Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hurry Up and Wait

Impeller, 3/22/2008

Despite the cool weather, I prepped for bottom painting today. The dock water was still not turned on at the marina, but I filled a bucket and scrubbed the bottom with a stiff deck brush to scuff it up and remove any residual slime and growth. I taped off the water line, so I'm ready to paint as soon as the weather is clear. Tomorrow's forecast looks good, so I'm hoping to finish this weekend.

I also replaced the water pump impeller today. Some people recommend doing it every year. Volvo says an impeller is good for 500 hours. I hadn't changed ours yet since we bought the boat in 2006, and I had no idea when it was done last (not to mention a little mishap last summer). So, either way, it was time.

My main concern was that it would be difficult to remove the old impeller. It wouldn't budge at first, but I cranked the engine for a second or two to get it turning, and after that, I pulled it out fairly easily by grabbing vanes on each side with channel lock pliers. It wasn't in very good shape: there were a couple pieces broken off and sitting free in the water pump housing. Very glad I changed it out. I put a little dish soap on the new one, and it slid into place fairly easily. I had one fairly serious issue, though. When replacing the cover, I stripped one of the machine screw holes in the housing. I was being gentle, I swear, but a mild turn of the wrench stripped it out. I'll need to tap it for a new screw.

Note: For our Volvo TAMD40B, the impeller part number I ordered is #875736, from Marine Parts Express. Despite their claim that it would be a genuine Volvo part, the impeller had a Jabsco stamp on it. Hmm.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

More Brightwork

Swim Platform, 3/15/2008

Finally we got some weather that is clear and warm enough to start some exterior work! The water is still not yet turned on at the marina, but Michele and I spent most of the day there anyway.

We started the brightwork last fall, but left the swim platform for spring. While I took care of some inside work, Michele took the palm sander to the platform. My tasks included finishing off the water pump installation, which went fairly quickly, and coating the fairing block for the depth transducer with penetrating epoxy. The paint had worn off the block, and water collecting in that area had subsequently starting deteriorating the wood.

Once I finished inside, I helped out with some of the swim platform sanding. Michele really did 90% of it, and she did a great job, too. It was in rough shape: badly flaking and weather-worn gray. It is supposed to rain today (Sunday), so the rest will have to wait.

Next Saturday, we hope to do the bottom paint and put the first coat of Cetol Light on the platform. With luck, we'll get that done in one day. Then we can return on Sunday to apply another coat or two of Cetol to the platform, remove the shrinkwrap, and wax the hull. That will complete our pre-launch work!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Maintenance and...upgrades!

Rudder Stuffing Box, Seacock Maintenance, Battery Charger Outlet, Potable Water Pump, 3/8/2008

On Saturday, I started tackling some pre-launch maintenance. Most of those tasks have to wait for warmer temperatures, though, so in the meantime I'm working on a few upgrades as well.

Maintenance items:

Tightened the rudder stuffing box.
I repacked it last year, but never adjusted it after some use. We continually had a small amount of water collecting in that area, so I got out the packing nut wrenches and tightened the stuffing box. It was pretty loose, so I hope this will take care of the water ingress.

Greased engine intake seacock. My understanding is that Spartan seacocks don't really need yearly disassembly despite Spartan's recommendation. But, our engine seacock was really getting difficult to move, so I took it apart again this year and regreased it. The head intake seacock seems to be fine.


AC outlet. On Saturday, I finished installing a new outlet under the port bench. I put in a new GFCI outlet using the existing wiring for the outlet on the outside of the bench, and then wired it to feed the old outlet downstream. This will allow us to plug in the battery charger inside the bench, and at the same time, protect the existing outlet with a GFCI.

Potable water pump. Our old water pump cycles incessantly when we run the water, provides weak pressure, and is very loud. Modern pumps, like our new Jabsco Sensor-Max 14, allegedly are quieter and have continuous pressure switches that prevent on-off cycling. This was by no means an urgent upgrade, but I hope it will eliminate a minor but frequent annoyance. Unfortunately, it's also a difficult upgrade due mainly to the difficult to reach location of the pump (down low on the forward bulkhead in the engine compartment). I nearly completed the installation, but I broke one of the Qest plumbing fittings while reassembling. I'll have to complete the job next time.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Getting Ready

I've been slacking lately when it comes to posting updates here. With boating season almost upon us, soon I'll no doubt have more to say, more often.

I'm eagerly awaiting spring launch, which is scheduled for the week of April 1. There are several mandatory pre-launch maintenance tasks that are causing me a bit of anxiety, however, so we're likely to be delayed a couple weeks. Not that it matters, we were ready to go in on April 1 last year, but the yard didn't get to us until April 20 anyway.

"Must-do" pre-launch maintenance work on the agenda:
  • Refinish swim platform
  • Bottom paint
  • Wash and wax hull
  • Grease seacock for engine-intake
  • Tighten rudder stuffing box
  • Epoxy/paint fairing block for depth sounder