Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Electrical Stuff

Ok, so I redid most of the electrical in the boat. I can do that since she is small. I pulled out what wire I could, and left the rest.  I replaced the original distribution panel with a new one from West Marine. I am sure that at some time in the past the p/o also did some electrical work, because what was installed was such a mess.  It also confirmed some of my suspicions that a good portion of this boat had had a fair amt of water in her, as many of the low lying wiring was corroded, brittle, and falling apart.  I installed the battery in a battery box, and pushed it back into the area where on the floor layout show where it should be.  The p/o had it sitting free just under the companion way steps.  I also took out the 4AWG (i think) battery cables.  Since I am not running a starter, or other heavy duty electrical I didn't see the need for them.  I replaced the 4AWG with 10AWG wiring to the distribution panel.  I also added a bus bar for the ground system.  There doesn't seem to be any previous bus bar installed, and when I pulled out the old electrical panel and wiring, all the grounds were taped to the 4AWG that led to the battery.  Most of the wire had corroded so much that there wasn't any connection.  No wonder it didn't work, surprising there wasn't a short and fire... but of course you would have to use it to get to that point.  I wired in a new stereo, and VHF, and replaced bulbs and a new bow running lights.   So the only electrical remaining that does not work is the mast light.  I had no way of testing it when she was on the hard.  I still haven't decided if i am going to hoist Flannery up the mast or not to fix it.

Here is how its installed now.

I think that I will have to replace the battery, as if left off the charger for a day without use, the VHF alarms that the battery is low (below 11V).

On a side note, I dont think that I sealed the keel bolts well enough, as the bilge is taking on water (about 5gal/wk).  Not enough to reach the cabin floor, but enough.  I hope that its just the keel bolts. I will try and re-seal them in January, when I have some time off.  Also going to try and work on them while the boat is in the water :s 

Monday, November 1, 2010

October 23 - Its official! Oh and I turned 42

Even though I had a car accident two days ago, and I was feeling quite sore, that didnt keep us from getting out for a birthday sail. Brooke, Flannery and Barb, joined me for 1) a sail on my 42nd birthday, and 2) for the official renamining ceremony. We followed the ceremony posted on boatsafe.com, as it came up first on Google, and seemed to be the one most referenced in the forums.

So its official our boat is now named "Inara". 

So next you will ask where the name came from...  Well I kind of made it up.  Way earlier in the year, I had read a post on one of the cruisers forums about naming a boat, and how you want a name that you dont mind being associated with. So I was driving up US19 and there was this billboard for a new spa.  The name of the spa escapes me, but it was close to Inara.  I thought that if I change the spa names "d" to an "n" and the "b" to a "d" (or something like that) the new name would  be Inara, and that seemed like a cool name.  when I got to work I Googled Inara... Huh seems that I didnt just make up a name... Inara is the Hittite goddes of wild animals, and a character on the short run TV series Firefly.  Oh well, so much for originality...  I will say that I came up with the name first ;).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

First REAL Sail - Yesterday

So I had to actually take a day off of work to get out and have my first real sail.  The only way that it would have been better is if Brooke could have come, but she was feeling under the weather. 

Anyway... what a beautiful day to go out.  The winds were between 5 and 10 knts. The water was just enough to make a lapping sound as I glided through the water.  The largest waves I encountered were when leaving the marina, and had a stink pot coming in down the channel. 

I sailed closed hauled up to Anclote Island.

Then wing on wing, almost all the way back.  I am getting better at docking all by myself, which is good.  The deck organizer sheeves need to be replaced, they get jammed when haulling up the main halyards.  And the mainsail will need to be replaced at sometime.  The leech on it is pretty frayed.  But I will just use it till it rips.

All in all a good way to spend the day.

Cabin Floor Boards

I pulled the two wood panels out of the cabin floor this week, and started working on them. As you can see from the pic they were in pretty sorry shape. I just started by sanding with 80 grit paper. The little finish that was left on them came right up, and the (for lack of a better term) oxidized wood sanded right away, leaving a nice rich teak and holly color. See pic of before and after sanding. After sanding I rinsed off with water, which approximated the color and look after finished. I ended up using some chemical stripper for getting off the rest of the previous finish, then another light with sanding 220 grit paper. Then three coats of spray Minwax varnish.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A lot has happened.

Lets see... what has happened since my last posting...  My keel from Foss Foam came in. It looks great.  Al was really easy to work with.  Foss even installed the bronze bushing for me. We still continue to have a slow leak, which turned into a big leak.  We went to Ga at the end of Sept for Six Gap.  We were on the boat Thursday, and back to look at it on Tuesday. There was at least four inches of water in the cabin. 

I hand pumped all of it out.  That night I went to West Marine and got a small bilge pump to automatically pump.  Since I dont have a thru hull for it, I pumped into a 5 gal bucket.  Which over flowed during the night.  I pumped out another 5 gal.  Thursday and Friday, I would check it on my way to work, on my way home from work, and go over just before bed.  I would say it was leaking at a pretty consistant 5 to 7 gal/day.  So I figured that she had to be hauled out this weekend. I couldnt wait any longer.

So on Saturday... early I motored up to Tarpon Springs to a DYI yard.

Had the girl haulled out of the water, and started the process of fixing her up.

So now we know why she has been leaking.  There are two brackets that hold the keel on, with two bolts each.  The bolts go through the hull.  Well one bracket was missing completely, and the other bracket was hanging on by only one bolt.  With nothing but the bolt plugging up the four 1/4" holes, its pretty obvious this is where the water was coming from.

I scrubbed, sanded, ground, patched, repaired, replaced, cursed, polished, and waxed.

The hull really came back to a nice shine after polishing and waxing. This is the only pic showing the oxidation vs. polishing.  The sun was set already, but you get the idea.

I also replaced the thru-hull.

Then primed,


put the keel back on,

finished waxing, then put her back in the water.

All this work was just getting the wet areas good to go.  I motored and sailed (jib only) her home from TS.

Now she is back home.

There is still a lot of work to be done. Hatches need to be sealed or replaced, the deck needs to be polished and waxed, the cabin needs to be cleaned. Blah, blah, blah...  Its never ending.

But at least we can SAIL now!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Its been a while

Sorry I haven't updated this in a while, here is what has gone on...

Foss Foam finished my keel, it should be delivered any day now. I don't think that we will have any time to have the boat hauled out till after the end of September, but that's ok, the days are still pretty hot here in FL.

The insurance co. came through with my check for the loss of the motor, so I went out and got another.  Same kind - a Tohatsu 6hp SailDrive Pro.  This time I put a lock on it.

We also moved the boat from the mooring in Crystal Beach to a slip at Harbor Island Marina.  This has helped a lot working on it. More further down.

The starboard portlight...  On of the reasons there hasn't been any updates, is because its been raining.  Well actually it only rained twice, once for 10 days, and once for 14 days.  Because of all the rain, the wood wasn't getting dried out, so I knew that I wouldn't be able to put the portlight back in, especially since just putting plastic over the open portlight wasn't cutting it, so I came up with a brilliant idea.  I picked up some smoked Plexiglas. I used the portlight as a template, and cut out a window.  I figured that I would just use some 5200 to seal it as a temporary solution till the rainy season is over.  It came out really good.  Couple mistakes here and there, but over all nice and water tight.  Then I found while reading how "permanent" 5200 is.  So my temporary window, might become permanent.  Oh well, at least it looks good.  I think it looks better than the original.  If I do the port side window, there are a couple things that I might change, but that's for another day.  So now the balsa core around the window is drying out nicely.  I am still getting water in, but I think that it is coming from the forward port hole or around the chain plate.  I will be replacing the port holes anyway, and when the boat is pulled out I will be dropping the mast for inspection anyway, so this will give me a chance to re-seal the chain plates.

I spent a couple hours yesterday running new electrical from the motor to the battery, and hung up a fire extinguisher just inside the companion way on the port side.

So we moved to a slip.  Boy you should have see us bring it in.  Let me see if I can explain this.  First the  slips are for small boats 22' to 25' max.  They aren't pull in straight, they are angled, so the stern of your boat sits out about 8' or so with your bow pointing toward the dock.  Here is the hard part though, at this point of the marina it couldn't be much more than 35' wide, and the angle is pointing in the opposite direction you approach from.  So when your coming in, you would have to turn almost 360 dg around to get in your slip.  No problem except there isn't enough room.  So you have to back up down this part of marina to your slip, then motor forward into it. (and I witnessed several people yesterday do this so i know its possible). I just couldn't do it.  It doesn't help that Ozona Blue, a very popular bar is sitting on the other side of the channel, and had tons of people watching.  I was all over the place, 1) turning the boat around to back in, then 2) trying to backup.  A real comedy of errors.  No damage, other than my pride.  I will definitely want to practice this... maybe under the cover of night to avoid the embarrassment. :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Here is the problem

First, here is a pic of the keel

Second, I talked to Foss Foam this morning.  They still have the mold for the keel, and will make me a new one.  So down time is 2-3 weeks.  But I dont have a motor yet (still waiting on insurance company), so it is what it is.  

Anyway I spent a nice day just sitting on the boat yesterday, cool breeze blowing me back and forth.  Well this is Florida, so it really wasnt that cool, but cool enough that I sat on the boat for an hour.

But as ownership would have it, i broke something else.  I thought the deck drains looked funny.  It didnt look like they were draining, so I poked my finger into the whole to see if i could clear it, and wouldnt you know, i broke them.  Well the one on the starboard side first, and then me being me, went promptly over to the port side, and did the same thing there.  So I had to make a run to West Marine.  They only had one thru-hull for a replacement.  I installed it.  It seems like it may have been replaced once before, as it looked like it was just sealed with silicone, not with something like 5200.  Well thats what I used when I installed the new one.  I duck taped over the open one, and will pick up a new thru-hull at the West Marine between work and home.

Brooke and Flan, went out this morning an pulled the plastic off the window opening, so it could air and dry out in the sunlight.  They sat on the boat with Starbucks. So they are enjoying it too.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

More tragedy

Broke and I went out to "Gulf Breeze" today to do some more work. We hope to take her out sailing tomorrow. I asked around and even though the po said the keel pin should be replaced it shouldn't hinder taking her out for a small spin. So we brought out a cleaned bimini. Thank you shade. I had Brooke start scraping off the vinyl letters. It's now "Gulf Bre". While she was doing that I started working on removing the starboard side portlight. the fixed one. I am sure that all the sealant wasn't original. I was also surprised that between the outside and inside fiberglass the balsa(?) core wasn't epoxied over. So snit this port light had Ben leaking the wood core was pretty wet and rotted. I left the window out so we will see how much it dries out. I will probably cut some of the wood out, and inject epoxy between the two layers. I thought I read somewhere that is the way to do it.

When it was getting to be high tide, I thought that I would let the keel down, and see how much play there was in it. So i brought my mask and snorkel, got in the water and had Brooke let it down. WOW there seemed to be a lot of play. It was kind of hard to see in the shallow water of the Gulf of Mexico, but something didn't seem right, so i went down again. And again. Then it became clear what wasn't right... It didn't seem to be attached. Sure enough, it was really only hanging on by a thread. I pulled it out from under the boat an had a good look at it. The foam core was pretty water logged, and the fiberglass shell had big sections and cracks all over. This one was done. Also evident, and probably where the problem started, was running it up onto sand to scrub the bottom. This is pretty common practice in Florida, but people fail to remember that a sandy bottom is like sandpaper. Since the nose (if the keel was up) was worn away, I would guess this is where it started. So the whole keel cracked off below the keel trunk. I will try and get some pics tomorrow. On Monday i will call Foss Foam in Gainseville. They use to be in Clearwater, and were the original manufacturers of the keel. Hopefully they will still have the plans, and can fabricate one. Gainsville is only a 2 hour drive away.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tradgedy Strikes...

Aug 8, 2010

Tradgedy Strikes...

Got out to the boat, and installed the winches.  Boy they sound nice now.
Checked out the cabin, cause we have had three days of heavy rain, just some
drops here and there, doesnt seem to leak as bad as the PO said. Locked up the
cabin, getting ready to get off the boat and OMG!!! The engine is gone.
STOLEN!!! The bastards cut the fuel and electrical line, and off they went with
it. I know what you thinking "wasnt it locked?"... Rookie mistake - no.  The
part that makes me feel really bad is, when i was installing it, and just about
everytime we were at the boat, I thought "I wonder if I should lock this" or
"how should I lock this". But by the time I got home the thought had faded.
After filing a police report, and contacting the insurance company, I googled
for o/b locks. $30 for a lock. And they are so simple. What a dumba$$ I am.  Of
the dozen or so other sailboats and 4 motor boats, about half of them leave
their o/b on.  I bet they are locked!  Dont know what to do now... We will replace the
motor... that is what insurance is for. But i dont know if i will leave the motor on the
boat even with a lock. At least until we move to slip. Maybe this will prompt moving a bit sooner.

Aug 4, 2010

More maintenance...  Flan and I went out this evening, to do more cleaning. I
pulled the Lewmar #6 winches off to service them. Hoping that they only need
servicing, and not replacing. The starboard winch works. The port winch spins
freely in both directions.  The haylard winch is sporadic. I love Lewmar winches
for how easy they are to field strip. Take the top ring off, and they just come
apart.  While I was doing this, Flan was scrubbing the green stuff off the hull.
Then we grabed the bimini frame and all and headed home, as there was a storm
coming. Later this evening I started cleaning the winches.  The PO must have
used axle grease for these or something. The grease was so old that it was
actually sticky, almost like paste. First I tried to clean them with engine
degreaser, but that really didnt help, so I brought out the big guns.  I only
recommend this as a VERY last resort, but I soaked the winches and parts in
gasoline (except the plastic parts). This litteraly melted the old grease off
all parts and nooks and cranies.  Then gave them a washing with soap and water.
Most excellent now. A light oiling on the prawls and lewmar grease on the
gearing.  I will get back on Saturday to install them.  Like all the rest of the
canvas, Brooke washed the bimini with detergent and vinegar, to kill anything
including the smell.

July 30,2010

After more shopping at West Marine, we headed over to Bill's house.  We loaded
up some stuff and motored away.  I think Bill and his wife Debbie(?) were sad. I
could hear them teasing with other... Each was saying to the other that we were
taking away their boat.  We motored it over to Crystal Beach, where there is a
mooring area... found a nice spot an dropped anchor. I put in a 48" helix with
25' of rode.  I will go back again tomorrow and put on 5' of chain. The shackle
I bought is too big.  I might move the helix too, it will depend on how low the
tide gets. Being in the water also gave me a good look at what growth there is.
Not really too much. Till we decide to have it hauled out for the bottom job, or
warier if needed for the keel pin (which I ordered from the hunter22.net web
site today), it can easily be just hand scraped.

July 29, 2010

Flannery and I went over to put the motor on.  Man is it friggen hot out! Of
course we went over to Bill's house and had to make a run back home for more
tools. It's a good thing though, as Flan and I were dying of thirst. Kool Aid
good! Hooked up the gas to the motor, and fired it up.  We let it idle for about
15 min (the prescribed break in peroid) while we sipped kool aid, then came
home. It's poring rain now, so we are playing Wii now.

July 28, 2010

Started scrubbing sails and cushion covers.  Although wen looked at the sails
before we bought it I was concerned about the condition of the sails, they
looked ok in the evening light when we first looked at them, but now we can see
them laid out in the backyard.  With a bucket, woolite, and a soft brush, we
started scrubbing the sails.  Man were thy dirty.  You could see the dirt on
them, just by hosing them down.  We scrubbed with a brush, and other than a
couple rust spots they are all bright white now.  I also soaked the jib sheets
in a bucket of woolite.  Disgusting! I soaked them for a couple hours, then
changed the water, and soaked for a couple more hours.  Then rinsed and rinsed
and rinsed.  But they are white now too.  Brooke washed the cusion covers in the
washing machine, with soap and vinegar.  The vinegar kills the mold.  They look
great now too.

July 27, 2010

Went over to Bill's house where our boat is to collect the cushions and sails.
Anything made out of fabric is going to get a scrubbing.

July 23, 2010

I ordered a Tohatsu sail pro

July 22, 2010

We signed on our boat today at lunch. Then Brooke, Flannery and I went out for
lunch at Estelas

July 21, 2010

We went back out and payed Bill his asking price.  Seemed fair.  There are a
couple other H22's in the area going for $500 to $1000 more, in about the same
shape, all without motors.

July 17, 2010

July 17, 2010

We went to look at "Gulf Breeze" a Hunter 22, today.  Bill the owner wants
$1150.00 for it.  He says it needs it leaks around the front hatch and port
lights, needs a new keel swing pin and bushing.

I think this is a boat that Brooke really likes. She seemed really excited about
it. It is small, but the systems are simple.  Besides what Bill said, it will
need a bottom job. Bill can't remember ever doing one, but with that said there
is next to no growth on it.  It will need a motor, Bill doesn't have one.  Other
things I noticed were, it will need a new deck organiger, or at least sheaves, a
new double rope clutch, and at least rebuild the winches - #6 lewmars, and
possible a new thru hull and sea cock.  It's not leaking, but I am concerned
that it's a gate valve not a sea cock. Could use a fresh coat of paint on the
non-skid areas, but looks in great shape.

Where the search began

 have sailed since the age of 12 or 13, when my parents moved my brother and I to Florida from Michigan.  I was the neighborhood lawn boy, so when I had saved enough money, I bought a sunfish.  This is how most people I have met started sailing, with a sunfish.  When I was about 15 or 16 I got my first 16' Hobie Cat.  I cut some guys lawn all summer, and he gave it to me.  I sailed it hard, Till it cracked.  At about 18 I got my second Hobie.  Along the way I sailed on other peoples boats as crew.  I went to college, then to Minneapolis, eventually I found myself, wife, and new born back in Florida where I had grown up.  When my daughter was 10, I figured she was now old enough to get out on the water, so I bought another Hobie.  She loved it, my wife liked it.  We sent my daughter to sailing camp later that year during her summer vacation, where she sailed a sunfish all day. I knew she was hooked too, when after the first day, she came home and already wanted to stay a second week.  But the Hobie was too rough for my wife's arthritis.  So late last year we sold the Hobie, and joined a local sailing club, and took two ASA sailing classes.  Just to validate what I thought I already knew about sailing.  This also gave my wife a chance to experience a larger mono hull.  After 8 months in the sailing club, they moved all the boats from Clearwater FL to St Petersburg.  Travelling to St Pete wasnt that big of a deal, if I didnt already do it 5 times a week for work.  Driving to St Pete became a chore for the family, and sailing became something dreaded.  That wasnt right.  So my wife and I started talking about buying a boat.  Since she is the CFO of the house, she gave me a budget.  Not much, but this is Florida, and there are a lot of boats for sale.  I also knew that it would be a boat that would take me on my dream of cruising the Carribean.  But it was a start.  We looked at some 28 footers, some 25 footers, then we came across a 1985 Hunter 22, named "Gulf Breeze".  She hadnt been sailed in over a year, and really needed some work, but most importantly my wife really liked her, and the price was right.  We bought her two days later, then went on vacation for the weekend.  This is where our story starts.