Spring update

I can be the worst sort of blogger: a blogger who doesn’t blog. Dammit! Time got away from me. Again.

In any case, things have been happening over the winter, although far slower than I would like. In an effort to write something, anything, here is a quick somewhat long-winded run down of this winter’s boat refit projects:

I am in the process of redoing the entire electrical system. Entirely. AC and DC. Everything is coming out and being replaced. I am unhappy with the existing DC system, especially with a mystery current draw when everything is supposed to be powered off, so this seems like a good time to take care of the system. The small panel next to the galley is being replaced with a larger panel next to the nav station (where it really belongs). Wire is being properly sized (the wash down pump, all the way in the bow, was wired with 16 AWG, as was the pressure water system…now, with 12 AWG wire, the lights don’t dim), as are all the breakers. I’m trying very hard to do everything according to modern standards. I installed a battery monitor which is really cool. I’m installing lots of twelve volt outlets (I hate not having a convenient outlet when I need it). A new stereo and a new VHF with built-in AIS reception is also going into the panel. A CO detector is now installed. A bilge water alarm is being installed (insurance company insists) as is a second electric bilge pump in the little sump area behind the engine if I can find a way to shoehorn it in. New batteries will be going in, wired together with an Automatic Charge Relay so I don’t have to worry about juggling the battery on/off/both switch during charging. In fact, I am installing one new switch for house power and one for engine. I purchased four 20 watt solar panels that will be mounted on the dodger. A couple new LED dome lights have been installed. Incandescent interior bulbs have been replaced with LED and I hope to do the same with my NAV lights. There is a lot more, I’m sure. It’s coming along, slowly. Here is a general (although far from comprehensive and not quite up to date) diagram for how things are wired up…I think this will work pretty well.

DC System, version 1

I did pull out the not-really-functioning air-conditioner and was going to install a brand new one; but I decided to order a new dinghy (porta-bote) instead as my old home-built dinghy went with my Seafarer (sadly wrecked by the new owner ) when I sold her. I may regret that should I move aboard this summer. If so, I am keeping the thru-hulls in place, and I have strung new 120v AC wiring so that I can install a new unit reasonably painlessly without having to haul the boat. In theory anyhow.

The old holding tank is out-a-there, as is the old Grocco toilet and nearly all the associated plumbing. I am just about ready to install the Nature’s Head Dry Composting Toilet. Unfortunately, the extra height of the new toilet is interfering with the doors of the cabinet behind it. More work <sigh>.

Mom came down for a few days a couple of weeks ago to help me with the hull prep. Lots of sanding and scraping but it is more or less ready for new bottom paint. The previous owners raised the waterline over the bootstripe. I guess I’ll leave it that way for this year. We’ll see how she sits. Mom also helped with the teak which is great, although there is an awful lot left to do. The old name is gone and the boat is ready to receive her new identity. I can’t wait as I was never really happy with the old name.

The new anchor system will hopefully be installed in the next week or two. A Rocna 10 (22 pounds), with 90 feet of ¼” high tensile chain and ½” 8-plait line on a big roller. I bought a second, matching, roller that should be here in a couple of days that will allow me to keep two anchors on the bow, although I haven’t decided on the second set yet.

There is a lot more to do (always); but hopefully I’ll be able to launch by the end of May. I had intended on trying to sail to Martha’s Vineyard for the Father’s Day party that many of my friends have there that weekend; but that no longer looks realistic as I will be lucky to get Seeker launched at that point, and I am not anxious to try everything out the first time on a big (relatively speaking…it’s not exactly crossing the Atlantic; but it would be my biggest passage as skipper) trip. Instead I think I may try for the Newport Folk Festival at the end of July. That plan would allow Lauren to accompany me as I attempt to get her to fall in love with the whole idea of travel by sea. Unfortunately, work may mess up my plans.

Whatcha thinkin'?