Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Oil Change

Tonight, I went to the boat for an oil change. I read somewhere that it's good to do an oil change annually or every 50 hrs on the engine. I have a Yanmar 2GM. Watching this video on Youtube was helpful to see how to do this.

Here, you can see the oil fiter with the date of when it was last changed.

The last time I went to West Marine, I got this oil extraction pump. It looked pretty good out the box. The plastic container is hard.

The dip stick is on the side and down low of the engine in a not so easy place to see from the front. Thankfully, there's a removable panel on the sides of the quarterberths to reach it. I put the tube in there and got pumping and it worked out well.

Here you can see the stream of oil going into the container.

Filled up pretty well in about 15-20 min.

Once the oil got into the container, I switched out the oil filter with a Fram PH3593A I picked up at Walmart. Everything seemed to go well. Hopefully the engine will run fine after this.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Winterize Attempt

This is my first winter since I bought the boat. I was reading different things online thinking I should probably do something about it. I found some safe RV antifreeze used for waterlines. As far as I can tell, the main water lines on the boat are dry. I don't know when the last time water was put in the tanks. I thought I would go to Rhapsody to at least winterize the engine.

I did this last night. I went to take off the hose from the raw water seacock by first releasing the two hose clamps holding it. The hose wouldn't budge. I grabbed the hose to wiggle it off, then realized, the whole seacock was moving. I moved it back and forth and also twisting it as I looked at it. I then thought to myself that it needed to be replaced. The seacock, as all of them on this boat, are mounted on what looks like a 1/2" piece of wood. The wood on most of the seacocks, that I've seen, look to be in fairly good shape. This one, the raw water seacock, the wood is soft and falling apart a bit.

Now, I'm researching parts, procedures and price on new assembly's. Since I know I have to get this one replaced, I may end up replacing others.

I looked at this page that was sent to me, and this one, on the same site about replacing them.

In the first link, it shows the "preferred and non-preffered" installations. The triangular one being preferred... all of mine looks like the other one. I'm looking for parts between Jamestown Distributors, Defender, and West Marine to get the better price. For the most part, they carry the same items. I'm also looking at using fiberglass board to use as a backing material instead of wood again and getting a Groco flanged seacock. Plenty more research needed.

I wasn't expecting to work on seacocks any time soon. I was hoping to get the boat in the water soon and do some sailing before doing any major items. Since the raw water seacock looks bad enough to cause the boat to sink, it has moved to the top of list of things to do.

It was suggested to me that the water lift muffler (metal can behind the engine) needs to be replaced. Looking at pictures I've had before, I could see that there were signs of leaking in the past. It was suggested to me that I replace the metal can with a fiberglass one as it should last longer. I'm sure I'll uncover other things to fix or replace soon. I just hope I can get them done to get it in the water and enjoy the sailing part of owning a boat too. :-)

Replacing all the seacocks will turn out to be an expensive project but as long as it's done right, it'll last a very long time.

Here's a short video showing the movement of the seacock.

Update 17 Nov 2012,
I was researching different things to replace the raw water valve/seacock for the engine intake. I'm starting to consider going with a regular round through-hull and flanged seacock. This post I found on a forum makes a good point of growth getting under an external strainer and the difficulty that comes to trying to clean and clear it.
This is the space showing where the strainer was removed.
Update 25 Nov 2012
For Thanksgiving day, I looked over the engine and got it running and was able to get the antifreeze through the engine's water system. This short video shows how it was setup.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Varnish Part... (Nevermind)

I started a college class this past week, English 102, that will last until end of December. I'm not too crazy about it but if I'm ever going to get a degree, I need it. So, this leaves less time for boat related work (or anything else for that matter). But I'll fit it in some how.

Yesterday and today, I painted the starboard side handrail and I think I built enough varnish on it to be even with the port side. I started the port side before so I was working on getting them even now. To me, it looks like I got enough to build them up a few more coats without using mineral spirits to thin out the varnish, then I should be done with them. Then the tricky part of mounting them back on the boat.

Between the varnish work I did yesterday and today, I went through the same process. The weather was nice to work on it on the back deck both days. I sanded down the handrail with 220 grit sand paper then used my small shop-vac to vacuum up the dust. The varnish was still cut a little with mineral spirits, what I had left over from the other day. I applied varnish down the whole handrail. I measured it the other day while it was sitting in the living room. This rail is 11 ft long. By the time I got to the end of the handrail, I checked where I started and it was already drying. It wasn't just sticky but actually dry to the touch. I decided to apply another coat and let it dry. When this second coat dried to the touch, I moved it to the living room to dry the full 24hrs recommended on the varnish can. All of this, each day, probably didn't take more than 30 min to do.

Like I said, I did the same process yesterday and today. I'll get another few coats of straight varnish and it should be ready for the boat.

Here's pictures to show how it came out. I really like how the grain shows up on this handrail since I did use teak cleaner/brightener.

And this is showing it spread out in the living room. The wrenches hold the rails up by its bolts while it drys for the full 24hrs. The other pieces shown are the port side rails (came in two pieces) that are laying down waiting for the next coats of varnish.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Varnish Work Continues

I did a little bit of varnish work today on all the handrails today. On the handrail that I used a teak cleaner on came out nice. This first picture is after one coat of varnish.

On the other pieces that I already had a coat of varnish, I sanded them down a bit to smooth out the finish.

I then varnished the other pieces too. This picture below, I have one of the piece I had varnished before with the one I used a teak cleaner on. The one I used the cleaner on, did come out a little brighter then the one behind it. They still look pretty nice with fresh varnish. I think altogether, I have 2-3 coats on. The next couple coats will have less mineral spirits and more varnish as I work towards straight varnish for the finishing coats.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Almost Travel Ready

Today I was switching out the tires on the trailer. The owner/manager of the storage lot stopped by to take a look at what I was doing. He looked at the trailer fender all rolled up from the previous tire that had the tread peel off and ruined it. He happened to have an angle grinder and cut off the part of the fender that was rolled onto itself. You can see what the ruined part looked like in this post. As of today, there's still a couple tires I need to switch out that I can do later. The boat/trailer isn't moving just yet.

Part of the time I was working at the boat, I was putting the standing rigging that I replaced on the mast. Once everything was back on the mast, I went to the store and got some plastic wrapping. I wrapped up the rigging and lines to the mast then tied the mast higher on the trailer like it was when I bought the boat.

I also cleaned up the last piece of handrail from the top side. I bought some teak cleaner and brightener. I thought it might get the handrail to look better than the other pieces I did so far. It's hard to tell if it was working when the wood was still wet. I used the cleaner then brightener and did fresh water rinse after each part. I thought it was looking good but still hard to tell.

These next pictures show how the handrail looked once it was drying off. Now, it does look a lot better than before. I think tomorrow might be the day I start putting varnish on this piece. I'm thinking I'll be able to notice the difference in the wood once the varnish is applied. So far, it looks pretty good. Overall, everything seems to be working out pretty good. The boat/trailer is closer to getting ready to travel. I've had a few people at work express an interest in going out on the boat once it's in the water.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Paint idea

I received the trailer tires. I am going to have a busy weekend switching them out with the ones on the trailer.

I was thinking of an idea that I thought about before. Much of the storage spaces are painted a yellow color. I have been thinking that after Rhapsody is in the water, one of my projects would be to repaint the storage compartments to white. Although the spaces are not seen while everything is closed up but I was thinking it could be good to make everything a little brighter. I was thinking of using white Bilgekote or something else. I've read elsewhere that the main hardware stores carry one part polyurethane that could work on boats just as well as "marine brand" or other places might have an epoxy based paint that might work. I will have to look into what else is out there, no hurry on this.

The spaces I am considering painting is, the sail locker, under and behind the forward seating spaces, under the floor boards, the galley cabinets and the space the batteries are stored. This is just an idea I have and may not get to it for quite a while, if I do it at all, but I thought it would look better than the yellow.

Here are some pictures of what I'm talking about.

Maybe even painting the seats themselves would brighten things up. Of course, the cusions will be covering everything anyway so, still, not a priority.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Trailer Tires

Short post today.

Yesterday I ordered some tires for the trailer my boat sits on. The current tires are either a low load rating, mixed brands or not holding together very well. I have two rims for spares and the tires on them now are pretty much shredded. I got an email today that they're already on their way here and expect to get them on Oct 30th. Once they arrive, I'll work on getting them on the rims and switching them all out on the boat. This way, I'll know exactly when I put them on the boat and they are all the same size/brand. The tires I ordered are Goodyear Marathon size ST225/75R15 with Load Rating D (2540 lbs per tires).

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Clean up day

Today was a busy day.
I went to Rhapsody and did some cleaning up. Overall, I spent 4 hours at the boat.
I bought a 1000 watt inverter that I connected to the truck battery. I also bought a small 1.5 gallon shop-vac. Together, I cleaned up the inside of the boat.

Here's another video cleaning up other areas on the boat.

I decided to take a video of what it was like for someone my size of 6'5" tall to lay down in a quarterberth of a Nor'sea.

Afterwards, I came back to the house and started some work on putting some varnish on another piece of the port handrail. It's a first coat but it still looks pretty good to me. Hopefully, someday, I can get all the exerior wood to look as nice.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

More Handrail

It's been quite some time since I've been able to do any work on Rhapsody. This weekend has been very busy doing work around the house. I've been cleaning stuff up and throwing stuff I don't need out.

Today, I made time to clean up the handrails I brought back to the house. I pulled out an electric sander to help a little. Below is a picture of what the old varnish looked like, a bare piece and a piece with a couple coats of varnish. The piece in the middle I did some hand sanding and used the electric sander a little on a couple difficult spots that had turned grey. I'd say it's ready for the first coat or two of varnish. I started, but not finished removing old varnish from the other handrail. It's still going to take some time but it's well on it's way.

So far, I think things are looking pretty good. Once I get these rails back on the boat, I can get a survey and insurance and then a trip to the marina.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Drill Time

I finally got to Rhapsody today. As noted on a previous post, I had a bolt that didn't want to come out of the starboard handrail. I was going to use a fine tooth saw blade like used on a hack saw but that didn't really work out. I went to the hardware store and bought a small 12v cordless drill. The bit I used was as big as the threaded part of the bolt so it wasn't oversized. I drilled from down below where the head of the bolt was at. Once it went through the head enough, I used a screw driver and popped the head off. I went back to the top and pulled the handrail right up. It was easy, I should have tried doing that earlier.

Now I have the handrail at the house, along with the other two pieces from the port side for sanding and refinishing.

My goal with the handrails is to scrape off the old varnish, refinish with several coats of fresh varnish then rebed the rails back on the boat. As of now, I'm looking at bedding down with butyl tape. Once this is done, then I can get a survey, insurance and take it up to a marina where I have reserved a slip.

Here's a picture of the bolt after I popped the head off and a picture of the whole bolt after I removed the whole rail.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Handrail Removal

I decided to do a video this time showing my removal of the handrails.

One of the bolts I could not wedge the nut to loosen and I stripped the head trying to get it out. Now, it looks like I'm going to have to resort to drilling out the bolt or get a small fine tooth saw blade and cut the head off so I can remove the rail.

The rails I did get off are now at the house so I can refinish and prepare them for reattaching to the deck. So far, things seem to be going well. Just need to get that one bolt out so I can get to work on the other handrail.

Considering the bolts are phillips head, I'm now considering the possibility of changing them to a hex head. I wonder if that might make it easier for removal in the future, if it was needed. Either way, as long as things get bedded down good in the first place, it should be good as it is. If I'm going to drill out or cut the one bolt off, I'll need to find a replacement anyway for that one.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Teak handrail work

For the first time in a long time, I have a birthday on a day that I'm NOT working (as in, paid employment). Yep, today I'm 34.

It was a nice day today, and being a weekend, I decided to go do some work on the boat.

I've been looking at the teak handrails for a while and doing a little work to rebed them to prevent additional damage to the interior. I guess you could say that today I had a crazy moment and decided to ruin the nice handrails down below, gut out the plugs and unscrew everything so I could get to the bolts holding down the handrails on the top.

Here is the nicely finished plug down below.

And here's how it looked after I took one of them out.

Everything was going pretty well. Still, it wasn't easy. My hand are hurting from trying to chisle everything out with screw drivers without causing too much damage during the removal.

One of the plugs on top had to be removed in order to stop a nut from spinning with the bolt.

I ended up having to use a painters spatula to wedge it to keep it from moving. At the same time, I was reaching in from below through a port hole to unscrew it.

Here's the handrail sitting in the cockpit.

It'll take some cleaning up to do before I put the handrails back on. These, I can bring back to the house to pull the old varnish off without having to go out to the storage place to work on it at the boat..

Unfortunately, The handrail on the other side was not as cooperative. There were three small handrails down below that I had to chisle out the plugs to get to the screws. Even then, When I worked on the bolts to detach everything, I have one that is spinning freely like the one I mentioned above and three of them are pretty tight and don't want to move and will require a bit more work to get it off. Since I wasn't feeling up to staying at the boat any longer, I thought it best to try again another time, probably next week. All together, I probably spent about 5 hours on all this today. It is not easy work cleaning the plugs out of the handrails.

Another reason I decided to do all this is so I can rebed everything rather than focusing on just where I see damage. This seems to be the first time they will be rebedded in 30 years or so. Then, I have to decide, do I use Butyl tape or Lifecaulk to rebed everything, as this is what I have on hand. Or, as others on the Nor'sea owners group seem to love, Dolphinite, which I also have on hand. I'm not sure of Dolphinite as it seems to have a more fluid consistancy that I expected. I first thought it would be similar to the butyl putty feel to it.

Time to consult the group. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Things considered

I went to the boat today to drop off stuff I had laying around the house.

Since one of the things I was looking at doing involved the compass, I took a picture of it. The lens has a bit of a haze but looking at it again, it might be the liquid(?), I don't know. It can still be usable as is.

As with my other posts regarding the varnish work and the handrails on top needing rebedded, I took pictures of all the spots showing water damage. While a couple spots is only a screw head, there are other spots that are by interior handrails. I'd hate to ruin the varnish work of the interior handrails but I think I'd have to get to them anyway so I can loosen up all the rails so I can rebed the top side rails for better protection against additional water damage.

Marina reserved

Today was a pretty good day. I drove up a little over an hour to Grand Rivers, KY and talked with a nice lady, Carol at Green Turtle Bay Marina. I talked with her about getting a slip for Rhapsody. I made reservations to start Oct 1st. I also talked with a guy, Gary, at the local boat yard about getting bottom paint. They can also setup the mast and move Rhapsody to the slip once it's ready too. Now, I actually have a date that's a little closer to getting into the water.

I think I'll have a day off that weekend of Oct 1st that I'll be able to move the boat up. I was told they would take it off of the trailer and put up on blocks to do the work. Gary said the job isn't very big for them so it shouldn't take too long to do. He also said he can order some handles for the seacocks since a few of them have gone soft.

In the meantime, Carol said she will work up a contract, mail it to me to sign and return in the next couple weeks.

I'm really looking forward to getting on the water. Even though today is cloudy, it's still a nice cool day in the low 70's. It's a nice and quiet place to relax. I'm sure Rhapsody will do well there.

Here's a video of the marina. The pier I was standing near is where I made the reservations and on the resorts map found here, it is labled "Jetty 3".

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I finally got the Certificate of Documentation from the Coast Guard. Now, Rhapsody is officially mine. I recently went to the local county office to pay the sales tax. The only other thing I need to do is the state registration so I could use it in a local lake. Even though I live in Tennessee, I'm thinking of going to a place in Kentucky where there is a waterway with more room to move around in.

Oh and getting a bottom job and maybe some repairs on the gel coat would be a good idea before splashing. Still, it might take a little bit of time because of finances but I'm well on my way to enjoying some time on the water.

Friday, July 6, 2012

First Varnish

It's been a while since I visited Rhapsody. Today I decided to check in on the boat. Things looked good. I took the piece of the handrail that I removed from the top side and decided to do something with it. I first did a little sanding but not much. I was looking in a book that after any sanding was done, it could be wiped down with mineral spirits and could be ready for varnish.

Here I wiped it down and could see some of the grain showing through. Nice hint of what it would look like with varnish.

I put a couple screws into the handrail to prop it up with wrenches while it dried.

I went ahead and applied a little bit of varnish, mixed 50/50 with mineral spirits.

This is the Epifanes varnish I used.

Before I left the boat today, I moved the handrail to the countertop down below. The Epifanes can says to allow to dry 24hrs between coats. I tried coating with a couple coats before I left. Hopefully it will turn out nice and I can add additional coats whenever I visit again.