Ships Blog

Pick a new blog: Blog Index 2021 Index 2022 Index Jan 23 Feb 23 Mar 23 Apr 23 May 23 Jun 23 Jul 23 Aug 23 Sep 23 Oct 23 Nov 23 Dec 23

Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2023 01:26:00 GMT


A week of deck work

     We are re-finishing the decks from scratch. The experiment with Boiled Linseed oil didn't work well. The wood darkened over time till it was nearly black. It protected pretty well and lasted a good long time but it is not the right color. We are using Epifanes thinned about 3 to 1 on the toe rails, trim, deck boxes, and rub rails. The deck it's self we're going to just oil with standard teak oil and probably let it go grey. f

     I'm worried about the engine. The exhaust elbow we replaced is rotted already and full of salt. I'm afraid the heat exchanger is leaking raw water into the exhaust. In any case we have to replace it again as exhaust is coming into the boat. Also it's very hard to start. I think it's because there is water in the exhaust. We have the anti-siphon device and we are closing the raw water feed to the engine and draining the water jacket. But after a week she didn't want to start again.
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2023 02:33:00 GMT


Rebuild Grey water pump

     Today Sam and I rebuilt the Jabsco Grey water pump. It was in pretty sorry shape but our field expedient fix had worked. We received the rebuilt kit a few days ago. It took us till about noon to get it all rebuilt. I had to re-tap one of the bolts that held it together and the top lid was bent and needed to be hammered into shape again. All is working now. They're good expensive pumps and I like them.
     Then this afternoon we went to Sweet Escape and played Mexican Train for hours. They're wonderful folks. This is the second or third time we have been to their Catamaran. We just got back 30 min ago. Hannah made two loaves of Challah to take to them.
     Hannah is baking 2 more loves of bread now.
Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2023 04:07:00 GMT


Decks and Impeller

     It was a long day. First thing this morning I started working on the crack in our 6 gal water jug. I decided to plastic weld it and it worked well. We'll see if it holds but I think it's a permanant fix. Then Sam and I spent the rest of the morning into the afternoon working on Teak, then in the wind one of the solar panels blew off and I dove in the water to get it. When I got back in the boat I noticed the Generator was running hot and not much water was coming out. So after cleaning the strainer a few days ago and clearning the inlet the next thing was the impeller. Sure enough it was all ate up. So I called West Marine and Brad and I rode over there and picked one up. I was quiet suprised that they had one for our generator but they did. I have no more spares so I need to order a couple. Now that it's all back together it's running 30-40 deg cooler!
     In the evening we watched the superbowl by the Tiki hut and ate snacks. The KC Chiefs won by a field goal in the last 10 seconds of the game! We stood outside watching it on the big screen from a projector and hulu on a phone. It was quite the party.
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2023 01:46:00 GMT


New Eagle Batteries today!

     Hi! Today we received 4 new LiFePo4 batteries from Eagle in Utah. They arrived last night but I didn't pick them up till this morning. We were cleaning up the boat so that we could have friends over at 14:30 and I was only supposed to pick them up but not install them. But after picking them up and trying to find a place to put them I decided it was easier to install them than to find a temporary home for them. And it went well, all the wires fit and it turns out that the battery box was designed for 6 grouop 27 batteries and the 4 group 31's never fit correctly. Not only that but they appear to be charging just fine!.
     The boat is looking really good right now. The deck is mostly complete and we are just putting on new coats of poly on top of the varnish now. we put everything away and got it ready to sail and she looks much better without everything lying around. We got lazy the last couple weeks while we were working on things.
     Then this afternoon and evening we had friends over and discussed buddy boating to the islands for the next little while. I'm still trying to get the exhaust fixed and new bottom paint but it is possible that we can do that in somewhere like the Dominican Republic where labor is cheaper. I'm still not sure what to do and we are discussing the options. I have to drive up to NC with Brad to get their car as they are staying here for a long while to build up funds again. Then I can either bring our car here so we can work on the boat here or I can leave it at Blackbeards and come back with Brad and we can fix the boat in another country. There is a lot to consider with the current state of the world so unstable. I'm not sure we're ready to leave the land of west marine just yet. But this is a nice opportunity and our new found friends are very very sweet to invite us.
     Tomorrow I am going to fly our drone for someone to check the top of their mast and also pick up some wires for the solar panals. For now Hannah is making dinner and the batteries are charging and all is well :)
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2023 04:07:00 GMT

Good Friends

Enjoying the Harbor

     The last few days we have been charging our new batteries and I'm very pleased with how they are working. We have much more energy than previously and the AGM charger is working Great! It charges them to 100% if I put it on Lead Calcium. It charges to 80%+ if I put it on AGM and that's where I get the longest life.
     I flew the drone to look at Mischief's anchor light! It was a lot of fun. Their boat was moving in the wind so it was difficult to stay focused on just the anchor light with 28x zoom. But all went well. At the end I did a pan circle of their boat.
     Last night was happy hour from 4-6 at the Tiki and the food was amazing. There were more people there than I've seen all month. All four tables were covered in food. Hannah made Cinnamon cookies with purple frosting. There was gumbo, kabobs with shrimp, rice and beans, cake tons of deviled eggs that were spicy! All our new friends were there and it was a wonderful cap to a nice day. In the morning we went with Sweet Escape sailing. They have a lovely Catemaran and I'd never been sailing on one before so that was a ton of fun. We are trying to figure out how to buddy boat with them through the Carribean but we need to get a few things fixed first. Primarily the exhaust.
     This evening we are getting ready for a trip to NC to deal with cars and help out Moral Compass pick up their's. Brad should be gone for just a couple days.
     There are so many wonderful people here. And everyone is helping eachother and friendly and considerate. I've never really seen anything quite like it. This is a really great cruising community. People get stuck here because it's so nice. Who knows we might get stuck here too. It's a great base of operations. We have made a lot of new friends that I hope will last for many years during our time cruising.
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2023 02:58:00 GMT


Enjoying the Town

     This evening we went to Barnacle Barnie's Tiki and listened to live music by Michael from Moonshine a wonderful Catamaran just across the harbor from us! We sat all around with friends had drinks and snacks and had a wonderful time!
Hannah and Steve at Barnacle Barnie's
Wanda and Sam at Barnacle Barnie's

The Moon was amazing tonight and I'm sorry it's so small but hey, it's the moon!
The Moon at Barnacle Barnie's

We met several other folks there from "Supprise" and their friends and after they left we closed the place down and talked with a couple at the marina who have an amazing ham setup. I hope to spend more time with them in the next few days.

The tides have been very extreme lately and so the sea grass is sticking above the water at low tide. It makes the harbor stink a little bit and we don't want to go through the dingy cut and instead go around. It is very shallow even through the cut and people are digging up mud with their outboards.
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2023 03:06:00 GMT

Marine Flea Market

Marine Show!

     Today we went to the yearly marine flea market. It wasn't what we expected, it was a big trade show with lots of booths and crafts but only 3 or 4 real used flea market type stuff. None the less it was a lot of fun and a wonderful blue sky day. I got 10 feet of fire house for anti-chafing and a really cool old adding machine. We saw battery operated hooka's and lots of other boat and fishing stuff. We ate lunch there and walked along the beach.
     When we arrived back at the boat we started rebuilding the vacuum pump for the aft head that was leaking. It took several hours and it was a terrible stinky job but we finished a little after sunset and all is cleaned up and working. We're all tired and will probably go to sleep early tonight. We'll have a video of the rebuild on youtube. This is the second time we've rebuilt a pump. Of course this time went smoother because we knew what we were doing this time.
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2023 22:55:00 GMT

Exhaust planning

Maintenance day I guess!

     Today Sam and I took the boat apart to detail and document the exhaust system so that we can get estimates for replacing it from a couple different marine exhaust vendors. That meant pictures and measurements of everything. It was a long process. Then I had to make a pdf with drawings and measurements on pictures. While I was doing all that Hannah went Shopping with our neighbors on Moral Compass and then when she returned we ate lunch in the cockpit. It was a good time and a good break after a long morning.
     After lunch we started on the windlass. There was originally a foot switch for the windless and it had been removed and a hand switch put in instead. The handswitch was worn out and would shock you every time you used it. So we replaced it with a foot switch I found in Key West that was the right size and even made in Italy. The only problem is that it is plastic. However, the switch is good so I think I can have a stainless plate made for it. When we got it all hooked up it didn't work. UGH... once again after about an hour of fiddling with it we found another bad ground very near the one we fixed a while back. The cross member under the windless is made from aluminum angle and it has steel bolts going through it so the two types of metals causes corrosion. I cleaned the bolt and put the last drips of my Deoxit on it. I will order new soon.
     The two batteries I ordered from Lion have not shipped yet so I called them to find out why. I guess they were waiting for a re-manufactured unit to be finished for the sale and were out. So they are sending me two new ones for the price of the re-manufactured ones. No complaints. They will be in in about a week.

Index  Home  About Grace  Meet Us  About this site  Log  Blog  Pictures  SupportUs  ContactUs  Links