Thursday, February 25, 2010

Plans Are Evolving

Early yesterday I thought I would be enroute to Bimini right now, then that changed this morning due to weather, and I thought I would postpone that trip until tomorrow. As it stands now, things are on hold, because I may finally get the chance to do a bit of work on Frank's boat. I am not sure if I have mentioned Frank by name, but he is a German fellow over at River Bend Marina that has been thoroughly raked over the coals by a few vendors there, and he is running short on time, and on money, and his boat is no where near ready to go. Sven introduced us, and has been helping Frank try to nail the unscrupulous vendors through legal channels, and I was recommended by Sven to Frank. So if all goes well, tomorrow I will start working on the engine installation on Frank's boat. More info to follow.

After a slow start this morning I started back to working on Arden, I figure I would take advantage of this downtime and get a few more things done that were begging for attention.

I changed the transmission oil, not that it was showing alot of wear, actually it was quite clean, (transmission fluid does not get sooty black like engine oil) but by the hourmeter it was time for a change. Luckily, the drain for the transmission is right over the sump for the engine, so my tupperware drain pan fit in there just fine. Not a heck of alot of room to slide it in, but once I got it past the transmission housing it fit perfectly. After I got the tranny drained and filled I set about freeing up the dogs on the manhole cover. Arden has a nice access plate in the deck of the cockpit, just like a manhole in a street. However, due to the fact that the boat is subject to all sorts of weather and other things (mom don't read this next part) such as swamping and knockdowns, the manhole cover had to lock postively into place and be watertight. The dogs on Arden's access cover get frozen from time to time, so today was the day to get them freed up again. It took a bit of work to get them all operating smoothly, I had to take 2 of them apart and lube them well to accomplish that, as there was some salt build up around the shaft from all the salt water wash downs I give the cockpit.

I did a bit of bright work - varnishing - today, the tiller was showing a bit of wear and the blocks (pulleys) for the jib sheet were as well. Lots of sanding and prep work, I had to take both the tiller and the blocks down to bare wood, as there were thin spots on both that just refused to sand out fair. I do an ok job with bright work, it is a job that takes an incredible amount of patience to turn out a great finish, and I am not nearly patient enough or skilled enough to turn out a great job, but I do ok. I'm a mechanic, not a painter. My dad did an incredible job with his boat Sunshine, the foredeck on her is like a mirror, and looks a mile deep. My job today on Arden was not that involved, but I did get 4 coats of finish on the tiller, and 3 on the blocks. As time allows I will sand both down again, surface sanding this time, and add a few more coats and get a deeper finish on them. Nothing looks quite as classy on a boat as a good varnish job.

As the day wore on I tackled the dinghy engine again, this time I tore it down a good way, cleaned out the carb (again), cleaned the contacts for the coil and the flywheel, and cleaned out the cyliner with brake cleaner. I had set the plug gap yesterday, but I checked that again, and after checking the timing, I put it all back together. Amazingly it fired up after a few pulls, and has started everytime I have tried to run it since. Maybe it knew it was destined to become the 4th anchor if it didn't run today, or maybe I actually did fix it. I am not a gas engine specialist, but 2 cycles are pretty damn easy - fuel, air, spark - the damn thing should run. And it does, we will see how long that lasts.

I did some organizing and consolidating of all the crap I have aboard, I ended up tossing one of my treasured milk crates, the stuff I had in it got redistributed to the other 4 (or is it 5) and it really took up too much space under the nav station seat. So out it went. I also went through the vee berth and got is straightened out a bit, and I realized something, I have way too much stuff aboard this boat. Between tools, spare lines, extra wood for repairs, fishing rods, extension cords, more tools, what a ton of stuff I have squeezed onto this boat. Next time I know not to bring as much. It always pays to be prepared, but all this crap makes it hard to organize.

And finally I whipped the ends of some of the lines that were fraying, I will eventually whip them all, but it is a tedious task that takes more time than it should. So I do a bit here, and a bit there as needed. Most of the lines, and they are lines, not ropes, have the ends heat fused, but in time those ends always end up breaking loose and coming undone. So the answer is to whip them. Whipping a line is done by wrapping the end of it with sail thread, and using the sail needle to work a portion of the thread over and through the line to secure it. It takes a bit of time, and you really need to use a sailmakers palm (a leather device that goes over your hand, protecting it from the needle) to get it done correctly. When it is all done, the result looks very good.

I am also including some pictures of the laundry that I was not able to upload this morning, I have much better net tonight than I did this morning. Refer back to this mornings post for a description of the laundry and how it works.


efmclean said...

I'd just like to point out that there is nothing about doing the laundry that I want to know more about, although I know Gary will be excited! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey guys! This is the day I met you both!

I hope you are safe and warm in your many travels.

Please do keep me posted. I it was so kind of you to let me "on board" and let me know what life is like there!

Many blessings.