Boatyard Haulout Projects and Goals- What did we actually get done? :

Several of my previous posts discussed goals and lists of things that I envisioned getting done while in the boatyard- some by the professional staff and some by me. The original links to those projects are at the bottom of this post but I’ve cut and pasted the actual lists, with what we did and didn’t get done…some of it being a pipe dream I didn’t have time to actually finish. Here goes:

Boatyard:

  • Bottom (hull) properly cleaned and prepped by the boatyard and at least three coats of paint added to stressed areas and two coats added to most other areas. Done
  • Book Shelves installed in master berth and salon and shelving for storage installed in cabinet where the washer/dryer used to reside. Done
  • Have the Rudder dropped and inspected.  New seals and gaskets installed.  Figure out the reasons for minor water ingress up the rudder tube.. Done
  • Propeller Shaft- either install a Dripless Seal (SureSeal Shaft Seal System) or confirm that the packing gland can be re-packed and proper tension can be maintained on the current shaft nuts.(yeah yeah,,,ha ha)- Done
  • Take out the faucet in the forward cabin head and install a fresh water foot pump.  (so my girls can’t leave the water running and drip all the fresh water out of the boat).- Not Done
  • Have the main bilge pumps safety checked and fix as needed. Done by Subcontractor but NOT DONE CORRECTLY!
  • Change the current gray water setup to a 3-way valve so it can run out of the boat vice into a large grey water tank.  Empty the tank and clean it.- Not Done
  • Close and seal the extra through-hulls on the boat.  Unfreeze struck through hulls and handles. Done

To Be Done by Me:

  • Using the templates I have, cut and install the new sound/heat barriers in the bilge spaces under the galley floors. Done
  • Install new heat/sound barrier in the engine room. Not Done
  • Take off heat shield material on engine exhaust piping and install new heat shield and heat shield tape. Not Done
  • Find out where the lower coolant drain is- drain and change engine coolant. Not Done
  • Find out where the engine thermostat is- change it (make sure you buy extra thermostats). Not Done
  • Drain and Change Engine Oil. Not Done
  • Figure out how to get into the space and change the impeller (take existing impeller kit and buy two more prior to changing it). Not Done
  • Change the primary Fuel Filter (canister)- at the boatyard we’re right next to a large Marine store- get extra canisters. Not Done
  • Change the primary Oil Filter (canister)- at the boatyard we’re next to a large Marine Store- get extra canisters. Not Done
  • Pick up Main Sheet (getting a new one made) and reattach to the main.  Take off the mizzen Main Sheet and have a new one made. Done
  • Install new speakers in the cockpit, stern boxes and main salon. Not Done

Many of the goals above that were mine to do in the boatyard simply didn’t get done because I didn’t understand several things about the yard. I had assumed I’d be able to do engine work while hauled out, but the yard didn’t have any available facilities for waste/oil disposal or would have charged me by the gallon. I think that’s crazy, but that’s their policy. Weird, since my own marina encourages us to use a free shoreside waste disposal area and it’s free. I also couldn’t do as much engine work as I would have liked just due to the guys working in or near the engine room. For at least three days, someone worked on the getting the shaft seal undone and repacked and then there was the whole job of getting multiple through hulls drilled out of the engine room compartment. The yard then had to grind them, epoxy them, fiberglass the holes and paint, which took another several days. I basically wrote off those projects and determined I would do them back here at the marina. So that’s my list and I’ll write more detailed posts with pictures about several of these jobs as I go. What you won’t see if any write-ups about folks who didn’t do an excellent job. Just won’t waste my typing time with folks who didn’t do the job right or finish the job to my satisfaction.

Prepping for Haul-Out, Thoughts On My Own Projects

http://livefree2sailfast.com/2019/03/02/haul-out-and-yard-work-on-the-horizon-for-tulum-v

After I published the project list (above) I had discussed with the boatyard, I started thinking through everything I would work on while Tulum was out of the water.  This is in addition to getting the kids fed and to/from school every day (Quincy will be in the kennel and Michelle is on business in Japan for two weeks).  As I went down the list, it became longer and longer and there’s no way I’ll finish while she’s out of the water.  So I just decided to think through it during this post, knowing what tools and supplies are on the boat – while having to think through what I need to get out of the dockbox.  Here goes:

  • Using the templates I have, cut and install the new sound/heat barriers in the bilge spaces under the galley floors.
  • Install new heat/sound barrier in the engine room.
  • Take off heat shield material on engine exhaust piping and install new heat shield and heat shield tape.
  • Find out where the lower coolant drain is- drain and change engine coolant.
  • Find out where the engine thermostat is- change it (make sure you buy extra thermostats).
  • Drain and Change Engine Oil.
  • Figure out how to get into the space and change the impeller (take existing impeller kit and buy two more prior to changing it).
  • Change the primary Fuel Filter (canister)- at the boatyard we’re right next to a large Marine store- get extra canisters.
  • Change the primary Oil Filter (canister)- at the boatyard we’re next to a large Marine Store- get extra canisters.
  • Pick up Main Sheet (getting a new one made) and reattach to the main.  Take off the mizzen Main Sheet and have a new one made.
  • Install new speakers in the cockpit, stern boxes and main salon.  Run the wires and install Amp and Stereo Face.

Should be an interesting haul-out, as most of the week looks like we’re going to get rain.  This means I can’t do the deck sealing and I can’t start the varnish nightmare, so I’ll focus on the projects above.  Should keep me busy.  It I get through even half the list, I’ll be impressed.

 

For Dummies like Me: Jerking out the Boat Washer/Dryer

I get a bit stir crazy in rain and overcast weather and we had a lot in February and it’s gonna happen all next week.  The last time in February we had an entire week of rain and wind, I decided to knock out one of my long-standing projects from my long project list…and jerk out the Bendix washer/dryer combo that’s been resident on the boat since we bought her.  It’s worked fine, but we never used it.  I decided to take out this perfectly good functioning appliance because I didn’t think it was needed on our boat: It’s took up valuable cabinet space,  it takes fresh water to run and it takes 110v power to work, which means we would need the generator in order to run the appliance.  I’m simply downsizing and simplifying as many of the systems as possible, cause I’m not the greatest mechanic or electrician.  Here’s what I started with:

 

 

Here’s my progression Continue reading

Multi-Year Coast Guard Vessel Documentation is now available

The Coast Guard has just allowed folks to start renewing their Coast Guard Documentation for multiple years vice one year at a time….which is a recent change.  Attached to this email is a document that gives you contact info and you can also learn about it online at the Coast Guard website.

Multi-Year Documentation

Credit for getting me this info goes to Mr. Jimi Laughery, as I had no idea about this change either.  Thanks Jimi-

Sporadic posts but life continues-

Gotta apologize, as the posts have been a bit sporadic these last couple weeks as life has been busy but we keep going.  Hotwife had a hip operation so it’s been a week of having the kids on the boat with her elsewhere; then when she as able to get back on the boat on crutches I needed to take her to appointments for most of the next week.  So I missed my usual writing schedule and missed some of the work I needed to do around the boat as well.  With hotwife back on the boat, things have settled down a bit.  Take a look at Quincy, she won’t even move now when crutches go over her:  But it’s been a productive couple of weeks regardless.  Hotwife and Pirate Kate attended the Women’s Sailing Convention last weekend, I was able to determine the cause of my broken bilge pump and I’m getting it changed out with a new one, I finished my Small Boat Diesel Engine Course and we’ve set solid dates in March to haul Tulum 5 out of the water for a bunch of repairs and upgrades.

We’re looking to do the following while T-5 is hauled out:  three coats of bottom paint, drop and inspect the rudder and it’s bearings, have a dripless seal installed on our shaft, have a freshwater foot pump installed in our front head, have a saltwater foot pump installed in the galley, have the gray water flow changed from our 50-gallon (below the water line) tank to direct overboard and possibly remove the tank, unfreeze all the throughhull handles and fiberglass over throughhulls we don’t use and clean and paint the main bilge.  But this also gives me strict deadlines to get the washer/dryer taken out and if I’m going to put in a composting head…I’d like to get it done before the haul out.

So we have a bit to do.

We’re a family who got a good deal on a great boat and now have to dedicate the time to fix systems and give her the TLC needed to prep her for cruising.  We’re doing just that.  We’ll start our YouTube Channel in June and post every one of our complete free video travel logs on this blog.  We’ll also continue to post with mongo lots of pictures as we go along. If you want to read it all and share in the action, please think about following us and continue to follow us as we go.

Waterhorse Charters.com and TRLMI

Good Morning Everyone, it’s been a crazy long week and more to come next week.  This whole week I’ve been working on the boat (of course) but I’ve also been going to night classes at Training Resources Limited Maritime Institute (TRLMI) for a Diesel Engine Maintenance Course.  YES, I’m still trying to improve my weak mechanical skills and since I have a firm grasp on my own failings, I already know that I’m not the greatest at mechanical stuff…..and the high jump!  As a bonus this afternoon, we were allowed to go on a field trip to check out the engines on Captain Zach’s Newton 46 dive boat.  Zach is one of the students in the class and owns Waterhorse Charters and Dive Shop (in San Diego).  Because San Diego has a large sunken warship (Yukon) just off the coast, Waterhorse Charters specializes in taking folks out there who come to train for thier PADI or other Wreck Dive Certification.  The boat is spotless, has more than required safety gear and his engines are in great shape.  I was pretty impressed, cause I’ve been on some pretty janky dive boats in a couple of places, but Captain Zach knows his stuff and has a Master’s License to prove it.  Me and him sat in class for a couple of weeks in January 2017 at the (then) Maritime Institute for our Masters License Training, but Maritime Institute has since become TRLMI.  I get to wander around the San Diego Sunroad Boatshow tomorrow and then finish up my last Engine Class tomorrow afternoon as well…too much fun.  I’m getting LOTS of stuff knocked out on the boat and the next two weeks will be huge weeks for the boat.  Next week I have someone coming on the boat to look over my spinnakers with me.  Pretty excited, as I don’t have much spinnaker time and every second counts for good experience.  In order to shore up some of my weaker points and stop paying ripoff prices for work I can probably do, I’ve also signed up for a week of class for Outboard Engine Maintenance in February and another week of class for Onboard Electrical Systems in March.  If you’re interested in these skill sets, TRLMI offers the classes and has a world-class training facility where you’ll get hands-on + instructors who are willing to take the time to explain crucial details along with real world experience.  If you want these skills, highly recommend you sign-up for a class somewhere and improve yourself.

I’ll do another couple of posts with more detailed info and pics on Waterhorse Charters, TRLMI and the boat show.

http://livefree2sailfast.com/2017/01/15/100-ton-captains-course/

http://livefree2sailfast.com/2017/01/22/successful-captains-license-class/

So the above reasons are why I missed Wednesday’s post, but I’m working hard to stay with it.  Today was another painting with bilge paint day on the boat before I went on the field trip and I’m gonna have to throw a second coat on tomorrow, then be done with that portion of the paint project.  I’ll have some pictures of before and after to awe you with my painting skills and the nastiness of the areas painted….you’ll see we’re making slow progress.  Next week it’s into the engine room all week to clean the engine, change the coolant and the oil and then attempt to get to the impeller to change it.  My engine is literally put in backwards because of the velvet drive and V drive operation…so getting to the critical bits of it is literally painful boat yoga for midget’s and my kids won’t go into those spaces.  I try to bribe them, pay them and threaten them but they will won’t go into those impossible to get to engine spaces so I have to do it….next week. Ok, still got paint on my hands so I have to clean up- see ya-

Deep Bilge Work To Welcome the New Year

Today’s Weds, so I’m working to get back into my M/W/F posting routine, but launched into working in the deep recesses of my deepest bilges today.  I’m hopeful that none of the muck gets caught in the keyboard.  If ya don’t know or understand..older heavier boats built in Taiwan in the 70’s tend to have really deep full bilges.  Engines tend to sit in those spaces.  My deep bilge is the hardest I’ve ever seen to get into and clean out.  It sits nearly 5 feet below my engine and the shaft that rotates our prop is also under the engine, further complicating working on the bilge.  Yep….there’s a few smart folks out there scratching their heads because most engine shafts normally come out of the engine directly to the propeller to power it,  but ours had to be complicated and is attached to a “velvet drive”.  Simply means things are backwards and the shaft comes out of the engine to the “V” drive then goes back under the engine to the propeller.  Yep, it’s as complicated as it sounds.  Now,,,,bilge- A bilge is defined as: The bilge /bɪl/ is the lowest compartment on a ship or seaplane, below the waterline, where the two sides meet at the keel. (wikipedia).  Our bilge has two large pumps that pump water out of the boat and various other hoses to things that were a mystery.  Mystery no longer.  The problem with our bilge also is that the extra special “V Drive” means we can’t really get into the bilge but other stuff can fall in and disappear forever.  Our large bilge pumps are supposed to have automatic float switches on them that start pumping water automatically, but ours have been broken.  Today we went through every single hose going into or out of the bilge, much to my surprise there was lots more than I thought.  We found out that our full tub drains directly into the bilge (important to know) and that we have another pump for the bilge that could be used in combination with the forward saltwater wash down pump to de-water in an emergency.  We also found out that we needed to fix and update every hose, several were burned through by touching the shaft and simply done.  All of this work is accomplished by someone on their stomach on top of the engine or looking through a 1 foot by 1 foot hatch from the galley.  Not terribly efficient or effective setup, but I love to work through problems so this is a great experience and I get to learn more about the boat.  Here’s what this process looks like from above:

The bilge ends about 5 feet below Francisco, he’s on top of the engine.

I’m also babysitting (parenting) the kids while working on the deep bilges because they don’t go back to school for several more days.  So I’m knocking out this post on my lunch break (kids eat all the time and MUST be fed) and hopefully by the end of the day I’ll have working bilge pumps with working float switches and new hoses too?  We’ll see.  If not, it’s my priority project tomorrow and the curtains get to wait.

Happy New Year and a quick hello to all the new folks who are following our little blog. Baja Ha-Ha leaves in October….are you in ?

Are readers fickle?

I do watch my blog stats!  I admit it.  As a writer of a blog in a niche area with a potentially limited audience, I wonder if this limits me.  Then I remember I don’t really care because the readers that I do have on a regular basis are awesome folks who actually engage…a lot.  I read about the blogging ups and downs of mega-bloggers like a opinionated man (Harsh Reality) who have some of the same challenges that I do on my tiny niche blog.  I also know this blog wasn’t started (like some other blogs I know) for me or my family, it’s truly meant to be a resource for folks if possible.  But back to the question in the title: Are my readers fickle or are they just busy and overloaded with information?  Even though we may follow a blog, I would venture to say we don’t always read it or even click on it some or most of the time.  Reading all the blogs I follow would be a royal pain in the ass, especially as some of those bloggers post 5-8 times per day.  I think I’m right….readers don’t always read our blogs even though they follow them; and THAT’s OK.  I appreciate anyone who follows, reads, glances at or comments on my blog at all.  It’s royally cool to have followers who comment back and I appreciate it.

Bad Blogger!

I try to do a Mon/Weds/Fri posting schedule and facilitate Quincy the Boat Dog’s Posts on Sunday.  It’s been a hectic week, so I missed my post yesterday, wanted to do it today but missed it again.  I will be back on my schedule tomorrow.  Remember I live on a boat with two small children, a Great Dane and LOTS of boat projects….but I love writing on the website and have more ideas than time.  And…it rained for three days in San Diego which is really rare and generally sucks.  The rain got  to us all, delaying all my projects.  I’m working on making dinghy chaps and curtains right now…it’s a slow process.

Here’s the end of my post: