SPARROW'S WINTER PROJECTS
28 March 2014 | Russel's Boat Yard, MHC-NC
It has surely been a cold, wet, snowy, icey winter here in the Carolinas. We sailed down to Morehead City on a blustery New Year's Day with gloves, caps, mittens and layers to keep warm. Thankfully the partly cloudy day didn't dampen our spirits, what with a newlywed couple onboard, homemade pumpkin bread, homemade beef jerky and lively conversation, we clipped right along~
Having left after 9:30, we arrived into the Morehead City waterfront by mid-afternoon. Russel the Yard owner was waiting for us, guiding us into the 'lift' berth, surprised maybe to see we actually came through with our sail plan. We closed her up and felt assured that we left her in good hands, you see she was in desperate need of being hauled. She had a slow leak from the engine shaft bolts that at this point were dribbling and causing the bilge pump to run every few minutes. That was all fine until over the Christmas holiday while I was out of town, the automated bilge pump chip decided to die. Even with someone onboard to push the button every 10 minutes, she was gaining water weight, especially loaded with crew and the engine screw running full bore.
Russel could easily see what was in store for his winter project onboard SPARROW. Thankfully, he was exactly the right person to bring her to. He ended up having to totally excavate the entire prop shaft and replace everything with a dripless system. It took some time and a lot of extra change, but soon, SPARROW'S bottom was looking so much better and so many issues had been solved. This bilge pump was non accessible, due to being placed under the engine, so he devised a liftable shelf plate for the new pump. The engine itself had wore out it's foot pads and he extended the shaft to make room for replacing zinc collars now and then. I am ecstatic about the repairs and how he solved all the dilemmas....paying for it was a hard swallow~
Now we're just hoping for a warming trend, last night it was back in the 20's, but we are promised into the 70's for the weekend...but more rain. I am still searching for the right dock space for this season though, we will not be returning to our previous dock due to shoaling at low tide and strong currents causing limited access. The Nancy Lee Fishing Charter docks were convenient but were not working out for us. The docks were also in the process of being sold to the town for public park access and we didn't feel comfortable with SPARROW being open to public access 24-7 with no security. It was nice digs for a season~
Better things to come-