Ships Blog

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Date:Thurs, 02 Dec 2021 01:35:23 GMT

Engine work

     The last couple days have been engine work days. We started installing an anti-siphon device for the raw water exhaust injection. The engine sits below the water line and the water will siphon back from the exhaust into the engine unless we close the raw water through hull. The reason is a bit complicated and probably beyond the scope of this blog to explain, but I'll do my best. This boat was designed with a water jacket cooled exhaust instead of injecting it straight into the exhaust. But, though it is a beautiful copper/bronze thing, it has pin holes in the water jacket which causes a leak into the exhaust. The previous owner had wanted to put in an anti-siphon riser but never got around to it. We started putting it in behind the stairs yesterday. Tomorrow we will complete it and post pictures. We also need to install a petcock/valve to drain water from the water jacket when we shut off the engine.

We removed the raw water pump today and found water had mixed with the oil around the shaft of the pump. So we are replacing/rebuilding the pump. We also adjusted the valves and though they seem to have never been touched they were remarkably well set. We also took off the fuel injectors for service and 1 will be replaced. So for the time being we are engineless. This is not a good feeling, but there is nothing we can do except wait for parts to arrive. We had ordered parts but one was the wrong part (the raw water pump) and the other (injectors) turned out to need more parts. Overall, however I feel good about the state of the engine. The top end looks remarkably clean and the oil smells good.

Lila is getting more secure with the boat and is typically sleeping in the raised guest berth above the settee. Hannah and I went shopping today and food is getting much more expensive. It's a little disturbing. But tonight we had Tuna Casserole and farm fresh green beans.

Oh, because of the cold weather the water was shut off on the dock so we have been seeing how long our water will last. So far it's been 9 days of reasonably normal water usage. It will be interesting to see how long it will go. As an issue with this, we are still leaking fresh water into the bilge and I still don't know where it is coming from! Over the week we dumped about 10 gallons overboard with bilge pumps. This will be a priority to find.
Transmission and Exhaust
Fighting with Pipes
Working in a hole
no one can leave till we're done... stairs on the floor
almost done
almost almost done
very nearly almost done
stairs go back on next and then folks can get out of the boat again
Date:Fri, 03 Dec 2021 03:19:02 GMT

More Engine work

     Today we finished the exhaust anti-siphon by adding another length of hose. Then we put back the stairs and the wall behind them. In the evening I worked on the wifi repeater and set it up for the neighbors. As soon as my groove comes in I'll setup ours permanently. I want to pull the ethernet cable from the starboard lazarette to the navigation station. I think the wifi repeater should be inside the cabin not out by the auto pilot.

It was a beautiful 70 deg day today and sunny and the marina turned back on the water. So we could have filled the tanks but we are waiting till we run out. I want to see how long we can go on 200 gallons of water. At this point we are at 13 days.

I tied a rope to my feet with towels around the rope and Hannah and Samuel pulled me up inverted. We don't have an inversion table so this is the best I can do at the moment. I'm worried about my back.
Date:Sun, 05 Dec 2021 02:17:26 GMT

Computer work

     I spent most of the last couple days doing web site updates and upgrades and wifi installations for friends. Of note however is that we are now mirrored on gopher so even the simplest text system can follow us. I also optimized the website a little bit for text only browsers like lynx. I am playing with making a static version of the site so that it loads a little faster.

The weather has been wonderful lately and temps are ranging from the high 40's at night to the 70's in the daytime. Tonight the sunset was amazing with salmon and pink rippling across the water and the christmas lights on people's boats reflecting on the black water.

We spent the afternoon watching a movie in the clubhouse and eating popcorn and fresh doghnuts from Dunkin. My groove wifi came in today so I hooked that up. as well. Nite nite!
Autumn Leaves on Black Water

Date:Tue, 07 Dec 2021 22:27:54 GMT

Engine work

     Today we put in cleaned/adjusted injectors. Then we put in the newly rebuilt raw water pump. The raw water pump has one of the 4 allen screws stripped. Someone previously just filled it with red rtv and hoped it would stay in. Two of the holes are wallowed out on the pump as well. The impeller was in really bad shape. After the work the engine started right up no problems. My water anti-siphon loop worked flawlessly and the drain worked well as well. There was a leak on the output of the transmission cooler so we tightened up the hose clamp. Now comes the bad news. We still have a knock on number three. So the likely hood is that we have a compression problem on 3 so that there is incomplete burn causing a knock. When we loosen the injector input the knock/rattle goes away. It's not a valve adjustment because we already did that and it's not the injector because it's new. We ran it up to 3000rpm and it starts to rattle somewhere at 2800. Under load we ran it up to 2000rpm and the knock on #3 is worse under load than without load. Then I flushed out the entire bilge and vacuumed out the water where it collects/sits on top of the grey water tank. So now we can start tracking water leaks again. But for now we have an engine again. The next step is check the compression and see if it's low on #3.
Date: Thur, 09 Dec 2021 04:59:46 GMT

More Leaks

     It rained today nice and hard and so we used the opportunity to find leaks. Only 1 new one! That's not bad for an old boat. As boats go this is a very very dry boat. We have 1 starboard portlight/window that needs to be re-bedded, two bolts side by side that need proper bedding on the cabin roof and the new one is the dorade over the kitchen. A couple of screws that hold the dorade to the cabin roof are not sealed correctly. Oh, and one of the deck boxes has a crack. But the only one that was new was the screws for the dorade.

However... that hose with the terrible emergency fix from when it filled the battery box with water... that one. Well as it turns out where the hose had been crushed over the pex it sprang a leak. When I put it over the hose barb after being crushed previously it decided to spring a leak and was spraying water again. This time however I caught it quickly and in digging through my spare parts found the proper fitting. A pex to 1/2 pipe fitting and a 1/2 pipe to 1/2 barb! wonderful! Anyway so that's fixed properly now. But of course it happened after dinner in the evening and I just finished. We also used the opportunity to tie down with wire ties the little valve that I had put on the exhaust raw water bilge drain. So two more items off the list.

When you fix something temporary you always generate more work. If there is any way it's best to do it right the first time. But years and years of just doing it 1/2 way has left everything to me now to fix. And of course it's 1 time to solve the emergency and then a couple days later do it again with the right parts. Ah well...
one hose done right but a rats nest to fix later

Date: Thur, 09 Dec 2021 23:12:35 GMT

Still More Leaks

     Today it was cool in the 50's but no rain. We went out early and found a lot of caulk that was wet so pulled it up to let it dry. In a couple days we'll start caulking.

Hannah went out today to a sisterhood party in Newbern and so Sam and I took the opportunity to fix more leaks under the galley floor. The cold water side and input to the hot water tank were leaking so we used a lot of the spare plumbing parts and fixed all the leaks, vacuumed out excess water, emptied the bilges 3 times and 4 hours later just before Hannah returned we put the floor back... Then about 1 hour later I found the input to the water heater leaking again. So I built a custom fitting that was a pex elbow to 3/8x1/2 reducer. The threads were right but they were not pipe threads so they didn't taper. I epoxied the heck out of it with putty type epoxy both inside and out and it's holding now. At least all the fittings are correct now. Once again I found pex stuck inside 3/8th inch hose and clamped. I replaced with with 1/2 pipe to 3/8th barbed connected to a 1/2 female pipe to 1/4th inch tube compression fitting which works for pex just fine. There is a metal insert inside the pex to keep it from crushing.

At the end of the day I took a picture of the cat eating at her spot on the table. The aft end of the table is her spot and she sits there a lot to sleep. She also eats there. She demands to eat at the table when we eat and has very good manners. We recently tried feeding her sardines. She loves them. Previously she would only eat chicken or turkey and turned her nose up at fish but she likes sardines which is wonderful because they are cheap cat food!
A cat with manners! really!
manners and ATTITUDE of course

Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2021 03:27:27 GMT


     In the morning I worked on re-caulking the window to the aft head. Temporary fix only but it should hold till we can get it rebedded properly. Ok, it was cloudy but the forcast was not for rain till Sunday, but NO as soon as I started pulling up some wet caulk on the teak decks it decides to rain! grrrr. And I left the aft lazzerette open as well and went to the library. Samantha came over for a visit and we had chile mac and chocolate covered cherries! We spent the day buying too many books and then I spent the evening working on the wifi network. (we got a new router for $3 at the thrift shop. Today it was cool in the 50's but no rain.
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2021 23:53:53 GMT


     In the morning we went to the post office to get a po box but they closed before we got to the window. We'll try again tomorrow. This is becoming painful and a bureaucratic mess. Then in the afternoon I worked on re-caulking the decks. Some of the areas had dried enough, some had not. We are expecting rain tomorrow so I wanted to get do as much as possible. Then in the evening we found that the small repair to a leak in the aft head was dripping slightly again. So I modified one of the fittings to fit the old thin pex A blue 1/2 inch lines i have. Now I can fit that old blue pex to the new 1/2 inch white stuff if necessary. Then we found that the port wall forward by the head and on to the hanging locker port are damp. I'm sure something is leaking but now finding it will be a chore. So everything is open and airing out now. Hannah is doing wash and there are lintels on the stove for when she comes back.
Green tape everywhere
Green tape marking wet caulk
otherwise known as a caulk minefield

Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2021 23:27:15 GMT

Leaking Portlights

     In the morning I started looking at leaks after the rain. The Aft head port light was not leaking after the caulking job from a couple days ago. But the forward one over the nav station was. So I decided to see how they were construsted and start working on it. Several hours later I had it re-bedded and cleaned up. 4 or 5 of the bottom screws were not even screwing into fiberglass but were just siliconed in. I put in some epoxy to set the glass better and give myself room to drill and tap them. Everything is bedded now, but 3 or 4 of the screws are still stripped out. I'm thinking about how to re-epoxy and tap them but epoxy is so brittle. I'm not sure what to do yet. That being said, it's not leaking now. And I know how the others are put together so as I attack each one it will be easier. I do need some custom made glass for them. The polycarbonate or acrylic? is cracked. In the early afternoon after the leak was fixed we decided to go for a sail and check the headsail that sam and I had worked on a while back. So we went out. It was a beautiful afternoon and the wind was about 12-15 knots out of the north with light chop on the water. As it got on toward sunset the wind was quite chilly. As for the head sail, we didn't get the roller furling set right so when we were rolling it back up (tighter than at the dock) we ran out of rope so we'll have to re-load it tomorrow. But the good thing is it didn't get stuck or twist around. once back at the dock we started running out of power for the bow thrusters...I'm not sure why but evidently they are not charging when the engine is running...I'm not sure the balmar is actually working. We have been fighting with it for a while now but I shouldn't run out of battery that quickly especially when the engine is running. Hannah is making roasted vegitables, potatoes, and eggs for dinner. It's going to be cold tonight in the 30's but the days are warm and nice. Parts of the deck are still not dried out so I'll let them go for a few days.
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2021 01:30:46 GMT

Clean up and Caulk

     I guess this is a maintenance blog...Anyway, Monday and Tuesday was caulking day. There is so much and you have to wait for it to dryout on good days. But back to the leak on top of the gray water tank. I can't find where the water is coming from. I've fixed 3 different leaks that could have been contributing to the water on top of that tank but to no avail. There must be a leak in a hose under the engine between the sink and the aft of the engine. I just don't know. But it's pretty clean water. I also finished off the stripped screws in the forward starboard portlight. I filled them with epoxy and tapped them again. I found an old tap and die set under a pipe in the aft hanging locker up against a wall and the venier was peeling off so I glued it down and it's sitting now with a 2 gal water jug on it for a clamp. Today also Hannah and I went to the post office to get a P.O. box. Sam spent the day trying to get a video of us working on the port light edited and uploaded to the net. We are going to get a vlog going on youtube as soon as we can get the editing down. We have two videos so far. So stay tuned for that! A couple of people on the dock here left today to head south to Florida for the winter. We might leave as well but I really want to get the spreader and the exhaust done first as well as the charging issues. One step at a time.
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2021 01:21:03 GMT

Pulling cable

     Today Sam and I pulled ethernet cable from the aft lazzerette to the nav station under shelves behind heads around corners and then made an anderson powerpole distribution bridge for the POE and cisco router. We also took apart and tightened up the shifter and throttle in the binicle. Then while we had everything apart we put screws in to hold the B&G chart plotter t-12 into the Navipod. When taking the navipod apart we found the screws had an allen head with a pin in the center for a special tool so we got out the dremmel and made the screws into flat heads. In the evening we ran out of water and my mother asked why there was a machine sound coming from the stern. It was the water pump running dry with no pressure. I need to fix that so it turns off if there is no water. And in that process I tried to turn on the deck lights to fill the water and found there is a short in the switch and it blows the fuse. It did this once before but I wasn't sure what was wrong. Now I am. Then this evening we found more condensation under the forward vberth cushions, but in that process we found a cubby we didn't no existed and in it we found a dinghy anchor! yea! presents. I guess we still need to do a full inventory Today was a beautiful day in the 70's but rain is coming Sunday so we put the covers back over the cockpit in preparation. Tomorrow we are going to the Christmas craft fair/farmers market in Beaufort.
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2021 23:01:54 GMT

Christmas Market

     This morning I took a coding test for a job programming. Then Sam and I worked on the short in the mast light circuit. We can't find it at the moment but we have a few leads. one of the switches is shorting. I think it's wired wrong. I think it's putting electricity in reverse polarity into the lights on the mast. I hope it hasn't blown the lights up there but I'm afraid it has. We put the panel back together and went to the last farmers market of the year after going to Lidel's shopping. It's a wonderful craft fair at Beaufort. I think it's better than the craft fair at Reelfoot lake. It's smaller but the items for sale and the interesting crafts are better. There's lots of handmade jewelry and art. There is woodworking and knitting and of course lots of good foot and usually some form of musical entertainment. This time there was a sextet of christmas singers. When we returned to the boat Lilah was being very brave and after our dinner of split pea soup which was cooking while we were away she went out into the cockpit and onto the deck by herself... this is a first. Now I'm not sure we'll be able to keep her in. Then this evening I went looking for that damn leak on the gray water tank as it's back again. It is fresh water this time so it must come from filling the tanks. There are water tanks under the settee and I think it might be coming from there. I'll have to take the other seat apart tomorrow. I took one apart today but couldn't see the top of the tank. Looking under the floor I think I can see the line that comes off the tank and I think it's wet but it's really difficult to tell. Well it's late and we had a full day so it's off to bed I go...
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2021 04:11:23 GMT

Warm Winds

     As the year comes to a close the winds are strong out of the south at 15g20 and the barameter is 29.91. The skys are clear and the tempratures are running in the high 70's. It's been a quiet couple of weeks. The holidays have been gentle and I have taken a break from working on the boat for a bit. We've been out sailing a time or two with friends and we had a Christmas party at the club house and watched movies. I finally found the leak that has been putting water on top of the grey water tank. It's coming from the forward water tank overflow behind the sink and under the dinette. I'm going to be updating the web site for the new year this week and adding an RSS feed for those of you who want to get regular updates. To all of our friends out there, Be safe, Be well, and watch your six. Here's hoping 2022 will be a good year. God be with your all...

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