Archive for the 'Projects' Category
I’ll be underway for Newfoundland in less than 5 days. I’ve got about 8 days worth of projects to complete. I’ll begin the trip with a project (and sleep) deficit. It’s common.
I think I had a break through on the waxing – and that is: apply two coats of wax. I’ve spent hours in the past compounding, polishing, then waxing only to see the shine fade a month later. I’ll be keeping an eye on it throughout the summer. Also, learned that I should wax at least once mid-summer to maintain best protection.
There’s a problem with painting black on black when it comes to bottom painting. That is, I used more paint. It’s hard to tell how thick the application is, or if a spot has been painted already. So naturally I err on the “I didn’t paint that section yet” side – and some of the imaginary boxes I use to map out the hull get painted twice, sometimes three times. I got through 75% of the hull on one gallon this time. I recall last year painting out the entire hull with just 1 gallon. Next year, I’ll use a different color – green? I bet I’ll be back down to one gallon.
A good friend, Paul Bowden made a beautiful spice rack for Elizabeth. She is getting some nice details this year, and the spice rack is by far the prettiest !
I’ve spent a fair amount of my life waiting for the next train at the “procrastination station” …but my train came in, and I’m full steam ahead. With less than a month to go before we let loose the mooring pennant and point our bow North by East, Elizabeth has been getting alot of attention.
There’s always a bit of varnish to do. I do love it though. It’s one of those things that if you just keep up with, like investing in your 401k, it will serve you well in the future. I’ve done my fair share of “investment coats”, most recently on the cockpit coamings. After some serious sanding to flatten out the sags from my hasty build-up coats, I applied two fresh coats of Bristol Finish.
There’s also some fabricating to do. A new adaptor plate for the radar scanner mast mount. I ordered a simple 12×12″ plate of 1/4″ 5052 H3 aluminum from onlinemetals.com for this project. A few holes to drill, some cutting, and cleaning up the edges and she’ll be ready.
Another project I’ve been meaning to do for months is to move the upper backstay insulator away from the mast. When I initially made the backstay I put the insulator at the very upper end of the stay. I later learned that the RF radiation can damage instruments and lights atop to the mast, and that placing the upper insulator about 3′ from the end of the backstay is safer. So, up the mast I scrambled, unhooked the backstay and brought it down on deck to make a few new Sta-lok fittings. I used the topping lift and main sheet to make a temporary backstay. I love Sta-loks, so easy. Also while making this new upper end of the backstay, I added in 2″ of overall length. This allowed me some room to ease the backstay a bit and take up on the headstay, thereby removing the slight aft bend I had in my mast. This theoretically should help reduce weather helm, but I doubt I’ll notice any difference.
One Simple Question movie updates:
We are teaming up with the educational outfit SEEDS to provide an outreach program for their students this summer while we are filming for the documentary One Simple Question and searching for an iceberg!
We are coming down the final days of our Kickstarter Campaign, and I want to urge everyone who was waiting until the end to jump in and be part of the action, to do so now! The window of opportunity is closing. The support we have received thus far has been absolutely amazing. Nearly 150 backers, and we reached our bare minimum goal, but let’s not stop there. The money raised is going exclusively towards the production equipment needed to help make this the best film possible.
I long for the day when my spring prep meant dragging my 12′ aluminum boat down the 3 crooked timber and dirt steps to the beach, a drag of less than 50′, and all downhill. That was followed shortly after by a tug or two on the chord of the outboard… and off I went to explore another early spring day on The Harbor. I recall one early spring exploration where I came across a mooring right in the middle of the harbor… this never was here before, I thought. It must have been taken for a ride by the winter iceflows, and now qualified as free for the taking. I hauled it aboard, with nary a care about scratching my dear old Grumman with its chain and barnacles. I had myself a nice ‘new’ mooring with a 75lb mushroom anchor attached. What a score!
Now, spring prep seems so daunting. Not that the list itself is daunting…I can accomplish everything on the list, and each item is relatively simple to do… but what’s daunting is finding the time to do it all. I’ve spoken about lists before, and I sure do love my lists — but I hate them too. For instance, as I sit here writing, on this gray, soggy day, the sky is beginning to brighten and I might even see a patch of blue sky big enough to patch a sailors pants. All of a sudden my slow paced day, turns into a potentially frantic day of wondering what projects I can get done, with the fear that everyday henceforth might be rainy and/or windy — piss poor conditions for varnish, paint or other outside projects.
Yesterday was decent enough to get a coat of paint on the bulwarks and size up the dodger frame, get it mounted and eyeball the shape a bit. Mind you this was my second attempt at the dodger frame. I had mis-measured my frames and made them 30″ too wide… slight mis-calculations! I opted for the DIY dodger kit from Sailrite. Perhaps a bad idea… seeing as time is often against me.
I’m very particular about dodgers. I like them to do their job, but nothing more. I don’t like them to be in my way, I like them to be in the spray’s way. So I mounted, and fiddled, unmounted and cut, remounted and fiddled, unmounted and cut, remounted and fiddled and found it to be to my liking. It’s low and narrow, not in the way of going forward or of the stays’l winch, and not in the way of going below.
Next step: Patterning.
Disclaimer: this is a casual, off the cuff, stream of consciousness update… oh and before I forget, you probably noticed the new header design…I like it, what about you?
I’ve been eating a raw diet lately. It’s rather trendy now, but when I first got into it around 2006 it was less known, and harder to find info about…but it was on it’s way to becoming bigger, I could tell. Now there’s tons of sites, books, blogs and gourmet recipes floating around — making it a lot easier to stick with it. I’m about a month into it, with a few days of cooked food here and there, but that doesn’t bother me. I’ve lost 8 or 9lbs, feel great, desire raw foods over cooked foods, and don’t think I’ll ever go back to eating a diet of mostly cooked foods. Once in a while I get a hankering for a burger, but those cravings are waning. The thing I figure is that when I’m out with friends, I’ll eat cooked food, and enjoy it. And for now, I’m keeping that kind of socializing to once a week… so that puts me at a 20:1 ratio raw to cooked meals per week.
ONE SIMPLE QUESTION
I’ve been working on getting this movie idea up and running. So far so good. We launched the site, have a few advisors helping us plan, and will be launching a Kickstarter fundraising campaign within the next few weeks. Please check out the site One Simple Question and sign up for email list. There is also a Facebook page, please become a fan there too. It’s going to be alot of work, but we are real excited about the concept and working on a film of this magnitude. If you are in the film industry or know anyone in the independent film industry, we are looking for more folks to team up with.
I have always wanted to know more about the SSB and HAM radio. The primary reasons are so that I can tune into weather reports, get weather files, send and receive email, and check in on the Nets while offshore. So, at the suggestion of Ed Zacko, I went down to the local Amateur Radio club here on Long Island, and got myself a study book, and set my exam date for late February. I hope to find a new HAM radio for the boat before we leave in June, so if you know of any good used ones for sale, drop a line – ideally an ICOM706.
What post on BCCElizabeth.com would be complete without a tid-bit about varnish? I’ve started the Spring varnish work. First task, the interior, and of that, the removables are getting done first: drawers, doors, and ladders. Yes, my favorite recipe for interior varnish is Epifanes Rapid Clear. I like the semi-gloss and I can recoat in 3-4 hours, which really speeds up the job.
We just launched a new design on sailingsimplicity.com. Check it out, let me know what you think. Besides doing the new design, I’m going to start writing over there as well. But don’t worry BCCELIZABETH.COM, you’ll always be my #1 blog. Teresa has some exciting news: an upcoming article in Liveboard Magazine entitled “Why Two Boats”… a story about why we sail two different boats. She also did a live skype interview on the local ABC station in Traverse City, MI. And there’s one more cool opportunity she’s been invited to, but I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about it yet.
So… exhale… check out the new sites and sign up, join, like, follow — all of the things we do nowadays when we think something is cool.
If this was a car wash, I’d be getting the Basic: bottom paint, compound/wax, zincs, varnish rudder cheeks. Hauling on the railway at Gannon & Benjamin is always a treat… a sandy, listful treat. I’m concerned the boat might just list over at any moment… jack stands in the sand… endless hours of amusement.
Last year I used Micron Extra paying a hefty price per gallon and I thought it fouled rather quickly. I had some serious barnacle farms down there. This time, I went with West Marine CPP - one of the least expensive alternatives I could find. The CPP is actually Petit Ultima SSA paint. I bet it will perform as well as (or rather, better than) the Interlux Micron Extra, but for 1/3 the price. Oh, I did raise the waterline 1″ this year, making for about 3.5″ of raised waterline total since I bought her.
Interesting tid bit here about extending life of zincs… very useful for my Max Prop… Use nail polish around screw holes to reduce wear… cool! Extend the life of Max Prop Zincs
I do need a longer haul soon… Cutlass Bearing is a bit sloppy, and I’ve got some blisters at the waterline that need to be ground, dried and epoxied. Sad.
This haulout has been fueled by The Art Cliff Truck.
I’m leaving my love for a week to sail aboard my other love, the Lewis R French. Elizabeth’s stuffing box has been leaking an uncomfortable amount, and her auto bilge pump wiring and operation isn’t what it should be. So it is time to tackle the dreaded in-the-water shaft packing renewal procedure.
I imagined a gushing fire hydrant, both electric bilge pumps screaming to stay above water and someone stationed at the manual bilge pump ready to pump into the night to save our sinking girl. Madly rushing to remove the old packing, get the new packing cut, greased and installed, all the while fumbling with tools, dropping them into the ever deepening bilge water, and eventually losing complete control as the engine began to get its feet wet. However, the removal of the packing nut proved a major let down. A small steady stream of sea water fell into the bilge, barely enough to brush ones teeth with.
I used a combination of flax and drip-less moldable packing. I followed the instructions and tips found here, and found the job to take about as long, and to be as easy as changing the oil. One thing I did learn after a few failed attempts of scratching at it, is that the packing removal tool works like a cork screw. You screw it into the old packing, then pull back on the T handle, and the entire strip of packing comes out very easily. The aroma of the old packing reminded me of a vintage merlot from Bourgandy I once drank. I fashioned some simple packing-pushers out of a small bit of PVC pipe I had. It worked well enough. It’s a messy job with the grease, and latex gloves would’ve been a good idea.
Right now there is no drip, and the gland nut is slightly hand tight. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes after a few more hours on the engine underway.
I like to keep a running list of projects taped to my cabin side wall. I like to be able to add to it with ease as soon as something crosses my mind, or breaks, lest I forget. Better yet, I like to immediately cross something off the list as soon as it’s complete. But for those tasks I only get half way through in one session, I like to cross them out, only half way. The list is usually about two pages, sometimes less, often more. There is no hierarchy to the list, no priority or order. No sections or subsections.
I like to stand at the chart table, eat my morning orange and scan the list for a project I might be able to fit in between designing an email blast for a special on wee wee pads or right after I finish uploading a round of new pieces to an art gallery site. It’s a slow process crossing things off the list this way, but I love my list. I carefully cut the electrical tape with a scissor, I take the time to cut off the spiral bound ruffles on the paper and I try to neatly attach the list to the wall, space the pages evenly and make sure they’re level. I know I’ll be looking at them for a long time, and well groomed lists are more appealing to study. Neat lists also provoke more intense contemplation and thoughtful inner debates about technique, execution and method.
My current list has been hanging for about four weeks now. It’s in good condition for it’s age. It’s been offshore from The Bahamas to North Carolina. It’s seen a few waterspouts and shared many an early morning orange with me. It’s a rewrite of an older list with a few additions, and some recent fresh cross-offs. But some of these items have been on the list for nearly a year. There always seems to be something more urgent that gets rushed onto the list, only to be crossed out a day or two later. Like patients at the sanitarium, some of these list items get forgotten about, even though they are seen every day.
The current list and a few of the recent cross-offs: SSB stand-offs and bowsprit netting.
Doesn’t matter where you are — springtime means boat projects. I’m knee deep in 4 or 5 projects, simultaneously. I never was one for focusing on a single task; starting and finishing it in one day. I like to open a handful of projects, then proceed to let them linger for months. Gives me time to ponder the best solution I like to think. I enjoy the process. After all, it’s the journey, not the destination right? Typically, I’ll move into a semi-panic mode as a cruising departure deadline nears, and then it all gets done lickity-split. Dead lines… make great baggy wrinkle.
Perhaps a year of dreaming, wondering, researching and contemplating have all gone into the wind generator project. It’s nearly done. It’s mounted, spinning and making power. But I still need to properly run the wires and install the kill switch. It’s a little noisier then I had remembered based on listening to other Airbreezes on friends’ “yachts”. Oh, wait — it just started up again, and I can barely hear it over my music. Perfect! Actually, I’ve noticed it’s quieter at higher wind speeds. Interesting.
The install is easy. With the internal regulator, there is minimal work to do to get it up and running. I used 8 AWG wire for the run to the batteries. I combined the ground and the negative wires inside the pole, so I only need run duplex through the transom. The slow blow 20 amp fuse is 3″ from the batteries, and uses a 12 AWG jumper. Still looking for a solution to stick with the 8 AWG right to the battery, but for now it’s fine.
The pole kit was bought from emarineinc.com. I prefer their polished tubes to the typical white painted poles you often see with the Southwest Windpower turbines. The main aluminum tube came pre-drilled and the inside is coated with a vibration dampening substance. The smaller support tubes are 1″ SS tube. The entire mount sits on rubber for vibration reduction. Currently, I feel absolutely no vibration below. This is a good thing, cause I’ve been on some boats with wind generators, and it feels like an endless freight train is going by. Nice work emarine.
I’m looking forward to seeing how much power this turbine makes for me over time. I’d like to think, that with my 80 watt solar panel and this wind turbine I’ll be able to keep up with the fridge and the Macbook Pro. I have plans to swap out my single 80 watt panel for two smaller, but narrower 65 watt panels, one for each lifeline, port and starboard.
I always wanted to mount it this way. Makes it easier to walk on the boomkin to get to the vane changes and removal. Plus I think it looks alot better, it hides alot of the SS tubing. One thing about the Monitor, it’s not the prettiest contraption on a BCC in my opinion. I’d love to have a Freehand Vane, they are visually slick, and don’t disrupt the beautiful lines of the BCC quite like the Monitor does. However, my plan is to install a wind generator pole on the boomkin, which would inhibit a Freehand vane from spinning fully.
I solved my slipping gear issue on the Monitor by hammering the bronze gears closer together, as recommended by Scanmar. Looks like it will do the job.
The new head hose arrived, I can now complete the head & holding tank refresh…from which I’m currently taking a break to pen this post.