As you know we decided to head to a marina after arriving here in the Chesapeake Bay. We were looking for a place to get some work done because...well...we own a boat and the list if things to fix never seems to end. My original goal was to replace our soft bimini with a fiberglass hard top I can walk on. In addition to having a great place to mount much needed solar panels, the top could be set up to collect rain water and provide for a safer access to the boom should something go wrong while underway.
Of course the top wasn't the only problem. I've had another seacock freeze and, in fact, I was able to break the handle off of it while trying to open it during our trip up. So, the idea that I should just replace all the through-hulls (that I originally wanted done when last in Deltaville but the yard failed to accomplish) is back near the top of the list. And that project requires that the boat be hauled out of the water again. In addition, we have a variety of other problems that we have discovered need attention,
Not having much luck in finding a yard that could both haul our catamaran (the 21' 3" beam limits options) and allow us to do our own work (my experience thus far indicates that yard work is often expensive and below my quality expectations...if you can get them to do any work at all), we decided to alter our plans a bit. We were able to find a regular marina that was nearby and not overly expensive. This would allow us to get some in-the-water repair work done on the boat and could tick another task off the list. You see, my parents have never seen our boat or gone sailing with me and if we could stay put for a little bit, they could come out for a visit.
So, after confirming space at the marina, my parents were able to set up a trip to come see us. About this time the "unusually hot" weather I previously mentioned started up. We were able to get some things done, but it always seems to go slower than you expect on a boat. When I owned a home, the most pesky repairs always seemed to involve plumbing, where I would have to run to the hardware store at least three or four times to get parts I either didn't foresee I would need or that were different than I anticipated. Boat projects all seem to go the way my plumbing projects did. Even having cars at our disposal, a project you think should take a couple hours seems to take all day. Still, I managed to get the AC pump, an electrical plug, and our spinnaker halyard replaced.
While I have had internet access, I've been researching options for building that hard top. I seem to have new ideas on structure and materials every day. One of my biggest problems so far is finding good engineering data so I can construct a lightweight top that will support my weight. I even considered building the top on the boat right at the marina, but decided that building a 10 foot by 8 foot top in place would be tricky at best and a potential disaster at worst. I am confident I can build the top for a much friendlier price than the pre-built option, if I can only get the engineering right.
My parent's trip would encompass both Father's Day and my dad's birthday so I also tried to set up something for him. I know he likes fishing, so I tried to see if there was something I could do to take him both sailing and fishing during his visit. Unfortunately, I just don't have the knowledge or experience and after a couple days worth of looking at equipment and supplies, I threw in the towel on that idea.
|New pressure tank and water filter|
Then a day before my parents were to arrive, my usual luck with things crops up. Our galley sink had a Brita drinking filter attached to it and it started leaking, spraying a stream of water backwards and in the general direction of the microwave. Thinking it was just a simple seal problem and knowing that electric appliances don't like taking showers, we went to the hardware store to find a replacement gasket. Two hardware stores later we managed to find the washer, only to discover that didn't solve the problem. Using a bright flashlight and magnifier, I was able to find out that the leak wasn't with the gasket but a pinhole that developed in the sink spout itself...and our attempts to fix it have only made it worse. So, I ended up having to replace the entire faucet. Three trips to three different stores to find a faucet that could be made to work. Adding an under-sink filter to the cold water supply because no faucet we found would support the old filter, and replacing the water system pressure tank because it was old and rusting and if I was going to have to do all this other work anyway, might as well fix that too. About 12 hours spent collecting the various parts needed for the fix and two hours actually installing the parts, and the sink worked once again. No more filter hanging off the faucet, a larger filter hiding under the sink, and a pull out faucet that fits well with the boat so I'm happy with the results.
|New galley faucet|
Then we found some bugs in one of our food storage bins. Not ants, weevils, or roaches but a bunch of small moths...and moth larvae. Fortunately for us, we keep our food stores in a variety of plastic bins and the moths seem to have been limited to one bin, with a few escapees in the locker itself. Best we can tell the moths hitchhiked their way in by hiding in some boxes of cake mix that we were gifted. Yep, we broke the rule of no paper/cardboard boxes on the boat and the result was a few dozen unwanted guests. We pulled everything out of the locker, cleaned up the locker, cleaned up the storage box with the moths, THREW AWAY the paperboard boxed cake mixes, and then put everything else back together.
|New halyard for the spinnaker.|
We completed the fixes and cleanup as my parents got to town. And I still had other things I wanted to get done. We needed to actually clean up the boat some (it always seems to be a mess and two dogs currently shedding isn't helping the situation) and we were due for an oil change before I take the boat out again (which I wanted to do with my parents).
Then this past week we've been playing tourist and tour guide...but more on that next time.