Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May, 2012 -The Final Push

As usual, each time I want to blog the software has changed slightly and I'm not sure how this will all look!   Anyway, it's now May of 2012 and the seven year mark is fast approaching for the boat restoration.   We made our move from Fort Wayne, IN to Melbourne, FL back in September of 2011 and moved into the new home on February 17th and had a steady stream of visitors for a month or so. 

With the Erie Canal opening in May, I decided to load up and drive back up to Port Clinton, OH on May 5th and spend the month getting the final preps and launching completed.  It turned out to be three weeks of 12 hour work days, installing and rigging the new Cape Horn wind vane, reattaching all the standing and running rigging to the mast, pulling new VHF cable, installing the new Force 10 propane stove, and a multitude of other small but time-consuming chores.  

The wind vane was too difficult to install onto the new stainless steel boomkin when the boat was on the cradle, so my old Crown Lift Truck boss, Ted Wente, suggested we remove the boomkin and take the whole shebang to his house near Toledo for the weekend where we could work on it in the comfort of his pole barn where he had all the tools we would need.   It was a great idea and after returning to Port Clinton we had it mounted in ten minutes.   Rigging the control lines was not quite so easy, but within another day I had it rigged and working.  

Launch day was set for May 17 and I spent the previous night and all morning finishing attaching the rigging to the mast.   To keep the spreader light wires quiet inside the mast I sleeved them through the smaller swim noodles (it took four).   That in itself is a story - Ted and I thought that for sure Wal-Mart would have them, but all they had were the fat ones.   Dollar General had just one.   I stopped at Kroger's Redbox to return a movie and Ted stuck his head into the lobby and voila' - there was an entire display of skinny noodles!

The launch went fine and after spending one night in the launch slip I was towed to a regular slip (no batteries in the boat yet) and proceeded to get the rest of the rigging and plumbing sorted out.   The head gave me some trouble.  I had totally overhauled the old Groco EB toilet back in 2009 but I couldn't get it to pull a suction to operate the flush.  After pulling it out of the boat onto the dock, putting a hose into a bucket of water and pumping vigorously the toilet operated beautifully.  I put it back in and still no suction.  After repeated calls to Groco I commented that it seemed as though there was an air lead in the suction line.  I commented to the tech support guy that maybe the vented loop was a problem.   Vented loop???  The EB head won't work with a vented loop on the supply side!   I took the loop out, installed a secondary ball valve for safety, and it worked fine.    I'm not totally comfortable with the setup, but it will be okay for now.   We'll just have to open and close the line each time we use the head. 

The stove was back ordered for several weeks and finally showed up on the 23rd.   I wasted no time in unpacking and installing it but I've yet to actually use it.   We'll try it before departure, but not until shortly before then.  It's a beautiful unit and fits perfectly.   I had decided to go back to Melbourne for the Memorial Day weekend and took the opportunity to fabricate small spacers for the gimbal locks, as well as having Barbara sew up a set of lee cloths for the pilot and transom berths. 

Stuart Brand, the son of the marina owner, gave the standing rigging a once-over for tuning.  They own a Westsail 32 and he showed me the proper sequence of adjusting the rig and the tensioning of stays and shrouds.  

With that done, I mounted the teak navigation light boxes in the shrouds using the custom fabricated stainless steel brackets that my son-in-law, Jeff Bissonnette, made for me.   They worked beautifully and really gave the boat a finishing touch!

Installing the cheek blocks on the boom for the reefing system and the final electrical work (heavy battery cables) is all that remains before the shakedown cruise to Put 'n Bay, hopefully on Sunday June 4th.   Our goal is to ship out for Florida on Monday, June 5th.   We'll see if we can make the scheduled departure.