Friday, November 20, 2020
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Friday, August 28, 2020
It seems like one thing or another has kept us near our home port this summer. Our big expense, aside from the usual annual maintenance--fluid and filter changes, etc. was to be our new dinghy which I have already written about in an earlier post. And it has turned out to be a nice purchase.
Then, we noticed the batteries were starting to not a hold a charge so those had to be replaced. At about $80-90 a piece (times 5) that too was a financial hit. I saved some money by purchasing them myself, hauling them to the boat and hauling the old ones in for the core rebate. Hauling those suckers about killed me but it saved us a couple hundred dollars.
Then, on the shakedown cruise to see how the new batteries were doing (they are great), the windlass went belly up. I wound up pulling 200' of line and 36' of chain and anchor up by hand. Yikes! That too about killed me.
So, instead of heading off to another spot to anchor for a few more days, we headed back to port and I started looking at new windlasses. I contacted Pacific Marine Yacht Services, my go to electricians, and got in line to have them do the work. A couple of weeks later they called to say they weren't willing to do the job. Back to square one. I got in line for the guy that does most of the work on our boat and he was willing to take it on. So, I started looking for a windlass that would work on our boat. That turned out to be a bigger job that I thought as there were no windlasses out there that would work the way the old one had.
I spoke with a boat buddy who owns an identical boat and asked him to walk me through what he'd done when he replaced his windlass. I recalled he had modified a bow locker into an anchor locker by himself so he knew what he was talking about. After chatting with Steve I was pretty sure of the windlass I wanted.
It is a Maxwell HRC 10-8. Its a beauty! After my windlass arrived from Fisheries Supply in Seattle, my go to chandlery, my technician arrived and we began the project.
First the old windlass and the pedestal it was mounted to were removed. Then a new Starboard pedestal was built up and the new windlass mounted to it. A hole had to be drilled through the deck so the howse pipe the anchor rode went through could be fitted. With that complete we went below deck to prepare the new space for the rode.
At the very bow of our boat is a little teak door about a foot tall and nearly the same in width. Opening that door you gain access to an unused empty space. This was to be the new anchor locker, replacing the one on deck adjacent to the windlass.
New heavier duty wiring was run to the locker as well as the wiring for the new foot switches (up and down). With the wiring in place and windlass powered up we next needed to seal up the locker and ensure it was waterproof. My buddy had inserted a 1/4" panel of plexiglass which he both bolted and sealed in place with silicone. My guy opted for 5200 instead.
Lastly he cut a hole in the plexiglass and fitted a 5" deck plate giving access to the locker if needed. He attached the bitter end of the anchor rode to the backside of the tow eye by bolting a metal strip to the backside of the tow eye and cinching it down.
Finally we were ready to start feeding the rode into the locker. Sadly, the windlass didn't want to easily take in the rode. The 2-strand 1/2" line kept jamming and had to be forced down the pipe. By the time we got to the 36' of chain there wasn't enough space left in the locker for it to fit and it too fought back.
Something had to give which became obvious when we took the Key of Sea out for a shakedown. The windlass didn't like paying out or retreiving the rode so, once again, I was forced to pull it up by hand.
I just piled it all into the old anchor locker and we headed home. Much more research needed doing.
I contacted my buddy Steve who came over to our boat and looked over what we had done so far. His conclusions were:
1) We should have put in a 4" deck plate as he suggested originally instead of in the face of the plexiglass. The one in the plexiglass won't hurt but it really needed to be cut into the deck. This would allow the person on deck to reach down and move the rode to one side or the other so more can fit in.
2) We need to get new rode. He recommended 150' of 5/16' G4 chain and 100' of 5/8" 8 plait anchor line. 8 plait because it lays down more like chain rather than spreading out all over the locker as the current line was doing. The two elements of the rode will be spliced together with an appropriate anchor splice.
After calling the Maxwell dealer rep in Seattle, exchanging several emails and phone calls, he agreed with my buddy Steve's thoughts.
So, new rode was ordered today from Fisheries Supply.
The old anchor rode will go into the old locker as a back up and or secondary anchor if needed. Along with that a new raw water wash down system is being installed there to hose the mud and debris off as the rode is brought aboard. And the 4' deck plate will be installed at the same time.
I am beginning to see light at the end of this very long tunnel. It has been both a fascinating and frustrating experience. Hopefully it will be the final project for the season. We'll see.
|Old Atlas Windlass|
|Inside the new anchor locker loooking up to the pipe|
|Attachment point of the rode bitter end.|
|Old rode line piled into new locker seen through the plexiglass.|
|Foot switches--I picked black|
|New Maxwell HRC 10-8 windlass. Beauitful and very capable.|
Its been a while since my last post but everything has been going along smoothly snf it just didn't seem all that important. Then a couple of major life issues came alog,he igst, of course, being the Corona Virus COVID pandemic which is still marching through the world. Currently some 900 Americans a day are dying from this scourge. In my humble and non-scientific opinion it has much to do with the poor way our country prepared itself for it and has since handled it. olitics and the I believe we have been hit hard because we didn't handle it properly from the start and because politics and the economy have driven the decisions to reopen the country and our schools rather than our helth experts. Believe me, I get it. Businesses were hurting and parents , stuck at home, can't take care of their kids and go to work, if they even have a job. So what to do? Open our schools so parents have a babysitter. Open our businesses so they don't go under and so folks have a job to go to. The result? The rate of COVID infections and the death rate have increased or remained the same. Add to that the folks in our land who believe they are somehow immune to the virus , don't believe it is as bad as they've been told by health experts, or who just don't think anyone has the right to tell them what to do, and you have a perfect storm for this virus to continue to sicken and kill people. Especially the old, infirm, those with less than perfect immune systems, the first responders, the teachers, the children going back into classrooms unprepared for protecting them from the virus. You get the picture.
So, I am staying pretty much at home. Have been since March of this year with only rare exceptions and only then when I am well protected--wearing a mask, staying well away from others who I am unsure about how they have protected themselves, and going to stores or the barbershop only at times when places are least crowded and have taken the best possible measures to protect their customers and washing my hands until they are raw.
Locally, I have always shopped at Fred Meyer for much of my grocery shopping. But of the local grocery stores they have by far done the worst job to protect customers. So we pay a bit more and go to the Haggen store nearer us that has done an outstanding job of setting up protections.
My barber has let me come in by myself for an early morning appointment (only been twice) when no one else is in the shop. She takes extra precautions to keep her shop sanitized, wears a mask, insists I do too the entire time she is cutting my hair and we each sanitize our hands before and after the haircut.
I don't know when or if this is ever going to come to an end. Perhaps only when a medication is developed that can end it or at least bring it under control. But I do hope it is soon as I am sure everyone else does. I don't like the way it has isolated people. I am saddened by so many folks that rather than keeping in better touch through email or Facetime or ZOOM, instead seem to have circled their wagons and isolated themselves. When this virus first started up we made an effort to contact people by the methods above. We must have contacted 25-30 people we know including some we hadn't been in touch with for many years except by Christmas card. To date we have been contacted back by only a couple of people. What we call reciprocals. Many people we have thought were close friends we simply haven't heard from at all in less we have made the effort to recontact them. Now I understand, folks are quite possibly feeling depressed or isolated or just frozen, not knowing what to do or willing to do anything to reach out to others. But, am I wrong? Isn't this the best of times to do just that?
Our summertime activities usually center around boating and usually with boating friends. But what with social distancing requirements and staying out of other marinas where social distancing is difficult at best, much of those activities have been taken away from us. It hasn't helped that we have had boat problems (see next post) that have even kept us from anchoring out somewhere. And with Canada closed to American boaters this summer (the place love most to go), the most popular local boating anchorages are much more crowded than usual.
No, I know my problems don't amount to a hill of beans compared to folks who have lost their jobs, are worried they could lose their homes, that have jobs that expose them daily to stress and to this deadly virus. I get it! Buck up, Michael! Quit your whining and get on with it! And I will. I'm made of pretty tough stuff. Just thought I'd vent a little.
What is the answer? I just don't know but it is very depressing to see that people you thought you could depend on, at the very least keep in touch, seem to have forgotten to do just that. Ah, well, this too as they say, shall pass.
Friday, April 24, 2020
Our Achilles HB-315 DX dinghy came with a brand new Weaver helm and a 20 hp Honda outboard. She sits up on her side on our swimstep held in place and raised a d lowered by our new SeaWise davit lift system.
|SeaWise Davit Lift System|