Thursday, November 29, 2012

Savannah: long list, little accomplished

Aries windvane on the stern of Whispering JesseSaturday, November 24: It's the fourth day of my trip out to Savannah and I'm not overly happy with what I've been able to get accomplished on my long list of boat projects. Of course, the list is overly ambitious and would realistically take a few weeks to complete, not the five days I have had available. And I don't want to leave any projects half-done. So when I stare at the Aries windvane bolted to the stern of the boat and try to figure out what it will take to remove it, the clock inside my head goes tick-tick-tick and I realize it will take more time than I have on this trip, especially if I try to remove the lag bolts secured through the hull. That would involve emptying out both lazarettes and squeezing down in there with a headlamp and some beefy wrenches. Instead, I work backward toward the windvane, removing the steering drum that was attached to the wheel and the numerous blocks that guided the lines between the windvane and the wheel. It's not much, but it's something.

Gluing the mitered teak molding pieces together
Before I undertook anything related to the windvane removal, I tried to repair a disconnected cockpit scupper using the part I had ordered from Defender Marine Outfitters. I lucked out with guessing the correctly sized plastic elbow fitting for the 1.5-inch scupper drain, but I still couldn't get it to fit. Either the thread spacing is wrong or the drain threads are stripped, which would explain why the previous fitting was only glued in place. I expect that I will end up gluing the new one in place, but I'll wait on that until I'm ready to use up an entire tube of 3M 5200 marine adhesive on this and other applications, since the whole tube will start to set up as soon as it is exposed to air.

My greatest success has been with constructing teak frames for the cockpit cut-outs. I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon using a mitre saw to cut L-shaped molding pieces to fit, and then some time this morning gluing the pieces together. I will need to fasten some small screws as well, but the glue should hold for that process.

Cockpit cut-outs where the new teak frames will goThe molding was part of an order I placed through the West Marine website a couple of weeks ago. West Marine offers free shipping to their stores for in-person pickup, which worked even better for me than drop shipping to my folks' house. While I was at the store on Abercorn Street, I noticed that the Garmin GPSMAP 740s Chartplotter/Sounder was on sale for $400 below list price. I had to think about it for two days, but I couldn't pass up a deal like that on a necessary piece of equipment and went back to buy the last one in stock, along with an external antenna. The installation looks tricky, so I'll wait and have Thunderbolt Marine do it when I return in the spring.

Tomorrow, I'll see if the teak frames fit, take some measurements for some other projects, see if the engine will start and stay cool, and then prepare the boat to be left alone for another winter.

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