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.


  1. I'd call it a good day after you mentioned, the stuffing box leak is better to find while the boat is on top of the water instead of under the water.

    I'd certainly talk to the person or people who did the work and left out a very important step.

    Keep going out as much as you can! I was kind of nervous when I first took out my own boat too, since previously in my ASA Classes, I was only on a J-22.

    I ran into a bunch of spiders too, just after a couple days of not being at the boat...they move in fast!

    By the way, she's a beautiful boat!


    1. You're right. Spiders move in very FAST. They sure make a mess of things too.

  2. Aww, I could feel your excitement as you went to sail your OWN boat for the first time (or one of the first). What alarm when you find the bilge full of water, and you are all by yourself too. GEESH. That's an easy way to ruin a potentially nice day out on the water.

    You may consider this a blessing since any wrong move in the slip may have sent your boat sinking while you were away! Yikes.

    Glad to see she is back in the water. We all have issues with boats every so often.

    1. Yes, I was very excited. I hope to try again before it gets too cold.

      I would be devastated if I were to ever find my boat sitting on the bottom so I am happy to find out about it while I was there.