I’m a big believer in details, perhaps it’s my training as a goldsmith or a pixel perfect developer, but if there’s a speck or a design flaw it will bug me. Having a white boat is a lesson in finding serenity, I swear there is someone out there laughing at all the scrubbing boat owners do.
Having a brand new high-pressure water pump with a faulty shut-off sensor (the backstory) gave me the perfect opportunity to fashion a wash-down pump. A bit of hose, a few clips and away we go!
With 40 psi and 17 liters/min the cleaning possibilities are endless!
The fridge door/lid always made a screech when opened and the gas strut was very stiff. I found a bunch of gas struts on the sale table at Princess Auto for $4 each and they seem to be close to the right size. I only noticed when I removed the old one that there is a manufacture’s sticker and model number.
I only noticed the brackets were not in the same plane when I put on the new strut. I relocated the brackets to get the door to shut, but also the bottom bracket needed to come over by 3/4″ to line up.
The bottom bush was drilled out to fit on the existing stainless post and luckily the top fitting works!
The requirements of a shelf, to be a shelf, are fairly simple. It needs to be big enough to hold the intended items and sturdy enough to stay up, but the shelf in the photo really isn’t a shelf.
For me, like the boat itself, the shelf is the physical manifestation of my dreams, personality and aspirations. A bathroom towel shelf on a cold winter’s night is less about orderly towel storage, but about making the boat into a floating home, one that we will live on and hopefully take to warmer climes, have adventures, and watch our children discover some of the wonders of the world. This shelf is about providing the best summer home for my young children to make memories in and keeping my wife happy with a nice bathroom (my idea not hers). It’s about having clean dry clean towels to wrap ourselves in after a cold swim. It is about dreaming of sailing down to the Bahamas. It is about making the boat better then new, putting my stamp on it, doing it better than the designers. It is also a great justification for having a shop full of tools and ferreting around boat yard dumpsters.
Last summer I was merrily heading into Toronto’s inner harbour through the Eastern Gap*. I was busy lounging behind the wheel and talking with friends when one casually said “we are headed straight for a big green thing”. That big green thing being the big steel buoy making the inner entrance to the Eastern Gap. I turned the boat to port and the wake pushed the buoy away from the a boat, only to have the buoy swing back back with a vengeance and smack the hull just below the rub rail on starboard. Ouch.
The impact shattered the gel-coat and the underlying layers of fibreglass. It didn’t look too bad and I left it for the season as it is well above the waterline close to the forward sling marks.
What king of sailor sails straight into a big green buoy that he knows is there… ugh.
Peeling back the layers of crushed gel-coat and fiberglass mat, I discovered the damage was much more extensive than it appeared. There was considerable de-lamination between the many layers however the lowest layers were just bruised, not cracked. The damage also extended in a much larger radius then the gel-coat damage itself, presumably from the fibreglass flexing in.
I couldn’t access the damage from the interior unless I did a massive cabin disassembly, so rather than cut a hole , I decided to grind down and re-glass from the outside, leaving the bottom most layer intact.
After applying a few layers of mat and resin I levelled the patch with a sander and enlarged the grind. You can see the wound get bigger in the photos. Complicating the repair job was an unusually cold spring. I used a heat gun to warm the hull first and then gently warm the repair at several intervals to ensure the resin kicked.
We had just left Kingston Marina and were motoring east past the scenic Kingston waterfront to begin the trip back to Toronto. I headed down into the boat for some reason (stereo? chart? sunglasses?) when I heard a very faint high-pitched whine for a couple of seconds. I dismissed the noise but immediately began to smell something burning.
As every sailor soon learns, ignore unusual sounds, smells, or vibrations on a boat at your peril. If the noise didn’t trigger a response in me, the smell certainly got me busy.
I lifted the step and peeked into the engine compartment and didn’t see anything amiss – no flames, no billowing smoke. I took a second look and realized that the alternator wasn’t turning but the belt wasn’t broken. Alt seizure? I immediately shut the engine down to take stock of what was happening. It turns out the belt was toast, literally. It was crisp, hard and smoking. It was so worn out that it wouldn’t turn or flex.
I think the noise was the alt spinning down.
I did a quick replacement as we slowly drifted towards the rocky shore, past a few sailing dinghy’s and stand up paddlers. I put on a Genuine Yanmar 25132-003700 (old part no# 128670-77350). We were back up running in 5 min, I think Rufus was impressed.
Mid-winter, on one of my periodical visits to the boat, I was blown away with the smell of diesel fuel when I slid the hatch open. I chalked this up to the new cover not giving the boat as much ventilation as it used to have, but I really wasn’t fooling myself. In the back of my head I’ve been wondering why the boat smells worse this year then last?
When doing my spring commissioning I discovered a drop of fuel on one of the fuel filters. I didn’t have time to look at it until now. I was partly motivated as we are are on day 10 ( I’ve lost track) of a trip to the 1000 islands. The girls still crawl into our bed some nights and last night I was squished up against the back bulkhead, getting strong wafts of diesel. That was enough to motivate me this morning to see if I can stop the leak.Continue reading Maintenance on the hook – chasing smells→
Now that I’ve got four nice new Costco batteries, I have to get them into the boat. The original setup on the Hunter 340 was to have all the batteries in the starboard lazarette, sitting on top of the holding tanks with a few nylon straps. These batteries are 63 lbs each, four would be 240 pounds of battery on one side.
I’m told the boot stripe is painted higher on the hull to compensate for all the weight on that side of the boat. My plan is to put two in each lazarette. This works for several reasons:
weight balanced between port and starboard
batteries can sit closer to the centreline
being 6volt in series it makes sense to keep them in pairs.
The starter battery an AGM yellow-top Optima and will go down below behind the aft berth bulkhead. It will sit low low and on the center-line, ignored for the season.
The boxes will have nylon webbing over top to secure the batteries in the boxes and the boxes will have stainless carrage bolts through the lazarette floor to keep them still.
I’ve decided to paint the boxes with epoxy coloured black with 423 Graphite Powder, as I have it left over from the rudder slop repair.
“423 Graphite or powdered tempera can be used up to 10% by weight.” as per West System, I’ll go with 5%.
Last summer on the return trip from Ottawa/Kingston, the weather was particularly cold in early August. Malcolm and I got seriously cold, numb feet and stiff hands. I noticed that the stainless wheel gets really cold in cool weather, I never had this problem with a wooden tiller, but a cold wheel makes life that much more miserable.
I decided to wrap my wheel in the leftover marine grade vinyl I used for the cushions on my previous sailboat, the Tanzer. I used just a small amount of contact cement to hold it in place.The thread is UV nylon I used for the cover, not that I am worried about the elements as the cockpit is covered by the bimini (and solar panels). It took me about three hours to stitch. I cut the vinyl a little too narrow and the seam varies from closed to about a 2mm gap. The perfectionist in me says it can wait until it needs to be replaced, or I’m retired, whichever comes first!
Counter space is rare on most sailboats but seems to be a premium on the Hunter 340. At first glance it seems there is a reasonable amount of space but the counter has a double sink, garbage hole/lid smack in the middle of the counter and a top-access fridge. There is only about a square foot that is free. Preparing meals is like playing chess, you are constantly moving things around the counter trying to strategize the best way to do things. This is especially so with summer meals with multiple salads or burgers and all the condiments and trimmings. A sink cover creates much needed space so I decided to make a second cover for the larger sink to compliment the white Starboard (I assume?) cover for the small sink. I am also contemplating making a cover for the stove as small items like jars tend to fall over on the grill. Continue reading Bamboo sink cover→
Sailors seem to be divided into two camps, winter cover or no winter cover. I’ve played on both teams but I’ve finally become a card carrying member in the cover camp. In the past I used tarps from Canadian Tire, silver on one side and black on the other. Some years I didn’t bother, I didn’t see much of a difference, the old boat was leaky covered or not, and being over thirty years old, the UV had done it’s damage to the gel-coat.
I think it was the day I visited Tortuga last winter when I decided to cover it. There was a couple of inches of snow and ice on the boat. Snow, like rain isn’t my main concern, it was the ice I was worried about, specifically water creeping under deck fittings, into cracks and crevices and then freezing. The freeze thaw cycle has the potential to tear a boat apart, keeping water and snow off a boat is the best defense, short of indoor storage. Continue reading Winter Cover – DIY→
Winter always brings a small amount of anxiety for boat owners, get your winterization wrong and you’ve created expensive problems. Fresh water systems get a dousing of pinnk antifreeze, but engines seem to cause confusion. Given that engines are made up of many materials with different properties, such as rubber gaskets, aluminum, brass and steel, coolant additives are important to ensure parts aren’t being corroded by the very liquids designed to protect them. Here is a list of coolants from Mack Boring regarding Yanmar engines.
The coolant/anti-freezes that have been tested and approved are shown below:
Texaco Long Life Coolant Anti-Freeze both regular and pre-mixed Product codes 7991 and 7998. This product is available in gallon containers, drums and bulk. It is recommended that the cooling system be drained and flushed before filling. Only Texaco Long Life Coolant should be used for top-off. This product has a much longer shelf life than conventional coolants provided the integrity of the container is maintained. For additional information and availability contact Texaco at 1-800-782-7852.
Havoline Extended Life Anti-Freeze/Coolant. Product code 7994. This product is available through Texaco gas stations, Procedures are the same as with Texaco Long Life Coolant Anti-Freeze.
Dex-Cool Long Life Coolant. This product is available through GM service centers worldwide.
Prestone Extended Life Coolant. Product code AF888. If the above coolants are not readily available, Prestone Extended life coolant is satisfactory.