Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day 124 Cold front


A cold front has descended on Port Townsend.  It's in the mid 40's as I sit here in the porch of the ice cream parlor.  I can't believe I'm wearing a coat in August.  We may hit 60 if luck this afternoon.  It's about 15 degrees colder than normal.  Hey--go figure.  At least it's not raining.

Yesterday was general task day on Zephyr.  Tracy spent the morning cleaning and vacuuming and collecting all of Snowshoes hair.  Boy that boy can shed.  Her hip has been bothering her recently.  A pinched nerve apparently.  If she stands and a kind of strange angle, she is fine.  If she stand normal, she is not a happy girl.  It hurts to walk unless she looks like the hunchback of Notre Dame--with out the hairy eyebrows.

I spent the morning making Zephyr legal.  As you can see from the above photo, she now meets the U.S. Coast Guard requirements for her documentation.  I finally got the "hailing port" decal on.  She is now "official".  In the United States, you can list any city or place you want as a "hailing port" .  This is considered you home port.  All legal mumbo jumbo.  We've seen lots of boats with very elaborate decals and thought we would keep Zephyr nice and simple.  Since the decal company screwed up the order, we even have a backup decal in case anything happens to this one.  Today, I get to wax the stern.  We have to wait 24 hours after application before you can wax over it.  After that is done, the hull will be officially done!!!

We went to the farmers market again.  About 30 -40 vendors.  Lots of veggies and food but nothing out of the ordinary.

I finished the boot stripe in the afternoon.  This is the white stripe that separates the blue of the hull from the black bottom paint.  It's a nice stripe of white fiberglass that had gotten stains on it from water as well as some of the blue from the rubbing compound as I did the upper hull.  Now she is nice and white.

After that, I took apart the windlass.  This is a very powerful winch that pulls up the anchor at the bow of the boat.  It needs service each year--grease and oil.  She is all nice and clean now but couldn't figure how to get into the oil pan area.  The owners manual is quite vague about it.  It just says to look in the "sight glass" and make sure there is enough oil.  They don't tell you where the "sight glass" is, just how to  take it apart for cleaning.  I took some pictures that I will send to the manufacturer on Monday and hopefully get a response this week.  They have been great in the past sending me an owners manual.  There was one on Zephyr, but I had wanted to read up on the windlass when we were in Denver.  It's not hard getting the anchor down, but I sure want to make sure I can get it back up without killing my back.  A 66 pound anchor and 225 feet of big chain would not be pleasant to haul up by hand.  Oh--my aching back!!!  Jack--the electrician has to look at it as it no longer works either.  Doesn't appear to be getting juice.  All the switches are on but the light at the main terminal isn't on. 

Jack, the electrician, came by yesterday for a few minutes.  Glad he did as the fresh water pump had failed again.  There is something wrong with a connection down there.  If you pull out the fuse and reinsert it, it will work, but not every time.  I did that and nothing.  Jack did it and it came back to life.  I let him know about the windlass.  It had worked fine in Newport--should work fine now.  He said he will be back today to again try and catch up.  With luck, maybe Robin the woodworker will show up also and work on the bow.  I'd love to see that finished as the mast is to be reinstalled on Thursday(sure hope so).

We had a nice quiet(except for the band playing down the road) evening and crashed for the night.  I'm not sure why bands think their music sounds better if you turn up the volume all the way.  We're just glad they stopped at 10pm.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Day 123 The power of the Hudson

Like I told you yesterday, the "Hudson Effect" has descended on Port Townsend.  It blew and it rained and it blew(20+ knots) and it rained(sideways) the rest of yesterday.   It stopped all outside work on Zephyr.  the fore peak--pointy end of the boats teak didn't get refitted.  It was just too nasty.  Our electrician on the other had did get some stuff done.

I started the day with a nice shower and shave.  It felt great to be clean again.  When I got back to Zephyr, Jack was just coming on board so I grabbed the laundry and took off for the washers.  Two plus hours later, when I returned, Jack had torn up and taken out lots of wires.  For some strange reason, the boat has a lot of wire on it that is normally used in homes, not in boats.  House wire is solid copper.  Boat or marine wire is multi strand copper.  Where the wires come into the boat, it is multi strand to the engine compartment and then got switched out to a solid wire to run the rest of the way over to the inverter and charger.  Jack ripped all that out and ran new heavier gauge wire--multi strand-- the rest of the way.  He just keeps shaking his head in amazement that we hadn't shorted out the entire system.  

Now keep in mind that for the most part, it had worked fine for the past 26 years.  Jack is just a different kind of electrician.  He wants everything "just so" and no less.  
 The other "Zephyr" that I have discussed in an earlier blog that limped in to Point Hudson with a blown engine is all wired in Romex!!!!  That's the wire that is used around houses that is clad in aluminum!!!  Not good for boats!!  

We weren't sure that Jack would have us reconnected to shore power as he disappeared for several hours in the afternoon.  He went to get a part and didn't come back for quite some time.  He gets way laid regularly as he is the lead electrician in the yard.  He gets more done after they close than when they are open.  It was blowing at about 20 knots so both Tracy and I went below decks--we normally stay in the cockpit while Jack is there--and hid out in the stern cabin reading.  It was strange to just sit and read--especially in bed.  Jack stayed till 5:45 to make sure we were reconnected and said he would return today in the afternoon to make up for the time he lost when he was sick.  Everyone is trying hard to get us done on schedule.

The woodworker--Robin-- that is replacing the teak on the bow didn't get it done since it was pouring.  Can't say I blame him.  He asked if it was alright to come over this weekend and get it done if the weather is nicer--ie dryer.  No problem there.  

It poured and blew well into the evening(boy we are powerful).  The boat yard had scheduled a cruise for all the employees for for late afternoon.  They have a party the last Friday of each month.  We went to the last one--new to the yard and were invited to this one also by one of the owners.  With the wind and rain--it got cancelled.   We bundled up with sweaters and coats and walked down the main street to find a place for dinner.  It had stopped raining for a bit and we chanced it.  Found a nice restaurant--The Public House.  Nice atmosphere but the food left something to be desired.  High prices for what you got and not much flavor.  Oh well, you live and you learn.   There are lots of of other places to try. 

Here are two pictures of the zincs that attach to the rudder.  The new and the partially eaten.  The ones I removed were almost gone.  Not much holding them on.  The one on the left is actually not in bad shape but will probably be replaced so we don't have to do it again before 
the next haul out.  The stray electrical current just eats away at this soft metal and leave the more valuable metal on the boat alone.   If you know, add a comment to the blog and let the 
rest of us know.

It is supposed to get to 60 this afternoon.  If it's sunny, that will be just fine.  Lots of clouds now so time will tell.  The Farmers Market is this morning so we will probably go and see if they have anything interesting.  Can't buy much since our space is still quite limited.  A few veggies wouldn't hurt.

We picked a bunch of blackberries Thursday evening and Tracy baked a Blackberry Buckle.  English desert.  We had to look hard as most aren't ripe yet.  Sure tasted good.  There are lots of bushes around here.  They are treated as weeds by most as they grow quickly and have lots of sharp thorns.  While the berries are great, keeping from getting stuck can be a challenge.  I'm not sure I would want them on our property unless it was as an intruder barrier.  It would be perfect for that.

I can actually see the sun breaking through the clouds.  Everyone here hope Mother Natures gets all this out of her system before the Wooden Boat Festival next weekend.  It would be less than pleasant.  

Friday, August 29, 2008

Day 122 Getting there.

We're getting there.  Slowly but surely.  

The bearing I had been waiting for showed up yesterday.  This allows me to complete the #48 Lewmar winch I screwed up  a while ago when I dropped it(the bearing, not the winch) over board and on to the pavement under the boat.  It took it personally and broke.  Go figure--a simple 12 foot drop.  It took two tries at getting it but all is well now.

The hailing decal--Denver, CO that has to go on the stern also showed up.  They  had sent it to our house and not the boat yard.  The great thing is that they duplicated the order and sent another "Zephyr" graphic along with it.  They had already sent the Zephyr part but had forgotten the Denver decal.  Now we have a spare "Zephyr" decal in case anything happens to the one we've already installed.

Jack--the electrician--stayed home sick yesterday as expected.  He sounded awful on Wednesday when he left.  If he shows up today, we are jumping ship as quick as we can.  We sure don't want to catch it.

Terry--the transmission guy did come back yesterday and finish the exhaust installation.  We didn't see him as we were out.  Sure hope his dog is ok.  At 14, the chances aren't good.

The "Hudson Effect" is in full swing here at Port Townsend.  We are setting records for the most amount of rain for August.  We bring it where ever we go.  I would bet that Newport is experiencing one of their best Summers since we left.  I'm not sure what will happen to the worlds climates as we travel around the earth, but if we ever get to Africa, that desert( the Sahara) on the North side of that continent could be in for real trouble.  It has started raining again just since I got to the ice cream parlor.  It's closed, but has a nice back porch I use for doing the blog in the early morning.  There are times I just can't get out and do it in the evening.

The wood worker is set to install the fore peak on Zephyr this morning.  That's the extreme front peak of Zephyr where the teak had splintered  years in the past and dry rot had set in.  He's been working on it off and on for the past few weeks.  He has also refilled the hole for the "stem fitting".  This is the piece that holds the big sail at the bow of the boat as well as the anchors.  Over the years, with the strain of sails and anchors, it had pulled the bolt that went through the hole over and over and over again and had made the hole more of an oval than round.  Now that it has been filled with epoxy, it can be re-drilled and put back to its original position.  We don't want that fitting coming loose anytime.  The mast would come crashing down.  With it raining again, I'm not sure he will do the install.

That's about it for now.  The repairs proceed and the date for launch is approaching.  Let's hope they get us done in time. 

I almost forgot, the mast and boom are still in the paint booth.  They have filled the holes in the boom and taped them off, but no paint yet.  The new spreaders are there to.  They hold the wire that make up the rigging at an angle so there is proper pressure in the wires.  Tow of our had cracks in the aluminum when we took the mast down.  Tracy had seen them when she went up the mast back in Newport.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Day 121 The hull is done!!

The weather cleared enough yesterday afternoon to allow me to do the port side hull.  All waxed and shiny as the starboard side!!  Strangely, the forward section of the starboard hull has hazed a bit and will need to have a second coat of wax applied.  Can't have Zephyr looking shabby.  

The decal for our hailing port(Denver, CO) was shipped to our house instead of the boat here in Port Townsend.  They used our billing address and not the existing shipping address.  Another is being done and shipped out. With the holiday this weekend, we don't expect it till Tuesday.  

The "pad eyes" to hold down the back stays for the mast were installed yesterday.  Lots of through deck screws with lots of sealant.  Gordon had to cut big holes inside Zephyr to gain access to areas where the bolts would go after being screwed through the deck.  They are place were it is virtually assured we will stub our toes on them.  They are huge as the load on them will be considerable.   Gordon says they could probably be used to lift Zephyr they are so big.  With their placement just outside the cockpit, we aren't sure how we will be able to have a swift entry and exit of the cockpit.  The lines that will be attached may hinder our egress.  We'll see after the lines are all attached.

They should be finishing the transmission today or tomorrow depending on how much they get done today.  The primary installer is having problems with his dog.  Fourteen and not in good health.  He took off early this morning to go see how he is doing after a call from his wife.  It's never good news when they call about your pets.

Jack-the electrician--is catching a cold.  Or, he is having a really BAD allergy attack.  He was at Zephyr till after 5:15 trying to get more thing done and sounding horrible while doing so.  Lots of sniffles and sneezes.  Add a few coughs and you've got it.  I tried to stay out of the boat and away from him.  That is the last thing we need at this point.

The word is out all over the boat yard that we are dead set on getting launched on September 8.  We are quickly running out of a weather window to get back South.  Since we still need to stop in Astoria to get the DuoGen (wind & water  electricity maker) installed,  our deadline becomes even more critical.  If we launch on the 8th, we will still need to spend several days testing and pushing every system and of course the transmission.  We don't want to break down after leaving here.

We spoke with another cruiser yesterday evening.  They have some equipment that we have been considering adding to our inventory.  A Hydrovane auto pilot.  It bolts onto the stern and will self steer the boat in all forms of wind.  BIG bucks!!  The second is a carbon fiber spinnaker pole.  This is a space age edition of the typical aluminum pole that hold the spinnaker or genoa out from the boat so it can gather more air.  Again, BIG bucks being carbon fiber.  It only weighs about 34 pounds which is its biggest advantage.

I spent the morning on odd jobs. Trying to inspect the mast and boom.  Not painted yet, but in the booth.  Talking to one of the transmission guys about extra parts we will be needing to take with us.  He highly encourages us to pack extra impellers--they pump water through the engine.  Made of rubber, they have a good chance of failing.  The other thing he recommends is a spare water pump.  We've heard of several boats having problems with theirs.  It couldn't hurt to get spares ordered in.  The tough thing is finding more space to store them till needed.  One boat we follow has had two instances of it failing in the past 3 years out cruising.  A second boat had theirs die on the way from Tahiti to American Samoa.  The engine will overheat really quickly with out it.  

I drilled special holes in our new zincs.  They attach to the rudder to keep ocean water from "eating" the other metal on  the outside of the boat.  They have to be custom drilled to allow them to be place over the bolts hat help attach the rudder to the boat.  It takes four to do it right.  We have tat many hand ordered eight more for backups down the road.  As they disintegrate, you need new ones normally at the worst time.  Better to have them as we haven't seen the type we need anywhere before getting to Port Townsend.

The kids are still upset about being kept in confinement during the day and really want out after the workmen leave.  Shadow really likes the stern cabin and Snowshoe just likes being out in any cabin.  Blue just wants outside.  At least when it's raining, she will stay in the cockpit where it's dry.  

Beef fondue is on the docket for dinner.  YUM!!!  

  

 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day 120 Off to Sequim again.

We took off for Sequim again.  More errands to do.  Tracy needed to get her hair fixed as the last place screwed up the coloring.  Didn't get it all the way down to the skin and she wasn't happy with it.  I walked errands while she was getting it done.  Office Depot, Costco, Walmart, all in the general vicinity.  Bought a new set of wrenches at Costco.  I didn't have a set of box wrenches on board.  Now I do.  I hope they will resist the ravages of seawater and salt.  I'll have to make sure I put a thin coat of oil on them before they get put away.

The hair person really took her time with Tracys hair.  Enough that we missed the 12:40 bus back to Port Townsend.  The next one was at 3:50 so we had a good bit of time to kill.  Wandered around and window shopped.  We did get a new DS video game system from Nintendo for those time at night when you are on watch and want something to do that will keep the mind busy and not wanting to go to sleep.  With the games at $20.00 plus, we won't be buying many of them.  The boat yard  and rigger want our money more.

When we got back, Jack--the electrician was still going at it.  He had to visit the dentist earlier so he was making up for lost time.  We toured the boats in the marina and then went to dinner at a GREAT Chinese restaurant here at the marina.  Some of the best pork fried rice I have ever had.

It started raining just after that so we walled ourselves into Zephyr and stayed warm.

Today, more adventures in workmen!! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day 119 Workmen everywhere!


The push has started!!  We had workmen everywhere.  The transmission guys showed up at 7:15 and went at it.  We had to take the dodger(cover over the cockpit) down so they could get it onto the boat and down companionway(doorway-nautical term).  We promptly left the boat to allow them full access without us being there.  By the time we came back--1:00 it was in.  At least almost.  Still some mounting blocks to put in but we're a whole lot farther on than we were.

The electrician came sometime during the morning and started in also.  He's tracking and connecting all the wires he has put in over the past month.  We still have no power in most of our systems but he must be getting closer--right?

Gordon, one of the riggers came by to install the running back stay plates but with so many 
workmen about,  he pretty much gave up and will come back later in the week.  They don't have to be installed till the rigging is ready to go up. 

The photo at right is a reflection of myself from the hull of Zephyr.  I waxed the starboard(right) side of the hull yesterday during the sunny part of the day.  It's now so shiny, I can see myself.  She sure looks beautiful.  I hope to get the port-left-side done today, again, weather permitting.

We're still waiting for parts.  Some have shipped, but not here yet.

Got to go now as I have to get Tracy up before the workmen show up.  She doesn't get up easily early in the morning.  She likes the weekends when she can sleep in. 


Monday, August 25, 2008

Day 118 Soggy day yesterday

It was a soggy day yesterday.  The weather people actually got it right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   They had forecast cloudy morning and afternoon showers.  Amazingly, they were right on the mark.  The rain started just after noon and continued till after sunset.

I was off in the morning to get the rags and cloth bonnets for the waxer washed.  At $2.25 a piece, it is cheaper to clean them than buy new.  I had bought several over the course of doing Zephyrs hull but hadn't gotten them washed as the laundromat at the marina has a sign that says you can;t do them here.  So off to downtown I went to the cities only laundromat.  Went clear to the back of the place and got them done.  We haven't used their machines as it $2.50 per load and 25 cents get you 10 minutes on the driers.  It can add up fast.  Plus the marinas machines are a lot less.  It started to sprinkle as I was leaving the laundromat but not enough to get me soaked on the short distance I have to walk to the bus and from the bus to Zephyr.  Tracy had called me and offer to meet me at he bus stop with my foul weather jacket, but I saw no reason to have her come out and get wet.  I won't melt.

The rest of the day was just sit and read or watch movies on the TV.  When you are cooped up inside a boat, it can get boring.  We're just glad we have the cockpit enclosure.  The kids like to sit out there and snooze.  We've found most of their exit routes and have clogged them with extra canvas so they can't get out.  It sure frustrates Blue to no end.  

Today is a bit up in the air at this point.  Not sure who will be on board.  the transmission guys, the electrician, or the rigger installing the new pad eyes for the running back stays.  It is supposed to get better as the day goes by so we will be able to find a place to hide out.  With luck, some of the parts I ordered will be in today and I can get them installed.  I still need to dismantle the windlass(pulls up the anchor) and get the oil changed.  All part of the maintenance that need to be continually checked and fixed. 

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Day 117 The hull is done--almost.

I finished the hull, at least as far as the rubbing compound goes.  It looks great!!! Back to it's original deep rich blue color.  The bad thing is that it is to rain for the next few days and I can't get the wax on.  With it being so humid, it would never dry, much like the rubbing compound.  It will just have to wait I guess.

We got the new "Zephyr" decal on the yesterday afternoon.  It takes quite a bit of prep to make the surface just right so it will accept it.  All wax has to be removed and the the surface has to be washed in denatured alcohol.  Spray the decal as well as the hull in a soapy water solution and then put it on and smooth it out.  Of course, you first have to try getting it in place--centered and level--which can be great fun at the top of an 8 foot ladder.  Doesn't help that the surface is also convex and not flat.  It took a while but Tracy got it perfect.  I'll post so pictures once the hailing port letters get here.  they forgot to send them.

We went to the local farmers market yesterday afternoon.  Lots of vendors with not only grocery items but jewelry, craft items and food.  Unfortunately, we got there just before they closed so we couldn't browse a lot.  We'll try again next weekend.  

Another gathering of a boat clan this weekend.  Some Westsail sail boats showed up for the gathering.  Apparently, they stopped making them in the late 70's.  Interesting to see the evolution of  boats from 30 years ago.  The biggest change I see is their layouts.  How much teak was used back then as to now.  It is almost cost prohibitive now.  Boats that have wood go more for cherry and holly than teak.

We had a nice dinner of beef fondue with a great bottle of wine.  It's been  while since we've had it.  Like most couples that got married back in the 70's we received several sets and still use them.  Make for a nice intimate dinner that you just can't rush through.

Well, time to get back to the boat and see what we can get accomplished today.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Day 115 Joan's Revenge?

With all that has been going on for the past month, we think a better name for Zephyr is "Joan's Revenge"(Tracys mother).  It almost seems that each day the boatyard comes up with something new that needs replacing.  Today was the VHF antenna.  They had told us the other day that it was undersized for off shore duty.  The range isn't big enough.  We told them to just put it back on and we would deal with it later as we have three handheld radios to supplement the built in radio.  Today they come and tell us the the antenna is"burned out".  They aren't sure why, just that it won't function any more and need to be replaced.  Add that on to a month with the electrician still shaking his head each day and we just know that Joan is looking "up" at us from where she is and making sure we don't get to enjoy ourselves.  We've told people for years that this was our plan once she passed away.  We don't think to many people believed us. 

Our new transmission came in late yesterday afternoon.  It has been painted and is ready for installation.  With luck, they will get to it next week.   They are currently installing a engine on another boat called Zephyr that came in a day before us.  The owner of that boat isn't staying onboard so we get a bit of preferential treatment.  They expect to take about a day to get it(the transmission) in and all aligned.  Let's try three days.  Nothing in this yard happens in one day. 

Our electrician is still going strong.  Both alternators have now been installed and aligned so they will run true.  Apparently, they were at an angle to the engine and it caused some wear and tear on the bearings and the fan belts.   He has wired in the battery monitor that we had sent back for inspection and repair.  There was nothing wrong with it so back it went with lots of new wires attached.  He's planning on working on the ground wires next week that attach to the engine.  After that, who knows.  We've given the yard a "drop dead" date of September 8th as the last day for any installation.  We want to be in the water and ready to do testing on all the new circuits and the transmission, not to mention the rigging.

Our rigger cut several holes in Zephyrs cabin today so that "pad eyes"(rings mounted to the deck that will hold the new running rigging) can be installed with backing plates.  The last thing you want is for them to pull out when under the strain of the sails.  They go in next week.  The great thing is that in cutting holes in Zephyr, he found several areas that had been dead space that can be opened up to give us more storage.  There is a huge area above the workbench that will be a great addition for storage.  

We spent the morning at Safeway catching up on emails and researching the web for more equipment.  Tracy is trying to find a  tour company to get us to Victoria so we can see a special garden there next weekend as that may be our last weekend here, other than the wood boat show weekend.  

We had lunch at the restaurant(Silverwater) that the boat yard had given us the gift certificate to.  Nice place but they got both our orders wrong.  Tracy got the wrong item and I didn't get everything I ordered.  The best part is that when we gave them the gift certificate, they gave us cash back instead of simply logging how much we had used and use the rest on another visit.  We had checked with them a few days ago about using the certificate and there was no problem with us using only a portion of it.  We don't understand why they did it that way.  It would have been better for them to have us come back and use it rather than giving us cash back.  Now, we can eat elsewhere.

This afternoon, it was nice and sunny so I started back on polishing the hull.  Some of the stains were stubborn so I didn't quite get done.  About 8 feet to go.  Tomorrow, we can install the new lettering on the stern so Zephyr will be back to being herself.  I'd taken a shower earlier today and now I'm back to my dirty self.  I've got lots of blue dust from cleaning the hull.  I'll be back in the shower stall tomorrow after the hull is done.  It's nice to feel clean sometimes. 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Day 114 Part Two Off to Sequim

We're sitting at the park n ride at Sequim (pronounced "Squim") as I type this.  The Sun has finally come out and it has become a lovely day.  Nice a cool with a slight breeze.  

The trip over was great.  I had a newspaper to read.  My first in several weeks.  Same old same old.  The news never changes--at least not that much.  Now that the primaries are over here, they can get down to the real name calling.  For those of you that don't know it, Washington state has started a new primary style.  It doesn't matter what party you are in.  The two people that have the largest percentage of votes in the primary are who is going to be on the ballot in November.   It could be two Democrats, or two Republicans.  Not necessarily one from each party.  The party that isn't represented in the fall is upset and there were a few races where the two party system has fallen to the wayside.  The top two survive.  The same two candidates that ran for governor four years ago are going at it again.

We found the Science Diet for the kids at Petco so they will be happy tonight.  They will have food for quite a while.  I got my hairs cut.  Boy I sure got bushy over the past few weeks.  I'm back to a nice "republican" haircut.  Short in back and off the ears.  My hippy days are over again.  AH--the 60's.  At least then I didn't have to worry about a bald spot on the back of my head--thanks Mom--you could have passed on something different.  I didn't need your hips either.

We had a late lunch at Costco--free bratwurst, rootbeer, ham sandwiches, pepperoni sticks, dry roasted soy nuts, and ice cream with chocolate sauce.  Boy the free samples can really add up.  we stocked up on AA and C cell batteries for Zephyr.  Since we still don't have lights other than a 110 volts light, we rely on flashlights and they love batteries.  

Jack is still working on the wiring and getting us put back together again.  The hard part is over, now it is pretty much reconnect the wires and wind out what goes where.  He has a project for us this weekend.  He is going to label a bunch of wires for us to rip out.  Not sure what or where they go to but out they will come. 

Gordon, the rigger, is going to work on the mast some more today.  New pad eyes for the running back stays.  Where we had metal wires before, now we will have what is called "running back stays".  These are lines that will take the place of the wires and will control the mast as well as the sail shape by how much tension is placed on the line.  It will connect to the decks with a series of block and tackles so each side can be tightened individually.  It's all new to us so there will be a learning curve to get up to speed on it.  They did the rigging for our spinnaker pole yesterday.  We now have a "car" that will travel up and down the mast so we can better control the spinnaker.  Now we don't even own a spinnaker pole, but we will be set once we do.  Since we have never flown the spinnaker, we thought we should do that first before buying the pole.  A carbon fiber one--the lightest made is only $4000.  First learn the sail, then learn the pole.  We can get it before we leave the US.

We're off for Port Townsend.  By the time we get back, the workmen will be gone for the day and we will have peace and quiet again.   

Day 114 Accounting for the bill

We got a general accounting for what we owe so far for Sea Marine.  Not good, but not as bad as we had expected.  We're closing in on the 5 figure range--real fast.  The majority is labor cost of course.  At between $60 & $75 per hour, it adds up fast.  It took three days to get it but it's not like we are going anywhere.

More rain yesterday.  It's been dry so they needed it.

The graphics came for Zephyrs stern.  They forgot to put in the "Denver, CO" for our hailing port that has to be on the stern so they are shipping that today.  It's a bit too cold to apply it so we will wait for the weekend when it is supposed to be warmer. 

We stopped in at West Marine for some 1/2" webbing to mark the anchor chain.  It will be stitched through the links at set intervals so we will know how far out the chain has gone.  Add paint to the links and  we will be able to tell, night and day what is being let out.

Stopped by the local "Pet Store" to look for Science Diet for the kids.  They don't carry it so we are off to Sequim t
o find it this afternoon.  40 minutes there and 40 back plus finding the local Petco so that will kill the rest of the day.  

Other than that, we kept a low profile to stay out of Jacks way.  Read and sat in the cockpit enclosure.  We can't go into the main cabin since Jack is working there.

Here's a picture of my cleaning of the hull.  The bow sure looks better than the rest.  Unfortunately, it has been so damp that the rubbing compound won't dry so it just smears as I try and get it off.  While it look pretty good, it will still require a good buffing and then a coat of wax.  The weekend is coming.

That's about it for yesterday.  Now it's off on a field trip.  The kids must eat!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Day 113 Answers so comments

We got several "comments" about yesterdays post.  The first was "Has this worked out the way you planned.  From a money, time, and equipment perspective".   Heck no it hasn't.  We had expected to be in Port Townsend back in June and out by early July so we could enjoy the islands and get some valuable sailing experience in before we truly set out.   Instead, we got side tracked by weather--big winds from the North--the way we needed to go.  Assorted breakdowns in equipment--expected in a 26 year old boat.  Delays by our rigger getting called out of town for 5 weeks.  All these things set us back time wise.  Money wise, the normal formula after you buy an older boat is to expect to spend 50% of what you bought it for to get her into the condition you want her to be.  By the time we leave here, we will be at that or over that figure.  Do I regret having to spend that kind of money, sure who wouldn't but I have very valuable cargo on board and the prudent person does what they can to make sure that while they are out there--there is no AAA that you can call--that they start out as safely as possible with good quality equipment.  

Did we enter into this with our eyes open--YES!!  We knew that there were things that would need replacing and tweaking.  There is on any boat.  The standing rigging--holds the mast up--was original.  After 26 years out in the elements, it had to be changed no matter what any rigger said and the "rigger" that inspected it in Newport said it was fine.  You try standing out in the wind, rain, sun, etc for 26 years and see how you feel.  The electrical system was a bit of a surprise but when ever you add more things onto a boat, circuits and systems need changing and updating.  As to the transmission going, yes, that was a bit of a surprise but if it had to go, where better than here where I can get help and lots of it.  Sure beats having it die at some backwater island in the South Pacific where there is no one to help and parts are few and far between.

Yes, we have spent and will be spending a lot more money on Zephyr, but a lot of it is money for new equipment not repairs--safety stuff--EPIRB--so they can find us if something goes wrong, top of the line life raft,  VHF radios,  SSB radio for long distance communications, wind electric generator just to name a few of what we have added. All necessary things in our opinion.   The rest we consider an investment in our future as safe cruisers.  The last thing we want to happen is the mast to come crashing down in the midst of a big gale or the engine to give up the ghost.   

Lots of people think the "cruising" life style is all fun and games--bring on the "Pina Coladas" and "hey, how's the tan coming".  It's not that.  IT'S WORK!!!  A boat is a living thing.  It moves unlike a house that just sits.  Every time she moves, there is stress on systems and circuits.  Before any trip, the entire boat has to be gone thru and checked, from the top of the mast to the through hulls.  Every wire, every hose, everything has to be checked.  We have a check list of what need to be attended to before we ever leave the dock and fully expect it to get much longer as time goes by.  We are following a family of four across the Pacific.  On their last run from Tahiti to American Samoa, their refrigeration system died and all their food that they had planned for the trip either had to be eaten or thrown overboard.  Their engine kept overheating and couldn't be run for any kind of time.  These are all things that can happen as miles pass under you hull.  Each unexpected but expected--just not if but when.   

A time will come when we can look back on this refit and be glad we did it.  We would prefer to be out sailing but our time will come.  OK, that ramble is over.  Boy, I sure can get wordy can't I? 



The second comment was about things to do in Newport, Oregon.  We appreciate the input as we had spent May, June and most of July in Newport, but now we are in Port Townsend, WA.  With luck, we will get back to Newport by late September.  We've been to the Aquarium and loved it.
Yesterday was overcast with lots of intermittent rain.  We spent the morning at Safeway doing the blog and checking emails.  Then shopping for food and back to Zephyr with arms loaded.  We had a nice lunch of the marinated chicken I had barbecued the previous day.  Tasted great.  Off to the showers to get cleaned up and then watch the riggers install the new mast head on the mast.   A great big piece of metal that will hold our sails aloft.  A true work of art.

It rained through the evening and through the night.  We had put the cockpit canvas enclosure back up to protect us from the elements.  The kids can stay out there all they want since we got it fixed.  No more broken zippers.  Makes a nice sun room when the weather is nice and a great "porch" when its not.

The electricians are encouraging us to change out the VHF radio antenna as they don't feel it is "off shore" quality.  Now I have more research to do.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day 112 Where to hide?

Where to hide?  We are due for rain for the next few days and if we stay in the boat while Jack is there, he will want to chat as he works.  This tends to slow things down and at $75.00 per hour, that is the last thing we want to have happen.  It's currently foggy and totally overcast.  We're due for about a 1/2 inch of rain today and more tomorrow.  I may have complained about the heat, but it's still better than rain and overcast skies.  At least then, we didn't have to find a place to hide.

Out next door boat went back in the water late yesterday afternoon.  He has been working on his boat for the past 4 YEARS!!!  The last 2 years--8 hours a day--every day!!!  He has seen his wife two weeks in the past year.  Now that is a man driven to get his boat ready to go cruising.  He had a nice ceremony at launching as he had changed the name of his boat.  It's a Canadian registered boat and there can be only one of each boat name in all of Canada.  Since the previous name was taken by another boat, he renamed his "Te".  I've seen at least 5 Zephyrs since we have been here in Point Hudson.  Never before but lots now.  We wish Don and his wife all the best and "fair winds".

I started polishing the starboard side of Zephyr yesterday but it was so humid and moist here the rubbing compound wouldn't dry.  Every time I rubbed it to get it off, it just smeared  it around.  It took four times--each with a new cloth to get it off.  I'm going to wait till it gets a bit dryer and warmer before I continue.  It may have come off, but it sure doesn't look as good as what I did the other day.  No where near as glossy a surface.

We met with the boat yard coordinator  yesterday to work on our schedule and get a preliminary breakdown of our charges so far.  We should  have it some time this week.  We are a bit nervous to say the least.  At least the credit cards are paid off so we can load them up and get more airline miles.  Not a consolation, but at least we will get something for having all this work done.  After three weeks here, we figure the bill will be a wopper.

Jack got the alternators in yesterday after a bit of colorful language and cuts on his hand(just wrapped them in electrical tape and kept on working).  We're not sure what is on the schedule for today.  While installing the alternators yesterday, he came upon a bracket to mount one.  It was slightly bent.  Now Jack is a perfectionist and that just wouldn't do.  So off to the metal shop to have it straightened.   He was quite proud that he got the kink out of the metal.  When he went to install it, he found that the kink-or bend- in the bracket was to allow it to ride over a bold attached to the engine.  again, more colorful language.  Opps!  We left at that point to see Te launch and when we came back he was gone for the day and the alternator was in.  He actually got both in so he will be on to another part of our wiring today.  We just have to find a place to hide.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Day 111 The work week starts all over again

It's Monday and the workman should start converging on Zephyr again.  At least we had two days of quiet.  It gets a bit old having workman in your home everyday.  One of the worst things is not knowing if or when they might show up.  You strip the rooms you figure they will be working on and then either they don't show or it's only for two hours or they work on something totally different that didn't need for us to strip a room.  Don't get me wrong,  I'm glad that they show up, I would just like to see them go at it for a solid 8 hours instead of the 30 minutes here and there plus the phone calls from other people in the yard that need his help.  We could have bee done a week ago if they had just left him alone.

Yesterday was the day to start on polishing the port--left side--of the hull.  The blue paint had oxidized and needed a good shot at rubbing compound to bring it back to its glory.  I started at 10am and quit at 4:00.  The first side is done.  I think it will take a second shot of it just to make sure she is where she needs to be and then the wax.  After I was done with that, I took off for the hardware store to get more of the special bonnets that go on the buffer.  I can't do one without the other.   Today, the starboard--right--side.  The weather was perfect yesterday for the job.  Slightly overcast and cool with just a bit of wind.  I hope today is the same.

After I got back, I barbecued a bunch of chicken that we had bought at Costco.  All nicely marinated.  Now we have lots for the up coming week.

Tracy took the day off to rest her sorry bones, muscles and joints.  God bless Motrin.  She is really feeling the muscle ache of all her work.  It SUCK getting older.

I'm sitting outside the back of the ice cream parlor.  They don't open for a few hours so there are no kids screaming and running around.  Nice to have the peace and quiet.  Now it's back to work.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Day 110 Early to bed, early to rise.

An early post since I missed last night.  Hot and tired.

We had guests yesterday afternoon so we spend a good bit of time putting Zephyr back together again.  As is always the case, with workmen all over the place, things don't get put back where they should.  Since we will be here for at least three more weeks, we put covers back on lot of things outside on deck.  The teak as well as all the plastic windows on the dodger.  We want to keep them as nice as possible.

The guests we had were a couple that recently bought another Liberty 458 and wanted to see the original.  They had contacted me from via email from the address I have at the yahoo sight dedicated to Liberties.  I'd made comments about being in Point Hudson and they live about 90 minutes South of us.  One of their first comments after looking Zephyr over was "We've been thru 5-6 Liberties including a 49 and none have look as good as Zephyr".  Kudos the Bill and Susan who took such great care of her over the past many years.  They have done a great job!!

There were a few differences in our boats.  The galley and heads were arranged differently and they have a desk in the bow where we have two berths.  Their storage for fuel and water is less than half of what ours is--100 gallons of water and the same in fuel.  No where near enough.  They have added a water maker to take up the slack.  They also installed bow thrusters for better control as you dock and two air conditioners.  They don't have a generator so I'm not sure how they will run them unless they are at a dock on shore power.  It was nice seeing other people that have an interest in our type of boat.  Amazingly, they have never sailed before and are just learning--taking classes.  This is a lot of boat for the novice.  I'm not sure it is where I would start, but hey, Liberties are forgiving boats when you screw things up.  Been there--done that.

Other than a trip to West Marine for some teak cleaner and rubbing compound for the hull cleaning, we took it easy.  Tracy is beginning to feel the effects of all the hard work she has been doing.  Her joints and muscles are really bothering her.  With luck, I'll get her to take an actual day off today.  It is supposed to be cooler which will help.

There is a convention of Island Packet boats here this weekend.  About 25 of them.  Nice people and nice (insert expensive) boats.  I hope to talk more with them this morning.  And there is cannon fire and rum jello shots going around.

I just wish the Ice Cream parlor where I do this at night had better ice cream.  Better for my waist line that it doesn't.
 

Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 108 The end is in sight--depending who you talk to.

The end is in sight.  Maybe.  Early today, Brion Toss--rigger--told us that he was planning on re-stepping the mast next Tuesday.  YEAH!!!  We told our electrician--Jack.  He said that was impossible as it needed to be rewired and two of his electricians were out sick plus the woodworker that is redoing the teak at the bow is out sick and that project isn't done.  Off he went to talk to the big bosses.  Came back later and said the mast would be rewired on Monday.  He just didn't have to do it.  We were still on track for Tuesday.  Then Brion came back and said it was Wednesday since the mast and boom needed to be repainted and the paint wouldn't be cured enough to be handled by Tuesday.  Brion came back later in the day and said there was a problem with getting the crane to raise the mast.  The two men that are certified to raise it were going on vacation for two weeks starting on--you guessed it--Wednesday!!!  Now we are set for a date of September 4!!!  The reservations  are in for the crane so it can be done as soon as they return from vacation.  They think one of the operators may be back sooner and if so, we will have it raised sooner(insert "fell off turnip truck" here).

In all actuality, this may work out ok.  The transmission is still on order and not due in for about ten days from now and installation will take a few days.  We talked to Jack--the electrician as he was leaving for the weekend as to how far he was on getting poor Zephyr rewired.  On a 1 to 100 with one just starting and 100 all done.  He said we were at 75-80 on that scale.  Of course, we have no lights, no electronics, virtually nothing that runs on battery power.  We are into the stage of the wiring is just about done, now the mop up begins with connecting all the circuits.  It's about the best news we had all week.

The bad thing is that after Jack is done with the wiring, we still have the SSB radio--for global communications--to be installed.  He thinks that will probably take another week.  

If everything falls into place, everything will should finish up at about the same time.  Two more weeks on the electrical and SSB.  Three days to install the transmission.  A few more for the mast and rigging and there you go--September 4th.  In these situation, one must be an optimist.   If not, you cry a lot.   I forgot to mention that there is a big Wooden Boat Festival starting on the 5th so no slips will be available to put Zephyr into after we get her all rigged and ready.  It goes from the 5th to the 7th.

Even after Zephyr is back in the water, there is an adjustment time for her hull and systems.  Once in the water, the hull will reconfigure itself back to where it was when we were pulled out since water will be compressing the hull.  The cracks will close and the rigging will need to be adjusted.  You can't do that when she is out of the water as the hull isn't in it regular configuration.   All systems have to be checked and rechecked to make sure they work properly--not only the rigging, but all the electronic and battery systems.  With all the work that has been done to Zephyr, we figure it will take about a week to go thru everything.  We will be out sailing and trying everything.

Tracy started washing down the hull this afternoon so we can start polishing her tomorrow if the weather is cooler.  We have the rubbing compound and the electric buffer so it will take a lot less time. 

There is a convention of Island Packet sailors this weekend here at Point Hudson.  Now Island Packets aren't your normal boats.  These are built for deep water cruising, not just your occasional weekend sail.  They are big and made to take the punishment that comes with blue water sailing.  We wandered the docks talking to many of the owners this evening.  Very nice people.  A nice change from the Latitudes & Attitudes folks of last weekend.  While they were nice people, they are best described as "bikers on boats".  Tomorrow, I figure we will tour the docks some more and meet more of them and swap stories. 

With the weather supposed to be cooling off over the next few days,  we will be able to get more work done on Zephyr.  It's been quite hot and very sunny.  I have the best tan I've had in years.  Of course, since I've already had a bout with skin cancer, that's not necessarily a good thing.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 107 Boy, it's hot here


It's really hot here today.  With only one small fan for the boat, the kids are not a happy bunch.  Snowshoe is really suffering.  He keeps changing floor boards to lie on.  As one gets hot, he moves to another.  I'm off to get more fans tomorrow since it is supposed to get even hotter.

Nobody showed up today to work on the boat.  Not sure why.  Jack, the electrician was all set up to install the alternators but we never saw him.  We had Zephyr all set so he could get right to work.  Maybe tomorrow.

I spent some of this morning ordering more parts--more zincs for the propeller.  These protect the propeller from literally eaten by the ocean.  There is stray electrical current flowing thru the seas and it attacks metal on boats, eating it.  If I don't have zincs installed on Zephyr, it could eat a great deal of the metal that is exposed under the boat.  I also ordered the roller bearing for the winch that I dropped a few days ago.  It has to go in on a stock order so it might not arrive for up to six weeks.  I think I'll try another company tomorrow.

I washed out the old battery boxes that got switched out yesterday.  We will be using them to keep thing dry in the "garage".  It gets quite a bit of water in rough seas.

I finally tackled the last winch this afternoon.  All done.  No problems.  Now they are all done and I can concentrate on polishing Zephyrs hull.  The blue needs a bit of polishing to bring it back to it's glory.  After seeing the stern, Wow, what a difference some rubbing compound makes.  

Tracy did the laundry today.  Lots of loads.  Now we're set up with nice clean clothes.  For all these years, all we had to do was walk downstairs and boom, they were done.  We've always had a washer/dryer in the house.  Now, we search them out to see who is cheapest and closest.

Brion--the rigger came by this afternoon to invite us over to see how our new shrouds(the wires that hold the mast vertical) were going to be made.  He uses a company named Hayn.  He really likes their fittings.  I have to admit, they looked like jewels.  A simple fitting really,  twist the stainless wires apart, put in a cone that holds them apart.  Then tighten the fitting that has the fitting on it that holds it onto the boat.  he also put in some 3M goo that acts as a thread locker so they won't come undone.  No machine that compresses the fitting.  Those fittings could break if there is too much pressure applied to them.  I've got some pictures, but the host website won't allow me to upload them.  Maybe tomorrow.

We brought all the line back on Zephyr after getting them all washed out.  They had been soaked in saltwater on the trip up.  Now they are nice and dry and ready to go back into storage for another day.

Tomorrow, I'll be taking some of the hardware off the deck that Brion is planning on replacing.  No reason to pay him for something I can do.  We can't wait to get back in the water and have some fun!



Sure hope it cools down tonight. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 106 Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

After last nights post, I'm sure you were all eagerly awaiting the picture of the beautiful prop on Zephyr.  As you can see, she is now a beautiful jewel on our stern.  Lots of polishing and buffing and she is back to what she is meant to be.  Nice and shiny.  I've already had people come up and ask me about it.

We worked on the stern this afternoon trying to get the goo off that was left after the letters were stripped off.  We tried every chemical known to man--or woman for that matter.  What it finally 
took was not so much the chemical but what I rubbed the chemical with.  Tracy suggested one of those "scotch brite" pads.  With lots of chemical and the pad, with lots of rubbing, it finally cut thru it.  After that, we used rubbing compound twice with a power buffer and she was good as new.  We've already ordered new letters and they should be here next week.  The old letters had been weathering and needed replacing.  

The electrician finally came by late this afternoon  and installed the two remaining battery boxes.  Now they will be nice and secure.  They screw down from the outside instead of from the inside so there is no way for stray acid to get out.  The lids also screw down to the case so we are now secure.  Tomorrow, the alternators are set for installation.

The wood worker that is repairing the bow is well on his way to completion.  He keeps coming by the boat to check the angles and position of the new teak to make sure it will be a snug fit.  It takes a lot of cutting to get it just right.  We don't want it to split again.

The transmission guys found the last part today that they needed.  Now we just have to wait for everything to arrive and have it installed. 

Nothing new from the rigger today.  I'm sure the parts are arriving daily.  The boom is just about done.  Can't wait to see how he has redone the lines that are used with it.  Lots of new reefing points(used to make the sail smaller when a  big blow comes up) with lines running inside as well as outside the boom.

Another Liberty owner has sent us an email that he wants to stop by and see us.  He is a new owner but we have alerted him to our sordid history.  We are the black sheep of the Liberty clan.  Most of you know our boats history but for those who don't, ours was the first boat built, but the owners of the company got cheated by the person who bought it--they didn't pay any commission.  While we are a Liberty, we can't call ourselves one.  Legal stuff.

Tomorrow, back to the last winch.  Or maybe start on the sides of Zephyr.  Since the stern came out so well. 

 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 105 Out with the old, but we don't have the new

Today, they took out the old transmission.  Took all morning to get it leveraged out a long with four big guys.  Out she came and over came the "cherry picker" and over she went.  The new one "should" be here in about ten days.  Sure hope so.  Meanwhile, they will be changing the water lines as vibration has caused a severe amount of chafe in them.  The diesel line to our heater is being replaced as it isn't up to "code".  Not really sure what code is but they sure are finding a lot that isn't up to it.  As always--better safe than sunk.  A broken water hose to the engine would let in enough water to quickly achieve that and a broken diesel line could quickly make us a charred hull in nothing flat.

The second alternator has been rebuilt.  They both go in tomorrow.  With the transmission men taking up most of the morning, our electrician only had a few hours to work this afternoon.  More wires and connections.   He is making progress but has revised his "job estimate" by several days.  He doesn't have a "finish" date yet.  He just keeps on working and 
muttering "why did they do that?"

The last thru hull(the wrong one they cut out) got installed today.  A beautiful piece of bronze.  It will work just fine.

The woodworker that is replacing the teak at the bow reinforced the fiberglass area that had taken a beating with lots of epoxy until it is nice and flat and hard as a rock.  The teak has arrived so he will start milling it and getting it finished so it matches the existing teak that is up there.  If you look closely at the photo, you can see a hole just below the teak.  This hole is for one of the bolts that keeps the "stem fitting" (holds the anchor as well as the genoa sail to the boat) attached to the boat.  It is now an oval and no longer round like most holes.  The stresses on the rigging as the boat was sailed caused it to enlarge so it will be filled with epoxy and re-drilled when the rigging is ready.  It's amazing what gets found when you take off hardware.

Our dodger(canvas that covers the cockpit) came back this afternoon.  All re-stitched with new zippers and seams.  Now we have a nice tight enclosure to protect us when we stick ourselves where we shouldn't be--like our trip up the coast to get here.  It was strange not having it over the past few days.

Now that most of the extra workers are done and we are back to just the electrician, I can get the last winch done.  I have already done it's twin sister so on the starboard side so there won't be any surprises.  At least I hope not.  The small bearing I ordered to replace the one I just happened to drop and brake came yesterday.  In true fashion--it is the wrong one.  I called Lewmar again and she emailed me a schematic of the winch--circa 1982.  I found the right number and place another order with one of their retailers.  Hey guess what, they don't have it in stock and will have to check with Lewmar to see if it's available(yep, it is--at least according to Lewmar when I called them) and how much it will cost.  Not like I can say no, I don't want it.

The mast is at Sea Marine for repainting.  The new set of spreaders(holds the wires off the mast when it is vertical on the boat) should be in in a few days.  They had cracks in the aluminum so they needed replacing.

Now, I know that Zephyr will be a better boat when all these men are done with her, but as for her new and improved sailing ability.  Heck how would we know.  In the year we have owned her, we have only sailed her maybe 5 miles and that was with Bill and Susan Gardner when we were on a test sail to Point Roberts.  Other than that, we have motored the heck out of her.  Either there was no wind, or it was coming from the wrong direction.  We have nothing to compare her new abilities to.  All this new rigging will make sailing her a dream and so much easier for Tracy to handle, but it is a shame we never got to experience Zephyr in her original condition.  I would have loved to see what she felt like then.  Neither of us can wait till the day we get to launch her and put her thru her paces.  I can hardly wait to push that macerator button in the forward head and not have it shut off the radar and chartplotter.  I still don't think it is supposed to do that.;-)

We worked on the propeller today.  Lots of sandpaper to get all the marine growth off her.  We started with 100 grit, then 150, then 220, the 300 and finished with 400 grit paper.  Tomorrow, we will use a special polish made for bronze.  She will be back to her beautiful self again.  Stay tuned for pictures tomorrow.

We ordered new vinyl letters for Zephyr today.  The old ones kept fading as we polished her hull.  They should be here in about a week.  By then, I should have the glue residue off the stern.  I've used rubbing compound, acetone, 3M adhesive remover, goo gone and a razor blade.  All with out much success.  Tomorrow, I will try another liquid I found tonight at the hardware store.  Eventually, I'll get rid of it.

Tomorrow is another day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day 104 Worker Bees abound

Worker bees showed up this morning just after 7am. 

First was the thru hull installer.  Then the transmission man.  Then the wood worker that is rebuilding the forepeak--that's the area right at the bow of the boat.  The wood had suffered a blow some time in her life and dry rot had begun to set in.  You couldn't tell by looking at her until the stem fitting--that's what hold the anchor in place--was removed.  She got bonked real bad some time in her life.  He has ripped out about two feet of teak on the starboard side.  

The thru hull installer patched the area where he removed the good thru hull so a new one could be installed later.  He's waiting for the goop he put on to cure properly.  Some kind of epoxy putty.  The three that needed replacing were done today.  I replaced some of the hoses so that it won't stink in the future.  The hoses need to be replaced every 5 years.

The transmission guy ripped out lots of thing just to get to the transmission.  We have parts spread all over the aft deck.  The transmission gets formally yanked tomorrow at about 7:30am.  We folded up the dodger--holds the canvas over the cockpit area--so they can get it out.  They figure it will take a forklift to get it off the boat and off to the chiropractor for all the workmen that are doing it.  They found nothing else wrong with any of the other fittings.  Great news!!  Better they find nothing than find something else.

The teak repairman has made templates for the repair and talked to the yards finisher so that he can stain it the matching color of the existing wood.  It will match perfectly.

We stayed off the boat today as much as possible so we didn't interfere with them.  With the transmission man working in the main cabin, our electrician worked on another boat today.  But he will be back tomorrow.  More parts for him should have come in today.  We'll have it ready for him after the transmission is gone.

The cloth dodger (cloth that covers the cockpit) is ready to come home.  We had it all re-stitched and new zippers installed.  All had been weathered and needed replacement.

I picked up some sanding disks for the bronze propeller.  I want to get her back nice and shiny the way she was when we launched her last year.

Today started out cloudy but cleared out about 11am.  it made for a lovely day.

The local newspaper reported on the Latitudes & Attitudes" party over the weekend.  Front page news!!  They claimed that 1500 people and over 100 boats were there.  The marina only has 34 slips plus space for maybe 30 more if they tie up side by side.  We saw maybe 150 people and no where near that many boats.  You couldn't fit that many boats in this marina if they were lined up in a row.   I'm not sure where they got their information but they should check their facts again.  Ah--the joys of the fifth estate!! 

The hardest part of being "on the hard" is washing the dishes.   There is no place for the gray water to go when you are done with it.  Tracys washed several loads of dishes at the restroom.  You have to go with the flow and cope as best you can.  We will be back in the water soon enough.

Out rigger came by today.  Everything is on order and should be here in a few days.  The new mast head--the part that goes at the top of the mast is on order and will take the longest to get in.  The old one had to be sent to them so the proper new one can be made.  It has to be a perfect fit.  meanwhile, the boom is being reconfigured with new ways to reef(make the mainsail smaller when a storm comes up) and new ways to control the main sheet--it controls the mainsail-how far out it will go.  More on that later.

Lots of things happening and lots of things on order.  The job progresses.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 103 The salt water is gone finally.

We finally took the time to empty the "garage" at the bow of the boat.  It's where we stored all out line(rope) and lot of other things for the trip North.   It took a beating getting up here and was nailed with saltwater numerous times during the trip.  Since saltwater never really dries, we need to empty out the space and wash everything including the space to get all the saltwater off everything.  The fresh water we put in goes right into the bilge so after the first part of the project--empty and rinse, the second part kicks in--flush the bilge with more fresh water and empty it.  We used the manual bilge pump since there is still no 12 volt running on Zephyr.  All the pumps are mounted on a board at the bottom of the bilge so even it came out.  Haven't gotten all the water out yet but there is always tomorrow.  The water is like running your hands through liquid chicken fat water.  Really slimy and yucky!!!  It was great fun being upside down with a small flashlight strapped to my head.  I needed both hands to stop myself from falling into the water at the bottom of the bilge.

Rained more this morning and put the final nail on the Latitudes & Attitudes  party.  No excitement this morning.  A nice and quiet day with minimal cannons going off.

We actually ate at McDonalds today for lunch.  First time since we got here that we have done so.  We decided we hadn't really missed much.  The local food may be a bit more expensive but it sure tastes better.

I ordered two books the other day that the electrician highly recommends we ready.  They will give us a much better understanding of how battery systems work--actually how a battery works.  The shipped today and should be here soon.

That's about it for today.  The line is still drying and should be ready to come back on board tomorrow.  The electrician is due back as is the transmission folks to rip it out in preparation for the new one.  The thru hull guy should also be working on Zephyr.  Lots of funs a coming.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Day 102 Soggy party

It has rained here a good bit of today which has put a bit of a damper on the Latitudes & Attitudes party.  We still hear their cannons going off and the band playing but I'm sure not to many people are standing in the rain listening to it.

I'm at Safeway doing the blog this afternoon.  We needed some things to go with dinner tonight.  Costco Steaks on the grill.  With a nice bottle of wine, it doesn't get much better.

We cleaned "house" today.  With workmen in Zephyr just about everyday, it gets messy very easy and things get put of place when you can't put thing away when you're done using them as a workman is in the way and for what we are paying them, we sure don't want to disturb them.  It was nice getting up this morning and not having to tear up the boat so they will have access to all the compartments.  A little extra sleep didn't hurt either.

I tried cleaning our bronze prop today.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the right stuff to get all the marine growth off it.  West Marine doesn't carry anything that will do the job, so I'll have to look elsewhere on Monday.  I'll try the boat yard since I'm sure they need to clean bronze regularly. 

We watched the Olympics last night and some of today.  Boy, what a pageant it was last night.  Quite the spectacle.  If you have enough money and the person power, you can achieve just about anything.

More odd jobs tomorrow.  We are replacing the hoses on the heads and cleaning out the forward "garage" to get what is left of the saltwater out and get it dried out.  It is a bit rank up there.  Plus the prop and the last winch time willing.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Day 101 The party is in full swing--without us.

The Latitudes & Attitudes party is in full sowing.  Lots of beer and rum jello shots plus more hard liquor than I I want to imagine.  Lots of "args!"(pirate slang for "where's the booze") and slapping on the backs.  Just not our style.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.  So far tonight-lots of cannon fire from miniature cannons on board different boats.

Took apart two more winches today.  Only one to go.  Bad thing is I dropped a really small set of bearing while cleaning one and of course it found the one and only way to go overboard--down the stairs and fell apart when it landed.  We found most of it but not all.  I picked up the phone and called Lewmar and got the part number and ordered a new one.  Not a big deal, just not what I wanted to have happen.

The electrician just keeps shaking his head.  Finally looked under the cushions by the dining settee.  Started tracing more wires and can't find a reason for them.  I've been advised to try and track them this weekend and rip them out if I can't find a viable use for the wires.  I remember Bill saying that he had had another set of two batteries elsewhere but had removed them.  I figure these wires originally lead to that bank.  We'll see tomorrow as there is rain in the forecast.  We had fog and mist this morning with cool winds this aftern
oon.  A bit chilly without a jacket. 

We got confirmation on the new transmission.  It should be here in about 10-14 days.   They plan on ripping out the old one next Monday.  They want to check it to see if anything is salvageable and what condition the rest of the unit is in.  Not sure what makes up a transmission but I'm sure it has lots of parts.  With out it , I'm going to need a really BIG paddle to get out of here.

They ripped out the thru hulls--the correct ones-today.  I had gone to our "yard rep" this morning to explain that a wrong one had been removed.  He said he would straighten it out and get it fixed.  Thirty minutes later he was back with the gentleman that had made the mistake.  The paper work was correct, he had just tried the thru hulls he could get to and since this one was hard  to open, he had decided to cut it out.  He showed it to me with the explanation I have above.  Sorry, it may have been hard to open, but it never leaked.  They have ordered another and will have to fix the area they cut open so it is water tight.  It's going to take some work.  The existing bottom paint has to be stripped.  The fiberglass repaired and gel coated.  Then the new one installed then the area repainted with new bottom paint.  You can bet I will be checking the bill to make sure I'm not paying for it. 

Tracy worked on "charting" a cross stitch chart on the computer.  It's another of her creations.  She's been stitching it for several weeks.  After stitching her piece, she has to use a program to map out what she stitched so others can do it.  She's been doing it for years.  Mainly for "camp" for the shop.

Other than having lunch of barbeque at a restaurant called "Dos Okies"(really great hot sausage and pulled pork sandwich) today, it was another day of getting small projects done.  Each with its own importance but all working up to us setting out on our journey.  We just take it one day at a time.  If we don't, we will get overwhelmed and that's not a good place to be.

Any one have any idea what this tree is?  We saw it yesterday during our outing to Sequim.  Looks like one big pine cone tree.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Day 100 Time off for good behavior


We played tourist today.  Off to Costco!!!  We needed a few things--at least as much as we could carry.  It took some time to get there as it's not in Port Townsend.  It's in Sequim, WA.  First a 15 minute bus ride to the bus hub.  Then  forty minute bus ride to Sequim.  Then a 15 minute transfer bus ride.  All for a 25 minute shopping spree.  Hamburger, steaks, chicken and the all important BIG bag of paper towels.  That was all we could carry.  Back to the bus.  Then back to the bus and then back to the bus and home.  We started at 11am and got home at 5pm.  A nice way to spend the day.  Seeing the sights--well, Tracy did, I slept most of the trip.  Beats working on winches.

We got some good news early this morning.  They found us a transmission.  Part is in Michigan and part is in Ohio.  The Michigan part is being sent to Ohio where the two shall be joined into one and then shipped to us.  Should take about ten days to get here if all works fine.  We will get the final information tomorrow about its arrival--I hope.  It was discontinuee years ago and this one is about the last one in the United States

Just after hearing this news, our service rep for the boat yard stopped by to see about measuring the thru hulls for Zephyr.  These are valves that allow water into or out of the boat and close with swivel handles.  We told him that they had been measured a week ago when we showed one of their workers what and where they were.  So off he went to see what was happening.  When we got back from Sequim, they had cut out two of the valves.  Unfortunately, one was the wrong one!!!  Now I have a nice hole where it wasn't needed.  Plus, to make matters worse, when they cut it out, they took quite a bit of fiberglass with it.  Now it will have to be sanded down and re-fiberglassed.  They still have two left to do.  Should be interesting tomorrow.  I'm not sure why they cut out the wrong ones.  They have my number and could have called if there was a question.

The weather has gotten a bit cooler with dense fog this morning.  All cleared up by this afternoon whih a nice cool weekend in sight.

We have the folks from "Latitudes and Attitudes" magazine at the marina this weekend for a big blowout party.  Form what we understand, it is a no hold bared drunkfest.  There are lots of boats here for the festivities and lots of pirate flags from most of the boats.  A company emblem would be my guess.  We will se how the party goes.  We're glad we are not in the marina for this party.  As most of you know, Tracy and I are quite the reclusive hermits that are just glad to be with each other in peace and quiet.  WE may have to let our hair down and see how it goes.  At least, I don't have to drive home.

The electrical continues with a new battery box getting installed.  It fits two of our batteries perfectly.  Screws down for security and take about 1/4 less space than what we had.  We told Jack to order two more for the other batteries.   It will give us more space for provisions.

The battery monitor that was sent back for evaluation came back with a clean bill of health.  They called this morning.  It will be shipped back tomorrow.  They are of the belief that it is simply bad wiring that was causing the problems.

Jack has had one of the alternators rebuilt as the bearing were going.  It is done and will be back tomorrow.  Then he is taking in the second for evaluation and repair is necessary.  We will hear back on that one in a few days.  Next week I'm sure.

Well that's it for tonight.  The ice cream parlor is about to close.


 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Day 99 The Great Escape!!

The kids escaped today.  One minute Snowshoe was on board and the next down below the boat.  Not sure how he got down there as its about 12 feet, but he made it.  After getting him corralled and back on board and confined to quarters, Blue is gone.  Probably the same way.  Knowing her, upset that he got off the boat first.  She took off for a storage shed 30 feet from the boat and got underneath it and wasn't coming out for anyone.  We tried food--nope. We tried toys--she just laughed at us.  Finally, I started just throwing stones under the shed.  Eureka--it worked.  Out she came and not to happy about it.  We tried to catch her--nope--back under the shed.  More stones and out she came again.  Now just a bit scared and lost as she knows how to get down but not how to get back up.  When Tracy came down to help me catch her, she closed up Zephyr just in case--HA--that didn't stop Snowshoe.  Somehow he managed to escape again and wound up at the base of the stairs.  He may not be the brightest cat, but he knows how to get out.  We didn't even know he was out till a man in the next boat asked us if we were looking for a white cat.  Back to the boat he went along with his sister.

I got two of the winches down today.  As you can see, lots of parts to these things.  Each has to be washed in kerosene to get the grease and oil off.  Then washed in soapy water to get the kerosene off.  Then re-greased--lightly.  I actually painted on a thin film of grease just to make sure there wasn't a lot put on.  Some oil here and there and back together.  I took pictures along the way just to make sure I knew how to put it back together.
I'm down to three left.  Each one takes about three hours to get done.  With so many pieces, you don't want to end up with extra pieces when you finish.

We are ordering new lettering for Zephyrs stern.  The old one is a bit faded and we need to change the "hailing port" from Seattle to Denver to comply with the Coast Guard.  The last thing we want to do is upset them.

Our electrician rearranged some of the batteries and chargers today.  He wants all the chargers together and and most of the batteries together.   The original set up had been charger-two batteries--charger--two batteries.  Now it's two chargers and four batteries.  We haven't heard from the company that is fixing the charge monitoring system.  Hope fully tomorrow.  He was supposed to call today.  Oh well.

Tomorrow--more winches.  Boy what fun!?!  Never a dull moment. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Day 98 Boy, It's Hot here!!


I know, I know, I squawked about the cold weather down in Newport.  I take it back.  The mid 60's is just fine.  We were up to 87 today.  They took our dodger/bimini today to have it re-sewed.  Now we are exposed to all the sun and heat that Mother Nature can throw at us.  The fan is running and the kids are all laid out trying to get cool--much like us.  We are having all the zippers and much of the stitching replaced since the elements have taken their toll on the fabric.  Even so, I could not have imagined the trip to Port Townsend without having it.  It was a challenge with it.  It would have been miserable without it.  Now we just wait for its return.  

One winch down and five to go, each progressively more complex.  This is number two--a Lewmar 44 two speed used for controlling the line that controls the main sail.  A very important piece of equipment.  If it were to fail, we would have no way to control our biggest sail--bad!!  I got the first one done early this morning before it got hot.  I'd dismantled it yesterday, soaking the gears in kerosene and then washing them in soapy water.  I pulled out my Lewmar brand(hey, it's a Lewmar winch) grease and a small paint brush and "painted" the gears with a thin layer of grease and put some Corrosion X oil on the pawls( the small winged pieces that keep the winch from going the opposite way when you are using it--they make the winch got "click, click, click as it gets turned).  I started dismantling number two but never got to finish it.  It will still be there tomorrow.

The electrician was back today setting up circuits so we can start the engines from either battery bank--"house" or "start" batteries will now do the job.  If the "start" batteries--those used to only start the engine--should die unexpectedly, we can switch to the "house" batteries.  These are primarily used to run the lights and other systems on Zephyr.  Lots of BIG new wires are quickly making their way onto Zephyr.  It's not so much that the old wires were bad, it's that every years, there are new "standards" that boats are moved up to as to electronics and the wiring that it takes to keep them running.  Once Jack is done, all will be well.  I spoke with the company in New Jersey that is inspecting our energy management system--it is a miniature computer that monitors what and how we use the energy in our batteries.  They will be working on it today  and hopefully getting back with us tomorrow as to its condition.  Let's all hope for the best.  We could use some good news.

The transmission folks came by 
early this morning to look at the engine to see what type of transmission was going to be needed.  I sent them off with the original owners manual(thank you Bill & Susan) so they know what to look for in their search on the internet.    Let's hope they have good luck.  Speedy would be good also.  They haven't opened it up to see what is wrong yet.  I guess they will do that after finding a source for its replacement.  Apparently, it is a common transmission.  At least that is what they said as they left.

Tomorrow--as always, more things to do.  Never a dull moment.
  

Monday, August 4, 2008

Day 97 You can't take it with you!

A fast day.  Met with the boat yard manager early to see about the transmission mechanic.  He came by later in the day while we were in meetings with Brion.  Knows what type of transmission it is and is seeking out a service center of seller if we need a new one.  Guess we will see about that in a few days.

The electrician went at it again today.  Lots of new wires and connections.  He's says he is only a day behind the schedule he set for himself.  He just keeps saying "my that is interesting" with every new board he lifts in the floor.  Lots of new connections and holes drilled for their installation.  All in good time.

They stripped the mast of her fitting this morning and hauled it over to the shop.  Now just a big blue pole.  We will need to have two spreaders replaced as there are cracks in them.  They can't be welded as the cracks are where they were welded before.  Brion (the rigger) gave us his survey report this morning for our review and met with us this afternoon to go over what he had found and what he was suggesting.  Over all, the fittings on Zephyr are good.  He was surprised that the condition of the mast.  Apparently, our mast--made in France--sometimes isn't in good condition depending on what day of the week it was made.  Monday is hangover day and Friday is get ready for the weekend day.  Most in between days are fine.  It also depends on the grinding from a local foundry in France that will sometimes contaminate the castings if the wind blows from the direction of the foundry.  Go  figure.

Our meeting went well with lots of suggestions of things we can do that will make sailing Zephyr a dream.  New lines and new blocks.  Several changes in how the rigging is done with the addition of double forestays.  That's the wires that hold the mast up at the front of the boat.  One will have the roller furled genoa on it and the second will take the place of the cutter rig.  That's the rig that is half way between the mast and the forestay.  Now both will be at the forestay.  The new one can be removed when necessary.  The list is long and numerous with lots of new stuff.  He has set his sights on August 23 as a completion date.  Guess we will see.

We took our main and genoa in to Carol Hasse Sails for inspection.  She will be checking them for any deterioration  and advise us as to what needs to be done to bring them in line with what we plan on doing--off shore sailing.

The cockpit dodger gets removed tomorrow for a redo.  New zippers and stitching where needed.  We were lucky enough to get a slot in her schedule.  She knows we are on a tight time frame to get heading South before the weather changes.

By the time we are done, Zephyr will be a better boat than she already is.

Tomorrow--get more of the winches done.  With all our meetings today, I got almost one done.  Just needs  cleaning with soap and water and then oil and grease.  Another day.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Day 96 All bright and shiny!

The mast got finished today.  We have been working on it yesterday and today.  Over the years, it has suffered a good bit of oxidation.  The beautiful deep blue color was all faded and covered with a chalky covering.  After coats of rubbing compound, rubbing it into the paint and buffing it out, the mast looked much better.  Today, we put on the wax.  Again, rubbing it onto the mast with a buffer, then making it glow with  a polishing cloth, not only using the machine but hand rubbing and  polishing it to a nice high gloss.  You can now see your reflection in the mast.  She is back to where she started.  Nice and shiny.  All the oxidation is now gone.  We started at 10am and finished at 4pm. 

During that time, we went thru numerous cloths and the buffer gave up the ghost.  It developed an electrical problem.  It would work with the cord one way and only one way.  Back to the store it went for replacement.  Since we plan to do the entire hull this week, we will need to have it working no matter where the cord in hanging.

Zephyr has been hanging from straps over the weekend since the cabin sole started to split on Friday when they put us on the "hard"(the keel gets put on wood blocks and then the sides are held in place with metal racks).  We're not sure what they will do with us next week.  Since we have been in the straps, the splits have come back together and the floor looks fine.  They may have to put us back in the water  to equalize the pressure on the  hull until it is time to have the thru hulls(valves drilled thru the hull for water to come in or go out of the boat) replaced.  Three need replacing--leaks or broken handles.  Sometimes they have to be closed so water won't come into the boat.  I guess we will find out tomorrow.  We just don't want to be charged for every time they have to take us out and put us back.  That can get expensive.

Jack--the electrician-- will be back at it again tomorrow morning.  He's almost done--at least we hope.  More wires are getting installed and many useless one are getting removed.  The electronic energy control unit should be back at the service center tomorrow.  I plan on calling to see if they found anything wrong and an approximation as to when we might get it back.  I plan on paying extra for fast shipping when ever they get it done as every extra day delays us farther.  

With luck, the transmission man will be with us next week also.  The sooner the better.  Since we still have to have the SSB radio installed, there is still much to do and we don't want to be here more than the next few weeks.  We still have to get to Astoria to have the wind electric generator installed.  

Tomorrow, I plan on servicing all the winches on Zephyr.  We have six of them.  From small to very large, they all will need to be cleaned and oiled for the up coming cruise.  Broin Toss dismantled one while inspecting the boat last Thursday.  Looked great, just need some lubricating.  We expect to be meeting with him tomorrow also to lay out a plan for the new rigging.  It won't be right till Tracy can get the main sail up to the top of the mast all by herself. 

Tomorrow, bring on the oil and grease.  The winches await.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Day 95 The Karate Kid comes to Port Townsend

Wax on--Wax off.  That was our day today.  With the mast off Zephyr, we went to work cleaning the mast and bringing it back to its beautiful blue color.  Out came the rubbing compound.  We bought an electric buffer/polisher at the local hardware store.  Of course we found it cheaper at West Marine later in the day when we stopped there to get some more stuff.  Figures doesn't it.  I figured that since it was a marine store, it would be more expensive.  Can't win them all.

We used a 3M rubbing compound and took the mast in sections starting at the top.  Down 8 feet and then the other side.  Back and forth down the mast.  With it on sawhorses, it made the job real easy.  I applied the compound with the buffer then changed the cloth to a polishing cloth and did it again.  Tracy then followed up with a manual buffing and the mast looks a lot better then she did.  The oxidized finish was gone and the blue was back.

Tomorrow, out comes a special wax I bought called Collinite.  According to Practical Sailor, it's the longest lasting wax on the market.  Let's hope so as I expect it to be quite a while before the mast is horizontal again.

Brion, our rigger, is putting together a list of suggestions as to what we need to do to our rigging.  Most of what we have seen so far--the worst is replacing the mast head unit.  That is where all the lines and rigging attach and come out of the top of the mast.  It's not in good shape.  There is a  section torn off in the metal where the forestay comes off the top.  The last thing you want is for it to come loose.  A vertical mast is better than a horizontal mast.  There will be new sheaves(wheels the lines past over), wire, hardware and lights.  There is no steaming light on Zephyr.  Not sure why as it has been code for at least 25 years.  There is a light that shines down on the decks--burned out we think, but no steaming light.  This is supposed to be lit when you are motoring and not sailing.  Coast Guard rules.  It is how other boats can tell that you are not under sail but motoring.  Different rules apply when a power boat meets a sailboat under sail than when a power boat meets a sailboat under power.  We will get one on order on Monday.

We're at the local ice cream parlor--not partaking--and heading back for a delightful dinner of cheese, crackers and wine.  Oh, how continental.  

With our concern for power conservation, we will also be ordering conversion kits to change as many of the lights on Zephyr to LEDs.  They require much less energy to run and will cut down on our consumption of power when we are out there.  We will also be changing out the lights on the mast to LED's for the same reason.  The less power we use, the less power we have to make while out sailing.  Typically, the engine has to be run at least an hour a day while sailing to keep the batteries charged.  The new DuoGen wind and water power maker will help, but if it's not blowing or we're not moving, it won't do us any good.  We are also thinking of adding solar panels to the mix.  The less we have to run the engine the better.  Diesels on boats are primarily used to move the boat and not charge the batteries.  They don't take well to being run for hours on end at idle.