12/22/2011, Maple Bay Marina
The new gauges have arrived and are already inserted into the new instrument panel. Dave has hooked up the power to them and the back light works...that'll be great when we need to see them at night. Next will be to actually contortion himself into the lazarette to install the panel and hook up all the new wiring....have I told you how clever he is?
Right now as I bake Christmas goodies he spends his days off down on Dakota stripping the old oil off the wood and varnishing with a high gloss varnish....it makes the wood gleam like glass.
We have until May to get Dakota back up and running and in to 'inspection' shape. As with both our works, we have already put in for our whole next years vacation wishes...mostly we got what we wanted and some we didn't....every year our seniority gets better and by the time we retire we will be able to get all that we ask for!
So, Dave has the month of May off and we will be hauling Dakota out of the water to inspect and paint the bottom and then get an insurance inspection. We shouldn't have anything to worry about.....Dave is a perfectionist when it comes to wiring/plumbing and general safety on board Dakota...thank goodness!
Until then we will keep you updated and informed about how the projects are going.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
12/04/2011, Maple Bay Marina
There seems to be an endless list of things to fix and update on Dakota....years of neglect will do that to a boat. Dave has been working for over a year and it shows in the gleaming wood, the hoses that don't leak and the lights that now work. He has had to follow miles of electrical lines that take many different turns, splices and colours to various parts of the boat and sometimes lead to nowhere but end suddenly hanging useless in the bilge....
The instrument panel (as seen in the picture) is one of those puzzles. Most of the instruments didn't work and if they did, it was intermittantly! Dave followed the lines to a mass of wires balled up and stuck together with duct tape and wrapped in a plastic bag...did the previous owner think this was going to water proof the connections?
The panel was cracked and broken, with water leaking behind and getting into the instruments....and most of the instruments had holes and blocked drains, all leading to a massive corrosion fest behind the panel. Well, no wonder the things didn't work.
The whole panel was removed and a new one ordered and this is where Santa comes in....we are now looking at replacing all the intruments and gages. What did we hear in Sailblogs?...that BOAT stands for 'Bring On Another Thousand'? Man....it's true!
So, Dakota is dock bound this winter. We aren't happy about not being able to sail on the nice days, but Dave is happy to go down to the boat to work on projects. We knew it would take a few years to get her up to 'Bristol Shape' and I know this winter I'll lose my husband to the endless boat projects....boat widow again!
We are keeping the dreams of sailing in warm weather and exotic places alive by reading the blogs of everyone here living their dream at this time.
10/25/2011, Maple Bay Marina
So ends our first summer with Dakota.We had a few great holidays this year...not without our usual 'dramas' but all went well and we always got back to dock with no injuries and the boat still floating.
Let's see what did go wrong?....a few hoses let loose filling the bilge with sea water, the heat exchanger stopped working, we had difficulty unfurling and furling the foresails, and the oven wasn't working...oh and we are still having trouble with the 'fridge. But most importantly what went right this summer....we had great sailing weather, we always made it back to the dock, we ate well even without the oven for a 5 day outing, we have met tons of new people at the marina...and even had a dock party, and best of all we are still excited about our boat and our 'retirement plans' of sailing around the world.
Dave has the wind generator up and working, the engine purring more like a kitten rather than an asthmatic tiger, the new propane switch is great...the oven works now, and more little things done that make outings more comfortable for me.
We've got her weather proofed for the winter and Dave has a list of things to do this winter...I am not looking forward to being a 'boat widow' but next summer when we are trying to plan a month sailing holiday we will have the boat more in the 'bristol shape' that the previous owner had told us she was in!
So this winter we will be attached to the dock but dreaming of sailing in warmer climates and reading everyone elses adventures on sailblogs.
blocked heat exchanger
10/25/2011, Maple Bay Marina
A quick picture of the old pencil zincs that were blocking the heat exchanger...Dave removed the unit from the engine, cleaned it out and reattached...changed all the hoses that attached to the unit and voila....we are getting alot more water out the back! Go figure!
Dave did a bit of an investigative search on google on how to clean the heat exchanger and found a picture just like this one on line. I'm glad he is so handy and able to tackle all the engine jobs with a little research and a lot of elbow grease!
It works...it works!
08/19/2011, Maple Bay
Well we are home but it wasn't without some drama...our usual type of sailing. Last blog had us stranded in Montague Harbour with a non-working cooling pump. Now I have no idea how any of this works but my suggestion was it might be on backwards....Dave's answer to that was..."There is no way it could be backwards"...so my next suggestion is get out the westerbeke folder I had so carefully put together a few months ago..."It's in the backseat of the truck"....well ain't that grand!
I decided since we were on a pretty civilized island that had a ferry going and coming, the weather was great, we had enough food to last another week and I was not due to go back to work until sunday, that I would just sit back and help when I can and relax when I can't.
So after a few more hours of a complete check from the thruhaul to the water pump....yup....water coming all the way thru! We even turned the engine over and the impeller was going the right way....then Dave noticed the pump was trying to push the water backwards....huuummmmmmm....backwards!
Sure enough! The pump was on backwards....now I'd like to take full credit for that one, but really it was just a suggestion and I had no idea it could even go on backwards.
We stayed another night in the harbour and went to the little pub with Charlie and had a well deserved lunch.
The trip back was uneventful....Thank Goodness....and we even got all our sails up for a grand sail for a few hours.
Well...another Dave and Karen Adventure is done and we docked perfectly (my nemesis 'the dock') and now I'm onto laundry and trying to revive my garden.
Happy sailing everyone!
(the picture is the brilliant sunset we say while 'stuck' in Montague Harbour.)
08/15/2011, Montague harbour
Well, as we read with others blogs.... Boats always seem to need repairs far away from a repair shop. When motor sailing to montague yesterday we notice the engine thermostat showing above normal. So here we are anchored at a great harbour and Dave is checking out the raw water cooling system. So far, a new water pump has gone on, the strainer has been cleaned, many hoses have been inspected and the air is slightly blue with frustration. I say the new pump isn't working.....Dave says it's mechanical so it should work....my come back was "Ikea furniture is mechanical and sometimes they done work!"
On another note....the wind generator seems to be working, the shower works, we've baked bread, had BBQs and generally have had an excellent trip so far!
A couple more days....and if we have to stay here....well, I won't complain.