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Sunrise: Chasing the dream
Life filled with adventure, both actual and spiritual.
Bilge pipe
09/21/2008, Champlain Bridge Marina

The first in a series of projects to untangel the spagetti.

I have sailed since I was nine. That was when my dream started... when I was sailing a clunky boat across Lake Winnipesaukee... but that is another story. All that sailing and I have never looked carefully under the skin of the boat... until now... Now I have purchased the dream boat to take my family on my dream adventure sailing around the world. And the boat is 25 years old, so there is some looking under the skin to do.
I thought I would start with a simple, yet critical project. Replace the bilge pumps and hose and install vented loops. You would think that with something as important as this and as simple, there would be lots of clear information available. Many of the expert fix-the-boat books note the importance of a high capacity pump and vented loops. There are magazine reviews of pumps, but none that tackle the job itself and all the pieces.
Bilge hose is the most remarkable void. Let's look at what it is called on to do: Sit in the darkest, dankest, least inspected part of the boat. It is dowsed with water and an assortment of contaminants, some of which are pretty good solvents. It weaves its way through the boat to a place where it is attached to a through hull. Along that course it touches a million things that would like to chafe a hole in it.
A Bilge hose is a pretty critical part of your safety gear. In our boat, I am installing two pumps. One is a small pump (500 gph) that will happily deal with the various small amounts of water that end up in the bilge: some water draining from the fridge, water draining from the broken water line to the sink (doh!) and the leaking water pump (now that has been rebuilt). The other bilge pump is the biggest I could find. This pump is for that time when something really bad happens and a lot of water is pouring into the bilge and we want to buy some time. This is the time when you really want to have total confidence that your bilge hose has not been chafed through, dissolved or crushed.
When I started this quest, I went to the marine parts catalogue and bought some bilge hose. I splurged and bought the heavy duty stuff. I wanted to protect my family from disaster. Luckily I bought 50 feet, a whole box (thinking I would replace my bilge line and my manual bilge pump). When it arrived in my shop I wanted to pre-assemble everything (since my boat is an hour away) to be sure I had everything. Being the geeky type, I read all labels and instructions. Prominently displayed on the label of the bilge hose box it says, "Not for use below the water line." And below, "not for use where exposed to petroleum products." Hmmmm...
I called the supplier and said, "Isn't the bilge below the water line in most boats?" Not getting a satisfactory answer, I called the manufacture, "You label this as Bilge Hose and you say it can't be used below the water line." Well, that didn't turn out so well either!
The following suggestion is based on a bunch of research and very little experience: A bilge hose should be a wire reinforced marine water exhaust type hose that resists engine heat, ozone, mild acids, salt water, petroleum products and abrasion. The hose should also be smooth inside to allow for better flow rates.

Choosing the boat
08/28/2011 | colin
The thru hull should exit well above the waterline.
clear, 60s, 0-15 knots
04/24/2008, Newport, RI

The cover is off the boat and Lara was so excited she wanted to take a photo to show everyone. The old stove is out and the new one is waiting to be installed. Gear is starting to come on board and we are prepared to go in the water (I think!)

Choosing the boat
04/24/2008 | Felicity
Only a week to go - you must be so excited! How did the work on the through-hulls go?
Weekends on the boat
03/31/2008, Newport, RI

It has been two months now since we bought the boat. I could define them in a word: Rush. The work weeks have been full and the weekends spent traveling and running around. Lara thinks I am obsessed with the boat... she might be right, or I might be really excited. In addition to the day we spent on the survey, we have spent two weekends on the boat. No the boat is not in the water yet, and it does have a nice little heater on it, so we have been toasty warm.

The weekends have been spent getting to know the boat a little. Of course the first weekend we were too excited to know what to do, so we opened cabinets and poked out heads into different places. We had a nice lunch with the previous owners and cleared a bunch of stuff out of their basement.

The second weekend we dug into things a little more. Lara mapped the through hulls from the outside and then located them on the inside. I started to look at some of the electrical that needs upgrading.

We tested out the salon and found that it is a nice place to have a glass of wine and chat. We have also found the aft cabin to be very comfortable.

We are hoping the boat will go in the water on May 2nd... Our first planned voyage is to sail east to Marion Massachusetts on May 9th where we will attend a Celestial Navigation Course. We will be bringing the boat to VT the week of June 14th

Choosing the boat
04/16/2008 | Peter & Sasha
Congratulations on your new boat. Looks warm and cozy. I have finished losing the teak on La Boussole. It's not a problem to fix or replace. Just plug those holes tight. Good luck.
Marine survey one week away
12/30/2007, Dorset VT

The photo above if of a sister ship hull #171, Sunrise is #168. We are scheduled to meet John Winder in Newport RI on January 7th for a marine survey of s/v Sunrise. The survey is critical as it will determine if Sunrise is a sound seaworthy boat. John, who is an experienced blue-water sailor, will also help us with suggestions for improvements to ready the boat for the sea. Our sense now is that the sails are in good shape, we don't know about the rigging. The Volvo motor has 4300 hours and has been well maintained, so it could be good and could need replacement. We know there is some kind of problem with the rudder bearings, which has been reported by other HR 38 owners. The navigation equipment will need to be upgraded, and there are lots of mouth watering options. We have been reading about AIS, which is a technology that would allow you to identify large ships and their courses long before they would become a hazard. Radar will also be important.

If all goes well at the survey, we will then close on the boat on January 28th, 2007. If the survey shows that with some work the boat will be acceptable, the price of the boat can be negotiated.

Choosing the boat
The plan leading to the purchase
12/21/2007, Dorset VT

Lara and I have been working on our plan to go off on a sailing adventure in the fall of 2009. We have set up the following time line to work toward that departure date:

Purchase a boat by spring of 2008
Keep the boat on Lake Champlain during the summer of 2008, where we can work on it and compile a list of upgrades we will need for our trip.
Have any changes or upgrades accomplished during the winter of 2008-2009
Use the summer of 2009 for a series of sea trials off the coast of New England. Correct, adjust, fix, and organize.
Fall of 2009 Provision the boat and sail to the Caribbean for the fall/winter of 2009.
From there, we have not mapped out an itinerary. Perhaps Europe, and maybe we will move through the Panama into the Pacific.
Since the summer time we have been searching for a boat. We have some strict criteria:

-Safe and seaworthy so we feel secure crossing an ocean.

-A proven design: sister ships on documented ocean travels or circumnavigations.

-Large enough to be safe and to have room for family and guests.

-Small enough so that one of us can handle it, should the other be sick or disabled.

-Fiberglass hull and deck for low maintenance and durability.

-Out fitted with ham radio or single side band (SSB), radar and a chart plotter.

-A well documented service history and professional upgrades.

We have researched hundreds of boats using the internet, we have hired a consultant (John Neal of Mahina Expeditions) to review the boats we find of interest. We have slowly narrowed our list to two boats: A Mason 43 and a Halberg Rassy 38.

We have sailed on both boats and found that the Mason 43 tends to "hobby horse" in swells and light wind. Doing some research confirms that this is the case.

The only issues we have found with the Halberg Rassy 38 (HR38), is a problem with a rudder bearing that many of the owners report. This is something that we can have repaired.

There are currently two HR 38s available in the world! In Croatia there is a 1978 HR 38 for sale for $140,000. And in Newport, RI, there is a 1983 HR 38 that is listed for $159,000.

We have sailed on the boat in RI and inspected it. We will make an offer based on two HR38s sold in the past two years.

We are going to fund the purchase with the sale of 172 Spruce Street, the old home of Water Works. Currently I am in discussion with a several people who are interested in purchasing the building.

Choosing the boat