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06 March 2017

More Of What The Heck We've Been Up To | Boat Project Roundup, Pt 2

Hi there! It looks like you're back for more of the scintillating details of what the heck we've been up to in terms of boat projects. Don't know what I'm talking about? That's probably because you didn't read Part 1 of our Boat Project Roundup which we posted last week. Don't worry, I'll wait while you go back and have a read.

We spent about nine weeks at Indiantown Marina getting our Moody 346 sailboat, Tickety Boo, ready to go to the Bahamas. Some of you might know that while Scott was away working and tending to other matters in Scotland, I was a total slacker when it came to boat projects. That meant there was a very long list of stuff we needed to do when he got back.

Before we begin why don't you get yourself a cup of coffee and a plate of cookies, fresh from the oven. It's a long post, so you're going to need something to sustain yourself if you plan on making it to the end.

Galley

Those of you who have followed our blog for a while know that eating constantly is one of my top priorities, especially chocolate chip cookies. So having a functioning galley (or kitchen) is pretty important to me.

While we've been connected to shore power, I've been using our microwave, crockpot and hot plate to cook. But since we'll be heading off cruising, we needed to make sure our propane stove and oven were in order. When I went to clean the stove, one of the burners disintegrated into a pile of rusty pieces. Not really desirable when it comes to cooking.

The burner that rusted off of our Plastimo Atlantic cooker.

We spent hours and hours and lots of emails trying to source replacement burners. Turns out our 30-year old Plastimo Atlantic unit is obsolete and they don't make spare parts for it. Anytime anything younger than me is declared obsolete, my spirit gets a little deflated.

We briefly debated getting a new stove/oven. There are a couple of relatively reasonably priced European made units that would slot right into our extremely tiny cut-out, but they won't ship them to the States because they can't guarantee they won't get damaged in transit. The only alternative available that would fit is a Force 10 Euro Sub Compact model, but it's going for over $1,500 on Defender plus another $250 for shipping. Yeah, no thanks.

We also considered making a temporary workaround by dropping in a two burner RV type stove, but that wasn't ideal either as it wouldn't be gimballed (meaning it moves on an angle so you can cook while underway).

So we're going to live with the one burner on our stove that does work for now. The good news is that the oven works adequately and that means chocolate chip cookies!

If our one and only burner fails on us, at least we have our Magma grill and I can make a lot of casseroles in the oven.

Looking forward to grilling all sorts of things on this including pizza.

On the cooking front, we also sealed up a hole between our propane locker and lazarette (big storage locker in the cockpit), which is really important from a safety point. If you get a propane leak, the last thing you want is for the evil gas to make it's way down below and kill you.

We also replaced our leaky faucet in the galley (which turned out to be one of our more complicated projects), as well as put in a hand pump so we won't be reliant on our electric water pump and so that we use less water.

Turns out that hand pump was a smart move because, of course, our electric water pump started leaking quite a bit shortly thereafter. It was easy enough to replace it (as easy as anything is on a boat, which is means it was the opposite of easy) while we're on land. But if it had broken when we were out cruising, we would have the option of disconnecting it and just going with our hand pump.

Bright and shiny! That's our salt water spray hose next to it. We installed our fresh water hand pump in between the two of them.

Are you bored yet?

I am and I'm the one writing this post. Let's liven things up for a minute with a picture of our wee beastie trapped in our oil lamp. Scott put him there. It took me days to find him. Don't worry, we don't use this lamp so there's no risk of the wee beastie coming to harm.




Okay, back to business.

Safety

Safety really should have come before telling you about our galley improvements. But it's hard for me to think about scary things, like our boat capsizing or hitting a reef, when my tummy is growling. Not to worry, we did pay attention to safety related items.

We repacked our lifesling (easier said then done), which is what you toss out in the event that someone goes overboard. Let's hope we never have to test this out. We got an EPIRB and registered it. An EPIRB is a distress beacon that allows search and rescue to find you. Let's hope we never have to test this out either.

We organized for a voluntary vessel safety check. We've had one of these before. A member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary visits your boat and goes through a checklist of important safety related items such as distress signals (flares, air horn etc), VHFs, PFDs (personal flotation devices or life jackets), navigation lights, fire extinguishers and the like.

Part of getting ready for the visit was checking to make sure our flares weren't expired (they weren't) and making sure that the CO2 cylinders for our PFDs weren't expired (we had to rearm one PFD).

We passed inspection and have a lovely decal to prove it.



Anchoring

The last time we went to the Bahamas our electric windlass didn't work and Scott had to drop and hoist the anchor himself. (An electric windlass is a dandy invention which lowers and raises your anchor and chain for you so you don't have to get all sweaty and tired doing it yourself). Fixing the windlass was one of the main priorities on our project list.

The windlass appeared to be seized. Scott could get it to move slightly and then it stopped. He tried numerous things, none of which worked. He was about to start to dismantle the windlass to service it (which would have been a pain in the you know what), when one of our boat neighbors stopped by to see what mischief Scott was getting into. While they were investigating, they noticed the butt connector for the wire to the down button was disconnected.

Scott replaced the connector and asked our boat neighbor to listen and see if he could hear the solenoid click. It did and we were back in business. After slowly working the chain back and forth using the up and down buttons, he was able to get it to work again.

We also got a new anchor and rode for our dinghy. (The old anchors had completely rusted out - not a desirable trait in an anchor.) I do have one last anchoring task to do which is to get crafty making an eye splice to connect the rode to the shackle. I've tried it a few times already and I have a feeling it's going to take me around a million tries to figure it out.

It kind of reminds me of trying to learn how to knit, except that there's a lot more pressure to get it right. If you mess up your knitting stitches, your sweater will unravel. If you mess up your splice, your anchor will fall off and you could drift away out into the Atlantic Ocean and end up starring in an inadvertent remake of the movie Lost.

Whoa, this is getting really long!

Scott just read through a full draft of this post and said that it's insanely long. So good news for you - we'll stop here and there'll be a new installment next week.

In the meantime, you might be wondering, "Have you headed off to the Bahamas yet?

Did you have to ask that question? The answer is so depressing. No, we haven't. At time of writing, we're still at Indiantown Marina trying to sort out the disarray with our solar array. {Sigh} It's a mystery that has stumped everyone. So keep us in your thoughts and cross your fingers and your toes and hopefully we figure this out soon. Otherwise, we may just burn this boat down.

We've pretty much ruled out the controller as being the issue. We've tried three different ones. On a related note, the tech support at Blue Sky Energy is phenomenal.

Anything frustrating on your "To Do" list? Do you use any alternative forms of energy such as solar or wind power? Do you have any wee beasties lurking in your home? 

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi! 

27 comments:

  1. That would make me feel old as well.
    Glad your boat neighbors happened along and your anchor works.
    Just think, next time repairs should be a shorter list!

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    1. Actually, on a sailboat, especially when living on it full-time, lists always seem to maintain their length, finished projects quickly being replaced by new projects, unfortunately. But, as long as the rewards are a perfect pay-off, this challenging life is worth the beauty and excitement on the other end! :-)

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    2. Unfortunately, Liesbet is spot on in terms of the To Do List always being long. Even stuff we just fixed has broken already :-(

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  2. Wow. Intense planning and revamping of your boat for this trip. It was definitely a long post, but very interesting. I'm sorry you haven't yet been able to leave for the Bahamas, but it sounds like you are on the wrong track. Eventually you'll run out of things to fix, right? :)

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    1. I would hope we'd run out of things to fix, but more stuff has already broken. It's a never ending battle :-)

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  3. It's been overcast and windy forever here, so a. you're not missing anything and b. Matt wants a wind generator now. We had one, but it was so ugly and loud I tossed it in Virginia. The wind generator discussion makes a nice change from our usual toilet discussion. If you can figure out your power, you can always use that power on an electric kettle to boil water and then cook things (rice and beans, etc) in a thermos!

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    1. Oh, the toilet discussion. I know that one :-) We're debating whether to install a composting toilet.

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  4. So much to do, but hopefully everything will be fixed and you can start on your newest adventure! I have beasties all over the house. The kid and cat leave them in odd places.

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    1. If only we had kids and cats to blame for wee beasties being everywhere :-) But I guess we're still kids at heart.

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  5. Oh this all looks and sounds so familiar. We are getting ready for Safety Day when our boat will get inspected and we'll have the nice looking decal on our boat. So very important to make sure you have things in working order and are ready for any emergency.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I think it's a really good program, especially for new boaters who aren't sure what they need in terms of safety equipment. The guy who inspected our boat was telling us some interesting stories about some folks who didn't have a clue.

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  6. We're working on the headliner in the v-berth right now which is always frustrating but for the first time in years, we're not getting the boat ready to go somewhere and that feels pretty good -- a little sad but stress free.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

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    1. I saw your post on your new headliner - you guys did a great job!

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  7. Since you already have a gimballed base, why not put one of those nifty butane stove tops right over what you have and clamp it down? Our son used one on his boat and it worked at treat. And it sounds like your oven still works, so you'd be in business with two burners and all. Inquiring minds want to know which hand pump you got.

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    1. We got the Whale V Mk6 hand pump. It's very narrow so fit the spot we have for it. HEre's the link on Defender - http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1%7C51%7C2234226%7C2234237&id=155708

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  8. I'm both sad, and happy for you with your impending departure for the Bahamas. Sad, because I've come to rely on reading your posts in the morning with my coffee, and how will that happen without reliable wifi? Happy, well of course, you're heading to the Bahamas.... sun, surf, snorkeling, sundowners....

    Stephanie, (SV Cambria), also asked in a post this morning, "what projects onboard do you have", and I almost snorted coffee out my nose. We were just discussing what are the priorities that will enable us to leave the dock as soon as possible. This method will undoubtably leave some projects undone for now.

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    1. Well, we haven't quite made it to the Bahamas yet, so I'll be able to do some more posts for a while yet :-)

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  9. Too many projects to mention ;) We have a small camping gas burner for backup, one that uses those small gas bottles. It fits snuggly in the sink so can be used even underway (and our galley is the bow so can be bumpy). As for beasties, I have this seahorse that pops up in unexpected places. She's not very beasty though, more like a grass eater.

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    1. I think I've seen pictures of your seahorse on your blog - very cute :-)

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  10. Certainly sounds like a lot of work and a lot of maintenance.

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    1. It sure is. Sometimes, it makes you wonder whey we do this :-)

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  11. Guess what? I actually had a batch of chocolate chip cookies at the ready. Don't tell Mark, because they were for his birthday. :-) The never-ending project list... You will get there, I promise and, once in the Bahamas, all the hassles and work will be quickly pushed towards the back of your heads. We are familiar with mystery projects on the boat as well. Some worked themselves out mysteriously and for others, the cause was detected. And, that's where it all starts, figuring out what is wrong. Good luck you two!

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  12. Don't get me going on to-do lists. I know I should be doing something else besides reading blogs... but I don't want to. :-P

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. I always find reading blogs way more interesting than my To Do List :-)

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  13. It seems like I have a never-ending list of ToDos too, though much of it is waiting until my husband's physical health improves. Poor guy is so tired of being broken all the time, a bit like your boat. :)

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We'd LOVE to hear from you! If we're out on the water cruising, our internet access will be limited and it may take a while before we're able to respond to your comments and pay a return visit to your blog, but please know that we will once we can get connected.