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 :-)

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