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 ?

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Amelia Rose Goes to Sea

It’s taken me over a month now to be able to put into words the emotions of watching our former sailboat leave for Baja Ha-Ha 2018.   Having your current and former sailboat able to be in one picture is cool enough,  but watching your former sailboat glide from her slip one last time proved to me how enraptured I can be with sailboats and the emotions they spark, even when I don’t own them. Continue reading

Digitized Aleutian 51 Ketch Plans and Drawings

In the post below is my photo essay containing the hand-drawn plans for the Aleutian 51 Ketch.  Mr. Stan Huntingford was the designer and if you look closely at one of the sheets, you’ll see it’s actually dated, October 20th 1975.  I was around in the world- were you?  In October of 1975, we were most likely preparing to sail down Baja California on the original Tulum II with my parents.  Through new information from one of the editors for Cruising Outpost Magazine; there were only 9 Aleutians built in Taiwan in the late 70’s and there may have been several more built in Canada  sometime during this period too.  I’ve tracked several Aleutians via this blog/website:  ours is here in Southern California prepping for Baja Ha-Ha 2019,  another Aleutian is very much alive and sailing in the Caribbean, one Aleutian was sailed from the US to Australia and is detailed in several of author Jackie Parry’s books,  another is somewhere in Ventura or Oxnard (California) while another was sold somewhere in Spain several years ago.  If you have any information on other Aleutians, I’d love to hear from you.  Enjoy the plans, I’m glad we can continue the legacy of the lady we live and sail on:  Continue reading

Digitized Aleutian 51 Ketch Plans and Drawings

I’ve been working on the best way to put out the complete hand drawn plans and drawings of the Stan Huntingford designed Aleutian 51 sailboat so that if people need to see them, there’s always access.  Although only 9 actual original Aleutian 51’s were built in Taiwan to Stan Huntingford’s specs, I wonder how many more were built in Canada- with or without his approval.  I’ve heard there are two more “Canadian” Aleutian’s out there.  If we had these plans and didn’t find a way to get them out, I might be a dismal failure.  So in the summer of 18 (before I retired) a friend professionally photographed the plans for me and digitized them.  I’ve spent some time last week touching them up and making them more readable.  I’ll get them on this website and blog tomorrow as a photo essay.  If you need more info on Aleutian 51 Ketch’s, we’re trying to become a resource for you.

Republished- Digital Hunter Sailboat Owners Manual

I’m republishing the Digital Hunter 460 Owners Manual I managed to get from Marlow-Hunter.   After I found this electronic copy and worked through publishing the link in 2016,  never in my imagination did I think we’d still be writing and publishing this tiny blog…with a second larger sailboat.  I’m also republishing this digital owners manual because I found the entire set of designer drawings for my 1977 Aleutian Ketch and convinced a friend to help me photograph and digitize the entire set of plans.  I just put them on my computer, edited them to make them more readable and will POST them as a photo essay early next week.  It’s my intent to collect as much information about the (11) different Aleutians that were built and have that info on this website- these digitized plans are a big start to that project.  We think we’ve found approx (6) of the Aleutians; and we’ve had actual email or blog contact with (3) of the owners or former owners of those boats.  Have you ever checked out Cruisers AA by Jackie Parry or any of her other books?  She and her husband owned an Aleutian for several years.  I digress.  The link to the plans is in the post, you have to access it digitally.

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Cruising Sailboat Generator and Energy Decisions

Photo Credit to our Roving Reporter, Dr. Emmy

Right now we’re on the dock; but as of next October we want to be heading toward life under a giant sunset somewhere.  Our equipment and energy choices will have an effect on that life, as we have no desire to sit on a dock somewhere for an extended amount of time.  Here’s the story of the curveball thrown at us in the last 3 weeks and how Fate seems to have intervened to help us with some of our equipment and power choices. Continue reading