Tuesday, March 20, 2018

St. Pat's Day Cruise and Crunch

2018 HISC St. Patrick's Day Cruise

The Cruise (Crunch comes later)

We motored down to Port Everglades Friday morning and tried sailing up to Hillsboro Inlet, but the wind was somewhere else, the sea was calm, and the motor ran smooth!

Peggy smiling as we left Port Everglades. See that big ship astern? We did, and we kept to the South side of the channel just to keep out of it's way. 

The flag tells a lot! It's drooping!

I shook out the reef shortly after exiting the channel. Didn't make a difference, we were motoring at idle and the wind was on the nose a knot faster than our speed. We were creating more of the wind.

But it was a beautiful day to be out on the Ocean.

We stayed pretty close to shore all the way up to Hillsboro Inlet. The HI bouy has been replaced - finally - after getting dragged ashore during Hurricane Irma last year.

As we navigated into HI, we saw the depth drop down to below 5' In theory we were aground, but the bottom was really soft and we barely felt a thing, perhaps our depth was being impacted by the turbid waters.

After a few doughnuts we passed under HI bridge and headed North, easily making the bridge opening and then 20 mins on to Camino Real Bridge, barely had to wait.

Lake Boca was already filling with power boats, but a few sailboats were in the North Eastern end of the lake. We could see Diversion (Bob & Joyce Tiger) at anchor. We dropped anchor on the East side of the lake in 9' of water. Shortly after our arrival, Time To Go (Paul & Debbie Maloney) arrived and dropped anchor South of us. Sjöfn arrived and tied up along side of us with the plan to slip off and anchor alone later that night so that Dave could get a good nights sleep - hope it's not something I said ;)

I had proofed Bread overnight and baked it Saturday Morning, two loaves so we gave one to Pam & Dave. 

Baked in our New Non-Stick bread pans from Sur La Table in Coconut Creek.

Turned out really nice - Sesame & Fennel Seed 

1st attempt at cooking two loaves at the same time. Very pleased.

By Saturday afternoon, the Host boats were rafted up - Sjöfn, Eximius, Lizzetta  and Into the Blue.
Other boats from the club were: Diversion, Cheshire, Into the Blue, Hallabaloo, Margarita,
Moonlight, My Sanity, Rabbit, and Time to Go, but I'm pretty sure there was a couple more boats!

The club Commodore arrived mid afternoon and was greeted with a traditional Bosun's Call 

Around 5pm, crews started to arrive, bringing food, drinks, deserts, drinks, Shepherds Pie (Thanks Janet - Delicious!) Brisket, and if you consider that we had about 10lb of Corned Beef, and loaves of Soda Bread (Winn Dixie) and Rum aboard - it was a party!

After the crowd ate most of the food, drank most of the bear, and the Rum, it was time for our Party Games. 
We started with the Trivia Contest - it's complex - hey, it's my job to confuse! Here you see some of the participants trying to answer a question using a direction. It was, as expected, the drinks and questions ensured that.

Tom managed the Sailing Limerick contest and Pat & Dave selected the winner of the Best Irish Costume, well done Vicky!

The coin toss was a challenge when held on the 4 mono hulls, but it worked and several earned extra bottles of whiskey.

Finally Jeff Miskin provided us with a few Irish Jokes, I cannot repeat them here ;0)

As the Sun was setting, our guests started to return to their boats or back to their cars via Dink Taxi's

Most made it but Jeff Miskin and his crew seemed to get lost in the 200 yard trip from the host boats to the raft up of Diversion, Hi Nina and Chesshire (see those 3 power boats in the background of the pic above - they were Wey Hey'd over there.

The weather was perfect all weekend. Saturday morning we prepared breakfast for any that were up. We had plenty of coffee, ton's of muffins, and some brought more food! Tom noticed that I had Grand Mariner on my boat and asked for some with his coffee - I obliged, but only after he passed his coffee mug, I was not going to let my bottle of GM get off my boat!

We had a blast, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

After breakfast we learned that Hillsboro Blvd Bridge had a problem and was Locked down - sailboats could not pass! That meant wait till the bridge was fixed or go out through Boca Inlet.

We have never gone out of the inlet, it's risky, but boats with greater draft than our 5'7" have done it. It's just not worth the risk for us. So we opted to wait for the bridge to be fixed. It didn't take long but several boats still went out via Boca Inlet.

Oh, nearly forgot! Friday afternoon, a commercial Catamaran got wedged on the rocks outside of the Boca Inlet Bridge which created a bit of a stir. Several tow boats went to their aid and successfully pulled the boat and the bunch of guests aboard.

Back to Sunday morning after breakfast. We were the last ones to leave the host raft up. It took a few minutes to untangle the anchor chains, but no sweat. We hoisted our anchor, turned to the North end of the lake and called Camino Real Bridge making the Noon Opening.

At the Hillsboro Inlet bridge there was a dozen boats waiting to go out, we dropped back to let them go and easily ran out of the Inlet. Once out, we turned back into wind and hoisted the Main, turned South and unfurled the Jib, no reefs in at this time and No wind either. So we furled the Jib and motored down about 1/2 to 3/4 nm off shore.

We saw Sjöfn flying her Genneker about a 1/2 mile further out, sure looked good! I hailed Dave on 16 and switched to 68. Dave had left before us and had gone out of Boca Inlet, we knew it was Sjöfn because we could see the Red Dragon on her sail! How do you spell ENVY?

Our motor down to Port Everglades was uneventful, but when we turned to go North towards the 17th Street Causeway Bridge, there was a flotilla of vessels waiting for the bridge to open, we motored past them and wondered how many were thinking - They'll never get under that bridge! We had about 6' to spare. Within a few minutes of us passing, safely, under the bridge, it opened and the flotilla began to head through, I don't think we have ever seen the ICW that busy, it was like I95 for a while.

Travelling from Lake Boca down to Port Everglades on the outside is so much nicer than racing to the next bridge (Six of them) especially on a calm day like today.

Sticking to the ICW, we peeled off South into the Lake Sylvia entrance, skinny water at low tide, but we stayed deep enough and anchored in the North West corner with 60' of rode. A nearby vessel expressed concern that we were too close, and I decided after watching the swing and learning that he had 90' of rode out that it would be prudent to re-anchor. So we pulled anchor and headed over to the South East end of the lake. An easy anchor and we secured for the day. Time for a late lunch of Cheese, Grapes, the bread I had baked on Saturday and a glass of wine. Then a 60 minute snooze!

I made a bit of progress on the installation of our Dry Bilge system. Figured out the best location for the discharge vent, just below the Aft Water Tank Discharge fitting. Of course, the new vent will make the old one (30 years old) show it's age. I realized that I'll have to get a hose fitting that will convert the 5/8" barbed end down to the 3/8" hose that will connect the vent to the pump.

We opted for just a snack instead of Dinner, and solved many of the world problems, or at least recognized they were beyond resolution. I browsed Facebook to view the pics that club members had posted and read the comments that members of the Cooking on Boats page had made about my bread. Pierre (Charity) noted that he avoids Gluten, so I'll have to plan on a Gluten free bread for when they come along side.

The Crunch

Sylvia Lake on Monday morning was like Glass! not a ripple! There were about 23 boats on the lake, most of them well cared for, a couple that are junk and give the rest of us a bad name. Don't get me wrong, after all, our boat is 31 years old now, it's not the same high gloss it was back in 1987 but we maintain the boat and keep her in good condition, it can always be improved. But the Junk boats are wrecks - canvas draping over the sides of the boat, no engine, mast laid down, what used to be a fender hanging in the water over the side. If it were on land it would be condemned. 

We stirred a few ripples as I pulled up the anchor, my morning exercise, and Peggy motored us clockwise around the lake and out of the channel and into the ICW where we turned to Port and started up the New River.

Our plan was to stop at the Pump out station just downstream of the Third Avenue Bridge. Last time we had to deal with some pretty strong current, so we were prepared this time just in case. I had the lines ready and we approached the dock astern of Musette and made a perfect docking. I stepped off the boat that was barely touching the dock pilings and not moving at all. Good Job Peggy!

Then a City Employee called out that we had to leave the dock immediately! Apparently another vessel had 'reserved' the dock for using the pump out, and they were just passing under 3rd Avenue bridge, he demanded that we get off the dock.

Dang! At least, that's the publishable word I can use that describes my frame of mind. My military training kicked in and accepted the command and calmed Peggy down before we moved off the dock back into the river. 

As we pulled out, we could see a bunch of other boats waiting on the bridge opening, but 3rd avenue bridge opens really quickly and they were waiting far too long. We were getting pushed around by the current from behind and from the wind out of the North East, and hindered from movements by the vessels ahead of us. I made the command decision to tie up along side on the East side of the river where there was a gap between other docked boats. Peggy took the helm, but the current was much stronger than either of us thought. The current pushed our stern up river and we hit out bow on the concrete dockside, my fault, it was a bad decision to try and dock on that side of the river. Now we have a scarred bow that needs some TLC.

I went back to the helm and was able to get us motoring astern to get away from the dock and back to the middle of the river. Once safe, I contacted the vessel ahead of us and asked his intentions. He radioed back that they were waiting on a 110' Yacht outbound, so I held station astern of her. It was not easy, it took a lot of concentration, quick decisions to deal with both the wind and current while staying away from the very unfriendly dock on the right (while going upstream) side of the river. 

Of course, all of this was while I was internally trying to ignore that I had dinged the boat! But that's what you have to do, get over it and deal with the current (no pun intended) issue.

The big yacht come through 3rd avenue bridge and the vessel ahead of us started to make way under the bridge (I say Under, but it's really 'Through' as the bridge is open). I called Andrews Avenue Bridge requesting to follow the vessel ahead of us through the bridge, but then realized that the FEC Railroad bridge was closing! Wow! That's Fantastic! (WTF) There's very little room between Andrews and the FEC bridge, and the vessel ahead of us would be stopped while we try to keep station in the not so nice conditions. I called Andrews and advised that we would cancel out passing due to the FEC bridge being down. But the Bridge Tender at Andrews responded that I should proceed as the FEC Bridge was closed for maintenance but was opening for our passage (and the vessel ahead of us) So I confirmed and throttled up to get up to speed in order to follow the boat ahead of us. 

We passed both Andrews and the FEC bridge. Next it was 7th Avenue Bridge, and as we got around Sailboat Bend the bridge was already open and we motored through.

The yacht ahead of us came to a stop just south of the Fork in the New River, they confirmed it was ok for me to pass on their starboard side as they were waiting on another vessel coming out of the South Fork and we were heading up the North Fork.

Other than Peggy and I having a few words about the Crunch incident, we continued quietly up to our dock and, again, Peggy made a perfect docking. The wind from dead ahead (West) which could hinder our turning the boat so that it faced back down to the open end of the channel, but I had a line setup on the Starboard side midships cleat, then forward and back to the Port side where I stepped off onto the dock. Securing the turning line, I walked the bow off the dock and to the East. As the bow neared the end piling of the dock, I picked up the bow lines and put them on the cleat on the fore deck. Back to the turning line on the other end of the dock, I easily pulled the stern of the boat around and along side the dock.


Despite the crunch, which is not a disaster, we had a great weekend and as always - learned a lot.

See you on the water (but not till after I fix the booboo on Eximius' Bow!)


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Sailing Club Circle Raftup

HISC 2018 Change of Command Circle Raft Up

Heading out of Port Everglades

What a gorgeous day for a sail! We left Port Everglades, with our sails up, around 10am on Friday March 2nd after an uneventful motor down the New River and under the 17th Street Causeway Bridge. I put together some dough to bake a couple of loaves later that day.

No stowaways this time. Seas were almost flat, wind from the NNW around 10knots.

Rather than have the wind almost on our nose and sailing against the Current from the North along the beach, we (me) decided to head out to the Gulfstream, conditions were perfect.

Once in the Stream, about 1 1/2 Miles off shore, we turned onto 060º and enjoyed the ride. We were doing 5.7knots through the water, but 9.7knots by the GPS, WooHoo!

Of course, we knew that the weather was going to go downhill later in the day, but figured we could be in through Hillsboro Inlet by around 1pm. True to form, the bad weather front came down from the North and Seas began to rise pretty quickly. By 12:30 they had risen to about 5' but the boat just plowed her way through them. With the wind now about 45º off the wind, we had the choice of turning into wind and waves or continue to head offshore. Rather than risk being out there if the weather turned nasty, we turned for the Inlet and motored with the Main up but the Jib furled.

As expected, with the wind coming from the NNE, the waters off the beach were much calmer. We motored easily into the Inlet and just had to watch our depth and keep the channel - A member of our club manages the dredging of the inlet and provides a depth chart for the inlet outside of the bridge. That's a huge help to ensure we don't get into skinny water.

The tide was pouring out of the inlet, and at the bridge there was about a 4knot ebb, it seemed to take forever to pass the bridge fenders. But, again, Eximius handled it easily.

We motored up the ICW to Lake Boca. There were a few sailboats already there and quite a few power boats and folks standing in the shallows mid - lake. We anchored on the East side of the lake about a 1/3rd of the distance from the North end. 

The wind cooled things a lot, but I went and baked my bread which warmed the cabin. And the bread turned out well!

First time using Aluminium foil bread pans, but they worked fine. The loaves just plopped out when inverted.

They're small loaves, but that's fine. 

I had to wait for them to cool before doing a taste test.

The baking made me hungry, and I'm on a limited diet after having Gum Surgery on Thursday, just two days ago.

Oh well, as someone on Facebook commented, What Would you Do for a Klondike Bar!

Our Fridge Freezer is just cold enough the keep them frozen.


We had Macaroni Cheese for Supper with Fresh Tomatoes. Easy, Quick, and very tasty, I know, that's comfort food - what's wrong with that?

Saturday morning boats started to arrive for the Change of Command Circle Raft Up and we had volunteered to be one of the Anchor Boats - That meant that we would be one of 4 boats that began the circle and that we would each drop a Stern Anchor to help shape the Circle.

Our Raft Master, Ross, has done this for the past few years and handles the process which takes some doing.

We dug in our Bow anchor with 85' of Chain, then Ross took our Stern Anchor in his dink and dropped it where he wanted the Circle Center to be located. He also put a large Tetrahedron mark so that everyone knew where the center was intended.

Gradually boats started to come alongside of us and the other Anchor Boats. At one point we had 5 boats hanging off our anchor but two of them were dropping theirs. One had the misfortune to dig into a bunch of garbage on the lake bed. When the wind picked up, his anchor started to drag, by which time our anchor was insufficient to hold the 5 boats and our anchor dragged too. A couple of boats detached from our little raft up and Ross assisted two other boats to join us, they already had anchors out and one had a stern anchor. So at that point we had 6 boats rafted with 4 bow anchors and 2 stern anchors, that's pretty reasonable. 

Then the current in Lake Boca took us for a swing and the boat on the east side of our raft got too close to the docks along the east side of the lake and he decided to peel off, I would have done the same. The rest of us stayed put, we were holding our own despite the increase in wind. Ross abandoned the Circle Raft up and each of us set up smaller rafts. We were now 5 Boats on 4+2 Anchors. We would be able to sleep that night.

At 5pm the Incoming Club Commodore drove around the fleet with the new Cruising Flag on Display, followed at 6pm with the Dink -n- Drift where those present tied up their dinghies and passed all sorts of tasty appetizers between the boats.

After the Dink-n-Drift, we all returned to our boats or to other's. A few parties erupted, and lasted till the wee hours. We had Mushroom Ravioli, Tomatoes and Sour Cream - and some of today's Fresh baked bread, a bottle of Wine, some Black Magic Rum and some dancing in our cockpit. Good night.

3am Sunday Morning the Alarm went off!
We've been here before, Anchor Drag alarm sounds, we both get out of bed and check out the problem while preparing to dress and drive the boat towards the anchor. But it wasn't the Anchor Alarm! I cupped my ears to determine the location of the alarm sound, it's coming from the cockpit, but nothing up there is powered up. Out into the cockpit I cup my ears again and realize it's coming from Lizette! 
I called for Tom, fast asleep, Knock on his hull, eventually he climbs out - Tom, you have an alarm in your cockpit. Turns out it was his portable radio that had switched to the weather channel at the 3am alert. Good night - Again.

Sunday morning boats started to peel off. We had bit of fun getting the Stern line from beneath Dalecarlia, Peder had to take a dip, he survived. Tom, on Lizette had our stern line trapped between his rudder and prop, so he could not break away until that we cleared. We manged eventually by following the anchor rode in our dink and hauling the anchor. We had to be careful as our dink is an Inflatable and the last 20' of rode is rusty chain (have to replace that) and I did not want it cutting into the dink sides. But we got it up ok. 
It was covered in the thick black mud from the Lake bed and as I pulled the anchor, we found an old toothbrush. Turned out a handy tool to scrape off the mud. Then we cleared the line from Tom's boat. Tom peeled off after Peder and we started to put Eximius back in shape, seemed we had used a lot of line to keep the boats rafted.

I took the opportunity to clean out the Line Lock (Port side cockpit locker) and was surprised how much line I had accumulated. Our Old Jib Sheets, Old Halyards, New Spinnaker Sheets, Long and short docklines, Spring lines and those little lines that were once longer but had stressed too much. The locker is now neat and tidy, bet it doesn't last long!

During the afternoon a few power boats came to the lake but didn't stay, and by night time, all were gone except for a couple of boats flying the Canadian Flag and we could see Time to Go (another club member) off to our South.

Mid afternoon, we were cleaning up the topsides when Peggy's New, Expensive, Hat flew overboard. I quickly grabbed my long boat hook and could not quite reach it. Dang!
A few minutes later a small power boat passed, they had the bubbly ready to go and I hailed them asking if they could grab Peggy's Hat. They did! As they were coming back to our boat, I went below and pulled up a 4 pack of IPA, popped it into a bag and hung it on our boat hook. As they came along side, they took the Beer and passed over the Hat  - Can you Spell Karma? 

We had an early turn in as we wanted to get out of the lake early Monday Morning. We woke to the alarm clock (ok, the Alarm Clock Ap on my phone) at 06:15 and I put the coffee pot on to boil. We got washed up, dressed and I cooked a full breakfast of Eggs, Sausage, Tomatoes, Fruit and some more of the baked bread.

By 7:30 we were pulling up the anchor and heading back around the lake for the 07:40 Camino Real Bridge opening.

It was cool, Peggy had a towel wrapped around her legs, of course, I'm just wearing shorts. We motored down the ICW figuring that the strong winds for the past 40 hours had built up a big sea.
As we motored past the Hillsboro Inlet Bridge, we could see just how big that sea was! Huge! Surfers paradise, but a sailboats dread!

We made good time going down the ICW and turned up the New River. We paused for about an hour just down stream of 3rd Avenue Bridge to use the Pump out by Smokers Park. That worked first time and we took time out to have a snack before continuing up the river.

Past the last 5 bridges (3rd Avenue, Andrews Avenue, FEC Railroad, 7th Avenue, 11th Street Swing Bridge) we motored to our dock space and tied the boat up. It's surprising how quickly we can unload the boat, wash her down and load up the truck for the 25 minute ride home. But we have done it so often now that it's a pretty well worked out routine.

Once home, that hot shower was just what we needed.

See you on the water.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Rebuilding the Raw Water Pump

Rebuilding the old Oberdorfer Water Pump

This is the Oberdorfer Pump that we removed and replaced with a brand new pump. At the same time that we purchased the new pump, we also purchased a rebuild kit for the old one (this) 

It's an M202M 15 Pump fitted to our M25-
XP Universal Diesel Engine on Eximius.

Not that old, but it was a rebuild that was on the boat when we purchased it, I suspect that the seals were incorrectly installed as both the Oil seal and the water seal both leaked.

Step 1 was to remove the old impeller, seals and inspect the shaft & bearing.

The corrosion around the O-ring shows how it was not very well prepared.

The indent in the cover plate shows where it wore.

The body of the pump shows it had leaked for a while, my fault for not fixing this issue earlier. 

I called Depco on the West Coast of Florida, and they were able to ship a new pump, and a rebuild kit within a few days of the order. Of course, that was nearly $400

I'll take better care to inspect and maintain the new pump.

The seal failure is clearly shown in this pic.

Both seals were leaking. The good news is that the leaks were evident from the Weep hole in the side of the pump.

I used the tool I made following the design by Ron Hill on the C34 Forum to extract the seals. 

It worked like a charm and I had both seals out within 10 minutes of getting to work.

Getting the Carbon shaft bearing out took a bit more brute force! I used a long socket that just fit and hammered to get the bearing out. Luckily, I was able to do so without damaging the pump body. 

This is the tool I made to press the carbon bearing into the pump body (the bearing is the black cylinder on the bolt) 

I put the Bolt, Bearing and nuts/washers into the freezer for 30 minutes while I came up with the rest of the plan.

I had already buffed up the pump body with an assortment of wire brushes, it looks like new. I'm comparing that to the new pump that we purchased.

The nut had to be outside of the pump body while pressing the bearing. 

Here's I'm using a 1" PVC Pipe connector as a spacer and a couple of 5/8" fender washers.

With the pump body clamped to my bench, I used the two adjustable wrenches to press the bearing.

The bearing has a chamfer on one end which I figured was the end that had to be pressed in first.

It went surprisingly easy, I could not turn the nuts by hand, but the two wrenches made it very easy. The technique was very effective and the bearing was pressed in within just a couple of minutes of it coming out of the freezer.

With the bearing installed, next was pressing in the two seals.

There's great info on the C34 forum site about how to do this. Basically it is done using a suitable Woodworking clamp secured to the bench and a sized socket as the pressing surface.

The Oil seal is inserted first with the side with writing visible while pushing the seal in place. I used a hammer to tap the seal in place. 

The Water seal is inserted second, the side with the writing on the inside this time. Again, a socket tapped with the hammer easily pushed the seal in place. I checked the insertion progress several time as it's important to have the seal fully inserted but not so far as to obstruct the weep hole.

Now if the Oil seal leaks, oil will come out of the weep hole, if the water seal leaks, then water will leak out the weep hole.

With the seals in place, it only needs the shaft and impeller installing.

The shaft was a snug fit into the seals and the bearing and did not have any play in it at all. 

The impeller was tough to get onto the shaft, I figured that the end of the shaft was damaged as the impeller would not fit over the shaft. I had to do some careful filing to smooth over the edge of the shaft. Once done, the impeller fit nicely. Not sure I'll be able to get it off again without removing the shaft, but that should not be a problem.

With the impeller installed, next the cover plate and O-ring and the grease screw.

Before inserting the grease screw, I applied a few pumps of grease from my grease gun and then rotated the shaft several time. The sound of the impeller blades flipping as they rotated around the pump body was very satisfying.

Last thing: Mark the cover plate with the date of the rebuild.

Next it will get wrapped in cling film and stored on the boat with the other engine spares.

Time to update the Service History.

See you on the water.


Thursday, February 22, 2018


Trying to be a little poetic.

In our little ship, in the darkness of our cabin, we lay quietly, hearing the gentle ripple of the surrounding waters bubble past the still bow. They gurgle a short while later as they pass the, not so far away, stern.

Occasionally, gently clanging rope lines running down the mast disturb for but fleeting moment, no need to go up top and quiet them, their elusive skill at being quiet when observed is almost magical.

Warm beneath our hugging covers, we sleep, toss, turn, dream, as our ship wallows, mostly smoothly through the night, but not without a reminder that we are guests on the water as a more energetic wave passes by. 

But, we sleep, as sailors do, drifting off to dreams of further ports, and meeting with other cheerful souls in other waters.

We sail, but we do not sail to escape, nor to get away. We sail to relax between the stresses of life, to share time with the World wherever we are.

It's not always easy, things happen at sea as they do in port. Good things, Bad things, a sailor has to deal with both every day, in every port, in every sea.

We're sailors, we offer our friendship, our knowledge, and always ready to hear a good tale of others about their sailing adventures, wherever they are, or whenever they were.

We'll see you on the water.

Paul Alcock
February 22nd 2018

Monday, February 19, 2018

Re-plumbing the Air Conditioning system

The Old (2 years) System

When I installed the AC system two years ago, I plumbed the Raw Water Pump with a hose from the Thru hull in the bathroom that ran all the way to the V-Berth, that's about a 18' run. I worked fine except that it would keep losing pump prime and the long hose would get blocked with build up ( barnacles, guck, etc.) and we would have to run barnacle buster through the hose to clean it out far too often.


Install a new Thru Hull in the Bow below the water line to provide Raw Water input to the pump.

Step 1. Here's the Sea Cock and Thru hull fitting. The Sea Cock is mounted on a backing plate that I made following the instructions on the Compass Marine Website. The SeaCock is secured in place by 3 bolts that have been cut down. So, if the seacock needs to be replaced some time in the future, I can simply undo the 3 nylon lock nuts, extract the bronze thru hull and remove the seacock. 

Step 2. I cut a hole with a 1" deep hole cutter from the outside into the hull in the V-berth.

Next, I sanded down the inside to create as flat an area as possible for the Thru Hull Flange to bed onto the hull.

The pic shows the hole and the sanded area. I did all of this while the boat was hauled out at Playboy Marina in January 2018

Here's proof of my screw up! The Thru Hull fitting in the pic above shows it as a mushroom headed thru hull. I screwed up by cutting it to the right length, well, nearly! The old adage, of Measure twice cut once! Well, I measured a half dozen times and cut once, but forgot to include the thickness of the hull! So it was off to WM and purchase a new Thru Hull fitting, but the only one they had was a flush model. So I had to cut into the hull to create a angled bedding for the fitting. 

I used my Cordless Dremel and 1/2" belt sander to get a near perfect fit.

The new Thru Hull held in place with the Boat Hook (since deceased)  for a dry fit.

Everything looked good, so Step 3 was to plaster the underside of the Backing plate with a Resin mixture with filler and plaster the inside of the hull with the same mix, wax the thru hull fitting and screw the seacock and backing plate down onto the thru hull.

I tightened it up from the outside by putting a pipe wrench on the sea cock to stop it turning and then, from the outside, screwing the waxed thru hull in as far it it would go.

After letting the resin cure for 12 hours, (next day) I removed the waxed thru hull, cleaned it off, applied 3M 5200 to the inside of the thru hull and screwed it back in place. This thing is water tight!

Now that the thru hull is fitted and the sea cock in place, it's time to work on the hoses to the raw water pump.

Here's a schematic of the AC Raw Water System. It includes the clean out system that uses Barnacle Buster.

I'll have to wait for the two Tee connectors to arrive before completing the system.

When complete, the AC Pump should prime easily because it will be only about 24" from the intake thru hull.

The Tee Connectors were waiting for us at home on return from the Chili Cook Off.

A quick trip to ACE hardware and I found the End caps and barbed connectors to complete the plumbing (the Black Tees in the Pic above) All of the Raw Water plumbing hoses will be double clamped.

Now that we have everything I can complete the project. Probably tomorrow (Thursday)

  • Install Tee between Pump and Discharge thru-hull
  • Install Elbow on Raw Water Thru-hull
  • Install hose from Elbow to 2nd Tee
  • Install hose from 2nd Tee to Strainer
  • Install hose from Strainer to Pump
  • Test for leaks
  • Run AC system and check for prime and leaks.

This pic shows the completed installation (with paper towel leak detectors in place beneath the Pump & Strainer connections)

The open hose that can be seen hanging down near the strainer is the fill hose for the AC Condensate collector. We put a 2gallon jug in place to collect the condensate and use the condensate to flush the head rather than use our Fresh water supply.

The Old Speed log transducer (shown with the wire attached) is no longer used, and will be removed the next haul out in about 2020)
The Pump is not mounted, I needed to know where it would sit before making the support shelf. Now that I do, I can cut a piece of Starboard and 3M 5200 Glue it into place beneath the pump, secure the pump with 4 screws through the AVMs and tidy up the electrical supply cable.

Just another view of the AC Raw Water Supply plumbing.

We had the AC running for a half hour and no leaks! WooHoo!

Now I can get rid of the odd bits of hose that I kept knowing that it might be handy when I do the re-plumbing job.

Note the White Cap (yellow label) , that's one of the two AC Flush system connections.

And the Strainer is now shown horizontal, we can see if water is flowing in the strainer.

Peggy wants me to install a lamp beneath the V-Berth to improve visibility, I'll buy  a couple of the LED Switch lamps from ACE Hardware.

This is the AC Raw Water Discharge Thru Hull and Sea Cock. The white cap is the port that will connect to the AC Raw Water Flush system to get rid of Barnacles inside the Raw Water tubing, AC Unit, Strainer and Pump.

Note how the Paper towel leak detection is totally dry.

As said before: WooHoo!

I should be able to get the Pump support shelf done over the next few days. Pretty simple really: Just a piece of Starboard, cut with similar angles to match the sides of the hull by the pump then glued into place with 3M 5200.

But right now - We have AC again!

See you on the Water.


Tensioning the Engine Drive Belt

Correct Tension Reduces Wear

This pic shows the Engine Drive Belt which gave us a problem over the New Years Eve Cruise. The problem is that it's nearly impossible to tension the belt correctly simply because of the lack of leverage against the Alternator Body.

So I plan on making a Tensioner using a piece of Threaded Rod, inside a piece of Square Aluminium tubing and a long hex nut.

The idea is to apply pressure between the Alternator Pulley and the Engine Crankshaft Pulley using the tensioner and then, when tension is correct, tighten the Alternator securing bolts at which time the Tensioner can be removed.

Here's my 1st model. 
One end has a cross bar that is bolted into a slot in the end of the Square tubing.

The other end has the long nut with about a 1/2" of the threaded rod exposed.

The end of the threaded rod has been ground to a shape that approximates the pulley grove.

In this pic, the tensioner is adjusted to it's minimum length. I won't know if that is too long until I get to the boat and try it. If it is too long, I'll simply cut the length of the square tubing.

I used a 4 1/2" Metal cutting wheel in my grinder to shape the end of the threaded rod.

Original plan was to cut a slot into the end of the rod and make a 2nd bar, similar to the other end and mount that in the rod, but I thought I'll keep it simple.

The black marks are simply what I used as a guide when cutting the angle on the end of the rod.

The Flat bar is about 2" long and inserted into a slot cut into two sides of the Aluminum Square tubing. Then drilled and thru bolted with a nyloc nut to secure the bar to the tubing.

This shows how the threaded rod is simply inserted into the square tubing. 

The threaded rod is 6" long 

The Long nut is 2" long

The Square tubing is 8" long

So this allows the tensioner to expand from a minimum of about 10 1/2" up to about 14", I may have to cut the square tubing down if the distance from the inner surfaces of the pullies is less than 10 1/2" - I'll take my cut off grinder with me.

Here's the tensioner extended simply by turning the Long Nut.

Another job for tomorrow - check to see if it works.

Well that was a surprise, it did need to be shortened.  I used the tape to mark the correct length.

After a couple of minutes with the cut off wheel, it's now just under 7" long fully retracted.

The angle of the parts that meet with the pulleys need to be increased (they are too fat and I'm concerned that they may bend the pulley belt faces.)

The threaded rod was also shortened.

This pic shows the new max length of approximately 8.75"

Engine Drive Belt Tensioner

Success! It works like a charm!

I was able to ease off the Alternator Support Arm bolt (1/2" Wrench) and the Alternator Support Bolt (11/16") and the Alternator Arm attachment bolt (1/2") .
Then insert the Tensioner, tighten up on the Hex Bolt to apply tension fo the drive belt. Once at the desired tension, tighten up the 3 bolts and remove the tensioner.

No Sweat, No damage, no busted knuckles. 

See you on the water.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Loafing on the boat

1st Bread

So, the plan was to bake Harvest 8 Grain Whole Wheat Bread, it's similar to loaves I have made at home, but this was to be baked on the boat.

Here's my Galley (hope you like the new faucets that I installed about a week ago) 

I keep my tablet nearby so that I can read the recipes, the door with the vent leads to the Aft Berth where I keep, well, just about everything! Including non-perishables.

The Red Bowl is a great mixing bowl, but also serves as a salad bowl or delivery bowl when we take dinner over to other boats.


We were rafted up with Dave & Pam on Sjofn at Lake Sylvia

To make sure I had everything with me, I put this package together at home. 
Yeast, 6 Cups of Flour (4 cups Whole Wheat, 2 Cups Bread Flour), mini Tupperware container with a mix of Seeds: Caraway, Flax, Fennel, Quinoa, because I couldn't find the King Arthur Harvest Grain mix at the store, not even Whole Foods!

I should setup a Video camera at the galley, trying to shoot a video with one hand and actually doing the food prep with the other just doesn't work. Hmmm. Amazon shopping is in my future.

The ingredients are enough for two loaves, one for us, and one to take to the Chili Cook Off on Saturday. But the dough mix was much wetter than it should be. And, because I didn't include any 'extra' flour, not a lot I could do. Thinking out of the box, I used an extra packet of Oats (Maple & Brown Sugar) and added that to the mix. Still too wet! I was ready to toss it out, but Peggy suggested that I go ahead and cook it anyway, worst case would be a dough ball.

I let the dough rise in the mixing bowl overnight. It rose nicely!

The No-Knead recipe requires that the risen dough should be De-Gased, and stirred to help develop the gluten strands which give the bread it's crumb.

Saturday 07:30

I used a regular kitchen spoon to stir the dough then left it to rise a 2nd time while I prepared the oven.

What didn't I do? I didn't check to see if the oven would hold 2 bread pans! It doesn't! Grrrr. Peggy suggested that I freeze half the dough, then she thought it would be ok to cook in a larger pan, making one large loaf. So I used the Skillet from my stainless steel stacking pan set. Greased the pan with spread.

It looked as though it would hold the dough and there's room above the pan in the oven for the bread to rise.

Oven set to 400ºF with shelf lowered, it only took about 15 minutes for the oven to get up to the set temperature, another 1st, never had the oven on the boat that hot before.

I had purchased a small oven thermometer a while back, does the job nicely.

I felt a bit like the bakers in the Great British Baking Show as I was kneeling down to check on the temp and to see how the bread was rising.

It looked good even if it's not very clear in the pic.

The recipe said 40mins, I added a few minutes because of the loaf size.

Well, that didn't turn out (pun intended) as planned! The loaf was nicely crusted on top, but the dough was still 'runny' inside as I could see where it leaked out while trying to get the loaf out of the pan. Just as well it didn't release, it would have been a really soggy mess!

Back into the oven at 350ºF, I tested it again after 20 extra minutes, still sticky inside. We had planned to leave Lake Sylvia around 9am and the loaf was still in the oven. I tested again after another 10 minutes, and it's still sticky. We need to cast off and head out onto the ocean. 

Leaving the loaf to cook longer in the oven, we headed out of Lake Sylvia and down towards Port Everglades, we were going to sail up to Hillsboro Inlet rather than motor up the ditch. Dave &Pam were following as soon as they pulled up their anchor.

As we passed under the 17th Street Causeway Bridge, I pulled the loaf out of the oven and decided to leave it in the pan just incase the inside was still gooey. The forecast was for a lumpy ocean sail, so I secured the pan with the Pot Holders onto the top of the cooker.

We had a great Sail! Sure, it was lumpy, but the boat handled it really well and Peggy's tolerance of rougher weather rose several notches, she's becoming a good sailor! (but she still reminds me that she's 'Not In Your Navy' regularly.

When we arrived at Lake Boca for the Chili Cook Off, and were safely tied up along side Sjofn, I pulled the bread out of the pan, it did require a bit of assistance with a knife around the edges, but it came out in one piece.

It's a big loaf, and heavy due to the high moisture content, but it tastes ok, has a nice crust. I'm glad I didn't toss it out.

My local food critics (Peggy, Pam, & Dave) gave it good marks, but I know that it's not great.

It did make really good skillet toast for breakfast on Sunday.

So, lessons learnt:
  • Have extra flour on hand to add if dough is too moist
  • Get pans that fit the cooker if I want to bake two loaves (saving propane usage)
  • Get a bread knife for the boat. I know, really?
  • Use non-stick pans! But I asked other members of the Cooking on Boats Facebook group and the majority of members choose Silicone Bread Pans (Hello! Amazon, you still there?)

There were about 17 club boats at the Chili Cook Off, we didn't win any trophies for my chili, but Katie Sparks (Into the Blue, boat on the left of the three of us rafted up on Lake Boca) did! I'm envious, but she is a pro dietitian and her Chili was really good. 

We left Lake Boca Sunday morning in time to pass the Camino Real Bridge's 10am opening.

Then it was a leisurely motor down the ditch and back to our dock in Fort Lauderdale. That's a long ride down! I'd rather be sailing, but the forecast was in the low twenties and Peggy had earned a break from further rough sea training for the weekend, so I was happy to give her some loafing time.😉

See you on the Water.