08/02/2010, Des Moines Marina
When we have discussed the "List", that ever changing accumlation of things that we either have to do, should do, or would like to do to the boat before we are ready to leave, one of the things that has really never been put on the list was a change out all of the water lines. In most cases I believe in the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". So, with that in mind, the water lines that have faithfully sent water to both sinks, and the shower have never been on my radar, so to speak. Jeanne on the other hand has mentioned them about every six months for the past three years. She has wanted to replace all of them. I do readily admit that the lines were the old gray compression fitting style poly hoses, and we have had at least two fittings crack and start to leak. It was decided.....Saturday would be the day that all the lines would get replaced. Jeanne made the required run to our favorite store to shop in, Fisheries Supply and got all the needed goodies! Seven hours, multiple nicks, cuts and bruises later, the job was done. We also added a new water meter to be able to track our water usage. It has a manual meter, looks like the counter on your gas meter at the house, as well as a small LCD counter that is with the other instruments for easiler access. I will get a picture on later tonight.
07/28/2010, Des Moines
Well, to make a short story long....over the last two - three months we have been having engine problems. Actually not engine problems, but fuel supply problems. The engine runs like a champ, just so long as it can get it's fair share of fuel. This all started back a few months ago when we were happily motoring back from Burton. We had just rounded Piner Point, across from Tacoma, when the engine just died!! I ran down and fliped the selector switch on the Racor duel fuel filters, and she strted right back up. This then leads to a previous blog posting about getting to sail into the slip for the first time in really bad conditions to do so. since I am sure you have read that posting (or can go back now and do so) I will not bore you with the extremely exciting details of that adventure. This did start the adventure of finding out why the engine would not have enough fuel to run...all of the time. Since there were a bunch of things that could cause this, it was all a matter of elimination. To go and fix several things, then test the engine would have been of no benefit because if it did fix the problem, the I would never know what was the problem. So one at a time we started fixing things and then take the boat out to test it. The engine would run like a champ, for days on end, up to 1800 RPM. Bump it up to 2000 and it would died in a matter of minutes. So we started by replacing all the filters in the Racor system, and then we took the boat out...Nope, died. We then took the electric fuel lift pump apart and checked the filter, and the flow it was putting out. Seemed fine so we took the boat out....nope, died.Then we replaced the secondary fuel filter and took the boat out....nope, died. By the way, each one of these events was accompanied by bleeding the system...and then we took the boat out. For those with some engine savy, the fuel filter system has a pressure gauge that reflects the pressure that is on the fuel coming from the tank. It remained consistent even when the engine was running, dieing and at any RPM. So I was pretty comfortable that the tank supply was not the issue as while there was a small amount of pressure, it did not seem excessive. The system is a vaccum system, with the lift pump pulling from the tank rather than pushing, so where ever the air leak might be would be difficult to track down as it was pulling in air, not pushing out fuel. I then put a new fuel pump on, one with a larger CFM, and then we took the boat out. Nope....died! I re-tightened all connections, bleed the system, and took the boat out. Nope died. We were running out of things to check. We checked the fuel tank vent, and took the boat out...nope, died. We put a couple of gallons of fuel in one of our Jerry jugs and disconnected the line from the tank to the racor filters. I ran a short line from the jerry jug, to the racors in an effort to eliminate any questions about the tank....and we took the boat out. She ran like a champ, and at any RPM for as long as we wanted and the pressure gauge actually showed zero pressure. One of the design faults of the Freeport is a complete lack of viewing access to any of the tanks, and the fuel tank was no exception. So, we decided to put a whole new hose on and take the boat out. This would be the point where things got a little shaky...in all my climbing around in the engine compartment, I failed to notice that I had loosened the transmission cable connector that holds the cable in place while the inside slides back and forth allowing the tansmission to go from forward to neutral to reverse. As we are taking the boat out to try it.....a common theme here...Jeanne puts her in reverse, and she pulls out of the slip. She then goes for forward to pull the boat out into the fairway to leave and with some very calm excitment informs me that she has no transmission. We are drifing towards our neighbors boats...so I manually put the boat in gear at the transmission and we are going to head out, while I tighten the transmission cable. Another small detail then caught up with me. We now have a brand new fuel cable, approximatly 14 feet long, that has now just dumped 3/8" inside diamater x 14 feet worth of air into the system. So, just about the time I get the transmission fixed, the engine decideds to not run, well, very smoothly. We limp into the gas dock, and reapirs are made. Back to our slips to continue testing as after bleeding, the engine is not running well, and we have a bunch of pressure on the fuel filter gauge. Now I will have to work on the tank proper from inside that lazerett. Once inside there, my body in a form that would make pretzel proud, I begin to pull the manual fuel tank connector and switch apart. SUPRISE!!! it is nearly 100% clogged with crap!! In addition, once I have it off were I can see it, the hose barb is a 1/4" and I have 3/8" fuel line. A good cleaning, a new hose barb and we are good as gold. Especially after we have the fuel cleaning company come pump out our tank and cleaning it. Now to go take the boat out and try it!!
Adventures in boating!! gotta love it!
see you on the water
07/24/2010, Des Moines to Burton
As soon as I was able to get to the boat Friday evening after work we got the dock off the boat. We had a steady 15 knots out of the north and had the head sail up by the time we had cleared the breakwater. We rolled out the head sail, but did keep two reefs in it just in case. We did not know what we would encounter once we reached the middle of the sound. What a sail....we were running on a beam reach, at 90 degrees to the wind, and flying!! We had 30-45 minutes at 7.3 to 7.5 knots of boat speed. We were at slack tide, healed over at about ten degrees, a very well balance helm and the sun was out!! How can you ask for more? Well we got it!! As we got to Point Robinson, we caught to a trawler (power boat) and actually pulled away from him under sail!! Way too cool! All this with the head sail still reefed into the second reef point! For those of you, who do not know, our boat is a very heavy, modified full keel boat with 7000 pounds of lead for a keel. Add to that everything we own being on the boat, and those kinds of speeds are unheard of! We sailed all the way to Burton, and tied up on the mooring ball along with our great friends Pam and Tim on SV Savarna. Wow, what a great evening!!
07/22/2010, Kingston Marina
2010 PNW Freeport Islander Rendezvous
July 16th, 17th, and 18th, Kingston Marina
Despite a smaller than anticipated turnout, the rendezvous was considered a huge success by all that attended. The structure of this very first event was kept loose, with only a couple of truly scheduled events. Most of Friday evening was spent meeting and greeting as the boats arrived at the marina. Saturday morning there was fresh fruit and warm pastries from the local bakery co-op for breakfast on the dock. Most of Saturday was spent touring the boats looking at all the great changes and improvements that the owners had made. There were many "Ah Ha" moments that I am sure will be taken back to be used on their respective boats. It is quiet evident that with a group of boats all built in the 70's, over time creative minds have come up with some very clever improvements.
Late Saturday evening there was a slightly formal discussion on the high and low points of the Freeport design, and how many of the owners have over come these obstacles. Following this discussion, there was a nautical trivia contest with Jim Heinkle off of SV/Pied A Mer winning on the final question!
Saturday evenings Pot Luck dinner was amazing, with incredible food, great company and a lots of great boating stories.
The boats and owners that were in attendance were:
Dennis and Katy Oelrich on SV Puget Sounder
Tom Brown and Jeanne Walker on SV Eagle
Michael and Sharon on SV Isabella
Bob Nipper on SV Sailing on 3/5's
Jim and Darci Heinkle on SV Pied A Mer
Ivan and Rhonda Leith on SV Haven
For anyone interested in Freeport Islander sailboat, or next years rendezvous please check out our website at http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/FOGgers/
Argh...we have all slowly rolled out of our bunks. Some a bit fuzzier than others, but all accounted for. The fireworks were great, the canons did thunder, despite our efforts we found nothing to plunder! It certainly would have been great if the weather had been a bit nicer, as it was low 60's with a ten knot wind out of the south. Jeanne sat on the fore deck in a chair wrapped up in a blanket, and I stretched out on the boom, surrounded by the main sail. It was pretty cool....
We will head back home to Des Moines early this afternoon. We need to do some major clean up!! The is a lot of spent black powder all over the boat. Hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend!
just a quick posting to show some of the fun we are having!!