Sunday, August 28, 2011

Head Cabinets

Winter 2010/2011

More carpentry, courtesy of Courtney. This dresses up the head quite a bit, although the enclosed space is less usable than we had hoped. Behind the sink, the sliders don't open very far and there's isn't a lot of room behind them. Behind the toilet, there's a decent amount of space, but I think we need to put a shelf in there to really make it useful. That said, looks much nicer!



Thursday, May 5, 2011

Early to Bed

November, 2010

Generally, we wait until after Thanksgiving to call it quits on the season.

Last fall, we winterized and hauled out early. I had been dealing with a back injury for over a year, and finally concluded that I needed surgery. The full recovery time for the surgery is 3 months. I wanted to get it out of the way in December, so I could use the holiday time for recovery, and be fully recovered and strong again for spring.

Both the winterization and the surgery went smoothly.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Summer 2010

We hired Courtney for a few more carpentry projects.

First up: repairs to our wheelhouse door due to more water intrusion issues (sigh... water, water, everywhere...). Water was getting inside the door, presumably via the glass bedding, but possibly through the latch/lock plate. The interior veneer was becoming stained and buckled. Courtney did a little refinishing work, and replaced the heavily clouded and scratched plexiglass with safety glass. It sure looks nicer and provides a clearer view. (We've subsequently discovered that the water problem isn't solved, so more effort forthcoming).

Then, one of our nicer additions... The storage area openings in the v-berth were just oval cutouts. It was pretty messy looking with all our belongings stuffed in there (not to mention, rough seas had a habit of dumping our stuff out on the bed).

Here's a picture of the original openings (along with our cat Lola):

Courtney built new rectangular doors, and cut out the openings to fit. The new doors trim it out nicely. When closed, they sit flush. Out of pure serendipity, we found nice little pearl and tarnished-bronze handles in an antique shop. (I'll probably swap the hinges out for tarnished versions instead of polished.)

When opened, they're held up by a friction-based arm which can be locked into place to secure the door open. This is, of course, very important to Lola.

One issue: the existing light fixtures blocked the aft doors. They were in terrible shape anyway, so we replaced them with fixtures that have flexible goose-necks. Now we can move the lights out the way when opening the doors.

Port Gaskets and Screens

Summer 2010

Last summer, I finally got around to replacing the gaskets and screens on the ports in the v-berth, head, and galley. We were getting small amounts of water dripping through, and a couple of the screens had small tears around the perimeter that were letting insects in. It wasn't clear whether the water was getting through the gasket or around the frame, but before rebedding them I thought I'd try the gaskets. It mostly helped, though we'll need to rebed the frames sometime in the not-too-distant future.

We have Beckson ports, size "512" (where the opening is roughly 5" x 12"), and the part numbers are:
  • Gasket: GK-512
  • Screen: SCR-512
I ordered the parts from Pulling out the old gaskets was easy; they were hard and brittle, and coming out on their own already. Installing the new gaskets required some effort, but it wasn't too bad. It probably took me about 90 minutes to do all four. Beckson has a great overview page with part numbers, along with specific instructions for fitting the new gasket into the frame. Really nice to see that kind of help on their site.

When we do the rebedding, I might actually replace the lenses too (LNZ-512), which have become fogged and scratched over time.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dock Lines

Summer 2010

New set of docklines. Hardly worth a post, but I just love the look and feel of brand new lines, so I'm sharing a picture here :-)

I added the whipping to the bitter end (see inset). I like doing that, it's fun and it looks nice.


Summer, 2010

We hired Courtney (who did our anchor roller) to make nameboards for Mariner II. She's a great carpenter, and I think this has to be some of her finest work! Particularly the transom nameboard, which is curved in two directions to an exact fit of the transom curve. Just beautiful! In addition to the boards pictured here, there's a smaller nameboard on each side of the flybridge. Here's a picture just after the initial mounting while Mariner II was out of the water.

The nameboard is thru-bolted to the transom. Mark helped me drill 4" access ports on the inside of the cockpit fiberglass liner, to allow access to the structural transom and back side of the bolts. The fiberglass liner is about 1/4" thick, and there's about a 1" gap between the liner and the transom, which is just enough to slip a wrench in and put a washer and nut on the back of the bolts. The transom itself appears to be about an inch thick! The board for the hailing port is small and light, so it's just screwed in, not thru-bolted.

Bedding Deck Fittings

March 2010

After last year's deck leak, we realized we better take care of rebedding our remaining deck fittings, before it happens again. Michele and I rebedded nearly everything on deck: stanchion bases, cleats, anchor chain locks, ladder base - basically everything but the teak handrails, which seem to be in good shape... for now.

I also made new, larger backing plates for the cleats and the chain locks. I'd been concerned particularly about using our forward cleat to break the anchor free when weighing anchor. That should be ok now.

We also raised each of the flybridge attachment screws, and put sealant under them. We had a few little water leaks through the wheelhouse ceiling, probably from these screws. No more leaks, so I guess we got it.


March, 2010

John came down from PA in his 911 to help us wax. First time we've ever had the entire boat waxed, pre-launch... Thanks, John!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hanging Straps

Our aft mooring cover doubles as a cockpit bimini. We have a stainless frame that attaches to the cockpit gunwale to support it. When we're not using it, the frame sits around the perimeter on the cockpit sole, where I often stub my toes on it.

I made some hangers out of some webbing/straps to hang it from the gunwale. They're attached to the underside of the gunwale with a bolt and nylon locknut. On the inside, there's a hidden post for a "lift-the-dot" type snap. There are four straps: one port, one starboard, and two along the transom. The frame sits in the loop when the strap is snapped in place.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Engine Maintenance

Winter 2009-2010

In the past, I've had moderate success extracting the oil via the dipstick. I've never been able to extract it via the extraction tube. While winterizing this year, I had no success, period. I tried my electric oil change pump, a Jabsco hand pump, and a vacuum pump -- no luck. I started inquiring of other Cape Dory 28 owners, and learned that it should be much easier. In particular, I watched Mark extract the oil from Brandywine's Volvo engine (via the extraction tube), and I was astonished at how quickly and easily it was done! Clearly, there was something wrong with the extraction tube on ours. I soon concluded that it was clogged, but was not able to unclog it using a wire.

My next strategy was to worm my way underneath the engine and remove the drain plug, planning to replace it with a drain kit to make future oil changes easier. No go: I could get a large wrench on it, but the plug wouldn't move, at least not with the limited leverage I could get in the tight space. (And, sadly, I think I injured my back trying.)

We were planning some professional maintenance anyway, so I added the extraction tube to the list. During the winter, we had Dick Vosbury come down to do a few things:
  • Removed and clean the heat exchanger.
  • Remove and clean and oil cooler.
  • Replace the alarm unit on the bridge.
  • Clear the oil extraction tube.
Voila! Oil changes are a snap, now! I'm using the tall vacuum-style pump from West Marine in the picture above, basically the same as Mark's. Big enough to get all the oil in two trips, and it does it very quickly (10 minutes).