Saturday, February 10, 2018

One step forward, two steps back...

Life goes on with the usual ups and downs.

On the down side...

The engine coolant is leaking out somewhere: I'm betting on a defective radiator cap, but this is low on my list.

I've found the beam that the mizzen mast sits upon... and that the steering is bolted to... is seriously rotten and must be replaced. I'll need to rip up the sole (floor) in the aft stateroom, dig it out, and build anew. Probably, the best idea is to install something (oak? Mahogany? Teak?) soaked in epoxy to reduce decay rates as that area is permanently moist. *grumble*.

The main mast is warped... and (when I peel off the fiberglass sheathing it) wet enough to splash when I hit it with a hammer. I may need to replace it entirely... I'll chat with a couple experts next week.

The hard-top cockpit cover is a poor plan, intended only for living in the marina. I'll need to reinforce it before heading to sea. The parts are on on their way...

My ears ring and my head aches: sinus trouble from mold? And I have so much stuff on board there is hardly room to move, let alone clean.

On the up side...

The giant solar panels Cynthia and I installed work very nicely: even on this cloudy day they produce enough to chill the fridge...and sometimes enough to run a light or two: essentially I am running a deficit, but slowly. This pleases me as this is the usual state during ANY sort of cloudiness, much less this darkness. I estimate they are giving 80 watts out of their rated 530 watts.

I sanded and recoated the counter: glassy and smooth.

I had the yard pull both masts so I could work on them. I spent several hours contemplating, labeling, preparing, etc so that the time it took was far less than the yard master had expected. Always nice to make things efficient.... and save some $$$.

The replacement of the exhaust line proceeds as planned. The support for the new exhaust water lock seems good and, being far lower than previously, should be far less likely to allow water back into the engine.
The new chromed bronze exhaust through-hull came from eBay (got it for $108 instead of the normal $240 retail) and will replace the wrong fittings (plastic through-hull and a stainless shutoff). The new exhaust line fits as I planned and will constrict the engine exhaust far less then the old maze of plumbing: five elbows reduced to a single sweeping loop! Satisfying! 

(No, I don't have the final fitting installed as I have been waiting for rainy days, optimally when someone like my dad is visiting to lend a hand (I pick him up about 3pm tomorrow. I also did not take a photo of the final installation of the exhaust line: all connections now sport two clamps!)

The insulation & fiberglass I installed in the pantry(?) went OK... and I hope it will remain adhered to the hull and am sure it will reduce condensation and mold.

Digging out decay from the mizzen mast and fitting new pieces of wood posed a challenge, but an enjoyable one.

I've glued some douglas fir into the mizzen (aft) mast yesterday to replace the rotten stuff I removed... and I think it went OK. I'll find out when the rain stops and I can unwrap it and sand it smooth.

Finally, I can smell a big pot of chili I'm simmering on the stove. Mmmmmm...


  1. You are an inspiration, Dustin. To keep on keeping on despite Hydra-headed obstacles. Rooting for you always. David and Janet and little Scout

  2. Good luck with your impressive repairs, Dustin!
    Is your boat a yawl or ketch?

    1. She is a ketch, meaning that the mizzen mast is ahead of the rudder post.

  3. You're doing awesome work there. I love your positive attitude! Looking forward to updates on the progress. Yum... chili!

    1. Thanks.

      "Yum" was exactly my dad's response when I told him that was a possibility on his arrival Sunday night. Too bad these boats are not all that easy for old folks, but he leaves tomorrow and had a good visit.