Did I say," what could go wrong?" Well, one of the upgrades this fall was to install a new watermaker. It went in without a hitch and worked great, producing 3.5+ gallons per hour of really good drinking water from the sea. Pretty cool! About 5 gallons into it I saw a few beads of water on the membrane housing. No big deal, wiped them off and kept going, then a few more, and a few more. It seems the housing itself was defective and water was oozing through the fiberglass housing wall. Somebody skimped on the resin in the fiberglass department that day. Anyway, out it came and back to the factor for replacement, which they did and it's back in and working. There is nothing like doing a job twice to know how it's done. As I mentioned we hauled out in October and among other tasks installed a new, three bladed "fixed" prop. The long and short of it is we were "over pitched" and it had to come off. When the prop is over pitched it works the engine too hard and can't get up to top RPM, and also caused some overheating issues. I have to thank Buddy Ellison for all his help in diagnosing the prop issues, double checking the engine and for sharing his cruising expertise. It's been greatly appreciated. Bill Roush was a good soul and brought his wet suit, dive tanks and made not only the dive to pull the prop, but after the repitch came back and put it back on! Then he came back again and spent the day putting me up the mast to install the whisker pole. Thanks for that Bill and the rest of the time you have spent getting us ready to go.
Meanwhile, back at the barn Marisa was working feverishly with the help of friend Sue Dijkman on several canvas projects for Pacifico. The ladies created mesh bags and side curtains for the cabin ports and sidelights, a mesh companion way cover (thanks Sue!) and cockpit shades. These will be handy and of great comfort not only for shade in the tropics, but the mesh exterior covers also keep the bugs and mosquitoes out. If you're interested in some of these for your boat or home, Sue has a business creating just such clever things. She can be reached at Susan@DijkmanDesigns.com.
Mark has been working dilligently to get our Iridium phone and wifi range extender up and running as well as technical advise in the engineering department. The frame for the solar panels is in place, AIS system extended to the nav station and with computer hook up, way cool.
We have installed the fourth house bank battery, which cost us some hanging locker space, and that gives us 400 amp hours of house with a 65 amp start battery. Not huge but better than what we had. Next we tackle the solar panel installation. Only four days remaining. More to follow.
10/31/2010, Oceanside, CA
It's been a long summer and fall of projects both planned and the unplanned. Along with all the planned improvements and preparations we experienced a leaking fuel tank in June that of course required the tank to be emptied and pulled for repair. Shortly after that we discovered a serious corrosion problem with the Edson steering that necessitated a new wheel hub and just because I was in there new cables and brake pads. I mean, what else could go wrong? Sorry I asked. After that it was the hydraulic ram in the auto pilot system, and then the transmission went out! The engine has to come out to get to the transmission and it just didn't make sense to spend that much time and effort to marry a new transmission to the old engine, so out it came. We decided to go with a Beta, 25 hp 3 cylinder diesel with Twin Disc transmission and to hire Phil, "The Marine Man" to help me install it. I have to say that was a good call. We started on Saturday morning and were sea trialing it by Tuesday afternoon. After that we took a quick shake down to White's at Catalina to meet friends Terry & Michelle (Coastal Passage II) and Jean (Southwind) then back to Oceanside. We have hauled out for a bottom job and new through hulls and pulled the rudder just for fun, actually to inspect it because it has not been out to my knowledge since it went in 22 years ago and put on a new three bladed prop. All is well, we are back into the water and onto the anticipated projects. The list is still long and hope we don't have any more surprises. As much a hassle as all this has been we can say is better to find all that stuff out here than 1200 miles down the coast!
Our friend Mark Robinson is planning to sail down the coast with us to Cabo and he is helping with projects. We hope to be done and starting our trip as planned November 16ish with the first leg from Oceanside to Ensenada where we will check into Mexico.
More to come.