We ended the 2012 season with a circumnavigation of the Toronto Islands. It was a beautiful September day, perfect for a stop at Center Island for a picnic.
I finally got a chance to put my walking-foot sewing machine to productive use. I placed an order from JT’s Top Shop for some marine grade vinyl, UV thread and some Sunbrella fabric. The Sunbrella is just a test swatch to check colour and practice before I do a new sail cover and bimini later in the spring (after launch and the mast is up).
First off I was absolutely amazed at how stinky the vinyl was – it reeked like a jar of contact cement. I left it unrolled on the deck for a couple of days to off gas. I always thought the granola crowd was a bit alarmist when talking about off-gassing plastics, but now I understand what they are talking about (and this comes from a guy that has no problem being elbows deep in acetone/mek/gas etc…)
I deconstructed the existing cushions to make a pattern and reused the foam and zippers – ok at this point I’ve only done one, three to go. Must say I am very pleased with the sewing machine. I was looking about for a cord/welt foot but saw on the Sailrite site that the machine has a built in groove, when I checked mine it was there too – guess it really is only the paint colour that is different from Sailrite!
My Tanzer 7.5 is officially 30 years old this season, so I think it is time I give it a birthday present or two.
I picked up a new compass as the old one has spit it’s oil out. I refilled it with mineral oil and epoxied it shut which seemed to do the trick, until the heat of the sun popped my glue open. The oil on the bulkhead was a good fly trap and kept the gel coat shiny… ahh well, it was worth a try. I can truly strike this off my to do list.
I sprung for new spliced nylon docklines, although they are a somewhat electric green, the price was right, ($13 for 20′ 1/2″), I might be running the risk of looking like a christmas boat with red and green, but at least they will match and are new!
I am currently enrolled in the Canadian Power Sail Squadron’s Seamship course, it is heavy on navigation and charting; a functioning compass will come in handy on the water!
Aida, my Tanzer 7.5, is my first keel boat, so I wasn’t really sure how the launch from a crane would go down. It was easier and faster then I imagined – what I didn’t imagine was 40k winds gusting to 60k. Rain, snow, sunshine, sleet and everything in between. After I cooked bacon in the rain for a couple of hours while the crane put the docks in the crane driver thought we should get to the boats asap, I just had time for a quick sampling of my handiwork as the crane headed over to launch the boats. It was decided that we should postpone until Sunday morning – 7am.
I spent the evening in Brantford, so I had an early drive, no traffic – so the highway photo is the sunrise over Hamilton. I arrived at 7:30 expecting to be the last of the second row of boats to go in – instead I was the first of the second row, I had just attached my lines and fenders when Martin yelled ” you’re next. You ready?” I hopped out and we attached the slings off it went, and into the drink. Thanks to everyone that helped out. It was smooth and painless. The ride over to the lake was fairly uneventful – there was the first big wave that caught me off guard and threw everything across the cabin! After a couple of hours the wind really picked up and the snow/rain started – a few boats were still making it into the APSC lagoon and it was a nasty time on the water. The ice had only cleared a week ago so it was pretty cold getting my hands wet on the lines and moorings – other than that – it was a productive soggy weekend.
Well, I am making progress on the brightwork, doing every bit of wood on the exterior, except the handrails which seem fine. The engine and tiller mounts, winch pads and the little bits at the end of the tracks. I’ve used 2 part cleaners that are very aggressive, but given the state of the hatchboards, I thought there is no point is going halfway.
I’m using Cetol Light which is a bit opaque, I am not sure if I like it as after about the 4th coat the wood gets a milky fake-wood look to it. I am hoping that this will provide extra UV protection…? Regardless it is nice to see the teak come up and look crisp and clean. I made up a set of temporary hatch grooves on the table saw – used some old pine lying around – matches the winter hatches (also in pine)!
I started poking at the ports to see what the situation is. Given the extremely poor shape I am really hoping that this is the source of the water in the bilge – otherwise I don’t know where that water came from! I am toying with the idea of putting new acrylic flush on the exterior in a modern style – but I think I will just replace the inner gasket and glass to keep the original look.
Winches seemed like an easy place to start. The Tanzer 7.5 was outfitted with Lewmar #8 single speed winches. I’ve got three, the third seems like an after thought on top to help haul up the mainsail. There is a winch on the mast, I think, can’t remember at the moment…
I did some research on the net and the it seemed that it would be a simple task to overhaul – and it was. Lewmar literature (posted on Lewmar’s site) suggests servicing the winches twice a season, and once over winter. Given how dry and gooey these winches were, I doubt they were ever done.
A quick dissemble was in order followed by a cleaning in Dunk degreaser which leaves a super-light oil deposit. I then gave them a good oiling with a light 3-in-1 on the pawls and springs, spindle and roller bearings, a light dab of waterproof axle grease on the ratchet teeth. I a working on applying several coats of Cetol to the bases, in the video you’ll see the before and after.
I made this video below on reassembling a winch, more for the practice of making a video as the winch is really straight forward, hopefully someone will find it useful.
One of my purchasing requirements was that the boat had to be in “drop in the water and go” condition. Given my penchant for things that need restoration, my time limitations with a full time job and young family – I didn’t need another project. That doesn’t mean the boat couldn’t use some work – but there was nothing that would prevent me from just going sailing in the spring, like a hole in hull, or a dead inboard motor.
However, every boat needs maintenance, so here’s my list in a loose order of what needs to be done ending in make work projects:
install holding tank (have hoses)done! replaced all hoses, added antisiphon loop
- replace port seals or upgrade to modern flush mounted plexi –
- polish and wax hull wow – a two day full throttle attack!
- overhaul winches – 3 out of 3 done.
reseal chainplatesdone! remove and refinish misc brightwork – little bits-done repair and refinish original teak hatchboards– one down, 1 to godone!
- outboard: starter? does it run? – turns over, compression test & spark =ok, repaired grounding stop button
- stepped-down power for: GPS, stereo & iPod from main battery
bah, don’t need
- refinish motor lift & rudder mounts (teak)
- inspect, repair, refill compass –replaced with new Plastimo
- inspect, diagnose, repair/replace knot meter – terminal…. use hand held gps
- sand hull & paint? – new coat of vc17, yearly
- investigate condition of original teak & holly flooring
- real woodveneer on bulkhead- remove plastic woodgrain
- new cupboard doors & hardware – plastic woodgrain surface
To cover or not to cover.
I read lots of forums, blog posts and asked the sailors I knew what they did with their boats for the winter. There wasn’t much consensus, some say why bother, boats are leak free anyway, others warn of the dire actions of snow loads and ice, not to mention the unrelenting assault on bright work from UV. The simple reasons I choose to cover was 1) the windows are a bit leaky, a cover will keep water out 2) I’d like to do some simple maintenance, like bright-work and winch overhauls, digging through snow and ice doesn’t sound fun. 3) six months less UV sounds like a good idea.
I decided on a simple tarp from Princess Auto, it just fits. Four 10′ x 3/4″ electrical conduits from Home Depot fit into the life-line stanchion bases, the mast as cross beam. I’m not sure if there are enough supports, the spacing is about 4′, looks like it might sag between if there is a snow load – we’ll see. I underestimated the amount of rope needed to cover the Tanzer 7.5. Seems looping under the sailboat back and forth is not the most efficient use of line.
I like the fact that the cover seems to funnel air into it, much like an air sock. Not sure if this is a fluke on the location, wind direction or the fact I have the bow open a bit and pointing towards the water? The upside is it stopped the flapping motion and I hope this will extend the life of the cover and help the grommets stay put.
I decided not to drive up to Lagoon City to watch the boat being loaded – I figured there was little for me to do besides watch – and as interesting as that would be , I didn’t think it was worth 4 hours of driving. I was expecting Al to arrive around 12-1., he called to say he was running late because of road work, but still managed to get here by noon.
It was a tight squeeze and a good thing the yard was empty. By the time Aida was on the ground, there were cradles and trailers populating the yard.