Friday, December 27, 2013

Spirit of Christmas

During the past few weeks, Christmas was alive in Oriental and we took full advantage of every oppertunity to make the most of the magic.  

Not only did we attend a few parties, a parade, and give a go at caroling, the kids were stars in TWO nativity plays.  Such is possible in a small town with a limited younger crowd.  
We are enjoying this precious community to the fullest.  On New Years, we will go chasing the dragon and try to tap it for good luck with pots and pans in hand.  When in Oriental... Do as the Oriental-ans do!  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Steady as she goes

Well we got a lot done during the last two weeks. New hatches, plumbing, smart charger, etc...  But we have a ways to go yet. 

The new hatches look great and they are water tight. The batteries are doing their job while the charger is keeping them strong. The new bilge pump also works well but it has only had to do anything one time during the test. 
The kids even like to pitch in. 

Fun in the dink. 

For Christmas we received a new family member and guard dog. 

View of Chicago on approach. Time to head back to the great white North. 

Lighthouse in St Joe, Michigan. Credit to whoever took the picture. Likely one of the local fish wraps. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pimpin the crib

We had a glitch in the bilge pump matrix and as a result, our batteries took a hit. Had to instal all new batteries compliments of the warranty. Since there wasn't such a rush this time I went ahead and replaced all the wiring, terminals, and put in a new smart charger. 

New acrylic on the hatches. This job took much longer than expected removing the old glue. Hopefully it will stop the one or two leaks we have. 

Everything is cleaned and prepped. New glass gets caulked today. 

These are the old diaphram pumps. Obviously not in the best condition. Replacing them with modern technology and all new hoses. 

Today's project, caulking in the new hatches with Sika-flex. Luckily the temperature today should be in the high 60's. 

Even with all the work going on we still have time for adventures. Fun is awesome!  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Free from indenture

When I'm not sailing, I'm sailing. 30 days in the hole and now I'm heading home. 
Chomping at the bits. Winter gales and storms make for interesting voyages. 

Time for a siesta. Then back to work on the sailboat. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

On and on until the break of dawn

Refitting a vintage sailboat, even one previously owned by a meticulous airline pilot, can be daunting. In a rush to splash the boat, before I had to fly out for work, I chose to overlook one crucial aspect (wished away actually) and that was the PSS dripless shaft seal. I hoped it would be fine and against my better judgement put the boat in the water anyway. Due to the boat sitting on the hard for two years it seems as though the shaft seal is questionable. Of course it is. So now we must haul the boat out again and have a traditional packing gland installed. BTW, a shaft seal is where the propeller shaft goes through the hull of the boat. It is supposed to keep the ocean from coming in. The good news is we can also replace the cutlass bearing and prop shaft while we're at it. I think that is good news. Anyway when you sail offshore with children, the vessel and its systems must obviously be bullet proof. 

Fortunately the engine has very low hours but it still needs to be updated with all new pipes, hoses, hose clamps, filters, pumps, lube, lines, valve adjustment, etc..etc..luckily this is work I can do myself. Once she is tuned up and running right we will be one more step toward our departure. 

There are other items that need to be updated too. Before we can even make the quick trip to Florida we need to replace the aft stay (holds mast up), dye test the other stays and chain plates, replace 4 acrylic hatches, replumb all new fresh water lines throughout the boat, two new bilge pumps, and instal a new refrigeration system. We will still need to replace the freezer later on. We need an 80 pound anchor and 300 feet of high tensile chain. And before we leave, a new chart plotter plus recertification of the liferaft, fire fighting equipment, and EPIRB.   All of these things are pretty mundane and basic. Just like buying an older home some items need to be replaced and updated. 

Once we arrive at our next staging area we will focus on creature comforts which is Jenny's department. I imagine she'll replace the counter tops, all three sinks, curtains, cushions, pilothouse enclosure, and carpetting. The Stuart Fl area is a good place to have this type of work done as there are many talented contractors available.  From that point we will be ready to venture elsewhere. 

We still have to sell our dinghy though. It is too big for our davits. If anyone is interested in a 16 ft Novurania just leave a comment. We are looking for something a bit smaller and hopefully newer. But we'll see. This dinghy has been a wonderful member of our family.