Monday, June 30, 2014

Sundowner sure is hard getting used to this million dollar view out my window.
All this is about to change of course  with Invest 91L gearing up to make landfall a little further down the Florida coast on Wednesday. It will be a great opportunity for me to go sailing actually. That is if I can get all this stuff done. I have my lower stays to put up, a new anchor chain that I am waiting on, my monitor wind vane to go on the aft boomkin, my cap rail project and some more topside canvas.
Today I started out working again on my transducer for my fish finder.
I epoxied a 3" PVC pipe on the port side under the table, filled it with water and placed the transducer inside. I was going to and fro from the display each time I moved the transducer until I figured out that there is an audible signal of a fast clicking noise from the transducer when it is getting the right signal. I put another layer of epoxy down again to secure it and tomorrow I plan on filling the pipe with melted toilet ring wax instead of using water as a more permanent solution.
What you see here is my new Standard Horizon GX2200 VHF radio all boxed up waiting to be shipped back to Defender. I have been having problems with the off/on switch and today it finally died. I rang Yaesu who make it, but they told me to send it back to Defender. Defender were excellent and emailed me a UPS return label. I ordered a floating handheld Icom VHF in the meantime to carry me over until my new GX2200 gets here.
My dodger and bimini leak like mad and I was going to paint it but the Home Depot guy said that this stuff works like a charm to weather proof all kinds of stuff............we will see. I have tried these sprays in the past and they have been disappointing.....the jury is still out.
I rang my Yanmar guy to get him to do an engine alignment but he is not available anytime soon so I reached for my sailboat bible, Don Casey's "Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual" and in there it describes how to do it. Seemed simple enough so I got all I needed together as you can see in the photo above. That brown rusty coupling in the middle of the photo is the part you must separate to check the alignment. Well I couldn't get the nuts off the bolts, try as I may. Don Casey did say that if you can freely move the prop shaft by hand and there are no tight spots then it is at least roughly aligned. So I feel like I am OK for at least a short while. So it will have to do for now. As Scarlett O'Hara said, tomorrow is another day!

Sunday, June 29, 2014 on the water

It's all it's cracked up to be....the gentle rock to and fro, the sound of the lap of waves against the hull, the clean fresh air. I've waited a long time for this moment and it has all been worth it.
Notice the radar reflector on the port spreader. 
I climbed the mast to put it up and while there I took a photo of my new solar panels pumping out 200 watts into my battery bank.
I worked all jolly morning on the above transducer for my silly fish finder. You can't see it but there is water in the above orange bowl that the transducer is sitting in. 
You can see that I managed to get the depth reading working successfully. Trouble is I was not able to find another spot where the transducer worked as well. It is right below the dining room table and I am afraid that someone's foot will accidentally kick the transducer. So I went to Home Depot tonight and bought a 3" PVC pipe to mount it in using epoxy. That should protect it OK.
BTW while I was working under the table I noticed that my USCG documented number was etched into the epoxy. Not sure what the NET stands for.
Storms were threatening here this afternoon so my mind turned to chafe protection for my dock lines. 
Wouldn't you know that as soon as I splashed, a tropical depression, 91L has just formed off the Carolina coast and is supposed to make landfall here on Tuesday. It is hurricane season after all.
Hopefully it will go north east instead.
I finally got around to swapping out my tiller and when I get a chance I will coat it with 2 layers of epoxy and 3 layers of cetol. In the meantime it is under a sunbrella cover.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Splash Day

Ok here is a before and after photo of the bottom job.
That paint was like no other that I have used. It tore up all the brushes and rollers I used.
Then I got stuck into mounting my solar panels.
The starboard one worked out great.
 The port side one was also straight forward.

Another lookie see.
Then the charge controller.
OK time to splash....gotta run

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fleeting visit to Miami

I went to Miami to buy some solar panels, but before I there I took a visit to Sailorman.
It had a lot of used boating gear there and would be a great asset if you were a Miami boater.
I actually couldn't find anything to buy there but I did make some purchases over the road at the largest west marine store I have ever seen.
But why I really come down to Miami was to visit sun electric......
Roberto Chavez helped me pick out what I needed.
Which was this....
You are looking at two 100 watt 12 volt panels, wiring and a Xantrex charge controller for $361. Originally I was going to buy a MMPT controller and larger panels but when I got there and saw it up close and personal, I realized that the panel was too large. So I downsized in the hope that I can cope with the lower power.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Getting ready to splash

Just one photo today and that is putting masking tape on the hull getting ready to put bottom paint on her tomorrow. You are supposed to only paint bottom paint on the hull just before you put the boat in the water and I have booked Saturday at 1pm to splash her.
A couple of days ago we got some really violent winds here and a ladder blew over on to my car and smashed the front windshield. So this morning I had a new windshield fitted.
I may not have time to post a blog entry tomorrow because I am heading south to Miami to pick up some solar panels. I actually ordered them last week from Northern Arizona Sun and Wind but one of their sales staff nonchalantly called me late yesterday to say that they could put it on a truck for delivery next week. Needless to say I was not happy and cancelled the order. Calling around here in Florida, there were not a lot of options so I am heading down to Sun Electronics because I have have heard good things about them and their prices are unbelievable.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My credit card has melted

Had a few expensive items come in today, but before I got to that I did some rearranging.
I needed a place to put my mooring lines, snubber, throw rope, dinghy anchor and bits and pieces and they fit perfectly in this plastic container in the cockpit.
In preparation for my solar panel, I had my welder place some stainless nuts inside the pipe. These 2 stainless pipes fit inside each other and the bolts will go through my stanchions.
Johnny continued templating the cap rail, this time on the bow.
I mounted the fish finder. It looks terrible so I will have to finish it with some kind of backing plate.
I finally found an out of the way spot for my whisker pole that doesn't trip me up every time I turn around.
One gallon of bottom paint - $260
One waterproof radio and speakers $200
One 46lb Manson Supreme anchor - $500
Two Trojan T105 six volt batteries weighing 62lbs each - $270
One heart attack with a hernia on the side - priceless
Not very much room for the 2 new batteries. I don't know how the cruisers with four of these get on.
Installing the Sony took a little while longer. I finally got a chance to use my new jigsaw and it made short work out of the fiberglass.
Now which wire goes where?
Success! I still have to feed the VHF output into the auxiliary input but I can do that tomorrow.
The new stereo sounds REALLY good.

Monday, June 23, 2014

This and that

Just a bunch of different projects today. I did finish of putting up the staysail  and sail cover with the club foot that I didn't complete yesterday because of all the rain.
While I was finding all the parts for the staysail sheet traveler, I decided to sort all the spare running rigging out.
Johnny spent most of the day on the boat templating the stern caprail.
He will be back tomorrow to do the bow which also needs the caprail replaced. Afterwards they will machine cut the mahogany and I will install it.
I took out my old depth sounder and worked on wiring up the new fish finder. It is supposed to have a one amp fuse but the lowest my kit would go was 3 amps.
Because the boat is out of the water, I will wait to finish the installation later after I splash.
Because the transducer is inside the hull, I will have to mount it in a medium that excludes any air.
I did try and start the engine today and again the old battery would not turn it over, so I have ordered a pair of 6 volts Trojan T105's.
Another week and I hope to be in the water.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dress up day

I never really intended to start the day doing what I did. I had a list and on it was painting and epoxy. It just didn't feel like a get down and grubby kind of day. So instead I focused on putting up all the outside sunbrella canvas; dodger, bimini, main sail, genoa and staysail with their sailbags. The sunbrella is a little old but it has got a few more useful years left in it. I started out with the dodger.
I put loctite on all the fittings because I found that they would occasionally work loose.
Next I put up the main sail on the boom, then it's sail cover.
If you don't have one of these you can kiss your sails goodbye in this Florida sun.
And here is one of those project creep moments when I was digging my sails out of the sail locker. Eeeeek!
It took me a good hour to vacuum and pick out all the rubbish from down there. Another paint job for when I get time.
Next was the Genoa. I have about 6 to choose from but I selected a large light black and yellow nylon sail that is almost like a drifter, but it does have hanks on it.
And the "seagrass green" sunbrella sailbag that the genoa is swimming in and tied down because of the approaching storm.
At this stage, the weather deteriorated and started raining so I called it a day and went shopping.
To the left/back is a battery powered motion detector alarm that I plan to mount in the cockpit, and to the right is my new depth sounder. My old one just gave the depth, but this one is a fish finder that also shows you the bottom contour.