Friday, July 31, 2009

First time on the hook!

Friday July 31 Ivy and I leave for a weekend trip on Luckness.  I've been working like a mad dog, focusing on the little details without taking the time to enjoy having a sailboat in my slip.  Sailboat.  You know, a boat that you take out sailing.  Its time to start testing out the systems, and, well, enjoying myself.

The plan is to head out to Blakely Harbor, then Quartermaster Harbor returning to Shilshole on Sunday.  We leave Shilshole in good time and do a combination motor and sail over to Blakely Harbor, the winds are light.  Once in the Harbor we're all set to try out the new anchor and rode for the first time.

The boat came with a 35lb CQR, which is a good anchor, its been around forever.  I wanted something larger and better than this, and bought a 20kg (44lb) Rocna.  The original rode was a 20' leader of 5/16th chain, followed by 80' of 3/8th connected with a shackle.  Weird.  I don't know how the previous owner ever made that work as the windlass gypsy is 5/16th and the 3/8th wouldn't fit on it.  It was replaced by 300' of 5/16th HT chain, so my anchor and rode were both new.  Rocna is known as a fast setting, fast resetting, good anchor in a wide variety of bottoms.  I was sold on all the stories I had heard and read about this anchor.

The first time we used the anchor was in 45 feet of water, so I put out 180 feet of rode.  We had plenty of space around us with nice views across the Sound to see downtown Seattle all lit up.  Winds were hovering around 0.  So basically we bobbed around all night all prepared for heavy seas but instead presented with an idyllic night.  The biggest danger was that we would drift into one of the boats that had come into the anchorage after us and were a little close.  The night was beautiful - it is such a kick being at anchor and seeing the beautiful surroundings and night sky above you.

Throughout the night I kept hearing scraping sounds coming from down below.  Are we dragging?  What's up with that?!  It took several trips and nights at anchor to figure out what the normal sounds are, and this ends up being one of them.  We have been out in much stronger winds by now and the anchor hasn't dragged.  I'm starting to relax a little about the noise - although I still set the anchor alarm on the GPS's.

The next day we left for Quartermaster Harbor.  No wind at all in the morning, so we motored down toward Vashon Island and then cut the engine and bobbed around while we ate lunch.  Toward the end of lunch winds started to arrive and we were able to sail most of the rest of the way to Quartermaster.  Sweet!  Anchoring in Quartermaster is much shallower than Blakely Harbor, mid 20's feet.  I picked the middle of the anchorage and again there were no winds and we bobbed around all night.  The night was just beautiful again, awesome.

Heading back to Seattle the wind pattern was the same: none in the morning followed by decent winds in the evening.  Sailing along at hull speed, a good heel on the boat sailing upwind is reassuring.  This boat I bought and have been working on is a real sailboat.  She's heavier than other boats her size and is made for blue water cruising - but she still sails sweetly in light airs and is a blast to handle.  She's no race boat, but I love the blend of compromises she presents.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The first list

The boat goes into YachtFitters for the second time.  The first trip was for a few essentials in preparation for the aborted trip to Quartermaster Harbor for a raft up with friends.  That didn't happen.  But the folks at Seacraft Yacht Sales and YachtFitters had done a lot to the boat so that it was ready for the trip - it was done to schedule and done well.  But now its time for more work.

This list of projects includes some of the things done during the commissioning, during this visit to YachFitters as well as a few things I worked on afterwards.  (As I write this in late Sept, I'm still working through the list!)  Items such as stepping the mast aren't listed, but of course were done!  YF - YachtFitters.  SC - Seacraft Yacht Sales.   The list is something like:
  • take off a lot of old equipment off the boat, much of which seemed past its expiry date
  • clean the boat, inside out, bow to stern.  Bilge, all lockers, headliner, walls, cabinets, everything and everywhere
  • new standing rigging (YF)
  • new running rigging (SC)
  • static rig tune.  pin the rig with stainless steel welding rod (YF)
  • fix questus radar mount after damage in shipping (SC)
  • fix GPS damaged in shipping (SC)
  • fix electrical panel at mast base (SC)
  • install new windex (SC)
  • fix mainsail batten pocket which had ripped out (SC)
  • clean genoa and mainsail (SC)
  • replace zincs (YF)
  • service PYI ShaftSeal (YF)
  • free up two frozen seacocks (YF)
  • free up frozen Y-valve in head (YF)
  • fix refrigeration (new control unit) (YF)
  • install new LED tri-anchor light on mast (SC)
  • install new LED nav lights (SC)
  • install all new sensibulb LEDs in the interior (3 red/white dome w/dimmer, all side lights with dimmer, remaining dome lights plain sensibulb.)
  • install lazy jacks (SC)
  • replace fuel filters (YF)
  • change oil, filters
  • change impeller, install speedSeal
  • clean air inlet filter
  • replace all 4 engine mounts (YF)
  • remove old sound deadening material from engine compartment (it was falling apart)
  • install new bilge pump in forward bilge compartment (old pump was not fixed to hull) (YF)
  • fix manual whale bilge pump - was not working
  • buy/install new force 10 2 burner stove (YF & me)
  • buy/install new 20lb propane tank (SC)
  • cleanup electrical panel - some add ons were sloppy (YF)
  • fix throttle cable tension
  • install new house battery bank (4x odyssey group 31.  400Ah.) (YF)
  • install new battery charger/inverter/controller (Outback) (YF)
  • buy new dock lines, splice, whip
  • buy new lock lines, splice, whip
  • buy new fenders
  • buy plate anchor snubber and two lines, splice line to shackles, connect, whip, sieze
  • buy second anchor snubber: chainhook, line, splice, whip
  • have all cushions cleaned
  • buy new anchor (Rocna 20) and chain (300' 5/16ths HT)
  • mark chain in 20' increments.  Twice.
  • buy nylon leader for chain, shackles.  Sieze chain shackles
  • replace sink strainers and connecting hoses
  • clean fresh water tanks (had some sort of growth)
  • clear vents for both fresh water tanks
  • clean/wax topsides
  • clean/wax hull
  • replace missing/broken deck track caps
  • replace gaskets on deck hatches
  • replace gaskets on locker hatches
  • replace gaskets on access panel in cockpit to engine compartment
  • replace gaskets on water tank access ports
  • replace gaskets on portlights (still in progress, 09/09)
  • replace gaskets on dorade vents
  • replace gaskets on fridge (3 times, each with different gasket material, until I found what was good)
  • install knife holder in galley cabinet (over sink, starboard cabinet, port side)
  • install spoon/misc holder beneath sink
  • install toilet brush under sink in head
  • fix leak at rudder post (which explains water in bilge and engine compartment)
  • fix leak at fresh water pump
A few of these items seem innocent enough in the list but standout in my mind.  Replacing the sink strainers took about 10 days.  I found it hard to find the parts and work in that space.  Luckily I wasn't paying myself by the hour for this project.  I finally have an installation that looks good and is well built.

Cleaning the water tanks is an ongoing project.  The tanks are clean but the water does not taste good yet.  All the hoses may need to be replaced.

I'm very happy with the work done for me by both Yacht Fitters and Seacraft Yacht Sales.  In particular, the battery/charger/inverter installation done by Yacht Fitters is fantastic - its a work of art, thanks Justin.

Tom with Seacraft Yacht Sales did a lot of custom work for me with the nav lights and at the mast.  Terry with Yacht Fitters did the rig tune and was involved with most of the projects - there are numerous little touches around the boat which show he has been there - all for the better, most that I would never have thought of.  The folks at YachtFitters (Terry and Justin) are happy to teach you how to work on the projects.  It seems to be their goal to get the owner up to speed with their boat as much as it is for them to complete the projects themselves.  I learned a lot through them and look forward to having the boat back with them soon for some pre-winter projects, and then again for pre-takeoff projects.  YachtFitters has worked on Pacific Seacraft boats many times in the past, which is encouraging as there are some idiosincractic aspects to these boats.