Is a dry boat really necessary?

Ok so…. The boat is all settled in. She is on a mooring ball as we work on her. The frustration has mounted as we take 2 steps forward and 5 steps back. There is much more work than we anticipated. Oh boy is there more work. The leak elimination was going well. So we thought. For every leak we fix we find another. While fixing the window leak in the head it starts pouring. Turn your head and what do we see across the way? If you answered another leaky window, you are correct. We didn’t know about that one. Also we Fixed the leaky mast only to find out there is water coming from inside the mast as well. Oh the joy of a dry boat. She will most definitely be a very dry boat by the time we are done with her.
Surely you have seen hamsters running on a wheel. This how we are feeling about now. And yes at any given moment one of us may be ready to jump ship. The thought has crossed our minds a time or two. That isn’t happening though. We are in this together for the long haul. The rewards will be AMAZING. That is what keeps us chugging along one project at a time. We have accomplished a lot though . To stay motivated we have to look at the projects we have accomplished. She was an  1 1/2 hrs. away before so every trip was less productive than it is now. The engine is installed and running properly. That took a bit of work. Not much info available for that installation. Dennis is working on a post all about that project. The house batteries and solar panels are up and running. Sometimes things got done more than once. She has gotten a good scrubbing on the inside to get rid of mold and mildew. The bilge has been scrubbed and is now free of past diesel and whatever the hell else was in there. It stunk. The shower drain leads away from the mast and into our nice clean bilge now instead of water sitting at the bottom of the mast.  Several leaks have been repaired so she is getting drier each time we go out to work on her.
We need to take her out for a joy ride soon though. All work and no play makes for a grumpy crew.

Until next time,
Señora del Mar

 

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Does it Run?

This is a long one so settle in and read on to find out if we were successful in installing the electric engine.

Ok, Finally after spending several days of attempted hand sawing (no shore power on a mooring) and killing drill batteries by drilling through the bolts in the collar that was hell bent on leaving the prop shaft, I prevailed.

Funny, even after preparing and buying a second drill for the daunting task that lay ahead, guess what was missing? Go ahead, Guess. The friggin charger! Needless to say there were many setbacks during the process but the first step (probably the most difficult) had been accomplished.

I managed to drill through 1 1/2 bolts that clamped the collar tight to the shaft and had to hammer it off after my drill died. Off she came.

VICTORY!
VICTORY

From there the next steps were fairly painless. The new propeller shaft collar was put in place. ***NOTE: Do NOT push the shaft back to far.*** Motor was mounted along with the gear reduction unit. Mounting the entire unit to the ground was super simple since there is no need for engine mounts (little vibration). I just simple drilled one pilot hole into each side of the motor runners (that is what I call what the motor mounts to because I like to make up my own names for stuff sometimes). Luckily most are just wood underneath fiberglass. I just ran one fairly thick lag screw on each side to hold the motor in place. I believe they were about an 1″ – 1 1/2″ long.

Next step I started applying the heat transfer grease onto the back of the heat sink which the Sevcon controller will be screwed into. I used my finger instead of a roller like they suggest because they give you a very small amount. I think using the roller would have absorbed it all and left me with nothing. A little extra would have been nice.

My plans were to mount the controller flush against the wall, but after consulting with Thunderstruck, they suggested mounting it on its side long ways top to bottom. This allows for better air circulation allowing the heat to rise away from the unit easier.
Do not place the relay switch under the controller as it creates a good amount of heat.

Next I just watched the Thunderstuck wiring video and got that all taken care of easy enough. I ended up placing the 4 group 27 batteries where the gas tank was for a nearly perfect fit. I am using wet cell batteries for now because they are cheap, but will most likely switch to AGMs in the future.

Installing the throttle cables gave me a bit of an issue. As hard as I tried, I could not get my current wire/lever assembly to give me the play I needed to get full throttle power in both directions (after fabricating throttle actuator-aluminum rod for cable attachment).

My intention by purchasing the Curtis ET-134 was to use my exsisiting cables so I wouldn’t have to mount the funny looking clown nose throttle lever anywhere near the cockpit area. The thing looks like a toy. I lost this battle, but I do intend on either covering or topping off the rod with something cool to distract from the cheesy red plastic knob. I really don’t like the thing.

Anyway, the existing throttle cable(s) were completely bypassed. ( They would have needed to be replaced anyway). The throttle is completely controlled digitally by the Curtis unit ,and yes we now have full throttle in both directions. Although I managed to install it backwards so forward is reverse and reverse is forward. But hey, it works and I am beyond ecstatic. It is now time to bring her home to St. Augustine. Let the move begin!

Until next time,
Dennis

 

 

 

Leaks, Leaks, Everywhere Leaks

Beautiful but a bit leaky at the moment.

We need the rain yes, but enough already! There is a reason for everything, at least that is what we keep telling ourselves. It seems to hold true enough in this instance and all this non-stop rain here in Florida lately has been a blessing in disguise. We prefer our boat to be as dry as possible, but mother nature as usual has other plans. The rain has shown us where every single little leak is. There still may be more we don’t see, yeah! Seriously it can stop raining now, please. The to do list is getting a bit longer than any of us would like. Did we really expect anything less? Nah, of course not.

The major leaks that need attention for the moment are above the engine room coming from fuel fill valve and one of the cockpit drain hoses. That one is kind of a big deal. It turns out all those frustrating  motor install delays have been a blessing in disguise. We would probably be cursing and crying had the motor been installed before finding that particular leak. Then we have the front port stanchions leaking that have done a good bit of damage to the front portion of the bulkhead. That’s going to be a whole other repair job. The window in the head needs 1 new latch and probably some type of new gasket. The amount of water coming in there is amazing.  Of course the keel stepped mast  is leaking. Lastly there are a couple of small leaks from the windows in the main cabin. It is starting to feel like I bought another fixer-upper (lol). The thought “What the hell did we get ourselves into” has crossed our minds more than once lol. 

The camera does no justice to the puddle of water.

Until next time,
Dennis

We found our sailboat

After passing our depressive state from the last boat we decided to pass on (Allied Seabreeze). Our impatience was growing so we couldn’t help but continue to look for “our boat”. From what we could tell the best deals seamed to be on craigslist, so we continued to do some hard window shopping. By this time we were in a much better financial situation as we had put together the money for our fourth and final kid’s braces and we have managed to pay our home off!!!!! (WooHOO!!!!). Now we felt like the timing was right.

I was particularly looking for a strong and worthy classic with a broken down engine (Clearance Sale!). It was slim pickings, but we ended up taking a look at a Bristol 29.9 in Cape Canaveral Fl. that had it’s engine removed (bonus!) and was being offered for $6,000. The seller just had the lower hull redone and painted and also just replaced the rudder stock and a couple of through holes.

Senora del Mar on the hard
Senora del Mar

We could not find a single bad review on this boat and although it was a little smaller than what we were looking for, it’s layout and beam made up the difference. Besides smaller is more affordable to maintain (more fun money!).

I must admit although it sounded like a fair deal, I still hesitated a bit knowing that once we said yes a financial hurricane would come our way. It did not disappoint!

So we did say yes to the deal after negotiating to $5,500 dinghy and 5.0 outboard motor included. Ok so we bought this boat so now what? The owner had now taken her off dry storage where he was getting ripped a new one and and had her docked at a friends house in  Cocoa Fl. while she waited for us to pick her up. Only 1 problem, she has no back up engine and I don’t currently have keel boat sailing experience, yikes!

After having an acquaintance bail out on me, another friend too busy at the time and looking into over water and out out of water transport fees I was a bit stressed and overwhelmed. How can we get this boat from Cocoa to St. Augustine, Fl. or at least Marineland Fl. safely without breaking the bank?

She Floats!!!!!!
She Floats!!!!!!

Stay tuned to the adventure. We will find a way to get her home. Surely it will be full of amusement for all.

Until next time,
Dennis

Repairing the Broken Boat

Hi there,
Sorry it’s been a while. I was dealing with boat repairs and then came the holidays.

On the last blog, I had mentioned the damage that occurred to the boat. I ended up taking our 2 piece broken mast to an aluminum fabricator. He ended up reinforcing the broken area by putting a short aluminum rod on the inside of the mast, between the two pipes and the welding the mast back together.  The mast was previously broken and welded under the previous owners watch at the same location at some point. The cost was $50 for the repair and took less than an hour. The quick turn around was appreciated!

Next came the the forward shroud that had frayed. I ended up going to West Marine  as I heard they supply you with the tools to get the job done. Well, my first attempt was not so good. I’m sure it would have helped if they gave had given me the correct oval sleeve instead of a round stop sleeve. Talk about frustration….
I surrendered after an hour and a half of trying to put it all together with the help of the the West Marine associate.

Google and Youtube to the rescue! After doing some online research I went back and purchased the correct oval sleeve type and size from West Marine and went to work. After another hour and a half hand wrenching, wire bending / holding (not fun for a pro guitarist) and crimping with my arm pit, I was set. Very comical to watch I’m sure.  It would have been easier with 2 people, but I was just glad it finally came together. Not as neat looking as the previous one, but it will do.


Next part was the easiest. I had to rivet the two shroud attachments back onto the mast, reattach the chain plate on right side and also rivet the base of the mast back in place with some super long rivets that needed to special ordered online. Lesson. DON’T BE A DUMB ASS! Take your mast down as soon as you get the boat out of the water, even if you can’t find a parking spot.

She is finally ready for the water again. More adventures to come soon.

Happy New Year!!!!

Until Next Time,
Dennis Fermin