Time to Clean the Bottom
05/19/2012, Maple Bay, BC
It's time...it's time to have her hauled out and we really need to clean and inspect the bottom of Dakota. We haven't seen the bottom at all...even when we bought her a year and 1/2 ago! We saw pictures but never up close and personal!
It was a beautiful day and promised to be sunny with a nice cool breeze! She was lifted and Holy Toledo Batman!....we had a whole farm of muscles growing along the bottom of the keel. I'm guessing the previous owner (The Nut) didn't paint the bottom of the keel at all!
We had the sea life scraped off and the hull pressure washed and we got settled on some blocks and stands. Now for the hard part...scraping and sanding and then painting. By the end of the day we were both tinged blue with paint and I wore much of the ablative paint on my legs and hands.....but we got 2 coats of paint on and she looked very nice.
We had our 5 year inspection done while she was out and besides a few minor fixable problems, the boat was sound! Phew! That's a relief! Dave also did a close inspection of the hull and no problems seen! Double phew!
The second day on the hard was polishing and waxing and then back in the water. We took a spin around the bay and noticed a huge difference in the speed and handling....Dave removed a large zinc attached to the rudder right behind the propeller....and the disturbance that it caused was quite noticeable. Now the boat can pretty much steer in a straight line on her own.
Dave has been down at the boat for the last 3 days installing a new waste tank with a mascerator pump, the new barbeque, and cleaning up generally. It's the Wooden Boat Show down at the Marina this weekend and he has been entertained with the various boats coming in.
I've sorted and bought the provisions for an up coming cruise this week and we will start taking loads down tonight and tomorrow.
Let the sailing season on the West Coast begin!
04/16/2012, Maple Bay, BC
I just had to tell this story. On Saturday we were down on the boat getting some more projects done...the main one is to get the engine going again!....and we did! It was sunny and we were enjoying a small coffee break in the cockpit when I noticed and heard noise coming from out neighbours boat. It's a 45(ish) Island Packet and has the most form fitted, expensive boat cover I have ever seen protecting the boat from the winter elements. I heard rustling and scraping and then fingers dragging along the inside of the cover. I said loudly "There is someone on Robert's boat!" and the noise suddenly stopped. Dave leaned forward to see what I was talking about and we still could hear stealthy movement and see the cover move.....eeeekkkkk! Someone was squatting on the boat.
I insisted Dave go over to see who it was and confront the guy, after all, I would like someone to do it for us if we weren't around.
Dave hopped of our boat and knocked on Robert's boat...'Hello?' and we heard some more rustling. He then started to unzip the cover and was hit....by a stench so bad that it made a fish market smell sweet!
We opened the cover to peer in...holding our nose and what a mess! Yes there was a squatter on board and not a neat one! There was otter poo everywhere and broken shells....yuck! An otter has taken up residence. We made sure the hatches were secured...on was open a tiny bit. Not enough for the otter to get into the boat but I bet the smell has permeated!
We zipped up the cover and wondered how the otter even got in. It was a few hours later when our dog Charlie, let us know that very answer. Again we were out in the cockpit enjoying a break when Charlie started growling. We saw the otter (very large by the way) get up on the dock and climb up onto the fender and into a slit in the cover that the fender comes through.
Again lots of banging and rattling and he obviously settled down for a nap on the bimini. I started banging the cover with a broom and lots more scrambling happened and he slipped out the other side and back into the water.
Dave and I then checked the fender areas and noticed none of the zippers were done up. So we did those up too and unless the otter has opposable thumbs then he won't get back in. Unfortunately, the mess and the stink will still be there for Robert when he returns....whenever that will be! Poor guy!
If you don't want to find it...don't look!
04/13/2012, Maple Bay, BC
It was a nice sunny day and while I slept after getting off nights this morning, Dave went and got a tooth filled....ouch! We headed out to the boat after lunch to do a few projects....mainly replace some wood we took out to varnish, to exchange our new tachometer from one for a gas engine to our now newer one for a diesel engine, and to change some fittings for the sinks.
The sinks got fixed and try out the new fittings we filled the water tank....so filler up mack! All is good but as Dave was putting the hose away I heard the dreaded running of water....and the taps were not on! I called Dave down and we tracked down the leak....the attachment of the intake hose from the filler hose on deck. Easy to stop the leak, run all the taps until the water in the tank goes lower than the attachment. Done....I'm up front emptying out the bow hatch of water buckets, propane tanks and other a-sundry of things. Now to get to the water tank we have to now remove the collapsable waste tank left from the previous owner that we will call 'The Nut'...he assured us it was never used! We removed the tank along with 2 soaked and stinking carpets and Dave removed some wood shelving that was so rotten that they had mold growing on them. Eeeeewwwww!
As Dave was tossing the rotten things onto the dock he mimicked 'The Nut' saying....."All is ship shaped and bristol fashion" and I then remimicked 'He probably meant "All is sh*t shaped and bull-sh*t fashioned". There is a project for a future date....we just can't face it yet.
So onto the exchange of the tachometer....all is done and we try it out. Working great, the rpms are showing great and with in 5 mins we noted a brief power drop then bam...everything shut off....engine and gauges. No smoke no fire...thank God and no smelling of electrical burning but something must have happened. Guess what we are doing tomorrow! I can hear it now....'What's this burnt loose wire?'
Well....we looked and found things we now have to fix....sigh!
Up and up and more up!
04/05/2012, Maple Bay, BC
Today was the day...it was sunny, not too hot and no wind to speak of....today was up the mast day. We got the mast steps out (first time to use them) and also the first for the bosun chair....actually the first time to go up the mast!
We needed to fix two things....the anchor light and the radio antenna.
Up I went, going 2 steps at a time with rests along the way. Chatty Captain Dave at the bottom and I just wanted to be at the top and finished.....up I went.
Got to the top and first...undo the antenna and pull the old radio wire up through the mast....not going well! I got it about 3 inches and no futher. Skip this and go to the light. Just unscrew the little screw and the top will come off and just wiggle the light! Little screw undone and with the turn of the light....the whole thing came off. Not the screw! Back on it went and there was no other screw....but wait there are two screw/bolts....didn't bring that screw driver.
Back to the radio wire....another 15 mins of pulling and shoving and pulling some more. No way...it is caught on something. I felt like I was too weak and have failed. So down I go....and down and down.
Captain Dave went up next....and I was on winch duty! This time he is taking a bag of tools up with him....and a multihead screwdriver. He got to the top with a few rests along the way and I got him secured, then went to the mast inside and wiggled the radio wire. He pulled and pushed and pulled some more.....not coming out....maybe I wasn't as weak as I thought.
Skip that...on to the light. I turned on the light and he tapped the cover...it went on. I could have done that! Nevermind....back to the radio wire....another 15 mins of pulling and it wasn't coming out.
Down Captain Dave comes and we come up with plan B. Rehook up the said radio wire and check the connections one more time and pray to the radio Gods that it works....that will be tomorrow.....or it will be on to plan C....we are discussing that.
All in all a not so productive day but in a way very productive. We now know both of us can go up the mast, that the steps can hold us, and the bosun chair is rather comfortable.
Tomorrow is back to the boat for a much needed clean up so we can move some stuff back on board. May is coming up soon...too soon...and we are planning our first trip.
An easy project
03/29/2012, Maple Bay, BC
Really....is there ever really an easy project! I think not! I never really believe Dave when he says 'it's really easy....I'll just________. It won't take more than a couple of hours'.....fill in the blank and it's always the same.
The latest project is finally on the home stretch....and believe me when I say this was a doozy of a project. Sometime in the fall all our gauges in the cockpit stopped working....not an unusual thing to happen to us! But all of them? Dave traced all the wires to a mass of wires bunched up, wrapped with duct tape and then wrapped again in plastic bag.....what was the previous owner thinking?
The long and the short of it is we ordered all new gauges (at Christmas) and finally it's been clear enough for Dave to work in the cockpit....so on the new gauges went on. Still they don't work....ordered new sending units and they all work, except the fuel gauge....another project! Dave is down on the boat adjusting the tachometer and oil pressure gauge. He had to actually completely rewire all the gauges since the previous owner had all the wires crossed and mixed up.......I think the joke when we bought Dakota was that we will have to replace all the hoses and rewire the whole boat....it looks like it's not a joke any longer!
In the meantime, he took the alternator into get serviced.....it's the original 1982 peice and needless to say....we now have a new alternator. Nothing that a couple hundred dollars can't fix!
We are getting closer to being able to move our stuff back on board with the varnishing, rewiring, replumbing, servicing, cleaning, patching and researching that has gone on all winter. We have a haul out date and inspection booked for May and then if all is well.....we can start our summer sailing.
At least we now know the boat is a lot safer and Dave pretty knows where everything is and how it works! That will come in handy!
On going projects
02/25/2012, Maple Bay, BC
Well....the projects are on going....it's winter so that's the best time to do them, I guess! Captain Dave is down on the boat contemplating the battery box and how he has wired everything up. He tirelessly explains the minute details to me....I do understand about 70% of what he is saying....which is better than the 1 or 2% I understood several explainations ago!
So far we only have 2 batteries- now with the wind generator and the alternator on the engine we have 2 ways to generate power. The Captain has installed 2 bus bars and 2 isolators....wires are connected to on or the other....yada, yada....positve, negative...voila....the batteries are isolated from each other but connected all at the same time! It's like magic....I'll have him post a picture that explains it better!
So....he's down there today to see if, with all this wind, the whole thing works.
I think he likes spending time on the boat and dreaming! I'll head back down there when it's time to do some none electrical, plumbing or mechanical work...in a word....when the 'pink' jobs start!
In the mean time.....a cute group of pics we found....it is so true.
Happy sailing everyone!