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Bright Eyes
The search for bright waters...
Fun Stories with the Bright Eyes Crew

So as far as work was concerned this weekend it was a minor fail. The secondary fuel filter was not changed cuz I couldnt get a grip on it. There is absolutley NO room in that engine compartment. I found out we have 3 zincs and 2 are unreachable. The third one I wasn't strong enoungh to remove with a wrench and didnt have a large enough socket. Off to the hardware store...

I did however remove the whole water pump after failing to change the water impellor from its normal location. This invloves just unscrewing things untill it fell out. Our friend Glen was a good help with this project and in the end I did not change the propellor. It looked fine (and I couldn't get it out). But now we know how to access it atleast.

I applied some silicone to our hull nicks and to the large Binacle Guard hole and that was it for work.

We went to Christines Moms house for a cookout and saw some good friends including Christines brother Jordan who was home from the Army. He is currently stationed in Iraq and it was good to see him home safe.

On a side story, while leaving the bar Saturday night, I was hit by a car. Not my car, but me! We were walking through the parking lot when another car took the turn to exit too fast in the rain and just put me on the hood of their car. I rolled over to the ground but got up ok. I am a lil sore but generally ok. I was more worried about Christine who was now very upset and wanted to punch the guy in the face. I love my protective wife!

Earlier that day we went over to the barn where there were new kittens. We found 2 kittens and could hear a third one stuck behind the stall wall. Trisha said it had been there for two days and they couldn't get it out. We are suckers for lil kittens and couldn't leave it there. After about 30 min we finally had lassoed its lil arm and raised it up from behind the wall. We left it with its mother that night to get some nurishment but then Sunday before leaving we had decided we wanted to keep it.

So our crew is back to 4! We are hoping that the lil guy will be a good boat cat as he will be raised on one. We think he is about 4 or 5 weeks old. Yes we know you arn't supposed to take them untill after 9 weeks, but we think he will be safer in our comfy blankets than with the stomping barn horses. We are taking it to the vet soon for a check up and to find out if its a boy or girl.

Back to boating we bought a new toy! We got a prop guard which is basically a razor blade around our prop so that if anything tries to get tangled (like ropes, lines and crab pots) it will just slice it right up and we won't have to dive down there or break our engine. I made the mistake of paying for the install on this one, there was a miscommunication and the guy just showed up and installed it. I didn't argue though cuz subconsiously I was enjoying the thought of one less headache filled project.

Luckily though I was there and squeezed some Deisel Engine knowledge out of him. We officially do not have glow plugs! Interesting because we had been holding a swtich on the starting panel thinking it was glow plugs. Turns out it was just the guage back lights. Smooth....

And finally the last of our 3 month project, the Autopilot install is 100% complete! OOOOO how pretty! Good work team!

Engine Work
More Kitten Pics

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04/27/2010 | Allan Smith
Great entry guys. That's the stuff I want to hear about! I KNOW my destinations are going to be wonderful. Its the details I need to hear. I don't like the feeling that I am the only sailor that things don't run smoothly Keep up the great work....Allan
04/27/2010 | Carol & Livia Dupuis & Gilstrap
What a beautiful kitten! - Livia
04/28/2010 | christine
We would like to hear any names for kitten that anyone has. We were thinking Cullen, but would love to hear your ideas!
04/28/2010 | chad
Like edward cullen?

how about sharkbait?
04/29/2010 | christine
Yes!!! Like Edward Cullen. haha. Joey wouldn't let me name our new dinghy Twilight so this is kinda a compromise...

he better not be sharkbait. he can be fishbait though since that is probably the only way we'll ever catch one!
05/03/2010 | Joey
alright so the Vet says its a girl! so we need a girl name now...
Jammin with Ben Harper
04/23/2010, Baltimore, MD

So while Bright Eyes didn't get a full wax and buff, she did get all new paint. This weekend we painted the ''racing stripes". I attempted to just touch up the stripes but that wasn't turning out so great and we had plenty of paint so paint we did!

We also used up the rest of the bottom paint we had on high use areas such as the bow and the leading edges of the rudder and keel. It actually took alot of time to use up the rest of the paint cuz we used a 1 inch brush, but i'd say theres a good 2 1/2 to 3 coats of bottom paint on now. We also cleaned and sprayed a metal anti-fouling spray on our prop. No barnicles for us please.

Ofcourse Saturday before we started painting we found a way to procrastinate by joining our new friends Alex and Rebecca at thier cookout. Then it turns out the cookout was also a Boat Naming Ceremony! They did it right though by having guests and offering the God of the Sea champagne instead of the Bud Light we used. It was a windy but still nice day and we got good food too!

On a side note, congrats to Eric and Rick for both selling their boats! I helped Rick clean out his shed by taking some cleaning products, but I should have known all I was doing was giving us more work to do... We found some varnish and decided to use it up. But then we got a recommendation to use Cetol instead so we ended up buying stuff anyway. Christine is handling the teak and the first coat looks very nice. Two more coats and our teak should be rid of that weathered look.

The last chore of the weekend involved running the wires for the Autopilot. Everything is hooked up we just gotta mount the computer. Our laziness got the best of us and that can wait till next week. We are going to finish servicing the engine this weekend but everything that has to be done while on land is done!

Tuesday we got to see Ben Harper (the real one, not Christines kayak) at Pier 6 in Baltimore. We went with some good friends and got their early enough for 3rd row seats! It was a great time and he played for over 2 hours jammin into the night.

O and also we found this neat new website that interviews crusiers. Lots of advice on here and hopefully more to come. They interview a new cruiser every Monday.


More Beautiful Boat Pics...

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04/23/2010 | Snoodle Time
Your boat is looking great. It is nice to see sail boats loved and taken care of. I just finished mine up from this years haul out. Redid the bottom paint, waxed the hull and also painted the boot stripe, in a nice bright red. Really sets the boat off. I bet you are glad you did yours too.

Now on to a great year of sailing.
04/26/2010 | Terry
She looks beautiful!
04/26/2010 | Jay Gordon
Is there a time limit by which the boat must be launched after painting? I always thought it had to go more or less right in when the paint was dry or the anti fouling properties would be lessened.
04/27/2010 | Joey
Thanks Terry, we put alot of hard work into her.

I believe only the hard anti-fouling paints need to be launched immediatly. We have a soft albative which we were told is ok. We launch this Thursday tho!
04/27/2010 | Jay Gordon
The prop looks great. I didn't know there was spray anti foul. I always saw guys brush paint props if they did anything at all. Spray looks much better! Prudence used to complain about fouling on the transducer and I think the prop. This would have served him well.
Happy Birthday Bright Eyes
04/13/2010, HHN

Today is exactly one year since we bought ol Bright Eyes. So in our eyes, she is one year old. However since she was built in 1985 we have decided that this date will also represent her real birthday, so Bright Eyes officially turns 25 years old today! Since we are 24 and 25 years old also, we like to think that this is fine age for her, maybe even her prime years!

For her birthday Bright Eyes got a new paint job. Last week we put the first coat on and this weekend we put the second coat on. We saved a lil bit for the spots under the stilts. We also bought new paint for her "racing stripe". We will repaint her dark blue stripes on next weekend. Bright Eyes is getting quite the pampering.

One thing she is not getting though is a new wax/buffing job. Christine did a great job washing the boat down with boat soap that the hull already shines pretty good. We attempted to put that final coat of wax on and buff but that lasted all of 20 minutes before we got tired and decided we weren't making much of a difference.

This how far we got.

In other exciting news, I am eager to announce that the GARMIN install is complete! After the last post, I had enough messing around on my own and recruited help. I first went to the cruiser forums and got some trouble shooting ideas. Then I took the whole unit, wires and all, into West Marine and checked that it worked. It did so the problem was now officially with our boat. I tested voltage at the control panel with the unit connected without a breaker and got 7.5 volts. Then I hooked up the unit to the batteries directly and got 13 volts and it came on. So the problem had to be in our electrical wiring. Then luckily our good friend and handyman Nick came over and we dove into the wires. We started testing the voltage at different points but then Nick quickly noticed a loose ground. The bolt on the original grounding plate was loose. Once I tightened that up, we hooked up the Garmin and BINGO it came on! What a relief. It took all of one hour to resplice and rerun all the wires and now it is all systems go.

Here you can see we are on land and at 0 depth! O no we've run aground...

One good thing about this Garmin trouble is my knowledge of electrical connections as grown immensely. Which is one of the reasons (the other being money) that we try to do all our installs ourselves. We want to learn as much as possible about our lil home.

The rest of the weekend was spent celebrating and cleaning/organizing. When we bought the boat, the cabinets were filled with stuff we had no idea what to use it for. Now that we know what different products are used for (and even bought some products we already had, doh!) we organized and inventoried all our boat products.

Here is one of a few storage cabinets.

Lastly, one of our folding bikes came in! We got these folding bikes so that we can explore the islands better. They might not win any races but they should provide us some weekly exercise too.

If you like paint click HERE

If you like Garmins click HERE

Editors Note: Bright Eyes is still on land but that wasn't exciting enough for this blog so the lead pic is from her survey day.

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Bright Eyes Gets A New Coat
04/06/2010, HHN

Spring is here! What nice weekend weather we had. Since we only have 4 weeks to get the bottom paint job done while we are on the hard, we told ourselves that we would start painting the first chance the weather permits.

Well the sun was shining so we dived right in. We bought a dustless sander from Rick for about the same price it would have cost us to rent one from the marina. While I was yelling at the Garmin (more later) Christine sanded the whole bottom of the boat! Of course this took multiple trips to West Marine and the hardware store to get what we needed (air filter ect.). We created a bungee cord system to help take the strain off her arms but it didn't travel well or get to the far low spots so she had to abandon it often. She got the job done though!

We now have a Rigid dustless sander for sale if anyone is interested :)

O and we have electricity and water now. We bought the adapter needed for $36 so now we have lights. And the water was always on, Christine just needs to work out a lil more to turn it on ;)

Since we are working on multiply projects, our aft berth and one cockpit locker were emptied out on to our deck. A young couple came by to say hello to us and commented that our boat was very "outfitted". We think that's just a nice way of saying there's a lot of shit on our boat.

So I replaced the extension wires for the Garmin to no avail. We saw our boating mentor Eric since he is on the same row on the hard as us, and we met his brother in law Glen who just bought a Pearson 35 that we had looked at back in April. What a small world. As usual we all talked boating stuff and we came out a little more knowledgeable than before. They gave me some trouble shooting pointers on the Garmin but nothing has worked yet.

I took the Garmin head unti to West Marine and we tested it with their wires and it came on great so the head unit is fine, must be the wires. When the unit is unplugged I get a voltage reading at the control panel of 13.5 and I get a voltage reading after my extension splice of 13.5 so my extension splice must be good. I haven't been able to test the voltage at the end of the plug because there are about 20 lil holes and the owner's manual doesn't say which are which. But I think the problem must be in that Garmin wire. Once I plug the unit in, the voltage reads 7.5 at the control panel and 7.5 on both sides of my extension splice, but still don't know the voltage at the plug. Whatever it is, it isn't enough to turn the unit on. And of course my voltage meter at the control panel bounces back and forth. I might have to pull the Garmin wire out and inspect for damage and possibly return it to West Marine.

Ok so back to fun stuff. Saturday as the sun was winding down, our last task was to get the lines and fender that were left at our slip. So we got to test out our new inflatable kayaks!

We bought these for each other as Christmas presents but hadn't got to use them yet. I need to work on inflating them completely but they looked and worked great. We kayaked over to our slip, about 5 piers over. Of course as the evening was setting in, the winds picked up and now there was a strong opposite direction current and some choppiness. We made it through though, getting moderately wet, and salvaged our booty.

We have named them after two of our favorite muscians: Ben Harper and Jack Johnson

Sunday was paint day. It had finally arrived. We bought a nice lil 2 person painting kit at WM for $10 and got the paint can shook up there. You gotta make sure the copper, which keeps off lil critters, is evenly dispersed throughout the paint. Painting was fun for about 40 minutes. Then we realized we should have sanded more (read: Joey should have helped) because parts of the old paint were coming off as we rolled the paint on. Plus our arms just got tired. We really had to stretch out that one gallon of paint. After about 2 hours we had covered 98% of the boat and about 20% of ourselves.

Next weekend we will add the second coat and hopefully (key word hopefully) have the Garmin install complete so we can move on to other projects and enjoy out upcoming season!

209 days left!

Click here for more Kayak and Paint Pics

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04/08/2010 | Jay Gordon
Check your new paint carefully. If you can knock off by hand now you should resand and repaint. If you put a second coat over loose paint it's just good money after bad.
04/12/2010 | Snoodle Time
sounds like you have the polarity reversed on your garmin.

Bright Eyes on Land!
04/02/2010, HHN Parking Lot

Thursday we got hauled out and are now proped up in the parking lot. Everything went smooth and it was nice to see the whole boat. I felt more connected with her as I walked around and felt the hull. April 13th is the day we bought Bright Eyes so it's almost been a year and I think we understand each other alot better now.

We had a great time on E dock, but all things must end. We went back and saw our empty slip and talked to our old neighbor Mark. Rick, who was on the end slip, sold his boat and just got it pulled also. Mark, who is in between us and Rick, was on the waiting list to get the end slip. He had been on the waiting list for 7 years so when we walked over there, Mark hadn't wasted anytime and was already in the end slip! It really is a great view worth the wait.

When we came home Thursday evening we found our boat near the bathrooms just as we had requested, how nice! We don't have a real ladder but luckily my wife is a genious and thought to drive her jeep under the stern. So we just climbed on the jeep and climbed up the stern ladder. We checked around and tiddied up. We noticed two lines had been left at the old slip so we will have to kayak over and get them this weekend. We also noticed that the water was off and our electic cable wouldnt fit the power block. The marina and the hardware store were already closed so no water or electicity tonight, we are camping on a boat!

We are only on land for the month of April so we can bottom paint.

In other news, we got the Garmin to work! Sort of. So after 3 days and 3 attempts to solder the transducer wire together, I finally did a semi decent job. But then when I hooked up the Garmin power wires to the control panel, it wouldnt come on, even with the transducer unplugged. I was furious because I had already tested that wire to make sure it would power the Garmin.

You see the Garmin power wire wasnt long enough to reach the control panel, so I had to splice on an extension wire. This was a simple job and I tested it and everything came on and worked fine, but now it wont come on. I checked to make sure there was voltage at the control panel, but for some reason it wasnt getting to the Garmin. I snipped the connector points off and redid them to get a better connection and eventually I got the Garmin to come on. But looking at the voltage reader on the control panel the needle was bouncing back and forth and when it would bounce down the Garmin would turn off. So i'm guessing the extension wire I added is acting up and I am going to resplice it. On the bright side, I got the voltage needle to stay powered long enough to check that the transducer was spliced properly and it was! I tossed the transducer in the water and the depth popped right up. That was the part I was most nervous about.

Here is the transducer solder splice that took a few tries.

So now I just need to resplice the Garmin power extension wire. Christine is patiently waiting on me because we have to run mine and her autopilot wires through the boat together.

O and our friends the 3 ducks are back again for another year of sun.

Click here for more Garmin Install Pics

Click here to see our Boat on Land

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04/02/2010 | Dave McAnall
Make sure you insulate your three soldering points well or you will create a short if they rub together. What I usually do is slip on some shrink Wrap tubing over the wires before I solder the wires. Then all I have to do is pull the heat shrink over the bare wire and heat it to shrink it. And don't use duck tape to insulate the wires.
04/02/2010 | Joey
In the extra pics you can see the liquid tape I used to insulate them. I tarred up each wire separetly. I will apply two layers, then use electric tape around the whole thing.
Work in Progress

We got alot accomplished this weekend but nothing is finished yet. Saturday Christines Dad (Paul) and two sisters came over to help out with boat stuff. Well I think Ashley and Erin just came over so they could text their friends "I'm on a boat MF!"

A three and half inch hole has been drilled into our companionway bulkhead (see headline pic). It was a lil scary, but with good coaching from Paul, she was able to make a nice clean hole! She then applied the epoxy and sealant and screwed the autopilot display in. It looks great! Now she is just waiting on the wiring from the wheel unit.

So after extensive research I finally decided to cut the Transducer wire to avoid drilling a larger hole into the cockpit floor. I took Pauls advice and sliced a small tube open to use as a custom grommet. We sealed it in and ran the gps wire, transducer wire, and autopilot wire all through the pedistal guard and through the cockpit floor. It barely fit, but its nice to have a tight hole to prevent water from getting in. I still have to seal up the large hole I drilled up top in the pedistal guard.

I bought a soldering kit and watched some youtube videos to learn. I successfully soldered an extension cable for the gps wire and connector pieces on the end, but i wasnt so fortunate with the transducer wires. The transducer wire is three seperate 22 guage wires (very small) and it was hard to get them to stay connected to each other and my soldering technique could use some help. But i'll try again when my patience returns. The good news is that we tested the Garmin before cutting the wire and it worked great. I even put the transducer in the water and the depth looked good. No fish hiding around our boat.

On Sunday we finally changed the oil in our diesel engine. We have a Yanmar 3GM30. We bought this spiffy lil machine that connects to any power drill and when you pull the trigger it sucks out the oil in one tube and spits it out the other tube. That was the easy part, the hard part was actually accessing the engine. Our engine compartment is so small, I believe if I gain any more wieght ill never get in again. I should probably do a good stretch beforehand next time too. We changed the oil, the transmission oil, and the oil filter, with minimal mess.

This pic is from the summer, and the entrance seems to be shrinking...

We hadn't started the engine since November so it took awhile to get her to start, about three tries. We still don't know if we are utilizing the glow plug properly, so we are working on learning more about that. Paul even recommended that we do a voltage check on the glow plugs to make sure they work. But the engine eventually kicked in and we spit out all the antifreeze that was sitting in there.

Upon trying to buy a new filter for our primary fuel filter we were told that our current fuel filter is a fire hazard and not Coast Guard approved. Apparently the plastic bowl will melt easily and is only meant for outboard engines. We trust our West Marine so we took their advice and ordered a new Racor 500 series filter. That is the fuel filter everyone was raving about at the diesel seminar so we kinda wanted it anyway.

Here is our current fuel filter.

Here is the new one on the way!

We get hauled out on Thursday so changing the primary and secondary fuel filter will have to wait till we are back in the water. We also still have to change the coolant, air filter, and water impellor. Our diesel is getting a full make-over!

For more holey pics click here, HOLES

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03/30/2010 | Snoodle Time
When I had my yanmar I did not have flow plugs. There was an option to have a small heat coil on the intake but mine did not have that. I had good luck starting my engine when it was cold by giving it quite a bit of throttle. It would start up easily. I just watched the throttle closely so it would not over rev. Once it warms up for the season I did not have to do that. A winter event.
03/30/2010 | Joey
That is a possibility...
03/30/2010 | Jay gordon
I'm always sceptical when salesmen of any kind offer advice that lines their pockets. They told you three things. First that it was a fire hazard. Why would someone make a fuel filter that was a fire hazard? Second that is was not coast guard approved. That would seem to be in conflict with the third things they told you which was it is for outboards. How can it not be coats guard approved if it is for outboards? And my last question is, I've never heard of a deisel outboard so it would seem either someone put a gas filter on a deisel system or west marine is wrong.

All this is prefaced by the fact that I know very little about sailboat deisel systems. The things they told you just didn't seem to add up.
03/30/2010 | Snoodle Time
Good points Jay. I'd look at your survey too. Was it something the surveyor picked up on? If not, it is likely just fine.
03/31/2010 | Joey
So I posted the fuel filter question on Cruiser Forum and this is what I got

so they were correct. but thanks for convincing me to further investigate. never hurts.
04/03/2010 | Jay Gordon
Excellent follow up. Never forget that you're chief engineer and you must understand everything about the boat. It sounds like you could have put up a heat sheild instead but I;m all for doing things as best they can be done, which is what you did. From the posts it also looked like you could have passed as it was which is why the surveyor did not say anything. When you are all alone in the Atlantic you will feel better knowing that it's not just legal but it's the best that could be done.

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Who: Joey and Christine
Port: Edgewater, MD
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