Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Mast Hardware Removed

A video update this time. I removed the rest of the mast hardware today, except for a couple things. Those will be easy to remove, which is seen in the video.

The mast is currently painted so I'll sand it down to bare metal and then it'll be ready to send off to a shop for a paint job.

In other non-boat related news...

The last few days have been a bit...         Interesting.

Woke up last Saturday morning to the sound of pounding at the front door. Opened the door to be greeted by three police officers asking me about my truck. Turns out, there was a hit and run some time during the night. Front driver side bumper was smashed in. Part of the bumper pressed into the tire too and not able to be driven. My truck was hit hard enough, there was skid marks from the tires two feet long.

most of the debris was from the other vehicle

Funny thing, to me at least, the other car didn't "run" very far. Just up the road a bit, still within sight of the truck, also parked on the side road by the neighborhood, it was obvious who did it. Front driver side front end smashed in, airbag deployed, bumper falling off, and isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

It's nice having a good strong truck. Insurance is taking care of my truck and it has already been towed off to the body shop for repairs.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


It's been getting pretty hot lately. Even on the boat with the AC unit I installed, it still gets a little toasty.

I saw another Nor'sea owner install insulating material on his boat. I've also talked to others who have done the same. Went to the local Home Depot and picked up some Reflectix reflective insulation.

Just putting my hand against the hull early this morning, I could feel quite a bit of heat. Direct sunlight on the boat hull can still warm things up, even with AC.

I was able to easily cut the insulation and place it against the hull. Near the chainplates, I was able to get a couple layers. Other areas forward of the chainplates, I was able to squeeze in a third layer. I can still feel a little heat coming through but certainly better than going without. Better still when the wood slats are back in place.

This could be something to consider in keeping your boat cooler in these hotter temperatures.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Spring Launch

I'm still here!

I've been busy on some things around Rhapsody. I have been taking hardware off the mast and looking over its condition as I get things ready. While I like being able to do as much as I can myself, I'm starting to think it might be worth reaching out for help along the way. I'm looking to hire out some work with the mast, and getting the bottom sanded down by the boat yard in preparation for fixing some things and then applying the barrier coat and bottom paint. I'll at least talk with a shop and the yard to see what might happen. In order to work on the bottom, I'm thinking to have the boat moved from the trailer to boat stands as it would be easier to work around. In the following pictures, you can see where some of the old repairs had failed. Some of these low spots need to be filled and sanded.

down to the fiberglass

In the meantime, I've been working on my crazy idea with the fuel tank. It's a lot of work and getting closer to getting completed, although no idea when that will come. I've had a couple bad colds lately that prevented me from wearing a respirator mask so work slowed down a bit. I do have a blog post ready and waiting for additional updates and will be posted when the tank is completed. Once the tank is ready, fittings installed, then I'll be able to reinstall the engine, new muffler, seacocks, hoses, and reinstall the shaft and propeller.

I haven't used the dodger that came with the boat. Apparently, the little box of miscellaneous parts on the boat didn't have the bolts needed to attach even the frame. So, I got what I needed for the frame and have that ready for later. I also laid out the dodger to see what pieces I have. I didn't realize it before, but it seems there's enough pieces for the cockpit to be mostly covered, except the stern rail area. I'd like to change all the canvas to Sunbrella Linen color but what I have will work for now. Changing canvas can wait until the boat is already in the water.

While there's a lot of work left, I'm currently planning to launch Rhapsody in the Spring. I expect the refit to continue throughout winter like before and keep working on what I can until then. Hopefully it'll all work out in the end.

Looking forward to getting out on the water again.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hand Cranking the Engine

I ran the engine today for the first time since the test start I did immediately after the rebuild. Started right up and I let it run about 15-20 minutes. Out of curiosity, I decided to try out the hand crank since the engine was well warmed up. Started up pretty quickly, but I think it's only because it was warm. I'd hate to see how it would go if the engine was cold.

It's quite a work out trying to start it manually. I had to take breaks between attempts.

After several failed attempts, I was able to start it a second time, and more attempts after. Like I said, it's a work out. Heart beat pretty hard while cranking this engine.

But, I got it working. I was able to get the third start on camera.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Took some time off from work to catch up on some boat projects. Today I decided to take a break from the boat work and borrowed a kayak the marina has and went paddling down the fairway. It was bright, sunny, and windy. Great day to be on the water. I enjoyed myself. Even found a fender washed up on some rocks.

Only lasted 1 to 1 1/2 hrs but it was a nice break.

looking towards the jetty's leading to the Chesapeake

view of Harrington Harbor North

view of marinas from the jetty

me enjoying myself.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Paying Attention

I tend to chat with other sailors on IRC online. I noticed something on my mast and figured I would share a picture of what was obviously wrong. I didn't notice it before because the mast has been under the boat, just inside the vertical supports holding the boat up and this issue was on the inside. Apparently, the marina in Kentucky put the standing rigging on the wrong side of the tang.

Well, one of the regular chatters noticed other things. One I had an idea about but another I wasn't really aware of. The part I had noticed was the clevis pins being a bit too long. The part that was mentioned to me is that the clevis pins are also too narrow, leaving a gap in the tangs. With the length and size of the clevis pins, I'm being told that it could wear everything out faster, even causing the holes to become elongated and/or bending the clevis pins. Either of which isn't good. So, I went back to the mast and took these other pictures to get a better view of the pins. 

Seeing them again, it does look like I may have to readjust some things. I replaced the standing rigging myself but used the same clevis pins that came with the boat. Since I've had the boat, the standing rigging hasn't been under much tension/stress.

As I look closer at the mast and think about other projects while taking a break from the current project (fuel tank related), I look at the electrical connectors that run the lighting and feel that these should be replaced as well before using the mast again. I'm on the hunt for connectors that could be used. At the same time, I'm looking to replace the RF cable running up the mast. It's RG-8X and probably 35 years old as well. I'm looking at using two types of RF cable for my refit. Since the RG-8X is a narrow cable, I'll probably stick with something just as narrow. I'm now looking at LMR-240 Ultraflex to run up the mast since it'll still be fairly lightweight. From the mast step and down into the boat, the cable is thicker and since I'm rerouting the RF Cable inside the boat, I'm going to go with LMR-400 Ultraflex. All of this together will give me a much lower signal loss than whats here now getting more power out to the antenna. Being a ham radio operator for the past 20yrs, I should know how to improve the RF system. But doesn't hurt to see what others say. :-)

mast lighting connectors

Plenty of other work to take care of in the meantime. But this is something I'm looking/planning.


Monday, June 6, 2016

It's Getting Hot in Here

Getting hot on the boat lately. The work I'm doing on the boat now requires a tyvek suit which is making it feel hotter. Decided to install an air conditioner in the forward hatch to cool things down. After a day of using it, I'd have to say that it's better than nothing. While it's only marginally cooler, it does help make it more bearable inside.

Looking at using this only as my refit continues during the summer.