07/30/2010, Still in Aurora, CO.
Our trip to Lake Granby was great. Sloop to Nuts was waiting for us with a badly torn tarp. It was in bad shape when I was there back in late May and was worse now. Off it came quickly and got folded and stuffed in the local dumpster.
Once we unlocked the companionway door, she looked just great inside. A bit dusty, but still the same pretty boat we have loved for the last 23 years. We'd brought every key we could to unlock the lock on our outboard motor. We'd left a set of the keys with the marina two years ago so they could hopefully sell it. For the first year, they forgot that they were supposed to sell it so she just sat. Last year, we found out that they had lost the keys and had to cut the lock off the door to get in. When they lost the keys, they lost the only copy of the key for the outboard that we knew we had. Let me tell you, the lock we had on it was HUGE. I'd tired to get it off a year ago and bring it home for storage rather than leave it there. I'd brought a set of bolt cutters from Home Depots tool rental. It made a small dent on the lock but wouldn't cut through it. It made channels in the blades on the bolt cutters. Basically, it ruined the bolt cutters. We got lucky and we found the one last key we had for the lock and it came off easily. Sure an glad we found it as using a hack saw would have taken quite a while. Off came the motor and into the trunk it went.
Next came the rudder. The bottom paint on it was long since gone and lots of small cracks had developed in the mahogany. The varnish on the top half of the rudder needs a good sanding and renewing.
Out came the two batteries we use for power. One read 1.6 volts and the second read 2.5 volts. A bit low for a 12 volt battery. I made a diagram as to what wires went to what posts and out they came. We lowered them over the side with dock lines through the handles. Into the trunk they went.
That was all we were bringing home so after inspecting the rest of the boat, we locked her up and headed our for the 2.5 hour drive home.
When we got home, I plugged in the battery charger and hooked it up to one of the battery to see if we could revive it. The gauge on the battery didn't move yet you could hear the charger trying to force the charge back into it. By the next morning, the battery read 13.1 volts. The second battery did the same but the gauge ramped up after a few hours on the battery. It appears to be at a full charge as of this morning. We'll see if the charge lasts.
I'll be sanding down the rudder to start it's repairs this morning and so it goes.
Still no trim from Lowe's.
07/28/2010, Still in Aurora, CO.
We're heading for Lake Granby today to check out Zephyr's cousin--Sloop to Nuts, our Laguna 26 that we have had since 1987. The poor thing has been neglected for the last few years so we will have some work ahead of us before we feel her ready to go back in the water again.
The rep for Valspar showed up on Monday to check out our paint. I had a ladder all set up so he could get to one of the windows we had left at just one coat. We've painted everything that shows from the ground with at least two coats. Up the ladder he went. He was surprised that the paint hadn't filled in around the brush strokes as it should. He asked what kind of brush I had used. One thing we didn't scrimp on was the brushes. They can make a big difference when painting a house. He asked to take a look at the paint that we had left. I'd discussed with him the separation of the paint in the cans with in 30 minutes of getting back to the house from Lowe's. He popped open the one can we had used and was surprised that there was a coat of black on the top of the paint instead of it still being mixed. His comment was that he would have expected it to do what it had done in a few months, but not in a week, let alone within 30 minutes of having the paint mixed. He opened one of the "new"cans. One that we had never opened. It had an even larger skim of black and grey on the top of the paint. Now there was no question that the paint we had was bad. He copied down all the batch numbers and asked what they could do for us. I really had no clue as to what to ask for as the primary reason for him coming was to see what his product was doing. He offered to refund all the money we had paid for the trim paint and provide us with two free gallon cans of the top of their line paint. It is also "guaranteed" to cover in one coat. We'll need it to cover the trim we have on order if it ever shows up. Sounded good to us. So off he went to Lowe's to get it in the works. We later loaded the paint and returned it to Lowe's and picked up the new paint. It now sits in the garage waiting patiently.
We continued collecting parts to take back to Zephyr, so the living room keeps getting more and more things piled up in it. We're not sure how we will get it all back to Zephyr. I may have to make two trips back and forth. TIme will tell.
So we are off to Lake Granby. More jobs to do. The fun never stops.
07/26/2010, Still in Colorado
Well, we put the final brush strokes on the gutter and that was the last section of the house that needed paint. Now we face the problem of having to put on a second coat on the trim since the first coat didn't cover the base coat.
If you read the last post, you know the problems we have been having with our paint. Here's the latest. The factory rep from Valspar never called us last week. Gee what a surprise!! The trim is somewhere in the United States but no one is quite sure where it is at the moment.
After waiting all week for the rep to call, I called Valspar on last Friday and talked to a Customer Service person. He couldn't have been nicer. I gave him all the particulars of what we have been coming up against. He took down all the info and assured me that Valspar would be in touch. Later in the day, I got an email from the rep that was supposed to be calling me. Gee what a surprise!! He wanted to know what was going on(the specifics) and where I got the paint. I "told" him about our conversation the previous week and his response was that he had called the number and had gotten the message that our number had been disconnected. Yeah, right and I have a bridge in San Francisco to get rid of. He is out of town again but is due back in Denver today so we will see when he calls us to come out to see the house.
As for the trim, it was shipped from the factory to the wrong distributor and then to the wrong supplier and then to the wrong store. Instead of just shipping me a new order--heck no, that is to easy-- they have to get it back from the store and then the supplier and then the distributor and then it has to go back to the factory and then it will be shipped to us. The estimated delivery is for July 30th or August 2. They're still not sure. Since we ordered it on June 21, it's had a big trip around the country. At least we didn't wait for it before we painted the house.
Meanwhile, we have taken out more Willow trunks in the front yard and keep trimming out dead wood from the trees once it gets to hot to paint(have to stop at 90). The trash man will love us again this week when he comes by. The fun never stops.
We were luckily enough to find the packaged shredded beef we have used while cruising at Costco. It's in a 3 pound package and keeps for ever so it is perfect for using while sailing. No cans to have to get rid of and as you use it, the existing package gets smaller. It's been discontinued by Costco so we had to have them find them as not every store carries it. We now have five more packages to take back to Zephyr in the fall.
So now we wait for the trim and continue with other jobs getting more parts placed on order. It's never a dull moment.
07/18/2010, Still in Aurora, CO.
It hit 102 yesterday and it set a new record for the day. While we are still painting the house, we have to stop by 1100 as it hits the max temperature that the company recommends. 90 is the max and we hit that early in the day. We've had problems with the paint we bought for the job. The paint we got for the body of the house was very thick and went on relatively well but here and there, the original base color showed through and it needed a second coat. The trim paint has been a disaster. One coat doesn't cover anything and for those of you that have ever painted a house, the trim can take forever and having to put on two or even three coats will make an unpleasant job much harder. We took the paint back to Lowe's and got it replaced as it was so thin and runny and wouldn't cover anything. They had no problem replacing it with a second 5 gallon drum. Well, we got it home and started in on it. This paint started separating in the tub as well as in the smaller cans we poured it in for painting. I took it back again and this time, Lowe's made the paint in 5--1 gallon cans. Home I went and as soon as I opened the first can, the paint had started separating again and still would not cover the existing 14 year old paint. It was two coats at a minimum yet the companies website says it will cover in one coat. So I headed back to Lowe's. Since I kept having problems with the paint and not Lowe's, I asked if the company rep could come to our house. Calls were placed and the rep is going to be coming over early next week--like Tuesday if we are lucky.
Mean while, Lowe's has lost our trim that we ordered a few weeks ago. Apparently, it we shipped to the wrong supplier and they delivered it to the wrong company. With luck, they hope to find out where it is by early next week.
And the fun just keeps on coming.
I've planted tomatoes and cucumbers in my planter boxes on the back deck so at least we will have fresh veggies in a few weeks. I didn't plant jalapenos this year.
So, stay tuned for more of our exciting stay here in HOT Colorado.
07/14/2010, Aurora, Colorado
Well, we're a month into our stay here in Colorado and everything is moving right along. We came home with lots of things to get done and LOTS of parts to get ordered.
The painting of our home is going nicely. While we were getting our paint colors approved, we spent the better part of a week smearing caulk around the outside sealing the cracks and crevices between the siding boards on our home. Over the years(14) the siding had shifted and there were a few gaps that needed closing to keep the wind and rain out. Plus, we found that many of the nails that Ryland Homes had used to attach the siding didn't go into the studs behind the siding. So we pulled out nails and had to reset them(caulking the old holes)and then moved on the the next set of nails. We plan on replacing the trim around just about all our windows as Mother Nature has caused them to swell and become basically worthless as a piece of trim.
We'd called several contractors and visited Lowe's and Home Depot to see what was available. James Hardie makes a piece of trim that will resist any kind of weather abuse and has a fifty year warranty. It's not made with reprocessed sawdust as the current trim is. We wanted the "smooth"sided boards as this way, we would only have to replace the bad boards and could leave the ones that aren't too bad in place. I'd emailed James Hardie about the trim to get all the specifics. Both contractors told me the trim was no longer available. Home Depot told me the same. James Hardie said there was no problem--still current. Lowe's on the other hand had no problem laying their hands on it so guess who got the order. While it had to be ordered, I was in no hurry as there were plenty of things that had to be done before we needed the trim.
We attacked the yard with a vengeance and trimmed just about every tree and shrub on our property. Three years of time had allowed them to go crazy and get out of control. We even dug out a willow that has caused us problems ever since the first year we moved in. Waste Management had their work cut out for them. It took us three weeks of pickups just to get rid of everything we had cut out and that was even spreading out the refuse around the neighborhood.
Meanwhile, in our "spare" time, I sat at the computer working on our list of parts that we needed to take back to Mexico. I wanted them on order so I could check them off the list. We ordered oil coolers for the engine as well as a new fuel pump. We'd replace both of our oil coolers while in the US and since the normal service interval is to replace them every 1500 hours of operation, we didn't want to get caught with out them. One had blown while we were at Catalina Island allowing water into our oil pan and into our engine. Believe me, it's not a good feeling when you pull out the dip stick and see that your oil is modeling clay grey instead of dark black. Who knew that these things wear out? Not me. Since I figure the fuel pump is original, it doesn't hurt to have a spare on hand. From what I have learned, if the engine doesn't get fuel, it will stop running. DUH!
Spare parts for our head(toilet) have been ordered and received and added to our ever growing pile. I have yet to see the parts we need to keep the head working any where in Mexico. I've already replaced some of these parts twice just since we moved aboard.
I ordered back up parts for our DuoGen wind generator and they should arrive shortly. Since the DuoGen hangs our over the water, as I switch it out from wind mode to water mode, there is the probability that I will drop one of the parts over board. It's not so much an "if" it's more of a "when".
Our spare prop for our Mercury outboard came in yesterday so we drove across town to pick it up. Somewhere out there is a rock with our name on it. It's just a matter of time before we find it.
With a good bit of computer work, I even found a company that sells computer charging systems that plug into a "cigarette" lighter fixture. No longer will I have to turn on our inverter to have 110 volt power so I can plug in a charger to convert the 110 volts back to a 12 volt charge. Now I can just plug in the computer to an outlet and get it charged. I got them for our Acer, Panasonic and even our Apple computers. This little piece of equipment will allow us to save a good bit of amps in our normal daily energy budget. Every amp I don't use is one a don't have to generate to replace.
I finally found a diesel school so I can further my education on our engine. It's Mack Boring in New Jersey. Three days long where you get your hands dirty and get to dismantle an engine and rebuild it a then make sure it works. Just the type of class I need. I know the basics but not the real "nitty gritty" of what to do should something happen as it will sometime in the future.
Well, I've gone on long enough. I'll add some more in a day or so. I've got to go to Lowe's and get more painting equipment.
I've added two new links to the blog of two boats that we have followed during our time in the Sea of Cortez. We ran into Cetus while up in Washington over a year ago. While Hello World has returned home, their blog covers their travels over the past year. Cetus is still in the Sea of Cortez for the Summer so you can follow their adventures during the HOT Summer.