Progress, but No Sea Trial
14 September 2011 | St. Augustine Marine Center, St. Augustine , FL
I promised to write about the sea trial on the engine, but that hasn't happened yet. Danny, the mechanic, did come and solve the engine problems on Monday. First he conferred with Dave, the electrician, and they discovered that there was nothing wrong with the starter solenoid, the problem was that the engine won't start if it's in gear, and although the shift lever had looked like it was in the neutral position, it was not. So the whole problem was in getting the old shift lever to properly shift the new transmission. That took a bit of doing. There wasn't room to just turn the lever backwards, so when you pushed the lever forward it would now shift the engine forward. The lever that attached to the transmission had to be taken off and bent, so it had room to move in the new, correct configuration. It took a couple of tries, but Danny got it working.
We continued to work inside and out. I finished splicing an eye with a thimble for our new topping lift and we installed that at the top of the mast. Our replacement cable and wireless hub for our WIFI antenna came, and after testing to confirm that they worked, Bud and I measured and cut the cable so we could pull it through the mast and plug it into the antenna that we had already installed at the top of the mast. I then took the short end of the cable and wired it into the boat. I took power off the line that runs to our TV antenna and then ran the cable to the base of the mast and the connector to a cupboard in the salon next to the TV where I hope to be able to leave the wireless hub.
Today was a busy day in other ways. Bud and I both had doctor's appointments. We needed to leave at about 9:40. In the afternoon we were going to move the boat down to a wall near the haul out slip so they could step the mast. At about 9 Bud decided that the tide was slack enough he wanted to move the boat before we left. Two of the yardmen lent a hand and we cast off and moved the boat about 1000 feet. Bud wanted to back into the space, but the current was still pretty strong and with some fancy helm work he managed not to hit the side of the haul slip, or the dock and boats extending out in front of the wall, or the wall. But he did end up with our boat at a 90-degree angle to the wall. The yard guys caught us and we were able to get successfully tied up, but facing the direction we would have been if Bud pulled straight in. Oh well, he tried. And the engine, transmission and shift levers all worked fine.
We made it to our appointments on time. When we got back, the mast was on the boat and Andrew, the rigger, was working on tightening the shrouds. Bud dropped Fuzzy and I off and he went to get blood work done. I went below and hooked up all the wires to the mast. It took a while, there are an Ethernet connector and three wires for the radar, then four wires and a ground for the wind instrument, the VHF antenna, the TV antenna, and the mast lights: tricolor, anchor light, steaming light, deck light and two ground wires for them. The new WIFI antenna came with a connector and I had to hook up 8 little wires from each side of the cut we make in the cable, matching them in the connector box according to the diagram on the cover. Andrew got me a terminal end for the mast ground wire and crimped it on. They had cut it when they removed the mast and I didn't have anything big enough to do that wire. I then put heat shrink insulation around his crimp and attached the ground wire right near the base of the mast. Of course all this work is done at the base of the mast and under the floorboards around the mast, so I spent the afternoon crouching, sitting or kneeling on the floor. As soon as I had the WIFI antenna done I tried it out and it worked! Once everything was done, we were able to put our mast cover back on, our dinette table back in with the leaf attached and put the floor and the rug back together. No more holes for poor Fuzzy to fall into. And Bud could watch TV. We're really getting back to all the comforts of our home afloat. As it was getting dark I tried all the lights on the mast and they all work. Now if the Radar and wind instruments work that job will be done.
The rigging is not done yet. Andrew has to measure and fit the new forestay. He also has to switch two of the shrouds. When they sent our old rod rigging to the factory to have new rods made, the factory told Andrew that none of the rods were the same length. I guess that was common for boats made at the TaShing boatyard. Everything was hand fitted. The factory sent back lower shrouds that were an average of the lengths, except one outlier, that they replaced as it was. Andrew had to switch the forward port and aft starboard shrouds to get them to fit. That worked, but the uppers aren't right. He's going to switch those tomorrow, and if that doesn't work, one has to be sent back to be shortened. At least it's too long, and not too short!
I took this picture of the boat at the end of the day. You can see the partially rigged mast. You can also see that we are now the little boat, in what we are calling big boat alley. I also put a photo of the waterline in the gallery. If you look close you can see the indentation in the red bottom where the old blue boot stripe was. That's what Bud sanded down and painted with bottom paint. He then painted half the red boot stripe blue, so we still have the blue, red, blue combination. I was glad to see that with the mast on and the new arch as well as all of our gear except the dingy, we are still sitting above the old waterline.