Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hour Meter & Tiller

I went to the boat briefly today. It's rainy and windy so not much else was going on.

I have a survey left over from the previous owner when he bought the boat in 2007. The engine hours recorded in the survey says 714hrs. Since owning the boat, I've run the engine for six or more hours yet the hour meter has not moved.

I used some spare speaker wire I had laying around the house to hook up to the meter to test whether it works. It took a couple seconds but it clicked and started making a sound showing that it did work and moved slightly. I flipped switches, turned the engine key on from the panel and couldn't see anywhere that would get it to work. I'll trace wires around another time to get it working along with the engine.

That didn't take long but the main work was to remove the tiller. The nut and bolt are made of bronze. I first used a dremel to cut a slot on the head of the bolt. Using a wrench and a heavy duty screwdriver, the still wouldn't budge from each other. I then took the dremel and cut away from the nut. I then used a smaller screw driver to pound the bolt out of the hole. The tiller was still tight between the rudder cheeks so I had to work the bolt out while moving the tiller up and down.

Now, it's at the house where I will have it kept indoors while it dries out. I can then strip it down of the old varnish, fill in some holes, epoxy a split and then refinish it.

Cut up nut and washer

Port side of rudder cheek

Starboard side of rudder cheek

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Head Hoses Removed

I spent a good part of the day removing the hoses from the head. Everything went well, mostly.

I first removed the vent hose. I had to route it past the other hoses and through the counter top. I ended up breaking the part the hose was attached and left the hole open.

The hole is to the right of the black hose

The vent is just below the toe rail. The silver cap is for waste
The first part of the larger hoses I removed was from the waste deck fill to a switch between deck pump-out and overboard discharge. The worst part of this was there was a little deposit left in the hose. Thankfully, there wasn't much but it did smell pretty bad for a moment. Thankfully, I had lots of paper towels and some cleaner/disinfectant. I covered the hose with a plastic bag and a rubber band.

The dark part by the thru-hull is the mess made.
After covering the hose with the plastic bags, everything else wasn't too bad. I removed the rest of the hose going from the manual pump to the overboard discharge thru-hull.

Here the hoses are on the deck that I soon put in a black trash bag.

Removing the hoses from the head cleaned up the space under the counter. The white hoses that are left is for the bilge pump. The clear ones are for the sink that's in the head. I'm thinking to remove the sink from the head. With the size of this boat, it doesn't seem necessary to me to have a second sink. I also cleaned up some more of the space, like the caulk that held the head/holding tank and the dirt covering the counter. Now it's more ready for installing an Airhead.

 I was thinking of how it would be to remove and cover the thru-hulls when I haul the boat and make some more room under the counter. Another thought is to keep the thru-hulls in place, at least the one under the counter, maybe for a watermaker in the future. Of course I'm not going to continue with the one used for the head so it'll be replaced with a new one. The other thru-hull to consider is the one that was used for the head's water intake. It's right next to the battery so I'm thinking that can definitely be removed and covered. One less thru-hull to worry about.

This thru-hull can be removed
I was going to remove the tiller to bring home to refinish it and fix the crack on the hand-hold end. When I went to loosen the nut, the whole bolt turned as well. Now, I'm trying to think of how to remove it. There's no way to hold both ends. The smooth side is recessed. I'll have to figure out how to remove it in order to refinish the tiller.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Off With His Head!

Today started of cold. I look out the window of the house and see frost on the grass and car. It seemed to be a good day to stay home. Instead, I decided to get out of the house and head to the boat. It was clear today without a cloud in the sky. There was also a nice breeze blowing.

I went to the boat thinking I could do some cleaning, maybe winterize but something told me to try sailing again. Winterizing will wait.

Like the previous attempt and the videos I took before, I motored out and through the canal to the other lake. There was hardly anyone out. There was a few speedboats with guys going fishing. There was maybe 5 or 6 sailboats near the canal and maybe a few  more farther down. I don't know how strong the wind blew but it was more than the last time.

Sailing went well. While looking at the GPS, I would say my average speed was around 3-3.5 knots. I was able to get the boat up to 5-5.5 knots but that also involved the boat leaning over 25-30 degrees from the healing gauge mounted by the companionway.

I had the main and jib out and did a couple tacks. After an hour or so, I dropped sails and floated while I went down below and picked up all the stuff that got thrown around all over the place while heeled over. I raised only the mainsail and sailed back to the canal and motored the rest of the way back to the marina. I was sailing for about an hour and a half so it wasn't long but I still enjoyed myself very much.

Back at the dock, I took care of a few other things. I looked at the tiller thinking that it needs to be repaired in some way. The end is split and a few soft spots. Right now, I'm thinking some epoxy in the crack and a clamp to keep it together might help. Then it could get stripped down with new varnish applied.

I went to the Annapolis sailboat show recently and got a new anchor from Mantus to replace the Delta anchor that was on the bow. Changing out the anchor wasn't too bad. When the anchor was raised, it didn't sit on the bow like the Delta. Luckily, the Mantus rollbar can be removed which will allow it to sit better. I saw things online that the anchor will still set pretty good without the rollbar.

The biggest project of the day was the removal of the head and holding tank. I wanted to switch it out for a composting head. I was thinking a Natures Head but after looking at the options at the Annapolis Sailboat show, I thought the Airhead would be a better fit. There was a two inch screw holding it down on each side and applied with some sort of adhesive. Some of the wood around the edges were soft. After removing the screws, I hammered a flat-head screwdriver in between the tank and the wood and pried it apart. Took a few minutes to pry apart all the edges. Once all the edges were loose, I cut the few hoses leading away from the tank/toilet and covered them with plastic bags and rubber bands. The tank itself was deeper than I originally expected. I thought it was only big enough as what was visible from the top. As soon as I picked it up, there was dust/dirt falling from it. I didn't realize until I got it to the parking lot that there was a big gaping hole on the back side about 2" x 3". Thankfully, I never tried using it or testing it out. I would hate the clean up from a mess like that. Good thing I decided to take it out since it needed replaced anyway.

Pictures of the head.

Next step of this would be to remove the rest of the hoses that will free up some space under the counter. Then cleaning up all the old caulking and prepare the space for a new head. I'm thinking to epoxy a 1/2" plywood board to the hole the holding tank was in. The plywood would also be fully epoxied too to protect it from moisture. I was thinking of a light sheet of fiberglass but don't think it would really be necessary. Epoxy coating, I think, would (or should) be enough to protect it.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Motoring Around

Today was the day I was going out on the lake. Instead of just working on the boat to get ready to go, I wanted to actually GO.

As I heard once, "a plan is a list of stuff that ain't going to happen." The reason behind this quote is that you can plan all you want but when you start to DO your plan, sometimes you are just reacting to the situation you are given.

I showed up at the boat today to see a little bit of a mess. The mess mainly comes from all the dang spiders all over the place. Webs, nests, egg sacks(?), and the spiders themselves. I saw spiders today that were from the size of a quarter down to the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Or at least they looked that tiny.

Yesterday I bought a garden hose and a nozzle for the house but took it to the boat to spray anything off. I sprayed all over cleaning dirt and webs and such and saw there is a little bit of growth on the exterior in the way of green spots on wood and spots on the deck. Thankfully, the interior looked fine.

I took a bunch of stuff to the boat with me. I emptied some of it from the truck and stored it inside. Spent quite a bit of time killing spiders too. They get everywhere. Stepping foot onto the boat is also stepping into a bunch of webs too.

Spider slayer!
Once I got everything stored, I went on to bleed air out of the fuel lines. About this time, it rained pretty hard a few times. Found a leak from the deck that I didn't notice before. I thought a porthole was still leaking even after replacing a rubber gasket but turned out to be a hole from something that may have been mounted on the deck from a previous owner. Now, I need to come up with something to fix that. I'm thinking penetrating epoxy might be something to take a look at to seal it up.

bled air from fuel filters
Black spot is the leak culprit
The rain didn't last too long and I decided to go ahead and do some sailing for once. I have only sailed a Colgate 26 for an ASA101 class so I've been looking forward to sailing MY own boat for a while. Took the mainsail cover off and untied the starboard dock lines while getting a few things ready to go.

Looking at the weather online yesterday, there were reports of thunderstorms happening a good part of the day. It ended up really nice and didn't really rain much more throughout the day. It stayed partly cloudy with a nice breeze blowing too.

Things were going well motoring in the lakes, or so I thought. The lakes are connected by a canal. Just to get from my marina, through the canal and to the other lake is about 3 miles. I motored this entire way. Thankfully, I didn't have any issue with the engine at all today. As soon as I got to the other side, I raise the sail to get started, then I hear a really annoying sound. It was the sound of the bilge alarm. To that, I immediately jump down into the cabin, open up the floor board to see an almost full bilge and water flowing into it. I don't mean a drip or trickle, I mean a flow like a faucet was turned on. I didn't have the bilge pump turned on so I turned it on and jumped back into the cockpit. When I saw no one was nearby, I jumped back down and poked my head into the engine space and heard the flow of water. I found out the water was coming from the stuffing box. I was surprised to see this. I replaced the stuffing material last year to make sure it was good and tightened the nuts together so they wouldn't come off. I wasn't comfortable trying to work on it out on the lake, although thinking about it now, I could have just by dropping the anchor and getting to work. I ended up motoring all the way back to the marina to take a closer look at what was going on and to fix the issue. Not only was the nuts on the stuffing box loose, the big one holding the stuffing material wasn't even on the threads of the stuffing box. I think the boat yard loosened the nuts to do some work on the boat getting it ready to put in the water but forgot to tighten it back up. Anyone hear of the nuts on a stuffing box working loose?

While motoring back to the dock, there was a guy in an rigid dinghy with his son. As he passed by, he asked me if my boat was a Pacific Seacraft. I just said "no, it's a Nor'sea." On the owners group, I saw someone comment about how they were asked many times if their boat was a Pacific Seacraft so they made some "Nor'sea 27" lettering and attached them near the bow.

After taking care of everything back at the dock, I worked on organizing a few things I brought with me for the day. I bought some storage containers to use with food items. One cabinet I plan to use as a pantry for storing food and wanted to test fit some things on the bottom and on a shelf. It looked pretty good to me and I could end up getting quite a bit of food supplies in this one cabinet. I then filled the containers I got with some food I bought. I could add more containers over time.

I was watching videos from another Nor'sea owner, Greg and Jill who own Guenevere. They recently posted one video of useful items for the galley. These items included a collapsible strainer, bowls and I thought this was a good idea. I went grocery shopping recently and just happened to find a couple of items and I thought I would go ahead and get them. I got a collapsible strainer and a funnel. Thanks Greg and Jill for the space saving idea.

I looked at a couple storage boxes that are molded fiberglass that is used under the cook-top. I'm looking at scrubbing them and roughing them up a bit and painting the inside of them to give them a nice clean look. One of them was cut on the end because it was slightly longer than the space allowed. I'm looking at using some epoxy and fiberglass tape to reinforce it and then smooth it out for painting also.

Despite the setback trying to go for my first sail with my own boat, it still turned out to be a pretty good day. I actually left the dock and was gone for a total of 2 hours. I still got a lot done. I'm glad I was at the boat when I found out about the stuffing box. I would hate to come to the boat and find it sitting on the bottom. The short time I had the sail up, I ended up going in circles a couple times. I guess in a way, I did go sailing, just not how I expected it to go.

At least everything is a learning experience to prepare for the next step ahead. I'm sure the next time will go better.