am not so sure.  I will be moving towards a real electrical system so I might put my ideas up here.  Then again, I often promise more than I deliver so maybe I should just keep my mouth shut for now and hope.

Happy Holidays everyone :)


Sunday, November 10, 2013

End of season 2013

Jenny, is home.She arrived at the boatyard dock three weeks ago with the last nice sailing weekend fading fast.  It was a three day trip bringing her home this time and there was some fabulous sailing which made up for a rather depressing second half to the sailing season.

It wasn't all bad.  There was a sail party with three of my friends (who all have intimate knowledge of classic plastic rebuild projects) and the sail home was the best sail since my three month cruise.

It was that broken tiller head that did me in though.  In hindsight, I have no idea why I chose to start fixing a highly critical part that was still working while the boat was on the mooring instead of waiting for the end of the season when I could have worked on it at my leisure.

The solution to the worn tiller head that I killed was a new tiller head.  I will say it looks beautiful and works well.

The only issue I had was that the slot for the key was on the opposite side from the original.  That mean I had to cut a new slot, on the mooring, by hand, flat on my belly, with the boat wakes making my boat and tiller shaft go back and forth, back and forth...  Of course there was the fear of making the slot too big, or crooked, or lopsided, or... any one of a hundred ways I could really mess up and cause a lot of trouble (like having to tow  my boat to a haulout facility and drop the rudder to replace the shaft...) so I had to go very slow and check often. 

There was really no need for that nonsense and I should have left it alone until the end of the season.  Lesson learned. For those of you that have to know, I put a rotary file on a drill motor and cut narrow slots smaller than the width of the keyway.  I then used a handfile to slowing deepen and open the keyway up to the required dimensions. Thankfully the shaft is bronze and not stainless. It still took several hours of work over two weekends.

The month of September would normally be my haulout period but moving a family member, bad weather and 'other social obligations' meant I didn't bring Jenny home until the third weekend of October.  Day one of the trip was beautiful with perfect sailing weather.  Day two the winds were not as forecasted, quite strong,with a few hundred miles of fetch instead of the land breaze expected.  The conditions just too rough and I had to wait out the day in Rockport harbor.  Day three was a light wind day with the winds coming just as they were supposed to on day two.  An easy sail to the mouth of the Merrimac river and motor at high tide up to the boatyard dock.  That is where I left Jenny as the boatyard staff wasn't sure where they were going to put her for a few days.

Because I was out so late most of the boatyard was filled up by the time I got there and my location is less than ideal this year.

Jenny is buried in the midst of boats with no water or electricity close by.  I am not terribly happy about the location but there isn't much I can do about it either.

One thing I noted in my first walkaround was how many dings and scratches Jenny picked up this year.  The mooring ball did a lot of damage to the bow section as in the previous year in Salem but in addition, there are several scrapes from what looks like other boats getting too close and perhaps oarlocks from curious people in dinghies.  Judging from what I saw when I spent some nights aboard I am not too surprised but that is even more to be unhappy about.

The weather is fast going bad and I am racing to get Jenny ready for the winter.  Four pickup truck loads of stuff have come out of her so far and the systems are all winterized.  At this point I just need to get a cover on and I can't do it soon enough.  The weather in October was pretty nice for sailing over all but being this close to the winter and not having Jenny put away is worrying.  Next time I will try harder to get her out earlier.  The nice weather back then just isn't worth the worry now.

And that is where it is at.  There are more details to talk about but the push is on and there is not enough time to make long blog posts.  When the snow flies I will try to come back and cover some of the stories.

More blog posts coming soon.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Interesting video

I will admit that I have a secret lusting for a Bristol Channel Cutter. If my sole aim was to cruise I would have to take a closer look at one.  In fact, after considering the costs of Jenny to date, buying a used one doesn't seem so extravagant any more.  Of course it wouldn't be customized to my liking and I would still wind up tossing all my money and more at it.  All that space and still beautiful to look at... Be still my beating heart.

This video is a little dated and goes on far too long but there are some interesting contruction details in it that I thought made it worth re-posting.

Anyway, here it is.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

June 2013 update

So far so good.  To date, I have not missed a weekend overnight stay on Jenny this season.

Fine drinks in the harbor every evening...

And scrumptious breakfasts every morning...

Not a bad life.

I have even managed to continue with some small projects.  I have bits and pieces under the varnish brush at home when the weather permits and I got tired of prying open the access doors-that-don't-have-hinges-yet so I just drilled some finger holes. Crude but very effective.  The latches are installed but I have held off on the hinges until I can get the final coats of satin varnish on the panels.

I have even managed to do some sailing...

Yes, that is in fact my assymetrical spinnaker finally in action.  It took a bit of time to work out and I definitely need to ask some friends how to get it under control but when I do finally manage to get the sail up it is beautiful.  Sailing under the assymetrical spinnaker has been a lot of fun.

Because I have been a little video crazy this year, I even have some video.

I love my awning that I had made for me by Withum Sailmakers two years ago.

The only issue I have with it is that the stiffening poles are over six feet long which made stowing the awning on the boat rather challenging.  This year I bought some stainless steel tubing, cut them into 4 inch lengths and put a little dent in the middle.  Then I cut the stiffening poles into managable lengths and used the short sections of tubing to assemble them back to full length.  Now the awning stows into a two foot length.  Much more manageable I believe.

And then, in preparation for final rigging of the wind vane, I took a good close look at my tiller head.

I think I found where the slop was coming from...

A friend offered to sell me a very nice Triton bronze tiller head fitting but I thought I could save some money by simply drilling out and installing some lubricated bushings instead.  The bushings only cost be $3.  The drills and reams to make the holes cost me... about $120. 

And then I found out the drill press I planned on using (owned by a kindly friend)  had a bent shaft which sort of negated the idea of using those nice reams (the larger one cost about $55).  A second drill press offer also fell through so in the end I decided to drill by hand.

That sort of worked, mostly, but not very well.  It turns out the larger ream needed a 5/8 inch chuck which was bigger than the hand drill I had.  I felt very manly gripping the ream with my bare hands and turning by hand - two hours and a bit of sweat later I had reamed out the holes - the fitting was aluminum after all, not something hard like steel.

I was felling very tough and masculine as I drilled out my final hole and then...  the drill bit caught, twisted, and broke the tiller head fitting. 

So I have a desperate plea in to my friend for that nice bronze fitting.  If that doesn't work out I know of a Triton I can raid for parts but I will have to admit, a bronze tiller head fitting would look mightly sharp.

So no sailng for the rest of this weekend.

Other than the little issue with the tiller head, the windvane is close to being operational and getting that going should be exciting.  I have the blocks I need to route the tiller lines.  Two of the blocks need to be mounted on the aft deck so I won't install them until the fall when I can drill and fill the mounting holes properly.  The two forward blocks will mount low below the cockpit coamings.  That should happen "soon-ish".  For this summer using just the two blocks will cause the tiller lines to occupy a good amount of the cockpit but I think I can live with that for the rest of this season. 

And that is that.  Jenny is being used every weekend, as much as a place to have a picnic and hang out as opposed to regular sailing.  She seems happy. I know I am happy. Life is good.  Hopefully, I will have a working steering system soon and I can put down my drinks and hearty breakfasts and break in that spinnaker a bit more.

Look for another update around the end of July.

Keep the wet side down :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Post Launch 2013

Jenny, is comfortably resting at her summer mooring in Salem MA.  The launch went very smoothly and the delivery was...  well, a bit wet and sloppy but whatever.

I went to the boatyard Monday night to get my mast set up only to find it buried behind some new arrivals which made working on it impossible.  A phone call tuesday and the boatyard crew had the mast out in front the very next day.  Of course I didn't get to it until Wednesday morning.

I was more than a little concerned when going over it to find the top  of the forestay has been damaged by some rough handling.

Naturally I was not happy about that. I don't remember the damage being there last fall but I really can't remember and the damage might have occured during the move from the last boatyard.  I took a good long look at it and decided to use it but I think I will have it replaced in the Fall.  There are no broken strands but it is kinked a bit and slightly unwound. This is only the second season the stay will have been used and I am not happy to have to replace it so soon. 

On a more positive note, the two new foresail halyard blocks look very nice.

I am very happy to have two workilng halyards to use this year.  Now I can play with my assymetrical this summer which should be fun.  The old block was really decrepid too and if the genoa was not on a roller furler and only raised once a season I would really worry about it.  Now I will feel much free-er about switching out to my other 100% jib should the conditions arise.

Despite the damage to the forestay I am starting to like the crew at the new boatyard more.  Knowing that I wanted to get out quickly and catch the outgoing tide (the Merrimac is notoriously rough under certain conditions and has been known to flip 30 foot boats) the yard set up my mast the day before. I forgot to install the windex and the yard crew insisted on sending a guy up on a very long forklift to install it later that evening.  Wednesday was a long day of fussing and loading I was able to set up the rig and bend on the sails for an immediate departure after launch.

The morning of launch day I was up early for more packing and food shopping anxious to get to the boat and see her safely in the water on time.  I am always a nervous hen during launch imagining all sorts of catatrophes.  The worst catastrophe of all occured when I arrived and found Jenny  missing completely.

Apparently, the boatyard anticipated a busy morning and decided to launch Jenny  early and had her resting quietly at the end of the dock when I arrived.

It was a very odd feeling to suddenly have all the stress depart and see my girl resting comfortably where she belongs.  Being at the end of the dock made for many long trips to load her up with groceries and last minute stuff but in the end it all got done and we were ready to go ahead of schedule.

On this trip I was playing around with video cameras and didn't use the still camera much.  I have uploaded some clips of the trip on youtube.  Unfortunately, I had an issue with some of the audio and rather than put in some pop music background I left most of the video without any sound at all.  Anyway, here it is:

The trip out the Merrimac was a quiet stroll.  The winter storms this past winter have changed the channel quite a bit but at the top of the tide it was a pretty easy motor out.  Once outside of the entrance buoy  we had enough wind for some light sailing across Ipswich Bay towards Cape Ann.  Later in the afternoon the wind picked up and we were close hauled with some decent wind that put the rail down.  Good sailing if a bit rough pounding into the 2 foot chop.

I am happy to report that the genoa is working much better this year now that it is rigged properly.  It furls effortlessly and goes up and down at will.  Much better than last time.  A real joy to use.

We came around the northern tip of Cape Ann and anchored in front of the beach in Rockport that night.

Originally we were expecting some rainy weather and figured we might have to sit tight for a few days somewhere.  The weather forecast however changed a bit and was predicting strong winds out of the east which is exactly where the Rockport harbor is open to the ocean. Early the next morning we were up and out looking for Salem or at least a better anchorage a few miles away.  As it turned out, the seas were sloppy but the winds were light so after motoring out of Rockport harbor and around Thatcher's Island we found ourselves motoring with the wind in sloppy following seas for the next few hours into Salem harbor.  We didn't escape the rains however and it was a rather messy trip. 

For the second time in a row, when I arrived in Salem harbor, no one knew we were coming or which seasonal rental morring we were scheduled for.  Two years ago  I called ahead several times and let them know were were coming but when I arrived they were still unprepared and had no mooring pendant on our mooring.  This time I called and emailed ahead of time letting them know when we were coming and again, no one knew what to do with us when we arrived.  After circling for half an hour they sent someone out to find our mooring.  It took another half an hour for them to actually find the mooring.  It took another half an hour for them to find someone who could put a mooring pendant on our mooring.   Clearly I am going to have to call them again and find out how I can make their lives easier and have the mooring ready when we arrive next year.  Other than being totally unprepared every season Salem Water Taxi has been good to work with.  Motoring around the mooring fields in the rain was not the most fun I could have been having.

With that little detail resolved, we spent a few hours, eating, cleaning up, watching the rain fall and generally relaxing and enjoying the fact that we had a arrived and all the prep work was done and now it would be fun all summer.

Oh,  and I have to say, doing the dishes in the new working sink is an actual joy after having to wash them over the side for so many years.  I could do dishes all day long now and never get tires.  It really is that exciting.

And that is that.  Jenny  is home on the mooring and ready for the 2013 sailing season.  I won't post blogs of every sail because I find that kind of reading to be rather dull.  I have a few projects in mind that I will post - like taking care of a few new found leaks - but otherwise I expect I will only post once a month or so as some small projects get done.

Happy sailing season everyone :-)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Buckets of sweat

Mother Nature has not been kind.  I was really looking forward to the three day weekend over Memorial Day to get the boat up to snuff and ready for the upcoming launch.  Instead I watched buckets of rain for two of those three days. Not exactlly the plan I had in mind.

Actually, to be fair, the heavy rain turned into a light rain on day two so I was able to install the exhaust line that I had recently built.  The one nice day was spent on the engine, replacing the impellors, changing the oil, replacing the fuel filter, yada yada boring stuff.  The good news is that at the end of all this the engine started.

Unfortunately I wasn't terribly impressed with my new exhaust.  I am not really sure what the issue is but after wrenching hard on the tapered thread fittings to get everything lined up I was disturbed to find that after getting the wet exhaust hose installed one of the joints went all loose and floppy.  I ran the engine anyway and the exhaust seemed to work okay but I wasn't sure if I had a little leakage or not.  It was hard to tell under the wrapping.  Not the most promising end to my much anticipated three day weekend.

The good news is that that the weather wasn't cold or wet this past weekend.  The bad news is that the weather was brutally hot.  Heat exhaustion was a real possibility in the direct sun with temperatures above the mid 90's according to the area reports and I strongly suspect much hotter on deck in the middle of the boat yard. I could not let my bare skin touch the deck without risking burns and touching metal bits sent me flying in the air several times.  It was hot hot Africa hot this weekend and it was brutal.  It is also four days before launch so waiting for better weather was not an option.

After mulling my exhaust over I decided to remove the exhaust and dope up the threads with an "exhaust paste" that is supposed to harden and seal after 24 hours. I wish I could say that made a big improvement.  Unfortunately, I did notice some looseness in the piping this morning as I was finishing up the connections.  A second run of the engine showed no issues or signs of leakage so I think I am good but I am not crazy about my black iron pipe exhaust.  Black iron has never been known for great quality but I think it is probably getting worse and I suspect that the threads just deform too easily and don't stay tight very well.  I am sure after a few hours corrosion will set in which will help with the sealing but I will say now that I am not terribly thrilled so far.  It works.  I just don't have that warm and fuzzy feeling about it.

The last weekend before launch also meant it was time to uncover the boat.  I am glad I left the cover up late as we have been getting a ton of rain and the boatyard seems to attract lots of leaves and dirt.  This weekend however it was time to open her up.

The decks were filthy and some scrubbing had to be done which was actually quite productive as it made being on deck tolerable for a little while.

Otherwise lots of small projects are being wrapped up.  I had taken the coamings off expecting to do some major varnish rework on them this spring.  Instead I stuck them back on in the same condition they came off a year and a half ago.  I have no doubt I will be fighting a losing battle all summer trying to keep some varnish down.  I fully expect the varnish work to look pretty hideous by haulout.  I am not happy about this but there just hasn't been the weather to varnish the exterior yet.  At all.  All the more reason to find indoor heated storage next winter.

Jenny is ready for the move to the other side of the highway where the actual launch site is.  That will happen in the next day or two.  I am trying to get the mast raised ahead of the launch so I will have a chance to bend on the sails and get the rigging tighted down before splashing.  I never liked being tossed out into the river, drop anchor, set the rig and get out with the tide race that was the norm from my last location.

At this point, I have to review my rigging and make sure it is ready.  I need to install the running rigging. I need to load the boat with all the 'stuf' that needs to be onboard like anchors, lines, cushions, supplies, and all that ton of stuff that a boat seems to need. That will probably happen after work over the next two nights or on Wednesday which I took off from work just for the last minute stuff.  Originally, I was planning on Wednesday being a relaxing easy day mopping up some details.  Now I expect it to be a very long rush to the finish line.  Oh well, you would think by now I would have learned that this is never the case.  Maybe next year I should just take the whole launch week off from the day job.  Or maybe a month...

That is it.  My next blog post should be after my launch with Jenny comfortably on her mooring in Salem harbor.  The schedule is tight but I am on schedule with less done that I had hoped for.  On a positive note I will be sailing in a better boat than I hauled out a year a half ago.  I guess that is something to be happy about.

A happy blog post coming soon :-)

Sunday, May 19, 2013


June 6th. D-Day.  Also known as my tentative launch date.

I was initially planning on an earlier launch but with the weather everyone is behind so I don't feel terribly bad about the late start.  I still have a couple of unopened quarts of varnish waiting for better weather.

Last weekend was a total bust due to the heavy rains.  The time wasn't completely wasted as I was able to load up that splicing video again and finish up my running rigging.  No matter how many times I make an eyesplice with the double braided line, I still need to go back to my reference video.

Not my most productive weekend but not a complete loss either.

My devious plans to abduct a partner to help me install my exhaust pipe didn't work out so well either.  Clearly I am going to have to up my game.  Next week I have been promised some help.  I hope so or I will soon be getting desperate.

This weekend among a bunch of small wrap up items I spent some time reviewing the engine which is the only real obstacle before launching.  I seem to be in pretty good shape.  I had planned on buying a pair of new water impellors this morning but my local supplier wasn't open.  I guess they don't open on the weekends until after Memorial day.  What is the point in that?

Anyway, materials are all there or on the way so I feel reasonably comfortable about the engine.  Rigging is basically done.

While not the most important thing I could be working on I spent some time on my interior again this weekend.  I did some final sanding and oiling of the galley counter top.  I was a little concerned when I bought the specialty butcher block oil because it is completely clear and I was afraid it would add no color to my very plain white maple counterop.  Thankfully, the oil added just the right about of color and the oiled walnut looks really great.

After three trips to the hardware store for hardware (have I mentioned that I am dimensionally challenged?...)  I was able to secure the sink firmly in place.  And then I decided that I needed to leave the sink loose so that I could slide in the engine start battery.  Plus, I realized it would be better to add a bit of sealant under the lip of the sink so that random bits of water doesn't find its way to the storage locker underneath.

I did quite a bit of varnishing this weekend actually.  Today's weather was the first opportunity this year to lay it down.  It is a stretch but I am hoping I can get enough build coats on the settee backs that after a coat of satin finish I will be able to permanently install the locker doors.  Doors without hinges are annoying.  Installing panels acrosse the back of the galley would be victory too.  It won't hold me back from sailing but it looks so much more fnished with the panels in place.  Plus, I might be able to play around with the shelving over the summer.

Stovetop structure and a few other bits and peices were worked on as well but no pictures were taken.

I felt some real momentum today until I realized that last week's rains meant I had a grass field in my front yard this weekend.  My momentum died when I had to find and drag out my very neglected and unloved lawn mower. 

So it looks like I have a three day weekend to wake up the engine, finalize the rig and uncover Jenny.  Then one final weekend and then launch. The pressure is definitely there but I have some hopes that all will be well.  It will be more of a case of what gets done and what waits until next year.  Handrails for example; most likely next year sadly.

Fingers crossed.

Bunden er båtløs mann.  Men det er ikke meg!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Tick tick tick

The countdown has definitely begun and I can hear the unrelenting tick tock of the launch day countdown timer.  As usual, I feel like I have too much to do and too little time to do it all in.  It doesn't help that my sickness last month has boomeranged and I am getting a second round of it now.  Back then I had the luxury of resting and convalescing.  Not so anymore. Tick tick tick...

I am really happy about having a water system this  year.  I feel so much more civilized. One thing I never did (five or six?) odd years ago when I put the tank in was actually open the access panels and look inside.  With all the grinding and sanding that has occured since then I figured it was a good idea to clean out the tanks before drinking from them.  I was mildly suprised at how clean they were inside.  A minor amount of dust but nothing to worry about.

I brought some nuts this time and was able to bolt down the pumps into place.  Then after rinsing and wiping down the inside of the bilge tank I pumped 5 gallons through the system.  Have  I mentioned I really like my new water system?...  Then to complete the water system checkout I filled the tank through the deck fitting.  A lot more dirt came through after that which means I will be doing some more cleaning in the near future.

While doing this I had a rare moment of memory recall and I remembered that when I spec'ed out the tank I had the welders put a fitting on the top section so that I could drop a rod down in to measure the quantity of fluid inside.  Until now I had completely forgotten about that open hole buried under the cabin sole.  That would have been a nasty surprise the day before launch.

Of course I couldn't remember exactly where the fitting was and I had to resort to a few exploritory drilling operations until I located the center of the hole.  I will be adding a hinged cover apparently  to cover this all up at some point.

Really it isn't so bad.  Of course those shavings in the above photo dropped into my tank adding to the amount of cleaing I need to do.



My initial thoughts for this season was to leave the sink drain hose extra long and simply pull up the sink to gain access underneath just until I was happy with how it was all working.  The problem was that the drain hose kept kinking so today I cut out a proper access to the under sink area.  The eventual plan is to add a dropleaf to the countertop which will cover this access door.

I had intended to install the engine exhaust today but ran into a few snags.  The first is that I had forgotten the gasket and it took a bit of searching to find it.  The second is that it is really awkward to hold it in position and get the bolts started; expecially since the fittings all need to be 'tweaked' into their final position ( I will be sure to ask, cajole, bribe, kidnap a helper next weekend).  Finally, the box of cloth wrap I bought from Moyer Marine was too short.  I need to purchase another roll.  I will do that locally and save some money.

I have compiled a list of "things that need to be done before launch".  It is a long list.  I haven't set up an offical launch date yet but I was thinking about the last weekend in May until I realized that was Memorial Day weekend - a weekend I usually stay far away from the water and inebriated boat skippers.  Maybe the following weekend.  Certainly not the weekend after next.  I should probably quit my job so I have more time for the boat...

Tick tick tick...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

More useless Internet videos

Just another useless Internet video cluttering up the Interwebs.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Exhaust(ive) Lessons

The titles suggests I might have worked on my exhaust recently but first I would like to talk about my water system.

Every week I think I will be "done".  Every week I decide "next week I will be done".  So it goes.

Last weekend I went out with fresh boxes of parts and started "finishing" the water system for the galley.  The first issue I noted was one I vaguely remember pondering last fall.

I had drilled two neat holes to route the freshwater supply and pump output through an original partial bulkhead under the starboard settee. As you may notice, the pump outlets are right up against the bulkhead.  I did this to get the pump handle as far aft as possible and "out of the way" of normal foot traffic.  I figured, I could pull the pump forward, connect the lines and slide the pump aft into position.  So much for figuring.

The pump can't slide straight aft because the shaft has to go through a small slot in the front face of the settee front.  Making that hole bigger is out of the question as it would look horrible to have a gaping hole in the front face of the settee.  So I made a larger cutout in the bulkhead where the lines go through.  I will patch it up later with something removable.  No I didn't take pictures.  It is ugly so you can use your imagination. 

Why cover the hole at all?  That is probably a good question.  Moving on.

With the pump hoses routed and connected I ran the freshwater hoses to the water filter.  There is not enough room to replace the filter with the housing mounted where it sits now but my thinking is that the filter will be changed once a season and for that one time a year I can unmount the housing and position it where I can pull the bottom off the housing and change the filter.  Trying to find room to change the filter without moving the filter housing was giving me headaches in my small Triton interior and I just decided on the quick install and not worry too much about it.

As per usual, I didn't bring the right sized drills for cutting the holes in the countertop for the faucets so I stopped short of installing the faucets.  That black hose is my drain hose for the sink.  I somehow managed to not have the clamps I needed for that one either.  Then I realized I had completely forgotten about the water tank venting.  Hose has been ordered for that.  My original idea for the venting of the water tank in the bilge was to run the vent up high somewhere in the galley area.  After thinking and thinking and thinking I decided there was no way to make it look good enough for me cosmetically.  Plus, if the boat ever heeled way WAY over water was going to come out of the vent line and make a bad situation that much worse.  I decided to run my vent line all the way forward to the anchor locker where my V-berth water tank vents.  The lines will terminate higher than the fill point so I don't have to worry about overfilling the tanks and flooding my cabin.  If the boat does heel a bit too far the vent will drain into the anchor locker which drains into the bilge.  Maybe I will even put a valve up there someday so in bad weather I can completely seal off the water system.  Probably not though.

So, a quick look at my "service area" in front of the engine.

I feel like with some more time and planning I could make a neater job of it all but in the interest of getting it working and ready for launch this is what it is going to be.  There is another valve down there that switches the supply between the two water tanks.  The hose at the bottom left is the salt water supply from the pump to the faucet.  The hose higher up just on the other side of the water strainer is the freshwater supply line that makes a turn and goes to the foot pump.

The "must do" job of the season was replacing the engine exhaust since it broke off in my hand last fall.

My original idea that I have mentioned many times before was to replace the crappy looking and short lived black iron piping for a nice custom stainless exhaust.  I ran into two issues with this plan however.  One roadblock is finding someone around me that could actually do the work to the standards I wanted.  Another issue would be the cost.  The more I looked into it, the more expensive it was going to be.  Since cost has never been a strong factor in my boat decision making this played a minor role in my thought process but it was there so I am mentioning it.  The real turning point for me was while reseaching this option I started hearing opinions about how wrapping stainless piping is a bad idea as stainless likes to "breath" or be exposed to oxygen.  In a non oxygen environment stainless will corrode.  I really felt I needed to wrap the piping as it is routed quite close to a lot of flammable stuff like fiberglass structure.  Without the wrap I was not comfortable with the amount of heat and close proximity to the boat structure that the piping would exhibit.  So, I backtracked and decided that black iron had worked before and it would continue to work again.

I did some shopping at Moyer Marine and ordered some specialized fittings.  I think I could have found cheaper sources but I have found Moyer has decent quality stuff that works.  They know Atomic Fours better than anyone and if they say their product works on A4's then it works on A4's. I ordered a new flange fitting that bolts to the engine exhaust manifold and a special water injection fitting that utilizes a "T" fitting in the black iron piping.

I am not terribly happy with Moyer's water injection fitting being made of bronze for the disimilar metal issue but like I said above, if they say it works, it probably does.  Or maybe I will be replacing this fitting in a few years.

So as for the "exhaustive lessons" part of the blog, I have learned that in fact the exhaust piping is not 1.5" but 1.25".  That meant a second trip to Home Despot to return all the fittings.  I also learned that no one sells sections of piping longer than 12 inches and my riser is 18 inches high.  That meant having the piping cut to length.  No problem except Lowe'(est quality every time) requires that you buy a full section of piping (10 feet).  I was at Lowes after not finding everything I needed at Home Despot so now I have 8 and a half feet of 1.5 inch piping that I can't do much with.  And then to rub in the salt it turns out Home Despot will cut and thread what you need and you don't need to buy a minimum length.  So that was my "exhaustive lessons". Well, that and the fact that I needed to go back a third time because I forgot to buy enough union fittings.  I guess my counting skills are a bit rusty.

I need to place an order with Hamilton Marine anyway so I will get the bronze fittings to connect my engine raw water to the water injection fitting.  Next week, I hope to tweak the exhaust and then wrap and install it in Jenny.  The piping has been unsupported in the past and I should probably look into some way of securing it better and taking the strain off the engine exhaust manifold.

And that is where I am right now.  Still too cold for varnish.  Water and Exhaust are "nearly" done.  Rigging is "nearly" done.  Time to revisit the windvane and see what I need to finish that "nearly done" project.  I guess I am "nearly done" which means it will be a race to get the boat launched by the end of May as usual...

Em Tasol Wantoks.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Milking the mouse

This stuff is great.  I am really glad I remembered to soak the rusty old bolts holding my exhaust to the engine last fall.  It would have been a real shame to start pulling the engine now so I could drill out some broken exhaust flange bolts. Access was a little challenging but with not too much effort I was able to remove the bolts holding the exhaust to the engine and pull out the exhaust for complete replacement.

The pipe failed through the short coupler fitting at the top of the "loop".  The whole exhaust piping is in pretty rough shape.  The plan is to find someone to make a replacement with something more durable.  I realize "black pipe" from the hardware store is acceptable for some boats but I think I can do better.

I am actually just recovering from my illness now and about two hours at the boatyard was about all I could do before going prone again. 

In addition to removing the exhaust and a quick evaluation of the boat's condition in general (just fine but maybe a tad dirty and stuffy inside) I spent a few minutes at the mast making sure my new hardware fits the mast and to see how long I need to make the halyards.  Now that I have the lengths I can cut and whip to fit and use the ends to make up my genoa sheets.  I can do that from my sick bed.

The Garhauer blocks are going to work well. 

If I had been smart I would have put one of those "D" shackles with the pins through the middle inside the eye splices I made last week - capturing the "D" shackles on the halyard lines forever.  But I am not smart, I am learning, so I will have to worry about dropping and losing the shackle everytime I disconnect the sail from the halyard.  Thankfully, that won't be too often but I know I will forever be thinking I could have done it better...

Oh well.

...and access to Jenny has greatly improved in the past week too.  I can actually get to her now without requring any technical climbing gear.

That's the update :)