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.