13 March 2017

Even More Of What The Heck Have You Been Up To? Boat Project Roundup, Pt3

It's time for the final installment of our boat project roundup. I can hear you cheering there in the background. Oh, maybe that's me cheering. I get a little tired of thinking and writing about boat projects. But it's good to get it all down for the record.

If you haven't read our earlier posts and you're dying to know what else we've done to Tickety Boo, check out Part 1 and Part 2 or our boat project roundup.

So here we go, a recap of some of the stuff we've been doing over a nine-week period as we got our Moody 346 sailboat ready to head off to the Bahamas.

Sails & Rigging

You can't get very far in a sailboat if your sails and rigging aren't ship-shape. Unless you like to run your engine all the time, which we don't because it's noisy and uses up diesel. Sailing is quiet and wind is free.

We're sloop rigged, which means we have two sails - a headsail (on the bow of the boat) and a mainsail (which is attached to the mast and flies behind it). We started with getting our headsail setup in shape by tuning up our Furlex furling and reefing system. That involved figuring out what model it is (Type B, Mk I), tracking down a manual, then checking that the Type B, Mk II manual we were sent actually applied to our system (it does, the differences between Mk I and Mk II are minor) and then sourcing the appropriate lubricant (Selden Furlex bearing grease).

Next, we laid out our headsail on the grassy area near our boat to inspect it. We knew it was a rather tired sail when we had stored it, but I kind of forgot how tired it was. There was a lot of restitching to do, as well as repairing the head. We'll likely get a new headsail before next season. Who knows, I might even sew it myself.

We also inspected our mainsail (relatively new and in good shape), along with two other old sails on board (a staysail and a trisail).

Laying out our headsail on the grass to inspect it.

After the headsail was sorted, we put it up. Then we put up our mainsail. It's amazing what a difference it makes when you put your sails back on your boat. Suddenly, you feel like a proper sailboat.

In addition to putting our sails back on, we also put our US flag back up.

After a number of emails to Lewmar to get information on the winches (it's amazing how much time email and internet research takes up when it comes to boat projects), we serviced them. While Scott has serviced winches before, it was my first time. Basically, you strip the thing apart, clean it up, lubricate it and reassemble it. They were so gunky with old grease, it took quite a while to clean them and it was no wonder that they were so stiff.

The insides of one of our winches. That's a box from Defender behind it which we used to put all of the parts in so we wouldn't lose them. We seem to get boxes in from Defender almost on a daily basis.

Last, but not least (especially from my perspective), was inspecting the rigging, including going up the mast. I lost the coin toss. More on this in a future post. They're were mud dauber wasps involved. Not good. Not good at all.

Steering & Navigation

Another one of the what should be routine maintenance tasks was to service the steering system. I say "should be" because we're not sure that this was routinely done by the previous owners. We weren't sure how to access the steering system, so we put a call out to our fellow members of the Moody Owners' Association. The folks there were super helpful, even posting pictures of how to access it through the steering pedestal.

Accessing the steering system chain through the pedestal.

This was a bear of a project. Four of the six bolts holding the plate on top had to be ground off, then drilled out with cobalt bits. Next up was retapping four holes for new screws, followed by servicing the chain, sprocket and wire at the quadrant and the steering shaft. The words I just wrote don't even do this project justice. I could use some other words to describe it, but they would be naughty words and we try to keep things G rated around here.

One of the things I love about Tickety Boo is that she has an autohelm. We had to hand steer our old boat and it could be a drag at times. So much better to set a course, press some buttons and let a machine do the driving for you.

However, the wheel pilot that came with our boat wasn't the greatest, so we bought a new-to-us one. Another one of those projects where you can delude yourself into thinking it's going to be simple. "It'll just drop straight in," we said. Oh, how wrong we were.

We had to realign the stopper shaft on the steering pedestal and put a new shim on it so it would reach. Then the rubber gaskets on the brackets for the wheel had to be drilled so that they'd fit our wheel. Of course, the belt broke during it all. We also had to put on and remove the wheel a gazillion times which takes time as you have to center it. And of course the piece de resistance was dropping a screw that took a half an hour to find.

I don't know why I keep saying "we." Let's be honest, this was all Scott, assisted by some wonderful Canadian boat neighbors. I am good at pouring beer for Scott at the end of the day though. So, see, I helped.

We also got and installed a new compass (there's that "we" again). That was a bit of a palaver in terms of getting it shipped over from the UK in a timely fashion. {Lucy - if you're reading this, I threw in that "palaver" just for you.}

Our old Plastimo compass, desperately in need of replacing

Other Bits & Bobs

There were also lots of other bits and bobs we took care of, some of which were simple and straightforward projects (like removing a trash bag holder from a cupboard so we could store cans in there instead), while other involved hours on the phone or the computer doing internet research (like changing our Boat US insurance policy to a Geico one), and then there were the ones that went like most boat projects do - they take longer than you think (like installing two new Caframo fans - one in our aft cabin and one in our saloon).

We also had some "Duh, how stupid can you be!" moments - like when we couldn't start our outboard after it had been serviced. Turns out that the kill switch keys for outboard motors are different depending on the model. The previous owner of our boat had two different kill switch keys - we used the wrong one.

There's tons of other things we've done, many of which I'm sure I've forgotten. My subconscious probably erased the memories because they were so unpleasant and involve grease, grime and wedging my hand into small spaces with a screwdriver.

Please, tell me I don't have to read anymore of these boring posts

No worries, you don't have to read anymore of these boring boat project posts because I don't want to write any more of them. I don't want to do any more boat projects either. All I want to do is sit in the cockpit of our boat in some quiet anchorage doing crossword puzzles and reading books. And eating cookies too. That goes without saying, I guess.

But we live on a boat and that means three things:

1 - There will always be boat projects.

2 - Your bank account balance will always look depressing.

3 - You'll always have grease and grime under your fingernails.

I bet if you don't own a boat, you can't wait to rush out and get one of your own.

Have you been to the Bahamas or the Caribbean? What did you like the most? Do you enjoy crossword puzzles? How do your fingernails look today - neat and tidy or covered in grease and grime?

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  1. I think I'd rather just read about your adventures instead.
    You might sew your own sail? I'm impressed.
    Hey, you didn't buy a boat to make money. You bought it to enjoy exploring the world. Go do that and don't worry about the account.

    1. I'd definitely rather experience adventures than work on boat projects :-)

  2. Boat projects are on going. You get everything done and then you seem to start over. Oh well.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  3. Everything looks great. I'm equally impressed by the fact that (a)you had a spot of grass right outside the boat in Indiantown and (b) that you managed to use the word "palaver" in a blog post -- good one!

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

  4. Unless you are lucky and I mean lottery winning lucky, the term previous owner will alway be a curse. He is the guy that created the situation that had you trying to drill out stainless bolts on a piece of aluminum. It is the reason that we will never sell our boats because to do so would trigger a new previous owner situation.

    1. Inevitably we all end up being the previous owner that the new owner curses :-)

  5. So you switched to Geico? And just this week, I got a notice from BoatUS Insurance that they have changed underwriters, and our policy will now be serviced by...
    Well, our coverage improved and our premium went down,, so I can't complain!

    1. When I called Geico I had no idea that they were part of Boat US. It was confusing for a while for both me and the person I spoke with. The new policy is definitely much better, not to mention cheaper.

  6. You're making me feel like a sailor...and I've never even sailed before. :P

    1. Maybe you should try it sometime - you might like it. The sailing part, not the boat project part.

  7. I've got to commend you for your knowledge and skill with boats. I've barely been in boats let alone know the things you know. But I've worked plenty of crossword puzzles and I'm pretty good at those.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Thanks Arlee, but to be honest what I know is nothing compared to most people around us. But I keep trying to learn each day.

  8. I'm living through you, so I want details of wherever you go and I hope you served yourself a beverage when bringing out the beer. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    1. Thanks so much for following along. Hopefully, there's more adventure and less boat projects coming up which will make for more interesting reading.

  9. Wow! I'm super impressed by all of the work you've both done. :) Mud dauber wasps - eek! Not good.
    I have never lived aboard but I scrubbed(washed) boats for a yacht sales company for three summers (and some winter breaks and spring breaks - less fun) and I can imagine all the dirt, grime, and grease that goes into maintenance. My in-laws used to have their own sailboat and my husband knows all about the work you described - he's done all of that kind of thing and it's part of why he refuses to sail anywhere. (His dad also slapped the sails more times than my husband was comfortable with while growing up learning about sailing. Plus, they got lost, ran the boat onto a sandbar, fell off the boat an inoportune times. Generally, my husband associates sailing with miserable cold mixed with fear.) On the other hand, I have an uncle who sailed to ... oh, I should remember where. He went from North America to South America and beyond? I really should remember. He loves sailing and used to race.
    I will happily live through your adventures - both grimy and beautiful. :)

    1. Oh my, what your hubby experienced would definitely put me off sailing too. Especially the part about falling off of the boat. Yikes!


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