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New Life for Christy Lee
Detailing the restoration of a classic Spencer 35...
Good weekend!

So Stephanie finally came up to spend the weekend and help me with some projects. I had everything set when she got here! After a dinner of peppered ribeye grilled on the stern rail-mounted charcoal grill, we spent the evening catching up and saving the world for our 14-year old daughter.

03/26/2012 | Snoodle Time
Port lights look good. Sorry to hear they are leaking. When you did the install did you tighten down right away? If you did you may have squeezed all the caulk out. I've had the best luck when I've not tightened it down all the way and let the caulk set up some. That way it wo t get pushed out.
Fancy New Winders

Yup. FINALLY. Had a little problem with heat expansion, we'll see. I suspect these will need to removed and reinstalled in the next few years, but for the time being they are leak free (woo hoo!) and actually look pretty good :-) .

also, note new pump-out fitting in foreground. Working on the holding tank now.


little here, little there, lost 2 days!

Well, it would seem that the freezing weather is almost gone. A few flowers have started to bloom and the rain is coming more frequently. I'm getting closer to being able to tackle some of the topside tasks. I'm also getting the itch to get out on the water! So much to do...

got the chartplotter (Garmin GPSMap 640) hard-wired in. I'm taking a crash course in NMEA 0183 data words, although it's connected it seems my DSC capable VHS isn't receiving the data it's looking for. I'm sure once I figure out what to turn on and off it'll be ok. Just one of many projects I've been working on that hasn't gotten finished yet.

Picked up the bilge paint for the new battery shelf. Once I get that painted I'm going to pick up the new battery boxes, maybe even this week. I'm going home this weekend, will probably pick up some wood while I'm there to frame in the top and front face.

Finally got the inverter wired into my AC source select switch. The inverter is a 2500W (continuous) unit with a 5000W surge capacity. I think it'll do. I transferred power over this afternoon and verified the system works. Unfortunately it (the inverter) is wired into my accessory circuit which only has a 15a breaker. Predictably, neither the microwave or radiant heater can be used on ship's power. BFD. I'm good :-) . Started penciling out a permanent replacement panel for the temporary one I built some months back. I'll give the inverter it's own dedicated circuit then, along with building in some expansion room for a windlass, water pump, and a few other things down the road.

Let's see. Finally got back to working on the holding tank. Need to cut a hole topside for the pumpout fitting, got up this morning with the intent of doing in but we had a strong, cold wind most of the day. I was hungover, so that just wasn't happening. :-) .

Let's see. One window will be coming out this week so I can start cutting the acrylic for the new ones. I need to take them home and cut / route them this weekend. although the main point is to stop the leaks from the 50 year-old, cracked and beat up windows, this is really the first thing I'm doing that will make a cosmetic difference, too. That'll be nice.

The last debacle was the ice box. The ice box is under the starboard side cockpit and has accesses both in the cockpit AND in the galley. Very convenient. I had picked up a refrigeration unit (Waeco) many moons ago that would fit just about right on the back wall, turning my ice box into a refrigerator OR freezer. Friday I cleaned, sanded, and recleaned the ice box. Then I painted it with appliance epoxy, creating a nice, hard enamel coating on the inside of the box. I then made a template of the Waeco unit to mark the wall of the box for cutting. By this point a day and a half had gone by. You can imagine my disappointment when I discovered that the cooling unit is actually 1/2" TOO BIG. Ugh. Plan B is to modify some unused space under the counter when I rebuild the galley and companionway ladder later this year.

So that's it for now. The weather's warming up, and I'm beginning to feel itch. Bring on sailing season!


03/10/2012 | Buddy
Nice site Mike. The boat's looking good. Let me know the next time you're in town.
new battery compartment

Well, here it is. I still have some work to do, obviously, but for the first time since I discovered the battery problem I actually have my house bank (only 1 at the moment) and starting battery running correctly together. Once I get the second house battery and battery boxes in there the shelf will be full, then I'll frame in the top and put a mahogany face on it. Making progress!

02/20/2012 | Snoodle Time
It kind of looks like you used particle board instead of marine plywood. It that is the case it will most likely not hold up for long as moisture will win in the long run and it will fall apart.

Just sayin.
02/20/2012 | Mike
Damn you, man! Must you always be right? :-) A major oversight on my part, I admit. Reconstruction will have to wait, although now that you've pointed it out I'll have to keep an eye on it. The supports underneath were the real pain in the ass to make, and they're pine 2x4s that should last a while. I guess I'll plan on rebuilding it next haulout.... Hey, but it works for now!
02/20/2012 | Snoodle Time
I debated on whether or not I'd say anything because I knew you would feel I was busting your chops. Then, after some thought, I said to myself, what kind of friend would I be if I let you go down the wrong path.

Now, I would suggest you get some bilge paint, that thick gray stuff and seal it up inside and out if you still can. that will help out a lot, and especially the edges.

Don't know if you have researched batteries much. Costco sells a 6 volt battery, very similar to the Trojan 6 volt. I think it is 220 amps. They sell for about $75 each and are great for house batteries. A friend bought six of them and wired them up in series-parallel fashion for a whopping 660 amps. He has a trawler though and needs the extra juice. Looks like you could fit two of those in easily if they are not to tall.
02/20/2012 | Michael McCombs
No problem at all! Another friend pointed out an issue with my cabling that's now on my to-do list. I'm glad you pointed it out! Paint aye!

I did quite a bit of research on batteries and settled on a set of AGMs. I've got one more to get then I'll put 'em all in boxes, which all conveniently work out to be the exact same size as the shelf :-) .
02/24/2012 | Snoodle Time
Yes. I can see I will have to drag you, kicking and screaming, to get you to think nautical instead of land bound. Particle board and automotive Parts. Bad, bad, bad.

02/24/2012 | Michael McCombs
First off, Mr. Smarty Pants, that's NOT particle board, it's OSB, which is stronger than particle board AND water resistant. Nyah! Take that! I'm still going to paint it though. I really should have used marine-grade plywood. Second, the automotive battery cables were a cost-saving measure during the crunch to get moved up here. They're on the list to be replaced.

but DAMN my to-do list is long!
02/25/2012 | Snoodle Time
On a happier note, how are you liking the marina you are at and living on the boat during the winter? My Hans Christian was a very cold boat. Much of the living quarters were under the water line and it felt impossible to keep heat inside.

The Dickerson was much easier to keep warm but I could see moisture collecting on the bulkhead in the v-berth. I just stayed onboard for Christmas when friends filled the condo. Since I was not going to be onboard for a long time, I did not do anything about that, although some insulation would have helped that out quite a bit.
02/26/2012 | Michael McCombs
We have had an EXTREMELY mild winter down here, thank God! I had no idea, beyond what some had said, of what I was getting into. It took me a while to work out, but I have it under control. I found some underlayment insulation (3/4" thick) that I used to line the hull of the settees and book shelves. I also got a clip-on fan mounted above my radiant heater. Keeps the temp pretty consistent above 60. I spent MANY nights in sweats and wool socks the first couple weeks until I got all this worked out. Condensation is a different story. I strip my berth and wash sheets once per week, flipping the cushion to let it dry out for the day. I also run a dehumidifier all day once every week or two. So far, (knock on wood) no mold :-) .
old and new


02/10/2012 | Snoodle Time
So, now that the galley stove project is complete, what is the next project?
02/12/2012 | Michael McCombs
New battery compartment. Building it into a poorly used space under the chart table. It's off center, unfortunately, but will be above the cabin sole and thus will not fill with water. It will also eliminate about 5' of battery cable. Want to work on it this week, but I suspect next weekend is much more realistic.

Is this the pic you were looking for, Steve?

02/08/2012 | Snoodle Time
Yes! Yes! Yes!!!! Congrats... I know that is a completed project you are happy about. Looks good Mike!!!
02/09/2012 | Michael McCombs
and now, seeing as I'm not a Propane Guy I'm going to go find someone to inspect it and make sure I'm not going to blow myself to smithereens hangin' on the hook.

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Who: Steph & the kids
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