Friday, December 22, 2006

So its been almost two weeks since I spent some real time on the boat. Sorry for the lag in updates. Unfortunately, I still have to work in order to fund this whole thing and my final quarter this year didn’t go quite as well as planned. Oh well, help has come from a few unexpected directions. My parents, being the great people that they are, decided to get me the Raymarine ST60 Instrument Pack I’d been looking at. Considering all of the instruments on the boat are shot this was definitely priority number one. Thanks Mom and Dad. Love you guys.

In relation to the rest of the projects I’d posted a while back I’ll fill you in on where I sit.

1. I did spend about 3 hours with the previous owner, J.D. It was very helpful and he did a good job of bringing me up to speed on some of the quirks of the boat. Things like turning on the sailing instruments to activate the switch in the head that turns on the forward bilge pump. No, not the one for the shower sump, but the forward bilge pump. Huh, I may need to think about redoing some of the wiring on the boat. Overall, that time with J.D. was well worth the trip.

2. The Barient Winches. Amazingly, these old winches are extremely well made and the craftsmanship on the internal bearings made them intricately beautiful. It took almost two whole days to tear them down to the component pieces, soak them in kerosene, scrub the degraded grease off, re-grease, and reassemble. The final result was nothing short of a brand new winch. I am excited to get them out sailing and see how they do now under load. We may be putting off those self tailing new fangled plastic winches after all.

3. Well, our epirb is an old one. I’ll probably need to pick up a new 406, but this one should work for coastal sailing until we really cast off. I found some good people up at Shoreline Marine in Houston who is ordering a replacement battery for us. It’ll be ready to pick up before we head off to Port A for new years.

4. The Givens Life Raft. This has turned into one huge pain in the ass. So I did post the video last time of me inflating the raft on the hard. This was a pretty cool experience actually as no one around the Marina had seen one inflated before. The bad news is that no one in TX services this type of raft. So I had to open it up and pull the flares and CO2 so that I could safely ship it to RI to the manufacturer. This thing is heavy. I finally got it off the boat, inflated, repacked and shipped to RI. Well, FedEx decided to sit on the package for a week before putting it on the truck. Givens got the raft just in time to shut down for the holiday. I won’t see that thing back until Feb. On the positive side, the raft worked perfectly. For not having been inspected or repacked in over a decade I was amazed at how good it looked. Even though the customer service from Givens has been lacking, I am hoping they can certify the raft and put it back into service. This will keep me from having to buy a new one. The shot to the right shows what is in the standard survival gear. Water, seasick pills, mechanical patches for the raft, a pump with attachment hose, plastic bladder for water catching, fishing net, flares, flashlight (still just barely worked), and a pack of heavily corodded energizer batteries.

5. The Roller Furler: Now this is an interesting story. So the furler on the boat is an antique. I new that going into this, but this particular furler has been made by FaMet Marine for 30 years. It took me almost two days to track down the current owner and he is sending me a few spares for the unit. The cool thing is it does have an internal halyard so there can be no wrap in a blow, there are no bearings to maintain or rust on the unit, and the drum is heavy enough to reef in a blow. Get this, the owner is going cruising and is willing to sell the company for ~20k. If I could squeeze 5 – 7 K per year out of it that could fund the trip almost indefinitely. It’s funny how things seem to work when you make a decision to try something. I am waiting on more info from the owner to see what the financials look like. And yeah, I got the line replaced as well. Sure does make all the other running rigging look old.

6. Jack lines were already on the boat! In digging through all the spares I found the type of nylon I would have purchased myself. One less thing I’ll need to buy.

7. Cowl vent – 100 bucks at westmarine.

8. Dingy never made it off the davits. With winter on us and the occasional freeze in TX I didn’t want to drop the outboard in the water and pump the block full of water. I think I may wait until spring to tackle this one.

9. Lifejackets are expensive. At least the one I want is. ~ 250 for a CO2 charged vest with internal harness and tether. Regardless, I’ll have to pick this up before we head off to port A.

10. We are up to snuff for a USCG inspection. At least I think we are. I picked up lots of goodies including air horns and flares. I am thinking of having the power squadron come by for a voluntary inspection. This way I can be sure.

The Port A trip should be a good first shakeout. I am a little worried that the batteries are shot and I may replace the whole lot before we head off. Once back, our Razorback neighbors gave the name of a guy who did some good work for them at substantially less than that Seabrook Shipyard. I am excited to have the boat hauled again and get some things like the rudder, macerator, bottom paint, wind, depth, and speed instruments installed. I think I’ve let that same Razorback talk me into getting a nice boot stripe painted on the boat. I am starting to look at this a little more like one of my house rehab projects. Pride of ownership in large part comes from an attractive boat. Secondly, if and when the day comes to re-enter the “real world” I’ll need to sell her. All the cosmetics won’t do a thing to hurt those prospects either.

Merry Christmas Everyone! Have a safe and happy holiday.

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