Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Admiral Said it " We can leave November 2011"

This pic was taken from the top of the companionway looking down at the 85 gallon water tank under the Salon sole.

This Pic is the bilge area under the water tank that I had to cut out with a sawsall so I could get it out through the companionway. I will replace it with 2 tanks of equal size so I can get them into the companionway opening.
Here is the tank, You can see all the cuts I had to make to get ir out. we took it to the recyle metal place and they gave us $40.25 for the scrape aluminum. I gave $30 to the Admiral and I keep $10 for beer. The tank weighed 90 pounds.

There is just one thing a Captain wants to hear....the date you can toss off the lines and go cruising. The Admiral spoke the words with absolutely no prompting by the Captain. No matter what breaks or what obstacles get in the way Wand'rin Star will be cruise ready by November 1, 2011.

We had a early October sail with Northwest winds and this was our best time on the Bay to date. Due to the NW winds we were able to sail straight out the entrance to the marina otherwise known as the "GAP" and paralleled the Corpus Ship Channel on a 2 hour port beam reach. The winds were 10-15 just perfect, just as we were closing on Ingelside we came about and had a great Starboard reach back to Corpus. The dolphins were plentiful and were constantly playing in our bow wake. We were totally relaxed on this sail and realized that we were getting comfortable sailing this 42' vessel.

Boat Projects
1. Deck Fill for the new propane hose to the grill. Marine grills traditionally use those 1 pound bottles that last for about 6 grillings, I wanted to take advantage of using the Propane tanks used for the stove down below since they are in a locker directly below where the grill is installed on the stern pulpit. The deck fill provided a way to slip a propane hose through the deck up to the grill eliminating the need to buy and store those little green bottles.

2. Bypassed Neutral Start Switch: Some sailboats come with a shifter that must be in Neutral in order to start the engine. There is a switch in the shift assembly that disables the start switch if the transmission is in forward of Reverse, this is supposed to be a safety feature but it is not a big issue on sailboats since they do not move as fast as power boats. We felt it is a bigger issue not to be able to start the engine when in gear. Sailboats often require the transmission to be put in reverse when sailing to prevent the shaft from turning. Sometimes the pressure on the propeller can cause the transmission difficult to shift into neutral on mechanical type transmissions (as opposed to hydraulic type) like our Kanzaki Model KM4A. So we solved this issue by bypassing the switch so we could start the engine in any gear without hesitation. Dean on Adagio recounted a time when he was coming into his slip and the engine died just as he put the transmission in reverse to stop the boat, he was able to quickly restart the engine and prevent hitting the end of the dock with his bow since he did not have a switch which required the transmission to be in neutral to start.

3. Removed all unused wiring from the wiring runs in forward and aft areas of the boat including the Electrical panel. This boat had 4 previous owners and since it is an 1987 it has had several electrical upgrades over the years. Often if the work is done in a boat yard the old electrical connections are just cut and the new wiring is installed in the conduits leaving the old wiring in place. The problem comes if the wires either come into contact with other metals on the boat (like our Aluminum tanks) or bilge water. Dissimilar metals can cause electrolysis and corrosion especially in a saltwater environment, and if the exposed wires are ever immersed in bilge water the same can occur. I removed at least 25 different wires or cables, most of them had been cut at both ends but a few were still connected to the electrical panel and had 12 volt power. For every wire run as I was removing wires I also ran a pilot string so that if I ever needed to run a future wire in that same direction then I would have a pilot string to fish the wires through the conduit.

4. New Adler Barber refrigeration, well the budget was reloaded with enough funds to spend the 1 & 1/2 boat units so we installed a new refrigeration system. No more hauling ice to the boat and pumping out the ice melt from the bilge. The install was pretty straight forward since the new unit was very much like the old one and the mounting brackets mostly matched up with just a bit of custom work to do . Thanks to our slip neighbor Earnie on "Salty Paws" for coming over to help run the long copper tubing from the evaporator to the condenser.

5. Installed Rope clutch on mast for Jib Halyard This was a simple project but it was an important one as it will allow me to now use the port side mast winch for the outhaul on the mainsail. The winch was previously dedicated to the jib halyard, now I can use the winch instead of relying on brute strength to tighten the outhaul....MUCH Better!

6. Removed 85 Gallon Water Tank. This is one project that I knew was looming but I thought we had a bit more grace time before we had to deal with it. Our two water tanks and 1 fuel tank are made from aluminum. The life of these tanks are 15-20 years, our boat is 23 years old. The two water tanks that total 150 gallons of water begin to show signs of leaking. Further investigation confirmed that both were leaking and the leak was not such a problem unless we were sailing and the water sloshed from one side to the next as the boat healed or changed tacks. The fuel tank is still holding and no apparent problems but when you go to the effort to replace the water tanks you have to replace the fuel tank as it sits behind the other two in terms of access. So the only opportunity to replace it is when the two water tanks are out of the way. This will be a major refit and I will complete all the grunt work, order custom tanks from probably Florida, and have a professional assist with the installation. I did not want to start this until the Admiral was going to go off to a 5 day visit to her parents but she insisted we get started ASAP, so hence the pics above of the easiest part of the project, removing the 85 gallon tank that rest in the belly of the salon (midships area) of the boat. A future post will be dedicated to the whole project upon completion.
Bay Yacht Club
A lot of things were going on this month so just a education seminar on the use of emergency flares was a big draw, I just watched the demo from a distance as I participated in the annual marina appreciation dinner and flea market where boat owners can sell off their unneeded boat stuff. I had some stuff to definitely get rid of and what a perfect opportunity. If anyone so muched as glanced at my stuff I told them I would take 2$ for it, I think I made about 15 bucks and got rid of all my stuff and gave some of it away.
Harvest Moon Regatta
I got a invite from my buddy Jim Clower on "Apotheker" to crew for him and help get his boat up to Galveston for the Harvest Moon Regatta. the biggest race on the Texas Coast, 150 miles from Galveston to Port Aransas. The Admiral was going up to visit her parents so I could help take the boat up, drive another crew members car back to Corpus and meet her back in a few days. It turned into much more than that so the next post will be all about the experience.

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