Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Boom

Quick video showing Rhapsody's boom. Some paint is lifting and a bit of corrosion needs cleaned up and refinished a little bit. Going to remove the hardware and work on this a bit on the day's I can't go to the boat.

There could be more to show, but that will come later as more work is done between the boom, mast, and spreaders.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Engine Preparations

Oct 2 2015.
Rain, wind and more rain. Still, a good day to be on the boat. Bad thing, is finding more leaks because of the rain, but in a way, still a good thing to try stopping them.
I started getting the engine ready to move out of of the way so I can get to the fuel tank under it. I was able to undo three of the bolts holding the engine to the motor mounts. Those things wanted to hold on tight. The one bolt I wasn't able to loosen/remove was directly under the exhaust hose. Still, I removed the alternator and air filter and raw water filter to have more room to reach around the engine. Worst part of taking those off happened to be finding oil covering the air filter. I don't think it's necessarily from an oil leak in the engine itself. I'm thinking it may have been from the oil leak from the failed valve cover gasket I already replaced. Something else for me to keep an eye on later just to be sure.
Removing the alternator really helped to see more around the sides and just how much the engine has started to rust. It was looking pretty good until last winter when water hit the the engine due to snow covering the cockpit drains. Doesn't seem to be worsening lately so I have some cleaning up to do. I have a wire brush I can clean some of the parts with. I intend to replace the raw water hoses. I know they're filled with deposits and fresh hoses will help keep the lines clear. Thermostat is pretty green and may replace that too. I'll get a better look at things as I continue to disassemble everything. I was given some advice to find a "rust converter" spray, then just spray paint it. Going to look into options available. I'm also interested in upgrading the standard Hitachi alternator that came with the engine with something larger since I intend to increase the battery capacity.
When I took some wires off the alternator, I saw other wires around the engine and disconnected them too. Once I disconnected a couple plugs behind the engine, I realized the wires I disconnected on the front of the engine were part of a bundle attached to it. So I just created more work for myself than I should have.
I need to remove the prop and shaft. I was looking online at how others do it and apparently a puller is needed but those things are expensive. I'm going to see if I can find a place that can rent one out or see where I can borrow one. While the shaft is out, I may have to replace the cutlass bearing too so that's another piece I will need to figure out. I will need to replace the hose to the stuffing box. I was going to measure what's on the boat now but forgot about it. Still, no hurry since there's plenty of other things to work on.
Lastly, I sorted out the new chainplates to hopefully install soon, and still need to figure out where I put the new bolts for them too. I'd like to first paint a couple more coats on the red stripe by the toe rails.
View of the cutlass bearing

wire below oil filter was disconnected, but could have stayed

oily air filter, will be replaced.

two white plugs were all that needed disconnected for the wires.

getting a view of wire connections behind the alternator

View without the alternator or the air filter
Another view.

chainplates layed out

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Galley Pump Works

Yesterday was a good day working on the boat. First thing I did was to remove the plastic that the previous marina wrapped around the mast. Being exposed to the weather and sunlight, the plastic was breaking down into tiny pieces. I didn’t want the pieces to end up flying into the water or litter the marina.

My boat came with a Whale Galley Pump for the fresh water supply. I’ve tried testing it out but the pump would get stuck so I thought I needed a service kit to fix it. Well, yesterday, I decided to take the pump out and as soon as I removed the hoses, water sprayed out all over the place. I quickly grabbed some paper towels to clean it up as best I could. I checked the pump and turned out to be working fine. So, there's $25 I won't have to spend right now. I connected the hoses back to the pump, then disconnected the lines from under the sink. Turns out the water lines were not empty either. I thought the water tanks and lines were empty and dry. I ended up pumping out about 3 gallons out of the lines. Good thing too because there was a lot of nasty looking debris. No mold, algae or anything like that. It looked more like mineral deposits (mostly) floating in the water. No idea how long that water was sitting in there.

As I looked over the system, I discovered that there was a blockage in the system that caused the foot pump to not work properly because there was nowhere for the water to go. It ended up being the PUR faucetmounted water filter that was blocked with what looked like mineral deposits. Once I disconnected that, water flowed out of the faucet. I threw out the filter housing. Those can easily be replaced.

So now, I am looking at the system altogether. Each tank is supposed to hold about 20 gallons. There is only a small port on each tank that is about 1 1/4" so it’s hard to see in the tanks. Easy to see why I thought the tanks were empty. At this point, I’m glad nothing broke from freezing temperatures. With all the debris in the tanks, I’m now looking at flushing the system, maybe even replacing the hoses. It’s been suggested to me that I consider a Henderson TCL4 7” port. While reading the archives of the Nor’sea owners group, it seems others have installed Beckson Deck Ports. Now, the one I’m considering is either a 6” or 8” Beckson access port with clear cover for quick inspection of the tanks and to reach down into the tank to give it a good scrub (apparently needs it too). I'll have to inspect the hoses from the fill port to the tanks and see if those need replacing too. Maybe it'll need flushed too and just a chlorine shock to the system. So long as the tanks hold water, there shouldn't be any other issues to the fresh water system.

Surprisingly, this took up quite a bit of time. I also measured the water lift muffler and seacock fittings for replacements. For the muffler replacement may require more research. Anything I find seems to be larger than the current one and there's not a whole lot of space available. The current water lift muffler is about 5.5" wide and 6 inches tall, not including the hose connections.

I have the boom setup in the garage at the house. Started by taking the gooseneck fitting off. There is two cam cleats attched that have no spring action. Went to remove them and one bolt didn't want to be removed and ended up getting stripped off. So I now need to drill it out and see if I can replace the cam cleats. The black paint on the overall piece is falling apart. Some of it has corrosion on it that will need to be sanded off a bit and I might get some rustoleum to repaint it.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Home Sweet Home

Rhapsody now has a new home.

I got up and left the house around 7:30 this morning. Just in time for rush hour traffic. I knew that but didn't want to wait half the day for traffic to clear out. Still, it took a little more than an hour and a half.

I got to Deale, Maryland and talked with the owner of Rockhold Creek Marina, Jon. Jon showed me around and they had some space where I could put the boat/trailer.

I first backed it up into an open spot in the yard. Then they brought a small tractor around to put it in place. So, at the moment, this is Rhapsody's new home while I work on her and get her ready to go sailing again.

Backing into place

Unhooking from the tractor

Home Sweet Home

View into the rest of the yard
 On another good note, the replacement wheel studs came in today so I should be able to get those on the trailer during the next visit.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

70 MPH to Windward

Nice long weekend for Labor Day.

I decided to go get my boat. I drove to Clarksville Tennessee, cleaned up and put away everything in the boat and drove back to northern Virginia all in two and a half days.

Thurday (Sep 3rd): Drove 700 miles to Tennessee. (11 hour drive)

Friday: had breakfast, checked out of the hotel my wife and I stayed at and went to get the boat ready for the trip.

Checking Tires

Wrapping Mast

Wife: "Where is the mast held up at?" Me: "up there."

Cleaned Up / Organized For The Trip
We went to the scales at a local truck stop to weigh everything. The truck, boat/trailer came out to 19,520 lbs. We hit the road around 1:30pm (CST). I wanted to drive past Nashville to get away from the city and get to a rest area East of the city to look things over. 1.5 hour drive, I stopped to check things out. I found out two lug bolts on the front right wheel and sheared off.

The trailer wheels have 6 lug bolts. The middle and rear axles have surge breaks but the wheel with the broken lugs doesn't have anything else on it.

I made sure the lug nuts were tightened all around and drove for another hour and a half to look things over again. No changes. By now, I was almost at Knoxville, TN. Decided to drive and see how far we would get. By the way, the road conditions on I-40 between Nashville and Knoxville was not pleasant at all. Things improved a lot once we got to I-81.

We got up to around Roanoke, VA by the time we stopped. Towing the boat used up a lot more fuel than I would have thought but understandable since the engine needs to work harder to pull all that weight. Stopped at another hotel for the night that thankfully had space to park the trailer without any issues. As I was looking things over on the boat, a guy stopped by and we chatted for a few minutes. He complimented on how nice the boat looked and talked about his time sailing out of San Francisco.

Saturday morning was a late start. But, we drove the rest of the way without any issues and got to the house around 2:30pm (EST).

So looking at Pacific Trailers website, it seems they do have parts for replacing the lug bolts. Which is good, because I was starting to think I had to replace the whole hub. Big difference between spending $50 for a hub or $2 bucks each for new lugs.

A nice lady in the neighborhood saw me and commented to me how nice the boat looks when I dropped it off on Saturday. I was messing around the boat and she came up to say hi and told me she saw a police car by the boat Sunday afternoon. She explained my situation that I just moved to the area and I'm going to move the boat somewhere else soon. Apparently, someone called the police and they gave me a warning ticket for having a trailer parked in a residential zone. If it was a paying ticket, the fine would be $40 bucks.

People sure do like their stupid rules around here.

Overall, I'm happy that I finally got the boat moved and I can move forward with my refit. First thing, is getting the lug bolts/nuts replaced, and a storage place for DIY work.

Lug Bolts Knocked Out

Broken Lug Bolts
Hope everyone had a good and safe Labor Day weekend.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Working On It

Almost 4 months without updates?

Yeah, I know, it's been a while without any updates. Unfortunately, there isn't too much to update right now.

I moved from Tennessee to Virginia, near DC. The boat, is still in TN. So, not much I can do. I've been to a few places looking for storage of the boat. They all have long waiting lists and it is so much more expensive between VA and MD. Still, the boat will come eventually.

I do have my spreaders with me. The paint was raised in a couple spots along with some pitting. There's a high concentration of pitting around the ends. I wanted to repaint the mast, eventually, so I decided to start with the spreaders since I have them on hand. I sanded down the paint. The hard part was getting it out of the grooves around the welded part on the end.

I cleaned them up pretty good, I think. I got some Alumiprep 33 and Alodine 1201. With these two chemicals, they are suposed to clean the metal and protect it from additional corrosion. Next will be zinc chromate primer that will start the rest of the process of the paint job... which will come later.

after the alodine, it leaves it with some color
I also have my tiller and rudder cheeks. Those are getting some coats of varnish and will be standing by until it's time to put on the boat again.

What next?

I need to re-bed the cockpit drains and may make a cover for the cockpit to protect  it from rain and more importantly, snow during winter time. The reason I mention snow is because of a leak I had last winter when it snowed heavily then rain immediately followed. Since the snow covered the cockpit drains, the rain water had nowhere to go and ended up going through the engine panel, down the engine (which has started to rust) and filled the bilge. I re-bed the engine panel so that should be good, but still need to re-bed the cockpit drains as I found out those are leaking slightly too.

Well, I have an idea for replacing the fuel tank. When the boat is here, I'll start work to remove the engine and the old fuel tank and prepare for the tank replacement. Since the engine started to rust, I need to take care of that too. While it doesn't really need a full overhaul, I might have to, to clean the rusty areas off of it. Anyone have ideas?

I'm looking at getting some supplies, like seacocks and pump service kits (bilge/galley pumps), I can work with until I can get on the boat but some things, I need to be on the boat to confirm exactly what I need, like the water-lift muffler size.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Bottom Paint Removal

This is yesterday's work. I didn't have time to post but here's what I did. Also realized this is post #100 for this blog.

The last post, I mentioned how it looked like someone had hit the trailer, bending the fender. Well, it looks like it was hit again. Now it's starting to piss me off.

compare this with last fender pic I posted
Still, it doesn't look like it'll affect the use of the trailer.

I arrived around 930am, and went right to work. I have been waiting for good weather to start taking off the bottom paint. Got some protective gear to do the work and very thankful that I had it all too.

I put down some plastic to catch the chips of bottom paint.

I used a durable paint scraper to get the majority of the paint off. Still have a lot of work left to do but it's getting there.

starboard side

starboard side

old repairs on port side near the rudder

port side: repairs needed

more needed repairs

Looking down port side

still have upper parts to remove

rudder will need some work too.
As you can see from the pictures, I'm discovering that there are lots of old repairs and areas in need of repairs. The parts in need of repairs are not really any bigger than a dime. Still, they'll need to be ground out, filled with epoxy and some fairing work needed. For the most part, it looks like the bottom paint was applied over the gelcoat. It doesn't look like bare glass. But the blue was applied over a red paint. Primer maybe? It alternated back and forth so maybe it was just a contrasting color to check coverage. The plan is to get the bottom faired smooth and then I'll use a few coats of barrier coat, like Interlux 2000E.

It's a good thing I got the coveralls. That bottom paint dust gets everywhere. Unfortunately, as soon as I sat down, the paints rode up a bit. I'm 6'5" so not really made for my size. Not only that, the hood didn't stay on my head either so I had a blue neck too. At least the face mask kept anything from flying into my eyes or breathing it in. Very important there too. I used foot covers so that is why my socks look (but not) clean here.

coverall pants rode up a bit
The LED lighting I installed in the head went well but the wires were dangling around so I got some clips that I installed to hold them up and out of the way. There's two clips shown in the pic but two more behind the bulkhead keeping the other wires out of sight.

organized wires
Lastly, I got a couple mounts to hold the hose for the Airhead along with 1" Velcro. The mounts I got is called a Footmans Loop that I bought from Sailrite.

The hose is held nicely in place. I still need to connect the hose to the head itself then it could be useable. I still think this head project turned out well.

Still some bottom paint need to be removed. it wasn't easy crawling around the trailer and working around the keel/mast. The roller are in the way too but I'm still doing what I can.