Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another project checked off the list

+A new shelf in the bottom of the pots and pans locker!

A persistant leak in the deck fill for the water tank eventually rotted out the wood shelf in the pot/pan locker.  When we bought the boat, we were frustrated by the constant moisture so started searching for the source.  Turns out the fill hose had simply slipped off the deck fill.  And the deck fill fitting needed to be rebedded.  Once we found and fixed the leaks, it was time to replace the shelf.  A little help, a little hammer, a little chisel, and, voila - the old shelf was out and it was time to figure out the new one.

Kathy vacuuming to get all the rotten wood out
As the old saying goes, "at some point in the life of every project, it's necessary to shoot the engineers and start the project."  Once started, it was actually pretty straightforward to come up with something we think will meet our needs.

Cutting and making the new shelf in pieces, then test-fitting everything, priming and painting.

New boards cut and painted
Of course, getting everything installed upside down while laying on the counter - lots of fun!!
Greg installing the new boards

And we have a new shelf!!
But now the locker is ready to go and another project is checked off the list.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Electrical System Rebuild

We've never had decent electrical capacity on a boat.  So we were really excited to be able to do  simple things like reading at night, not using flashlights to find our way around the boat and so on.  Of course, a couple things stood in the way.  Namely designing the new system and then building it.

After a ton of research and a couple phone consultations with experienced electricians, we ended up with a schematic and a wiring diagram.

With the design done, all that was left to do was build it out.  Who knew the design part was the easiest phase??

Several weekends of tearing out old stuff, figuring out where to run things, and installing the new bits and pieces and, voila! We have lights, shore power and even 110v without shore-power.

And best of all, we can monitor and keep track of how much we've used and how much is left.

Most people take all that stuff for granted.  But they haven't had to start from scratch!

We're legal now

At least the aft head is.  It’s amazing how stiff that 1-1/2″ sanitation hose is!  Especially when it’s 40 deg outside.  Only through generous application of a heat gun and a little persuasion with a

Will it fit?
sawz-all did all those stupid hoses make those bends and fit into those little spaces.
At one point during the process, we needed a little more room for the hoses to wiggle.  So out came a 1/2″ piece of wood and fiberglass separating 2 hoses.  Almost immediately the 2 hoses expanded to fit the new space.  Crud!  No help there.
Phil really didn’t help much when, after 4 hrs of pulling, cutting, moving, thinking, debating and changing our minds, he asked “how many connections/hour are we averaging?” :-(

Yes it finally fit!

Back in the yard

Fixing up “this old boat” sure makes for a short season!  :-(
We did get out for a handful of weekends and a few daysails once we got the major work done.  Enough to sink the hook deep – we’re more committed than ever to getting her back in shape.  More than that, it was enough to decide what we do and don’t want to do in the next phase of work.  Now it’s into the yard where we can start on that list.

High priority items include:
  • finish the electrical upgrades (new Victron inverter, some new wiring, LED lights)
  • replace the alternator
  • new dodger
  • replumb the waste system
  • install davits – found a used pair at Bacon’s :-)
  • lots of little things… (it’s a boat!)
Will definitely keep our weekends busy!

Shakedown cruise

Kathy at the helm
Labor Day 2011.  Finally got enough of the major chores done to take off for the weekend.  The Dalby’s joined us and we sailed from Whitehall Creek down to the Rhode River.
The Rhode is only about 15 miles south of Annapolis, but it’s very different.  The shoreline is mostly Smithsonian Center environmental.
The trip down was great, mostly because we were back on the water.  All the new parts worked the way they were supposed to.  Well, almost.  The house batteries were pretty much trash.  So new batteries moved way up on the priority list.  Good thing we had already bought the new Honda generator!
Rafting with Coram Deo
Rafting with Coram Deo
The Chitterling’s joined us and rafted up for the weekend.  A little embarrassing to be seen rafted up with a powerboat, but what are ya’ gonna do?
Of course, we mixed relaxing with checking a few more things off the project list.  While tracing some wires, we ended up pulling apart the port settee.  Didn’t take much to pull it apart since it turned out to have some serious problems.   And the extra hands made it possible to rebuild the whole thing as we put it back together!

Underway at last!
Felt great to be back on the water instead of always at the dock working!  Definitely a major milestone in the journey!

Rehab-and so it starts

Now the work starts.  As Lyn says all too often, we’re living “this old boat.”

Arriving on the truck
After we trucked our ‘new to us’ Pearson 422, Paperbird, to Annapolis from Houston, we splashed her on the Magothy river and started on the list.  And what a list it is…

and going in the water
The good news is that we get to refit the boat exactly the way we want her.  The bad news is that we HAVE to refit her to get her exactly the way we want her.  Lots of repair/upgrading to do so this will be an ongoing saga.  No quick fixes here.
So far this summer, we:

Working on chain plates
- replaced the stem fitting, chainplates and headstay

New bow sprit and stem fitting
- replaced the bowsprit.  Special mention here to Jeff Carter at Carter Fab in Millersville.  There was no way possible to replicate all the angles and get that thing to fit right.

Even when we started putting the new one on, I was sure it would never fit right.  But it just slid right into place, nice and snug.  Amazing workmanship!

Working on the new windless

- replaced the windlass and added a washdown system in the anchor locker

Installing the wash down system
- replaced the furler with a Hood SeaFurl V.  Turns out they offer a 50% discount if you trade in your old furler.  Even if the old one doesn’t work any more.  No argument here…

New batteries
- recut the jib to accomodate the different height off the deck of the new furler

- replaced the house battery bank.  Also added 2 echo chargers (engine and windlass) to simplify and improve the charging system.

Phil Dalby: "know anything about a gas stove???"

Working on depth and speed gauges

Phil Dalby helping with wiring: "try the red one..."

The find

by Greg Long

Once the search was on we had to get more specific about what we wanted to find.  A couple things stood out as preferences:
- not filled up with electronics that were really great when installed a few years ago, but were essentially obsolete now.  You pay for them.  You’d like to replace them.  But they work so…
- low engine hours.  Swapping out a diesel is not high on our list.  Do-able, but not a desire.
- sound.  We can handle lots of repairs, upgrades, and mods.  But some things can’t be fixed.
In Houston, we found a 422 that had been used mostly as a dockside condo for over a decade.  And then she had been neglected for a couple years due to a family situation. houston
The Previous Owner had started to rehab her, replacing the cabin sole, rebedding the portlights to cure some bad leaks, and repairing much of the damaged interior wood work. – BONUS
The POs original plan was to retire and sail her to the islands.  Part of that plan was to wait until the last minute to add electronics – CHECK
Because she had mostly been a condo, the engine (repowered with a Yanmar 55 turbo diesel, was lightly used – CHECK
The PO was a pleasure to deal with.  We spent a few days poking, prodding and then took the plunge!

The search

by Greg Long
Some years ago, a friend told us that the 1st step in going cruising was …  “sell your boat.”  We didn’t believe him.  Actually, we didn’t want to believe him.  But he was right.  Two reasons:
1 – you start saving money.  Without the ongoing expense of maintaining a boat, slip, etc, you start to build up a kitty for a future purchase
2 – you figure out if and why you really want a boat.  Then you can buy the boat you really want to do what you decided you really want to do.
We sold our Pearson 10m and waited.
Turns out we really did want a boat to cruise.  So then we started looking at the features we wanted in the next boat.
422layout2After looking at way too many boats and designs, we settled on the Pearson 422.  Only 39 of them were built in the 80′s and they didn’t seem to come on the market that often.  But all the reviews and owners reports all said the same thing – people loved them, they cruised great, were extremely comfortable at anchor and underway, was easy for a couple to handle but had room for guests (with grandkids!)
The key feature that everyone, including us, really liked was the aft centerline queen with walkaround space!
Next step – find one…