Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spring Cleaning.

No. I am not dead and Jenny is not a rotting hulk in someone's backyard these days.  It was a long winter.

There she is poking her bow out among a bunch of ugly ... things...  I don't think Jenny is very happy with me at the moment.

Thankfully, the winter cover held up just fine and two weeks ago it looked just like I left it in October.  I checked on it every week or two but with 3-4 foot snow drifts around the boat at all times I didn't get too close.  The spring has been cold and wet and with Jenny not going in this year I have been spending time around the house.  So far I have delivered five pickup loads to the dump.  Most of that stuff is leftovers from boat projects and previous year's winter covers so I guess in a way I have been busy working on the boat...

Jenny is in the middle of a mash of boats and with the mud finally drying out and boat owners behind me anxious to launch I figured last week it was time to take down the winter cover.  If you remember, I mentioned that the winter cover went up during a rainy weekend and the boat was absolutely filthy when the cover was complete.  Well, the dirt was still there so last weekend was take down the cover and clean, clean, clean...

While washing the hull I could see many more indications that other boats have been rubbing up alongside Jenny.  They left their wax  and gelcoat smeared across the topsides.  Some cleaning and rubbing took care of most of it.  The rest will be fixed when I re-paint...

Because I was in such a rush to get the boat covered up last fall,the interior was never cleaned up and it was quite messy inside as well.  This weekend I have been cleaning again trying to make amends for my lack of attention.  Last fall on the trip home I became aware of a mold problem.  Over the winter the problem didn't resolve itself so today I was crawling around inside all the storage areas spraying a bleach mix and hosing everything possible out.  I took a big bite out of the mold but I have a feeling I will be fighting it for a while.  There are a lot of nooks and crannies inside and I have jammed a lot into those nooks.  When I built the interior bits I always had in mind that water will get in and it needs to flow out somehow.  This was helpful when I decided to bring my hose inside and just open up inside some of the storage lockers.  After that it was back to hands and knees and a squirt bottle with paper towels.  Owning boats is SO much fun sometimes.

One of the first projects this year will be replacing all the seacocks with new bronze fittings.  The new Marelon seacocks I put in a few seasons ago are failing already,(the head inlet broke and I could only flush my toilet by disconnecting the toilet supply hose and putting it into a bucket of water - not exactly convenient).  I will have a blog post just for that but be assured I am not amused with Marelon right now.  At last count I need 9 seacocks.  Where so many holes in my boat came from I don't know but I don't want to wait for the next failure so out they come.

I have also been doodling plans for an electrical system.  Hopefully, that will be the fun upgrade this year.  Not sure if I will complete it but make good headway I hope at least.  I have been daydreaming about all the things I want and at least allow for them at some point in the future.  I might go with something simple to start but easily expandable over the next few years.  I have been debating but I am going to put in a simple AC system.  I have no intention of sitting at the dock with shore power (watch me eat my words...) but I want to wire in some outlets for working on the boat in the off season and it doesn't make sense to wire up the outlets and not put a simple panel and external connections.  I definitely don't need AC power in the boat but it is one of those, might-be-nice-someday things and I want to be able to power up tools and heaters and such over the winter without dragging a cord through the boat.  It is a luxury but then again, this whole project is a luxury so why stop now?

The basic plan is a housebank that will be charged through a battery combiner when the engine is running with the option of solar and possibly wind charging sometime in the future.  The two electric bilge pumps on a hot battery bus and a switch panel with ... at the moment... about 12 circuit breakers. (That number keeps going up...)  Things to wire up early would be some navigation lights both on the deck (for motoring) and a masthead (for sailing).  I have  diagram of a Triton and I keep scribbling all over it and looking at the best way of running the wires.  It keeps me entertained at night.

Perhaps more important that an electrical system (but definitely not as much fun) will be apply lots more varnish.  The exterior has always been a game of catch up and I never get enough down.  Getting more varnish down on the inside will allow work to proceed in there as well.  The stove is one of those things just waiting for varnish before mounting the stove cabinet.  Finding a way to secure propane tanks on the aft deck and plumbing the gas to the stove is another 'must do' project this year.

Rigging stuff includes lazy jacks.  I can't go another season without them.  Then there is the windvane lines that would have been done last year if I hadn't been stupid and decided to work on the tiller head on the mooring.

Over all, I think the plan is finish a bunch of half done projects and then start the electrical system.

Hopefully, I will find something to entertain you with this summer.

Oh, and buy some land so I can stop paying ridiculous boat storage fees and I can build indoor heated storage for Jenny  and varnish to my hearts content in February.

Spring is here and boatwork has begun.  More interesting stuff ( and less 'hopeful dreaming') coming soon!

Take care and keep the dirty side down ;)