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October 2005

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Wednesday, October 26th

Wilma passes us by

Unlike a lot of the east coast we were passed by with the effects of hurricane Wilma. We had forecasts of winds up to 60 mph and a lot of rain. It started raining early Monday morning and continued for the rest pf the day, dropping 1.5–2 inches of rain. The winds didn’t start until late Monday night after the rain quit, but were nothing like what was forecast. Currently we have a southwest wind that is helping force the water out of the creek. This evening we felt and heard something unusual, checking the boat and lines it appears that we may be aground. The water level has dropped to the point we are stepping up to the dock. Fortunately the bottom is mud so there is no danger of damaging anything.

On the bright side, with all of the rain I could check for leaks. The work I have been doing is paying off, there was very little water leaking in. I still need to re-bed two of the portholes but I plan on doing them all. The previous owner replaced the portholes some years ago and at the time we purchased he suggested they be re-bedded. The drips we sealed over the weekend were dry so that was effective. Little by little we are sealing everything up.

Staying with the weather theme, it has defiantly turned to fall. The days are in the 60’s and nights in the 40’s. With all of the rain from Ophelia and Tammy the mosquitoes have been of biblical proportions. With the cooler temperatures they should drop off. We have been sleeping with the hatches open, but now have to close up in the evenings. The mosquitoes have reminded me that I need to redo the hatch screens.

Dale on 10.26.05 @ 12:15 AM EDT [link]

Monday, October 24th

A weekend of projects

It was a busy weekend for projects. We got a lot further along then I had expected. The weather was cool with a light breeze, better suited to projects then trying to sail.

This week we have been working on the headliner and were able to “almost” finish it. We finished installing the headliner in the salon and were able to install all but one piece of trim. That piece was shortened by the previous owner to install a light so we need to locate a longer piece to finish it off. The new lights are on order and I expect to see them delivered this week. I will be adding more information and pictures to the Projects page. We still need to replace the headliner in the V-berth and aft cabin but they will be easier to do then the salon.

Sunday we started out trying to seal some of the smaller leaks. There are several snaps that were evidently used by a different dodger then we have now. A dodger is the canvas and clear plastic hood over the companionway that helps you stay out of the wind and weather when sailing, sort of a windshield. Some of the screws they were mounted with were coming loose and allowing water to seep in. Also the mounts for the dodgers were loose and dripped when it rained. We took out the unused snaps and closed the hole with a screw and washer combination with a liberal amount of sealant. Were then proceeded to replace and seal the snaps that are used to attach the dodger. We also re-bedded the mounts for the dodger.

The next project was to finish the “eyebrow” replacement. There is more information and pictures in the Projects page. I have to admit that it turned out very nice and adds to the looks of the boat.

All in all it was a productive weekend.

Dale on 10.24.05 @ 01:06 AM EDT [link]

Friday, October 21st

Back on the water

We had some computer problems this week so this is a little overdue. Last weekend we took a break from projects and moving aboard to go sailing. It was really good to get back out on the water. We stowed everything and headed out on Saturday for the South River, one of the tributaries to the Neuse River. Once we cleared the shallow area at the mouth of the creek we set the sails for a long broad reach down the river. Once in the South River we dropped the anchor and joined some friends on their boat for a social hour. While socializing we watched the almost full moon come up. It was as good of a night at anchor as you could ask for.

In the morning we pulled the anchor and motored further up the river. There is no development on this river so it is a beautiful remote area. Eventually we motored back out into the Neuse for the return home. Winds were forecast for 10-15 knots but when we cleared the river entrance it was dead calm. After raising the sails we waited for the wind to come up and started sailing back up the river. Unfortunately the wind was on the nose so it involved tacking back and forth up the river until we cleared the town of Oriental and were able to set a course for home. It seemed that every time we tacked the wind shifted or dropped so that we made little headway. Fortunately we were not in a hurry to go anywhere and had another enjoyable day on the water. The temperatures cooperated and it was T-shirt and shorts weather.

Once back in the marina it was back to reality.

This week I remounted the handrails that I removed earlier this year and we are now ready to replace the headliner. By the end of the week we should have the headliner in the salon replaced and the trim installed. Of course I still have to replace it in the aft cabin and the V-berth but the worst will be over.

On the humorous side, we had a visitor around 2:30 AM on Tuesday. I woke up to a sound of something moving around on the deck. When I looked out, there was Harlow. Harlow is a Golden Retriever that lives at the end of the road and sometimes hangs out at the marina. For some reason she decided to come down the dock and come aboard. I sent her down the dock but about 5:00 AM I heard her come aboard again. This time I decided to leave her alone and went back to sleep figuring she couldn’t get into any trouble.

Dale on 10.21.05 @ 12:25 AM EDT [link]

Monday, October 10th

A few rainy days

Tropical storm/depression Tammy paid us a visit. Thursday it started raining off and on. Friday it rained all day, and finally let up Saturday afternoon. Fortunately we were on the outer edge of the storm or it could have been worse. Altogether we got between six and nine inches of rain. Everything in the area is very saturated, the ditches are full and we had a washout several miles up the road. With a combination of wind and rain like we had, it provides an opportunity to find out if anything leaks. The good news is that we didn’t have as many leaks as we used to. On the other hand the biggest leak was one that I made. Between the mast and the hatch is a padeye bolted through the ceiling. As part of replacing the headliner I have this removed. The holes are covered with a piece of duct tape. Or, I should say, they “were” covered. I guess there is a limit to how long you can expect duct tape to seal. Thursday they started to leak. I don’t mean that they dripped; I mean there was a steady flow of water onto the salon table. The obvious solution was to seal them. Tape won’t work when the deck is wet. We put a container down to catch the water and a couple of towels to catch any splashing until I could find another solution. Friday we got our downpour, digging into the tools I found some screws big enough that if wrapped with electrical tape would fit the holes and stop most of the water. This actually worked and by putting them in from the inside I didn’t need to go out and get wet. We were back to a slow drip, a major improvement. There were a few other minor leaks that we were able to take care of by just putting down a towel or stuffing a rag to absorb the drips.

Friday night the storm hit in force with 40+ mph winds and driving rain. I was woken up when the bilge alarm went off. I have it installed to go off if I get about eight inches of water in the bilge. The bilge is about three feet deep and has a 3700 gph pump with an automatic float switch. If the water gets above an inch deep the pump comes on automatically. For some reason the pump did not come on and the alarm sounded. There is a back up pump in case of a failure and it quickly had the water pumped out. Now I needed to find where that water was coming from. It turned out that the cockpit scuppers were not draining fast enough and we had about four inches of water in the cockpit. This water found a path and was draining into the bilge. A few minutes with a hand pump had the cockpit emptied and that solved that problem for now. I still need to find out what is blocking the drains.

Saturday morning I went to work on the bilge pumps. With the help of a neighbor to make sure it was wired right we found that the pump had an intermittent “flat spot”. Simply stated, this means that sometimes it would run and other times it wouldn’t. We replaced it with the backup pump and everything is working properly again. We now need to replace the backup pump.

Sunday started out nice but evolved into scattered showers again. There were a lot of threatening clouds but we made it through the day with just one short shower. When we started to move aboard the sailbags were in the way and were moved to the cockpit. We still had the sails off from the hurricane. All this rain had gotten the sails wet and they needed to be dried out. Now was as good of a time to put them back on as any. If you read about how we got ready for the hurricane you know that we had a problem getting the mainsail off. We ended up grinding off the screw at the bottom of the sailtrack. This was how the sail was removed on my previous boats. As I got ready to slide the slugs onto the track I noticed that about two feet up from the bottom of the track was a hinged gate that with the removal of a cotter pin would swing out of the way and make room for the slugs to be slid into the track. Talk about feeling like a dummy. I guess it is all part of learning a new boat. The sails are back on and she looks like a sailboat again

Dale on 10.10.05 @ 12:38 AM EDT [link]

Saturday, October 8th

Moved aboard

We are now living aboard Hi Flite. Over the weekend and the first part of the week we hauled load after load from the RV to the boat. It is amazing all of the stuff we moved and yet there is still a lot left on the RV. We are still in the process of deciding where everything will go. Trial and error seem to be the technique. I am not sure how many times the galley has been rearranged.. The next project is to sort through the remaining and decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Once we get to that point it should all fit into the trailer and we can sell the RV.

It took a couple of days to get to the point that I could unpack the computer and see what I was going to have to do to attach this old desktop unit to the wireless network. The marina has wireless available to the boats, at a cost, so that is our new connection. The wireless was easier then I expected with a wireless adapter connected to the USB port. I wasn’t too sure if this would work since it is a USB1.1 port. Amazingly enough I ran the wizard that came with the adapter, attached it and was connected immediately.

More later.

Dale on 10.08.05 @ 12:50 PM EDT [link]