|Tickety Boo having some work done up on the hard at Indiantown Marina, Florida|
"Being on a boat that's moving through the water, it's so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what's important and what's not." (James Taylor)
Being out on the water is the whole point of owning a sailboat. But as any boat owner knows, it isn't all smooth sailing. There is a lot of maintenance, repairs, upgrades and money that go into getting a boat ready to get out there. There certainly is no shortage of boat projects to keep you from getting bored!
On this page, we're documenting all of the boat projects we've undertaken on Tickety Boo, our 1987 Moody 346 which we bought in April 2015 (you can read more about Tickety Boo here.)
APRIL - MAY 2015
Our pre-purchase survey identified a number of issues which needed to be addressed before we could get Tickety Boo out on the water. We spent several weeks during April and May getting everything "tickety boo" at Indiantown Marina in Florida.
One of the things that keeps me up at night is wondering if the keel is going to drop off of our boat. Tickety Boo is almost 30 years old, so checking to make sure the keel bolts were okay was a real priority for us. Unfortunately, when the floor boards were lifted, it was apparent that the keel bolts top tips and keel bolt nuts were severely corroded. The owner had this issue addressed at Stuart Yacht Harbor boat yard before we completed the sale. The studs were replaced with stainless steel and bedded in with 5200. I sleep better at night now.
When the survey was conducted, the chain plates were not accessible with the exception of one which the surveyor took a picture of with his cell phone. This showed corrosion consistent with stress cracking. Chain plates are what holds the mast up. The thought of losing our mast is another thing that keeps me up at night. The surveyor recommended that inspection holes be cut so that the other chain plates could be accessed and inspected. The owner had inspection holes cut at Stuart Yacht Harbor boat yard prior to the sale being completed which enabled our surveyor to look at pictures of the chain plates. They will need to be replaced, which we will do prior to next season.
Thru-Holes & Seacocks
Yet another thing that keeps me up at night is listening to hear if water is gushing into our boat from the thru-holes. It seems weird to cut holes into a boat, but it's necessary. After all, you need a way to flush out bad water (like from the toilet and the sink) and a way to get in good water (to cool the engine etc.). But you also need a way to make sure water doesn't get in when you don't want it to - that's where seacocks come in. The survey found that the seacocks were corroded, one had a missing handle and three were seized. After the sale was completed, we had them inspected at Indiantown Marina and ended up having three seacocks and thru-holes replaced.
Rudder & Steering
The steering system was quite tight with the quadrant binding quite badly on the steering cable support box. In addition, the rudder blade was found to be rubbing hard against the skeg. Scott adjusted the issue by lifting the quadrant. The rudder no longer binds against the skeg and the steering is freer. He also repacked the stuffing box.
Originally, we didn't intend on redoing the bottom paint until next season. However, there were a number of rust spots on the keel which needed to be addressed, so Scott stepped up to the plate and did this horrible job in the insane heat and humidity. The bottom paint had been built up over the years, was in pretty bad shape and required two days of sanding to prep it for bottom paint. I tried sanding the rudder, but kept having to turn the sander off every ten seconds. The thing weighs a ton and the vibration in your hands we unbelievable. Scott, on the other hand, would sand away for hours at a time without a break. He is a real trooper.
We found out that the previous owner had been using Interlux Micron 66 paint. It's a very special paint. And by "special", I mean horribly expensive. As in $300 a gallon. We tried to see if we could use another type of bottom paint over the Micron 66, but no dice. Unless, we wanted to see the new paint flake off of the old paint. So we bit the bullet and bought two gallons of this special paint. The previous owner had the upper portion of the hull painted in December (he only wanted to buy one gallon and just had the yard do a partial paint job). Because of that, we were able to get away with only two gallons of paint. Normally, it probably would have required three gallons, but Scott just put one coat on the hull (as there was already one coat on there) and two coats everywhere else.
What makes it so special? It is a self-polishing copper co-polymer ablative paint. Yeah, I didn't know what that meant either. Basically, it constantly polishes away due to a chemical reaction which means that you don't get paint build-up. It reacts even when your boat is stationary and is supposed to offer the best protection out there. Hopefully, this very special paint will last a long time.
The stern light was not operable, and even if it was, it was obscured by the dinghy when up on the davits. Fixing the stern light turned into a major headache. Fortunately, we had two very wonderful and very patient friends helping Scott in trying to figure out what was going on. Turns out the both wires leading to the stern light were hot so there wasn't a ground to complete the circuit. The guys put in a new wire which exits from where the Loran antenna used to come out of. They then ran it to the end of the solar panels and mounted a new stern light on the back of the panels. They also installed a new mast-head anchor light and eplaced housing on steaming and deck lighting unit.
Scott replaced the zinc anode on the hull. Want to know more about the magical properties of zincs? Then check out this post.
We inspected the fire extinguishers - one was out of date, but three others were still good. The flares on the boat were out of date. While normally, you would keep out of date flares as back-ups, these were well over ten years old, so we disposed of them and replaced them with new ones. We bought a new bag for the Lifesling that came with the boat and mounted it up by the helm.
Our surveyor found that two of the anchors and the anchor chain were corroded and needed to be replaced. We bought a new Rocna 20 as our main anchor. We had a Rocna on our old boat in New Zealand and loved it. We also got a new Danforth anchor as a secondary anchor. The boat also came with a Bruce anchor. We bought 150 feet of G4 high test galvanized anchor chain. Wow, that stuff is expensive. We cut off 120 feet to use with our Rocna, along with rode. We cleaned out the anchor locker and added a latch to keep it closed.
Do you believe that boat equipment can become haunted? One day while we were on the hard hiding down from a thunderstorm down below, we heard the anchor windlass turn itself on. Then off. Then on again. Then off again. Turns out it wasn't a ghost, but rather some corroded wires and faulty connections. A bit of rewiring and job done.
The surveyor found that the engine exhaust water injection elbow was leaking during the survey. Since then, we haven't noted any leaking.
The engine room needs some work with the engine mount, starter engine and some engine sections having corrosion. Scott has started cleaning things up, but this will probably be a longer-term project.
Scott repacked the stuffing box.
We removed the old name and hailing port from the stern and bow by scraping the decals off and removing the old adhesive. We then sanded where the decals had been, followed by buffing and waxing to try to minimize the ghost shadows of the old name and hailing port. We ordered new decals and put them up and voila, we now have Tickety Boo hailing from Portland OR. While we were doing the name change, we did think about buffing and waxing the entire hull, but we didn't have an electric buffer and it was just one more boat project on a long list of boat projects that got de-prioritized. Fortunately, the gelcoat is in really good shape and we can get away with it for now.
Other Bits & Bobs
- Replaced a number of rusty hose clamps and ensured all hoses at seacocks are double clamped.
- Cleaned and disinfected the water tanks
- Added battery caps to prevent accidental arcing and movement at sea
- Fitted steering cables sheathes with anti-chafing gear.
- Replaced seizing wire at spreaders
- Installed new VHF antenna
- Installed new Magma grill
FUTURE BOAT PROJECTS
There are lots of other boat projects that we need to do in the future, as well as some that we might do some day if time and money allow.
- Replace the chain plates
- Replace the plastic cupboard doors in the saloon and galley
- Overhaul the Force 10 stove/oven
- Sew new cushion covers and curtains
- Re-stitch bimini/dodger
- Add straps to the mainsail cover to keep it closed (the new mainsail is slightly bigger than the cover)
- Redo the velcro attachments on the cockpit seat backs so that they stay firmly in place
- Figure out some sort of window treatments for the aft cabin for privacy
- Fix or replace the leaky sink faucet
- Wax and buff the hull
- Paint out the old name on the dinghy and add the new name
- Reglue the headliner around the forehatch
- Replace the plexiglass in the hatches
- Replace the lifeline cables with larger wire and without a plastic cover
- Service or replace the compass (it has a large bubble)
- Replace broken vent
- Service winches
- Change out interior light bulbs to LED
- Fix windlass
- Varnish floors
- Add shelves to hanging locker in aft cabin
- Fix latch to anchor locker in v-berth