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Archive for the ‘Boat Maintenance’ Category

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Practical Sailor (PS) is a great publication that “takes the guesswork out of boat & gear buying with its bold, independent, product-test reports just for serious sailors.” Clay contacted PS to tell them about our experience getting our Webasto heater registered for warranty. They ran our story in December. It’s a tale of woe and how great customer service turned that around. Enjoy!

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weatherSailors for all history have taken advantage of the ebb and flow of the tide. Here in the Pacific Northwest, and in particular the San Juan Islands, the currents created by the tide have a profound effect on your movement by water. Depending on the time of day and location within the islands, there can be plus or minus two or more knots for or against you. In light winds, that means the currents could cause you to sail backwards! (more…)

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So, it has been awhile since I wrote a blog post. To say the least, Kim and I have been busy…still.

While Kim went to Colorado to take care of business and go to Molly and Matt’s wedding (which I am so sorry I missed, Molly and Matt!)cockpit I kept making forward progress on Sundown. The paint job on the mast and booms was finished and all the hardware needed to be put back on. We replaced all the wiring, lights and halyards. We also inspected and replaced all the standing rigging. New radar, anometer and antennae were installed.

The morning Kim came home from Colorado, the boatyard guys and I stepped the mast. It was a pretty emotional morning for me. I was so anxious! Not only was this the second time I was Sundown’s helm, but Kim wasn’t to help or witness this moment. The whole thing went smooth as silk, however. Seaview North Boatyard and its crew don’t step masts like Mark Grindle and I did in the mid 80s, but their process worked.

It was great to have Kim back after being gone for so long! She and I put the sails on and hoisted them one at a time to work out the bugs in attachment and sheeting. We then did a pre-sail check, pulled the dock lines and left.

It’s hard to describe how you feel after four years of working on a project like Sundown in a prairie dog field in Randy and Andrea’s storage yard in Fort Collins (A Unique Storage…it certainly was while Sundown was there), to motoring out of port with no schedule or exact place to be. We knew where we were going, however, because we had been there before–Sucia Island. Setting off to Sucia gave us confidence and we felt a little more secure because we had sailed there twice before. It was familiar and an easy first stop. We picked up a mooring and enjoyed our amazing boat. Rather than getting the outboard out and attached to Lightfoot (our dinghy), we chose to row it to go and pay our state park fee on the island.

There were two boats in the harbor near us, both from Utah! One of them was a Tayana 37, a very nice blue water boat like ours with very common roots (thanks Bob Perry!).

So the journey has begun. We are roughing it every day. Heater, propane stove, teak furniture, marble counter tops and beautiful ports of call.

The other night as we were anchored in Friday Harbor and snuggled up in bed watching a DVD–The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock–we determined that the wind and the way it was blowing Sundown required us to move our anchorage. Hmmm, never had to do this with the land house, but you gotta do what you gotta do. At 11pm we hoisted anchor and moved a tad farther from shore in the rain and wind. The task taught us some lessons and we are already using the information at our current anchorage in Deer Harbor where we’re still roughing it.

Kim is making chile rellanos and Spanish rice for dinner. We’re listening to Alison Krauss (thanks for the introduction to her, Daryl and Karen Lawyer). Tomorrow we go sailing!

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Electromaxx partsAll the systems on a boat need to be working properly for a vessel to be ship shape and safe. If you have a sailboat, of course the first means of propulsion ideally are your sails, powered by the wind. Having a fuel-powered auxiliary motor also is necessary for a boat the size of Sundown. (more…)

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It has been a busy week! It started with water system leaks, a motor that was not completely bolted down, no tender, no outboard, no lifelines and no dodger.

Today we have a 99 percent complete water system. (more…)

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…you feel a bit disoriented when you don’t have any to attend. Thus, I feel like I’m operating on hospital time. If you’ve ever hung out in a hospital for days with a loved one, you probably know what I mean. One hour runs into the next and then the next and before you know it, a whole day has gone by. That’s how the past few days have felt. We get up, start working, work all day and then we notice the boatyard’s gone quiet, which means it’s closed. Another day is done.

I’m also starting to feel a little land sick whenever I run errands ashore, which means my body’s getting acclimated to being on a moving surface. I’m feeling a little woozy when on terra firma.

Beyond that, I’m feeling a little homesick. I miss my boys, my dog, my mom, my coworkers and my friends. I know you’re all IMG_2493out there and that we didn’t see each other every day or even every week, but just knowing I can’t see you when I want makes a difference.

Alright, enough about feelings. Let’s update the list of things we’ve accomplished lately. We:

  • Unpacked and organized the galley (kitchen) and salon (living room)…although you wouldn’t know it by looking at either spaces since every project seems to cause an explosion of tools and stuff everywhere!
  • Installed the pulpit
  • Moved 550 feet of anchor chain and loaded into the anchor lockerout of the propane FullSizeRender-4
  • Determined that a propane generator won’t work on our boat, so we took it
    system loop so we can use our stove without the gas
    leak alarms going off
  • Commissioned the water system so we can have
    running water. We had to riddle out why we couldn’t get the system to pressurize; one of the connections wasn’t totally secure, so it was sucking air. Now we just need new gaskets for both faucets so they don’t leak.
  • Rebuilt the toilet so we can use it rather than pee in a bucket in the middle of the night. (While Clay did this once already, the gaskets and whatnot probably got ruined by cleaning the system with bleach after the factIMG_2491
  • Removed old varnish from the safety line stanchions and secured them to the deck
  • Contacted a safety line contractor to construct new ones for us. (We were going to make them ourselves, but decided to pay someone to make them since we don’t really have the correct tools and don’t want to purchase more.)
  • Bought a dinghy. Now we just need an outboard motor.
  • Bought new dock lines (the ropes we use to secure the boat to a dock). We’ll use the old ones as back up.
  • Visited the local Apple store to learn why I couldn’t update iPhotos on my new Mac. It’s because iPhotos was replaced by just Photos. Good to know.
  • Did more that I can’t remember. Go back to the top of this blog to understand why.

So we’re making progress every day, even if all the days feel like they’re running together.

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savethedateAbout a month or so ago, Kim and I were dining at our favorite restaurant, Los Tarascos. Kim has been ramping up her already well-established business, KBC Communications, and is settling into the groove. She felt so “in the groove” that she stated, “we need to set a date.” I agreed that we should and with that she said, “How about September 1?” (more…)

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