Zinc changing time? Not sure? In a new slip or new at this (like us)? Well, don't fear - rig a waterproof camera and a light to a pole and start filming!
On our first attempt it was getting dark (at 4:30!) so I used my waterproof paddling light to help out. It turned out to be too dark on that go so I waited for the weekend and some daylight (I still used the light during the day and it helped).
Secure the camera with some duck tape and grippy camera tripod thingy (we used two, one is probably fine).
Attach a little rope just in case and down you go. Try to stay as still as possible, but c'mon give yourself a break - your camera is duck taped to an oar! Check our one of our videos below, sorry for the shakes. Dive! Dive!
Ahoy sailors! Just a few summer pics from the Lake Washington Thunderbird sailboat fleet. Ahhh, shorts - I remember those. Snow-birds: stay warm this weekend!
So, we're recapping a bit - we had Kingsley hauled-out over the summer for a few days to replace her stuffing box and paint her bottom. Her last bottom paint job was in 2009 so we figured since we were going through the trouble of hauling her out we might as well get it done. This haul out was last July, we had owned her for only 2 months prior, and we had spent most of that time scrubbing the green off of her (I still find green to scrub off her).
Before we get into the specifics, just know that we are new to owning and living on a sailboat and especially new to engine work so if we call a torque-thing-a-ma-bober a shaft-prop-thingy...well, our bad, sorry, we're working on it!
In the pic above you can see the problem - a problem we knew we'd have to deal with eventually (even though the surveyor didn't really mention it...don't get me started). You can see the corosion and rust surrounding this whole operation here. This is in the aft cabin, underneath the aft bed. At the top of the picture is our engine, followed by the coupling that connects our transmission to the shaft (long pole thingy that goes through the boat and out to the propellor). The stuffing box and tubing is the coroded blue thingy in the center of the pic, and is there to allow the shaft to rotate and prevent large amounts of water from getting in (little drips when using the engine are ok and expected).
To our non-boat owner/engine pros out there: does that make sense? This is everyone's travel club after all! In the most basic sense, the engine on our boat is on the inside and the propellor that spins and makes the boat go is on the outside (underwater). The propellor spins on the end of a long pole (shaft) which is connected (through the hull of the boat) to the transmission/engine. The stuffing box is 'wrapped' around the shaft on the inside, allowing this all to go down without letting tons of water in.
I've read that a lot of boat owners replace or repack their stuffing boxes every time they haul-out, some do it while the boat is in the water (sounds tricky). The problem with our situation is that the moisture hadn't been monitored by the previous owner and he left the box alone for 10 years! Thus, the saltwater caused some serious corrosion and rust (of the coupling - the thing in the picture with the wrenches on it).
Well, it wasn't easy, but we eventually got the coupling off. Yeah, those wrenches in the pic earlier, they didn't even come close - we had to cut the whole thing off and replace it. Unfortunately the new coupling barely fit, like didn't fit by a tenth of an inch, but it eventually worked out with lots of sanding and scratching our heads. We added a new dripless PSS (Packless Sealing System) stuffing box, apparently they're all the rage, and Kingsley was almost ready to go!
All that was left was a few little things - we added a grate on the outside of the boat to the raw water intake (hole in the bottom of the boat that sea water gets sucked in to cool the engine while it's running), waxed the topsides, changed the zincs and added one more near the shaft, added our new tags and WN # decals up on the bow, and took off the grey racing stripes and old Hunter 320 lettering from the sides. It's been 4 months since all of the work and we are glad to report total dryness in the area we worked on...good to go. Kingsley, you owe us big-time!
Paul, John, Tom, ETC
Pia is a sailboat. Read about her story (and her amazing owner) here. We met both of them one night in Port Townsend, or I should say, we met both of them one windy night in Port Townsend.
Earlier that day my friends and I left Lake Washington in Seattle aboard a 26' Thunderbird sailboat. We were crew on the sailboat, delivering and racing her over Labor Day weekend in Port Townsend. The day started out like this -
The winds were steady and, although they were against us, didn't seem to slow us down that much...at first. As we headed north in the Admiralty Inlet we started to notice that we weren't making that good of time as the waves picked up a bit.
As we got closer and closer to our destination, it became apparent that we probably wouldn't make it by night fall. We could see the town in the distance but had to battle the wind and wave after wave on our bow, our little outboard doing the best she could.
Luckily we were on the south side of the town, 'protected' in Port Townsend Bay. Imagine what was going on in the Strait (of Juan de Fuca) just around the corner! The picture and video above is the last footage I took before we eventually made it safely into the marina, where we still had to battle the wind to dock our little T-bird.
That night we awoke to the sounds of the lift - we had heard that some folks had rescued a sailboat that had sent a mayday call earlier in the evening, around the time we were coming over. It turns out the boat had been punctured on a nearby island and was taking on major water. The word was they were trying to reach Port Townsend from the other side, they had engine trouble, couldn't sail, and got blown up against some rocks. The Coast Guard had also been called in to rescue some boaters in a different boat (a powerboat) who had capsized in the very same waters.
We eventually went back to sleep and awoke the next morning to lighter winds and a busy marina as the T-birds & crew prepared for a day of racing.
The sailboat that had gotten rescued was Pia. We walked over to the yard to find Pia and see the damage.
We said hi to the owner, who introduced himself as 'Mench'. He told us the story, how he was a boat builder and had brought Pia back to life. He thought he had lost her last night. He vowed to bring her back to life yet again (read about that amazing story here). It's an amazing little tale of dedication and perseverance, we were equally sorry it had happened and blessed that we could be connected in a little way to such a story. Good luck Aho'i!
~Paul, Josh ETC
Well, the last part of our propane fix saga turned out to be replacing the regulator. In the pic above the regulator is the silver thingy, the brackets, and the meter/actual regulator on top. It also came with the black 'pigtail' hose coming out the top, heading towards our propane tank (to the left in the picture).
We had already replaced the solenoid - the black box below the regulator with the wires coming out of it - completely taken the Force 10 stove apart, and temporarily adjusted the propane locker drain...read about that journey here and here.
We actually just needed a new pigtail hose, we found it was leaking (by using soapy water - the leaking propane made bubbles on the hose just behind the brass fitting). But as you can see in the pic below, I couldn't get her off.
I had read that it is a good idea to replace the regulator every 10 years or so, look at the bottom left corner of the picture above to see some corrosion, so I thought what the heck. The new hose looked a lot better (below), but when I first tried her out propane was spraying everywhere, because apparently I hadn't tightened the little nut behind the big nut. Tighten both nuts - it doesn't mention it in the directions that come with the new part.
I put a little teflon tape on the new connection between the solenoid and the bottom of the regulator.
Finally, the brackets that came with the new regulator were of a different size than the ones I had so I just unscrewed the new ones from the new regulator and used the old ones so I wouldn't have to make new holes (I filled the screw holes with a little 4200 so propane wouldn't leak through them in the future...holy crap, I'm a little handy!
Last weekend it was so nice (55 degrees with light wind) that we decided to take Kingsley out for a spin. We stopped over at the fuel dock for the first time to top off our diesel tank for the winter, they say this prevents condensation in the fuel tank and thus water in the fuel line. We thought we were getting low, less than half a tank, but it turns out we were actually just above half a tank. $46 and we were out of there.
After quickly crossing the shipping lanes, and that huge guy pictured above, we sailed close to Bainbridge Island and Port Madison before returning home.
~Paul, Amber, Kali ETC
Here's a quick video of catching that tanker wake...