Winter 2020/2021 Upgrades and Maintenance


As most of you remember, we had a slew of things go wrong on the way down. One being, the main generator kept shutting down.

Being the cracker-jack nuclear technician that I am (or used to be), when the generator kept shutting down, I got out the tools and the meter and began the highly technical trouble shooting process to determine the problem.  Next time, just go with the obvious.  It shut down on high temp because I had melted the impellor.  Not only that, but replacing impellor didn’t fix the problem because the pump got so hot, it warped the mechanical seal.  So, I had to replace the whole water pump.

The second big job was replacing the fuel fill line on the port side tank.  This required removing the water heater, which fell apart on removal and needed to be replaced.  After a little more time than I had originally thought, we got her all back together again.

One of the things that always bothered Robin was that we had horrible water pressure on the boat when not tied to dockside water.  The culprit was the antiquated water system that was installed in the boat.  I always thought that the previous owners must have sourced the original water system from a museum…. We (meaning I)  pulled out the old system out and replaced it with a Shore Flo system.   It runs much quieter and puts out 45 psi with 3 gpm flow.  Plenty for a shower while under way or on the hook.

On the way down the ICW we realized just how important it was to have a backward facing camera.  Not only did it help with docking when you’re at the lower helm station, but it also allows you to have a heads up when a sport fisher is about to pass and throw a huge wake your way.  I was able to install a second Garmin screen dedicated to the back facing camera.  I also used the opportunity to replace the dash board that had been installed years ago.  There were several holes cut into it from previous installations and the new dash just cleaned everything up.

The biggest pain in the neck had to be the forward bilge/shower situation.  We would continually get water in the mid bilge, which would eventually go sour and have to be vacuumed out of the bilge. This process was performed more often than I would have liked.  When I crawled down into the bilge I found that someone had run dozens of lines into the old shower sump.  Not just the two shower drains but it appeared that they ran three A/C condensate sumps into the shower sump (the pilot house A/C, the forward A/C, and the Mid Stateroom A/C) . This wouldn’t have been much of a problem if you continually pumped out the sump (it was all manual).  After some investigation, I found that one of the drain lines went no-where and was open on the end.  When the sump filled, if you didn’t have the pump on, this open line would drain back down into the bilge.  So, if the A/C units were running a lot, or someone was in the shower and didn’t turn the pumps on, into the bilge it went.  It took some imaginative plumbing and several trips to the hardware store, but we were eventually able to straighten out the Rub Goldberg plumbing situation. Now everything drains properly and has a float switch installed. (fingers crossed)

The next three big jobs required that we bring in some big guns for assistance.

The stabilizer had developed a leak and drained all of its oil on the trip down.  We brought in help from a Naiad rep from Stuart for that one. After a few phone conversations and videos, we were able to narrow down what we thought was the culprit, the wiper seal on the actuation arm had failed and oil was draining back into the bilge. Andy, from Whiticar, had said that we had to make sure we had the problem identified because they had to order the parts ahead of time and they were on the pricey side. We got everything ready and Andy came up, parts in hand. He said ‘no problem’. (I hate when they say that.) Anyway, after an hour he called me back to the stabilizer and said ‘we have a problem’. (figures) Apparently, we identified the model as a 201 stabilizer. Turns out that the previous owner had done an on-the-spot change and not recorded it. The rams and the pump were all upgraded to a newer model and now this replacement ram didn’t fit. I was sick thinking we had to purchase another ram. Andy said, don’t worry about it, not your fault, we’ll take care of ordering a new ram. Two days later, they were back on the boat, part in hand and job finished in an hour. I would highly recommend this company for any work that needed to be done. Very professional, polite and respectful of the boat.

We also found a great Carpenter who had moved here from Philly. (This made conversation easy because we all spoke the same language!)  Anyway we had him remove the Pilot house doors and rebuild them. Water damage had ruined the doors. While he was here, we also had him design a couple of arm rests for the salon sofa. That made Robin happy. (a plus for me, I’m sure I’ll need those points later on.) The only drawback was that we had to live with these fancy foam doors for several weeks. John from MT Woodwork wound up doing an excellent job on both the doors and the sofa arms. I’d recommend him to anyone needing some carpentry work done.

The final big job was a little more stressful than the rest. We had some paint and fiberglass work done up north that I was never really satisfied with. We used this opportunity to get that repaired. We had a crew come in and repair two of the non-skid areas that hadn’t held up, had the anchor pulpit block repaired and the toe rail repainted all around the boat. While they were doing this work, they found a spot on the rear port toe rail that was rotting and were able to repair it, so it’s good that we had this work done.

Another job was cutting back the radar arch mount so that the radar arch could be lowered enough that a free height would allow us to clear some of the lower fixed bridges on the loop. Hopefully, this will be enough to accomplish that.  Now we have to wait to see if Canada is going to allow us into their country.

So, there it is. You haven’t heard much from us, because we’ve been super busy. Hopefully we can get off the dock and head back out soon.

PS: of course, before we could even post this one, we found out that the macerator pump had quit working and the motor for the anchor winch died. So, the fun continues.

Categories: Life AboardTags: ,

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