Friday, June 15, 2012

While The Admiral is Away

With the Admirals direction we compiled a list of projects to get done while she was gone.

Mix a little of the Ingredients on the left in a gallon of water and scrub! then two coats of the Acrylic wax.

Ready for another year.

Floridians make use of every small Island in Tampa bay for Memorial Day! 
I thought I could just go to the Auto Parts to get a solenoid to replace the toasted one on the right

West Marine had the right Solenoid...A continuous duty!

The little truck that can got smacked by the Florida Nissan. My heavy duty trailer hitch saved me though
But the Trailer Hitch punched a hole right through his radiator.

Day Sail with Bill in Tampa bay on His Morgan 33

We spotted "Alkaid" in the St. Pete Marina This boat is from our old docks in Corpus Christi.

The PortVisors are great, I had to do a little modification to install this one though.

While the Admiral is Away

The Admiral had to make a trip back to Texas to assist her aging parents so we made a list of things for me to attend to while she was gone. I had about 20 things and the Admiral added another 7. There is a certain deadline of sorts to get lengthy exterior projects done on the boat since the temperatures are not getting any cooler as summer approaches so getting the deck non-skid cleaned and waxed was first on my mind. This is a three to four day annual project. First comes the hand scrubbing to clean and remove any of last years wax. I use a liquid acrylic wax that works great, I learned about this from the Catalina Owners web site. Once you have the deck thoroughly clean you just apply two coats of the wax with a foam brush and it is good for another year. Some people use a power washer to clean their decks but this scares me. The gel coat on older boats can get porous and I fear the force of the power washer would actually remove or blow out chunks of the gel coating.  So this is a get down on your hands and knees and scrub type job. It takes 6-7 hours to do this and some years I break it into two days to give the knees a break but this time I just pushed through and got it done in one day since there was rain in the forecast for later in the week. The next two days you are again on your hands and knees applying the wax with a small foam brush. Two coats will last about a year. This does a great job of sealing the gelcoat and it maintains a good shine. Cleaning the deck from then on just takes a hose, the bird poop and other dirt washes off easily just by spraying it all down. I got it all done in three days and then I had a good 48 hours of  warm weather to dry it all good before the rains here in Florida began. The next task was to re-bed the Starboard primary chain plate that had started to leak when it rained. I used a different 3M adhesive sealant this time hoping it would last longer than 6 months. I think this is the 4th time I have had to re-bed this chain plate. We had four days of heavy rains and everything stayed dry below so I was glad to have finished the task before the Florida Monsoon.
The anchor windless was the next project to tackle. I remembered that Josh Wallace, the second owner of this vessel, had mentioned to me that the solenoid would occasionally have to be replaced. The solenoid was kinda rusty and I had cleaned the contacts and sprayed a corrosion inhibitor on the contacts. When I turned the windless switch on at the electric panel it still made the “click” so I was unsure if replacing it would solve the problem. I left the windless switch on for some time while I rechecked the deck foot switch and the windless battery connections, when I back down below I touched the solenoid and it was hot so now I was sure this was the problem.  I decided to just take the solenoid off and take it to a nearby AutoZone to see if they had one that would work. The guy at AutoZone said he had one just like it so I bought it and installed it. Nothing worked and what was worse was there was no “click” when I turned on the switch at the panel. Time to research solenoids. Well solenoids are just another type of switch in the system. They just deliver the required amps to do the job. I checked the West Marine Catalog and sure enough they had one that looked exactly like the I removed. The big West Marine in St. Pete had two of them so I made the 1 hour trip by truck over and picked it up. It worked! I called West Marine and asked them to hold the other one they had on the shelf so I could have a spare on board. The windless is just something I do not want to ever have to do without ever again.
It was time to do the laundry so I took a break from boat projects to run up to the nearby Laundrymat to get this done and since the wifi at the laundry is really good this is the best place to upload my blog post. On the way back to the marina just about 6 blocks away, I was stopped in the left lane in a line of traffic waiting for a red light to change. I was feeling good, I was relaxed, and all of a sudden a 30 something manager of a Big Lots in St. Pete ran into the back of the Little Truck That Can. Freaked me out! So just because you are retired and take life in the slow cruising lane does not save you from the more unpleasant and unplanned sidetrips life brings. I will probably get the truck into the shop next week to have it repaired, so far his insurance company seems to be taking care of it all.
The weekend was approaching so I called Bill & Pam in St. Pete to see if they wanted to do anything for the weekend. I was looking for fun in between boat projects. They invited me over for Bar-B-Q so I told them I would buy the meat and the beer. Bill & I ended up taking his Morgan 33 out for a quick bay sail and on the way back in to the Municipal Marina we spotted Alkaid, a 37’ Shannon from G dock in Corpus Christi. I had heard that he had crossed the Gulf single handed and would be in St. Peter for a month or so. We cruised by slowly and hollered for John but we assumed he was not on his boat. The Bar-B-Q was better than expected (since we are not in Texas!), and after a very pleasant evening with Pam and Bill I retreated to Wand’rin Star and slept for a long time.
The next morning I installed two more “PortVisors”. These are very cool visors that are easy to install (10 minutes) over opening ports. They allow you to keep the port window open even if it is raining outside. I initially installed two of them on a opening port in each of the heads, one forward and one aft. This allowed me to keep the port windows open even if we were not on the boat to create a nice air flow throughout the interior. This worked really well so I bought two more for the ports in the aft cabin so we could open them when at anchor rain or shine. I finally ordered two more for two of the ports we have open the most, the one over the galley stove and the one over the chart table. Now no more wet drips on my papers at the chart table and over the cooking area when it is raining out. I had to modify the vent next to the port over the chart table but it was worth it. I will probably add 2-3 more just to complete the set but a couple of the visors will have to be modified to fit in the space. I emailed Paula at Seaworthy Goods and she sent back details on how to trim the plastic edges of the port visor with a drimmal tool so they will fit. I will put this at the bottom of the list for next months project. I will not get the whole list I am working on now done before the Admiral gets back this week but I have a lot accomplished ….hope she is Happy!

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