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New Life for Christy Lee
Detailing the restoration of a classic Spencer 35...
Quick Note
02/22/2014

Finally, I believe, the base level of CL's electrical system is complete. I separated the starting battery ground from the house bank ground, opening the contacts on the VSR resulting in an immediate 3A current reduction on the house house bank. The starting battery and house bank are now completely isolated except when paralleled by the VSR. Seems like it's right, time will tell...

Now, what's next...?

02/22/2014 | Steve Dettman
I know it might be a novel idea. Go sailing?
02/23/2014 | Michael McCombs
Gotta check the wind, it may actually be a good week for that! Are you free in the mornings?
Christy Lee is moving into the modern era
02/07/2014

After 2 day marathon of wiring, rewiring, and rewiring again I've finally completed a couple major hurdles. The aux panel, pictured, works 100 percent. 12v outlet, solenoid control for propane, analog meter for starting battery, and even the digital amp-voltmeter for the house bank. I completely rewired the batteries and charging system today in a configuration much more suited to my VSR. And the lower panel and modern battery selector switch with VSR is completely functional. Next stop: main electrical panel. Once that's done the galley demo can begin!


unplanned day off
02/05/2014

Ok, so I thought I'd have the bottom panel finished today. As it turns out the heater in my Durango quit working yesterday. Yea, so today is fix the Durango day.

Aux panel and battery compartment
02/03/2014

Making progress! As you can see the aux panel is completely installed, although only partially wired. Still need to get the digital house bank meter connected, but the analog starting battery meter is running accurately.

The new battery compartment finally has a nice, teak side on it. The battery selector switch has been relocated and I will post a pic of that once I tie up a few loose ends.


for my Uncle :-)
01/25/2014

In his defense, my Uncle's incessant pestering isn't completely unwarranted; I haven't updated the blog since the beginning of spring. Slacker. Ok, so let's see what I can do.

Let's start with the to-do list from the beginning of last spring.

- Stainless Steel sail track pulled out of toe rail and bent 90 degrees.
REPAIRED. SAIL TRACKS REMOVED AND REINSTALLED WITH NEW SS HARDWARE, OFFSET FROM ORIGINAL HOLES BY 3". SHOULD BE GOOD FOR ANOTHER 50 YEARS.

- Chartplotter will not power up (found it like that in the morning)
REFURBISHED UNIT RECEIVED FROM GARMIN. ALL IS WELL.

- Bilge pump plumbing needs complete overhaul to include vented loop and new hose.
DONE

- Bilge pump switch still not wired in. Need to fix that while I'm working on the pump.
DONE

- Need to remove and reinstall all sail tracks with new hardware.
DONE. SEE ITEM #1

- Still no flag halyard, need to fix that
DONE.

Well, not too shabby! As you can see I haven't been updating, but that doesn't mean I've been slackin'! In fact, I've moved on a bit.

This winter I've set aside for some more restoration projects below. I'm still having electrical issues with my charging system, probably due to an engineering error on my part. It looks like the AWG 2 battery cables are causing an excessive voltage drop which is really messing with my Voltage Sensing Relay (VSR), causing it to repeatedly cycle on and off. In order to fix THAT problem I need not only to reduce the cable gauge, but shorten the length as well. SOOO...

Since the battery storage area needs to be finished I'm going to move the battery selector switch and VSR back down there, removing about 12 feet of total cable and reducing the gauge down to somewhere around 8. That will leave a big hole in the temporary acrylic panel I made. I think I've gotten the arrangement bugs worked out, so that will need to be done as well. Last but not least, the aux panel needs to be finalized, too, adding meters for the batteries and a switch for the refrigerator/freezer I'm putting in. WHAT?!?!?! Oh, yea, and I want to rebuild the galley, too. To review..

- finish battery compartment in teak, relocate VSR
- finish main elec. panel in light marine-grade plywood (Okume)
- finish aux panel in okume, add meters for batteries and switches
- remove all panelling from galley. install new galley with improvements
(we'll talk more about that later)

I started with the aux panel (see photo). What you see starting in the top left and working around clockwise is a new cluster of 3 switches with a 12vdc power adaptor (1 switch for the new fridge, 1 for the propane solenoid, and a spare), the opening for the existing bilge pump switch, analog gauge for the starting battery (original from Ventura!), and a new digital ammeter/voltmeter for the house battery. The wood is marine-grade Okume plywood. Since both the aux and main panels are in inherently dark areas I wanted the blonde wood to lighten things up. The particular plywood will be used extensively throughout my restoration to try and lighten the 50-year old teak interior up. The wood you see here is the finished product, sanded to 220 and varnished with 00 steel wool between coats. The next photo will be of the panel installed.

The teak for the battery compartment is rough cut and should be finished this week.

Ok, that's where we're at. We'll see what I can get done before spring!


01/25/2014 | Steve Dettman
Good to see you alive and well.
Catching up
06/02/2013

The race went well, we placed middle of the pack. Not too shabby. The trip to the starting line was a little rough, we pulled out of Little Creek into 2-3 footers. We made the trip to Norfolk closed hauled just before the wind died. By race start the wind had come around to the east and we began the two-leg race on a run. The big drifter came out, joining the acres of sail as the fleet sailed wing on wing or, as in the racing class, flew spinnakers. We rounded middle ground light and beat windward on the #1, finishing the race 5th in the cruising class of 11 or so.

The trip back to Little Creek was dicey, the afternoon wind building quickly to a strong ESE blow. The first bit of breakage happened about 10 minutes after leaving the dock party; the starboard jib track bent 90 degrees up as soon as we put strain the working jib. Several screws had pulled out of the toe rail, rendering the starboard sail track inoperable forward. The starboard sheet was rerouted quickly to the remnants of the self-setting jib track, and we continued on. Winds were strong enough to keep us well heeled all the way back. A few puffs of 25+ put the rail well into the water. We discovered that the loop in the bilge pump discharge is NOT above the maximum heeled water line, the result of which was a bilge pump constantly running to try and keep the siphon from filling the boat.

We had fun, to be sure, and our two newbie crew members got broken in. All in all a pretty good day, but...

- Stainless Steel sail track pulled out of toe rail and bent 90 degrees.
- Chartplotter will not power up (found it like that in the morning)
- Bilge pump plumbing needs complete overhaul to include vented loop and new hose.
- Bilge pump switch still not wired in. Need to fix that while I'm working on the pump.
- Need to remove and reinstall all sail tracks with new hardware.
- Still no flag halyard, need to fix that
- Pre-race power wash stripped old, crappy teak off. OIL!

I think that was about it. So, I had a pretty good grocery list of things to do.
To date:

- Refurbished Chartplotter received from Garmin.
- Bent sail track straightened, began work removing others.
- Bilge pump discharge re-plumbed. New hose, Vented loop installed raising high point about six inches on the centerline.
- Bilge pump wiring redone, switch wired in above chart table.
- Teak oiled a couple times, sanding begun.
- Flag halyard installed on backstay :-).

I'm off!


06/07/2013 | Sandy Dahl
WOW, she looks great. Good showing in the race, too. You've done a great job with the Christy Lee. Makes me long for those days we were sailing her around here on the Pacific Ocean. She's done her fair share of travelling, hasn't she.
07/10/2013 | cld
Time to spice the mainbrace.
02/03/2014 | Michael McCombs
You guys are awesome! Can always count on family... :-)

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