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D & D Nagle aboard MV DavidEllis
"It's Hard..."
04/16/2014, Wrangell AK

Life on the hard is wearing a bit thin; we hate living on board while working on the boat; it's tough to keep the work chaos from intruding on the home, and when you've multiple projects going, jumping from one to the next, it becomes impossible to keep work & home separate.

And one thing leads to another when fixing boats. One of our problem areas has been the four corners of the pilot house roof where chain plates are welded to the steel bulkhead and rise above/ thru the composite roof. It turns out that the weld between the stainless chain plate and mild steel bulkhead was not treated, just painted over, and of course this area has continued to breakthrough and bleed from the first year onward. In the past weeks we've sandblasted and coated, now in the middle of fairing and trying to eliminate water catchment areas behind the chain plates. And that has led to completely stripping everything screwed or bolted into the pilot house roof -- solar panels, radar, spotlight, at least 8 antenna -- hand-scraping the anti-skid from the entire roof, and now we're filling all the screw holes and will scarify and re-seal the entire roof, before new non-skid. We're re-bedding the screws & bolts for the rails at the sides and front of the roof and will seal/embed them with the coming coatings. The only item going back onto the roof will be the mount for the small radar (after some modification).

In the meantime, we've got one coat of fairing left to apply to the major problem areas we blasted at the bow and portside gunwale (before another coat of epoxy and finally a top coat); still have to install the new cutlass bearing; change out the engine mounts; get the para vane poles modified and remounted etc, etc. the interior of the pilot house is a riot of loose cables and wires (all those items we removed from the roof had power and data connections). Various antenna will be remounted, but not directly on the roof. Instead we'll use the new light brackets on the mast, as well as the roof side rails, bringing all the cables inside the cabin via new stainless gooseneck fittings which will be mounted and embedded here in the next couple days.

I can hear the clock ticking... our daughter Kate and her family will be arriving in Ketchikan on 17 May, so we've got to stay with it. This too shall pass...

04/16/2014 | Vincent
Heave! Hoe! Heave! Hoe!
04/22/2014 | Greg Rohde
wow .. you two are brave souls. but it beats a rocking chair for sure. best of luck with everything. greg
Now He Tells Me!
Wrangell OTH (On The Hard)
04/07/2014

Regards the cosmetic issues on the boat after years of full use, a commercial fishing boat guy, with little love for "yachties" (who shall remain nameless) said to me: "you apparently didn't understand when you bought your boat that you weren't to actually use it, or if you did use it you should've sold it before it showed the wear of that use". Oh....

04/07/2014 | Scott
Dave, Dorothy: Didn't you two realize that a boat is nothing more than a hollow vessel that allows you to throw money into it, only to watch the money run out the scuppers.
04/08/2014 | Dave
Et tu Scott?!
Life On The Hard (continued)
04/06/2014, Wrangell, AK



Progress goes in fits and starts; is frequently weather dependent and/or dependent on the availability of knowledgeable/expert help with a particular project. Dorothy and are are working harder than (I think) people our age should work, falling into bed at night and hauling ourselves out in the morning accompanied by much moaning and groaning. I'm not sure what Rusty & Rascal make of it, although they're not getting much off-the-boat time (other than morning and night P&P runs (via dog crate elevator).

The repair of our Bodega Bay failed rust repairs is tedious, many stepped and requires waits for drying, curing, weather and availability of help. To cut down on the weather variable, we spent 3 days building a shelter over the pilot house and port side of DE (where rust repairs are happening). After building a frame, we covered it with a heavy shrink-wrap vinyl which Dr Don (Sorrick) and his magic wand (large propane torch -- Dorothy posted a video on her Facebook page) shrunk down to a tight fit.

So far we've blasted, dimetcote (zinc), 3-4 coats epoxy primer and 2 coats fairing. These are not all the areas we worked on down south, but they are the biggest and/or worst at this point. We hope to do a complete re-paint in the course of the next year, probably in multiple stages.

Other projects we're still working on:

Bottom paint is done; zincs cleaned of oxides reattached and checked for ground
Old cutlass bearing is out, new one arrived, sitting in the freezer and waiting to install
New cushion elements for the engine mounts have arrived and are waiting for installation
Mounting/securing frame for the big engine room tool box is completed and in place
Prop is drilled for a puller (and polished by Dorothy, no doubt adding... some unknown, but probably infinitesimal increase to our speed/efficiency
Para-vane poles ('sticks', 'stabies') are pulled and somewhere in the boatyard awaiting modification and rebuild

There are many more things on our list (of course) but finishing out the above, may be all we realistically have time for before our cruising season starts.

We enjoy chatting with our temporary boatyard neighbors, all commercial fishermen with serious boats -- Michael on FV Harmony Isle, Sean off of FV Shadow, Thor and his FV Trendsetter II -- all interesting guys.

Our trusty Dickinson diesel heater has been going 24/7 since Pt McNeil BC on the passage up in February, accompanied at times by one or more of the 3 heating coils Dennis installed in the air con units. The domestic water pump, changed out for a new one in Seattle, has decided to 'give us heaps'. The pressure switch isn't working properly resulting in over pressure to the system and causing the over pressure valve on the water heater to blow, filling the bilge with hot water -- apparently it is possible to 'sink' on the hard. I've been reluctant the change out the pump, which is new, with the spare (also new), but there are no replacement pressure switches in the shops here in Wrangell, so unless I want to continue carrying water jugs, I guess I will have to bite that bullet.

The laundromat is only a couple hundred yards away, just outside the boatyard gate, where we also take our showers-- Dorothy takes $3.50 (7 minutes) showers, while I tend to take $5.50 (11 minutes) showers. Oh for the 0.10 cent showers at Timber Cove Boat Landing back in the day.

And while in the throes of nostalgia, last night Ms Dorothy (AKA Ruby Slipper) and I attended a roller derby bout at the Wrangell HS gym between the Garnet Grit Betties and the Southeast Shakedown. It was on a flat track of course and the participants not quite at the level of the (late 50s - early 60s) San Francisco Bay Bombers of my youth, but they were enthusiastic and gave it their all... and that's what counts.

04/06/2014 | Randal
Use a domestic water pressure switch available in any plumbing store.

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Who: Mike (Dave) and Dorothy Nagle
Port: Sebastopol, CA, USA
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