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April 2006

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Sunday, April 16th

Another project weekend

It was a busy weekend. I needed to get at the winches since I have let it slide for too long. The main halyard winch actually stopped working last time we were out. That was the first one to be torn apart. It turns out that a Mud Dauber made a nest inside. A mud dauber is a wasp-like bug that makes a nest using mud. Of course winch grease and sand do not work very well together. We need make a cover to keep them out in the future. Next were the genoa winches. We still have the original Lewmar 48 three-speed winches. The previous owner added two Harken 48 self-tailing winches further back in the cockpit but we still use the Lewmars. I found a good deal online for two additional Lewmar 48ís to use for parts. Both of our winches would only wirk in first and second gear and we found that to be a problem. I started with the starboard winch, carefully taking it apart and working on one component at a time. I got it cleaned, regreased and put together without any extra parts. It only took two tries to get it put together properly. It still has a problem that it will not shift properly but now it is in second and third gear. I am still working on it. The port winch was much easier after doing the other winch. The mainsheet winch was the easiest of all of them.

Cori kept busy with cleaning and polishing the hull. The hull is the same Awl-Grip paint that we had on our Ericson. The manufacturer advises not to use regular wax on their product. They of course make their own brand of cleaner and polish. It is very easy to use, just wash and polish. The polish is formulated so that you can apply it to an entire side before going back to wipe it off and buff it. The marina has a small raft we can use to work on the boat. Back with the Ericson we did it from a ladder before we launched in the spring. Cori used a product by Davis called FSR (fiberglass stain remover) to clean the bootstripe. The results on the white bootstripe were amazing. She has before and after pictures.

Dale on 04.16.06 @ 09:34 PM EDT [link]

Monday, April 3rd

Sorry we were down

If you tried to access our site over the weekend or on Monday you got a "403" message. We are sorry that happened. I was doing some maintenance on the site and changed a file that allows access. I was trying to ban some IP address that I suspect are spamming the guestbook. Somehow something went wrong and the entire site was off-limits to everyone. Obviously everything is working now. Again, sorry for the inconvenience.
Dale on 04.03.06 @ 07:28 PM EDT [link]

A very good weekend

We got out for a sail Sunday. The forecast was for temps in the low 70ís and about 10 knot winds. It was just too tempting to go sailing then to work on any projects. We got an early start and spent about six hours working up and down the river with 10 to 15 knot winds. We finished it off with a straight shot from Oriental to the channel entrance to our creek with the wind on the port quarter.

This was our first sail of the season. It reminded me of some of the projects that I have been putting off. The main halyard winch needs to be rebuilt and I bought two winches to use for parts for the headsail winches. I did solve the starting problem. I have been having problems with the starting battery not having enough power to start the engine without combining it with the house bank. All the tests I have run showed the battery was ok. This time I ran the load when starting the engine. Other load test have passed, By measuring the voltage drop when starting the engine there was a considerable drop below 12 volts, a sure sign that the battery did not have enough power to crank it over any more. A quick run into town and a new battery was installed. I also solved the slow starting problem. When I bought the boat it started as soon as the start button was pushed. I did something to it so that it took several tries to get it started. I found where I had disconnected the wires to and from the oil pressure switch. With the way I reconnected them the oil pressure had to be up to a certain pressure before the fuel valve opened. It had previously been bypassed. I found how it was bypassed and redid the connection. Once again it starts as soon as the button is pushed. Now I need to rethink the use of the pressure switch. It makes starting the engine harder but it provides a safety feature by shutting down the engine if the oil pressure drops. On the positive side, whatever was wrong with the auto pilot last fall is not happening now. He steered like a pro. The only glitch was when we wanted to tack to starboard. He just didnít want to do it but worked perfectly when tacking to port.

Just a few issues to mull over during the week.

Dale on 04.03.06 @ 07:22 PM EDT [link]