One of the more time consuming tasks it simply running around town to get the parts needed to work on a boat.
The other evening I got to the local chandlery (hardware store for boats) at 6:30 pm, only to find they changed their hours, shortening them to 10 – 6. The next day I go again, only to find the pricing on some of the supplies a bit heavier than expected, so off to the auto parts store I go to find something more reasonable.
What sort of things am I doing (not accounting for the others who are doing projects as well):
All lines (ropes) are thrown into the washing machine on high agitation, soap and bleach. The lines do get dirty through the year and many end up looking as good as new after washing, plus they become soft to the hand again, rather than stiff like iron with the dirt impregnated in the line. However in the wash they twist into the biggest massive knot you have ever seen, hours of untangling are required.
I also have an old soldering iron I put a cutting blade on (I think it is for cutting vinyl tiles). Any line with a ratted end and all frayed is cut off and melted (Nylon) so that it will never fray again. I also commonly go around the side at the end of the line for 3/8″ – 1/2″ line and melt the sides up into the melted end. This tapers the line a bit and makes it easier to push through pulleys.
When the factory built this boat, they put the electrical switch panel (to run exterior and interior lights as well as the ship to shore radio, GPS, and stereo) on the end wall of a berth at foot or pillow height. People sleeping hit these switches shutting power off. This panel is being moved to a safe place that actually can be seen easily as well, rather than getting on your hands and knees to see it. A dozen wires have to be extended to do this. As well, one of the fuse-holders is missing a nut, and I am on the search for a replacement.
Not only is the panel being moved, in today’s world of electronics, many portable devices still plug into a cigarette lighter. As I write this, I realize I should probably look for one that has a USB port too. There are none on board, and installation is on the list for the weekend. There was no GPS with this boat, we have an old one that works just fine, and the wiring, mounting location, and connecting it to an on-deck digital display is in the plan too. Connecting electronic devices together usually takes some set-up to get the two to “talk to each other.” What will it show on-deck? It will show the course (compass heading) and distance to our next point on the course.
In the Chicago Mackinac Race, these two pieces of information drives all our decisions from start to finish. The course from where we are at this moment in time will tell us if the port tack or the starboard tack is more favored (sometimes we just can’t point directly at where we want to go, sometimes we have to zig-zag, the Port zig might be closer to where we want to go than the Starboard zag, or vice versa!).
The distance is helpful for a lot of reasons, one is not to run aground, another is when a long distance away, changes in course on-board does not have much impact on the course to where you are going. But when you are close to where you want to go, small changes in course will have a large change on the direction where you want to go.
One of the most important things to do to a boat is keep the interior dry. Which is not so easy. A warm day with the sun beating on the boat, and the cool water keeping the interior cold will cause a boat to sweat on the inside. Even melted ice from the cooler becomes a source for mold. Add onto that we will sail rain or shine, water is introduced to the interior with wet sails, lines, and clothing. One project includes mounting a board with hooks to hang the 15 lines (ropes) for the boat in a well ventilated area which will allow the lines to drip, and dry without getting anything else wet around them.
When they originally built 300+ of this model of boat, they put vent slats on the sides of the boat at the bow. It was learned when the bow plunges into waves, that these slats allow water to come into the boat, and over time, a fairly extreme amount of water. Most of these boats have fiberglassed in these slats and moved to an alternate method of ventilation, but not this boat! I hope to fiberglass the slats from the inside this weekend. Then start figuring out what alternate method of ventilation to install next time when I come to the boat.
The boat is a diamond in the rough, in not too many weeks it will be in the water and sailing. But in the mean time, man and woman hours will be thrown at it.
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