Categories
maintenance progressions

sprucing up the stanchions: part 1

I had a friend with the same boat as Coconut. He wanted to sell his boat, and offered me the handrails to switch out my lifelines. Being that hard handrails are so much sturdier, I quickly said yes and took off my stanchions. It took two weeks! Those bolts are not easy to get to. He said he’d come down with everything before I left for Antarctica, but realized his passport was expired and we’d do it when I came back. But when I came back, after ignoring me for several days he finally sent me a message saying that he’d sold the boat and didn’t take off any of the handrails (besides the aft portion that I already picked up). This put me in a bind for heading south. I didn’t want to do the 1,000 mile leg with no lifelines. The dogs need to go to the bathroom up there. I’m not sure why  he even asked if I wanted them. Flake all you want but leave me out of it please and thank you.

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I was already freshening up the wooden blocks that go between the deck and stanchion base, so I decided to continue with that and figure out a plan. His stanchion bases were much nicer than mine, as some of mine were completely cracked and all of them were so rusty no amount of metal polish could clean them up. I’d seen you could get new bases for $15 a pop at a chandlery in San Diego, so all I needed to order were a couple of t-bar connectors and end caps to fit onto an imaginary stainless steel handrail to go forward one day in the future. I can’t afford those right now, so I am fine putting the forward lifelines back on. Those are in good condition, with new bases it’ll be just like new. Thankfully I was able to purchase exactly what I needed from calendar sales as well as a very kind donation from a dear friend. Thank you!!! <3

While I was gone, I had the toe rail worked on because there was nothing in it’s way and it would be the only shot to clean that baby up. Basically, this has turned into one of those projects that just snowballs into a million other things when you’re already tight on cash. I’m glad I’m doing it though, because I’ve stopped a couple of leaks and will be a helluva lot safer out at sea with new bases. And the teak looking nice and fresh doesn’t hurt. But I decided to paint it because I loathe brightwork and don’t have the patience for  maintaining it.

Besides the pain of getting the nuts and bolts off, what takes the longest is prepping the wood bases. Sanding the old paint off, getting the gunky caulking off the bottoms, drilling out the holes, filling them and other cracks with thickened epoxy, filling them again because air bubbles, sanding them down, putting two coats of epoxy on, and three coats of paint before they are ready to be caulked on and drilled through.

Because my original stanchion bases were welded on, I had the yard break the welds. The “newer” stanchion bases were easy to remove and put onto my stanchions with set screws instead of welding. After that, all I had to do was saw off the eye at the top and the handrail connector could go right over that. This way I wouldn’t have to completely change the location of some of the bases. The aft handrail was much longer for some reason, extending way past the pulpit, but I didn’t want to cut that down until I had the stanchions back in place so I could tell where to cut it to get the correct curvature of the boat.

So far, this is a work in progress and not complete yet….

 

 

Categories
maintenance progressions

prepping for a safe passage

I had some pretty wild good luck on my way down the coast, and suddenly when I was due to take off again every test sail I went on had problems. Nothing major, but enough to let me know I needed to go back to the dock to fix something. I started looking into pre-departure checklists as some of this stuff could have been caught before I left the dock had I made it a habit to inspect it. Below is what I’ve come up with for prepping for a safe passage. I have made this into an actual checklist and put it into my binder titled “Everything Coconut” so it is easy to reference. (To note, this is everything besides the obvious items like topping off water, fuel, provisions, laundry, lifejackets, etc.) I couldn’t find any pre-made detailed checklists so I made my own!

Have a Float Plan

I wasn’t sure what this was, but upon seeing some examples like this one from the Coast Guard, I definitely need one of these. I have a couple of friends I regularly let know I am leaving and the city where I am headed to. They do not know the details of my boat, the Documentation Number, type of engine, type of sailboat, marina or anchorage I plan on staying in, etc. I am not always good at letting them know I got in either, which I definitely need to get better about. Even though my passages are around 70 miles each, at least giving my friends a copy of this to hold on to is a good idea should anything go wrong.

Engine Pre-Departure Checklist

I’ve learned a lot about maintaining a diesel engine, but at the same time I am still learning the more I work with it. For example, checking the oil and coolant level is easy. However, I am not good about inspecting the sea strainer, the tension on the belts, or checking for leaks.

  • Check oil level and color (if black, time to change it)
  • Check coolant level
  • Check Alternator Belt and Water Pump Belt tension, inspect for black dust
  • Check for cracked hoses, oil leaks, loose hose clamps
  • Empty water from bilge compartment
  • Clear out Sea Water Strainer
  • Check water flow exiting the boat
  • Check Gear Shifter to ensure bolt fastened properly

 

Check Steering System

Check hydraulic steering for leaks from the pump at the wheel all the way down to the ram at the rudder. Check for loose hose clamps, leaks, and missing cotter pins.

 

Check Standing and Running Rigging

On my first failed sail, I turned around because the lower shrouds on both port and starboard were loose and shaking. It was very windy, so the side opposite of the wind direction was the one flailing a bit too much for comfort. I don’t have the money for a Loos Tensioning Gauge, but decided to tighten the offending shrouds more than what I thought necessary. I’ve already lubed them, so I probably should have marked the spot where the turnbuckles were before removing them. Lastly, make sure everything’s got a cotter pin and that it is properly bent and covered so it doesn’t catch on anything!

For running rigging, check for chafe. If you can see what the line is chafing on, see about covering that area with white electrical tape. My roller furling line always gets caught on the cotter pins where the rigging is attached to the chainplate. I used to stuff an old washcloth between here, but this only allows dirt and dog hair to collect and not go through the deck scuppers.

I also check the spare lines I have on the stern pulpit. I drape them over the pulpit and it always comes in handy if I need to throw a line to someone. Make sure the lines are secured tightly and will not fall off or foul in the prop.

 

Secure the Anchor

If the anchor is not secured, it can possibly jump off the gibsea and puncture a hole in the hull. No bueno! I’ve simply attached a line through the end of the anchor to an eye bolt on the toe rail.

 

Check Electronics

I’ve got a handheld GPS and InReach with satellite GPS. Both of these seem to receive updates maybe 2x a year, so it is always good to connect those to the internet and make sure everything is up to date.

Make sure all navigation lights are working. Another failed sail of mine the front red and green nav lights on the pulpit were mysteriously dark. Turn on all equipment and ensure function, even if you don’t need it at that time. The depth sounder, AutoPilot, VHF/AIS radio, etc.

 

Check the Weather

When I was hopping down the coast I would leave as long as there was no wind. This was very helpful in getting me comfortable with single handing, and when a line got snagged on something the sail or jib sheet was fairly easy to un-foul. Even though there was “no wind” predicted, there is always at least enough wind to keep the main up.

Upon reading more about this, one site (can’t remember which) recommended to start keeping track of the weather in a journal. This will help you see patterns, and start to understand weather in general. I thought this was a great idea. I was gifted a PDF of reading the weather, which I plan to familiarize myself with.

It can also be good to keep track as I am not yet familiar with what conditions are favorable and unfavorable (mostly wave height). I know 20-30 knots will be a more cumbersome sail, but I tend to forget about wave height and tides/currents since I am no longer in San Francisco (which has notoriously strong currents). NOAA has good and reliable information for this.

 

Organize Tools

Sounds silly, but I am bad at this. Having a shop means I tend to toss tools back in the shop without making sure it’s secure or in the right spot. When I had pulled into a marina to tighten the alternator belt I couldn’t find the right sized socket and of course I couldn’t get a box wrench in the space. I knew I had it on board, but it set me back just trying to find it.

I’ve gone through my shop and gotten rid of things I hadn’t used in a while (like my 5 gallon vacuum) and moved things that didn’t need to be in there. I also found some treasures I forgot I had! Zita was hiding from a big bad scary fly in the first picture, but the shop now has a floor! And their bike trailer is secured! And so is the net! And last but not least I finally put the door handle back on. The handles are all pretty corroded and ugly looking, so I took them off. (Four years ago.) I was going to spray paint them and never did until a few days ago. Not crazy about the chunky clear coat finish, I will have to buy a matte finish before finishing the rest of them! At least I know where my tools are, they are more secure than before, and I should be able to access them quickly should I need to.

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Categories
maintenance

inspecting and tuning the standing rigging

I noticed the white electrical tape was coming off the standing rigging, so I figured it was time for it to come off and polish everything up and make sure the cotter pins were still in place, that the turnbuckles moved, etc. The mast went up in March of 2017, so two years is probably too long to have waited to do this. I had tried cleaning the turnbuckles up a few times and wasn’t able to get those green spots off. I see the most rust at the end of the wire section leading to the turnbuckle. I always clean those up to try to keep them from breaking, as that’s often where standing rigging fails. To those who don’t know, the turnbuckles need to be greased annually. (whoopsies)

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Upon doing some research, I realized the green spots were patina coming through from the bronze underneath as the turnbuckles are apparently chrome plated bronze. I don’t know if there’s something I should have done to prevent those spots from showing up, but according to this article cleaning up the threads of the turnbuckle with mineral spirits is all you need to do, and lubricate using a dry lube (Team McLube’s Sailkote seems highly recommended on the inter webs).

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This video was a nice and simple explanation of how to clean the turnbuckles, although for mine it was the top one that was usually seized not the bottom. The most difficult part of this was getting the cotter pins out and putting new ones back in. I got better at bending them so they would be more flat rather than curved and poking out. The wire brush in the photo below has come in handy aboard Coconut! A toothbrush was too big to fit in the smaller shrouds, this brush worked perfectly.

I used Nevr-Dull metal polish to clean up the wire and turnbuckles themselves, and after wiping that off with a clean rag I’d put car wax on another rag and rub it in until it was nice and shiny. Surprisingly, this has made a big difference in Coconut’s radiance! And come to think of it, I never have tuned the rig. But that’s a separate post all together because I am certainly no rigger!

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I was going to leave tuning the rig to another time, however, this video popped up on my YouTube recommendations and although long it was very informative.

When I had the mast polished a few months ago the man I hired checked everything up there, so it should be okay. Famous last words, right?! I am terrified of heights, so climbing the mast isn’t something I’ve done yet. I know I will need to learn, as it’s just an essential part of being a boat owner along with a solo sailor. Working up the guts for that first. I need to rig up a self climber, if anyone has any tips feel free to share!

Categories
maintenance

cleaning up the manual windlass

On my sail south, I stopped at the Channel Islands because it was a “must see” according to everyone. I’d heard enough about the Santa Ana winds that I was pretty terrified of going, but what is an adventure if you’re not going to at least try to anchor out at an island you may wash ashore on? I hadn’t anchored since a month before my hand injury (so… three years). My anchoring skills were rusty to say the least.

I ended up getting caught in the Santa Ana’s my last day there and yeoup, it was pretty terrifying! As soon as I got to the nearest dock 32 miles away, I kept saying “this stupid windlass doesn’t work!” As people asked why or how, I realized I didn’t know how to use the dang thing. Previously, I just pulled the chain up by hand, but in 50+ knot winds that is simply impossible.

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The windlass is a beautiful chunk of bronze that had two coats of different paint over it. I cleaned it up, probably made it worse as I spray painted the rusty innards, and put it back together again with some new grease. I thought it would be along the same lines of painting an engine, but that’s a different type of metal that is better off painted. Apparently, painting stainless that is rusty will make it rust from the inside since it can’t breathe. Oops.

Pretty much all the steel parts had corrosion pits in them, so at some point in the future I will have to find a shop to remake these parts anyways. At first, I was using a wire wheel to remove the coats of paint off the bronze. Someone told me to try paint remover. I did a combination of both, it was very time consuming to get it all off and probably took the most amount of time. I’d switch between getting rust off the inner bits and pieces, and then fighting with the bronze piece, and so on.

I learned this baby has two gears, and how to operate the break (very importante!!!). A nice man on the docks, Peter, was curious how it worked and he helped me get it back together. I also met an Instagram follower and he lent me his sons car to run errands and get stuff from the hardware store! It was a great stop and I am glad events lead me to that marina.

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Categories
maintenance progressions

upgrading the battery banks

When I first bought Coconut there were three batteries on board, not connected and hanging out in the shop waiting to be installed. I later learned they were purchased in 2009, so in 2014 they were already old. Because I knew nothing about battery banks, I had an electrician install them. They were 12V led/acid batteries, size D27 and of the Powerstride brand. I thought you only had to water them once a year, but it turns out it’s once a month. Oops. I didn’t learn this until the batteries had been in use for five years and due for replacement anyways. They still were holding a charge just fine during the day with the solar panels, but at night the voltage would drop dramatically. I didn’t want to have to worry about JaLos the autopilot draining the batteries on a night passage. Hell, just being able to leave my cabin lights and radio on after dark would be nice!

Plenty of people told me to look into golf cart batteries. They are only 6 volt but have more amp hours. It sounded great, until I saw how big they were. Because they are 6V you need 2x as many (I think?) than you would if you only went with 12V. I don’t think I could fit even one golf cart battery where the current batteries are, they are too tall. Relocating the battery bank is absolutely not an idea I was interested in entertaining. Another important tidbit I learned was to go with an AGM battery. AGM’s do not require maintenance, so there is need to go on a treasure hunt to find distilled water as most countries outside the US do not carry it. Also, the battery for the engine bank absolutely must be rated a “starting battery” (or at least dual purpose). Mine previously was not.

I went ahead and splurged on Powerstride AGM’s, and got a Lifeline Starting Battery. I made space for two more batteries, which was the perfect amount! I just had to have an electrician come to make new battery connectors to run the now four house bank batteries in parallel. The only thing I would need to check was to make sure the solar charge controller was compatible for AGM’s, as well as the battery charger. I honestly never use the battery charger because I am rarely connected to shore power, but it could definitely ruin the batteries if it’s not compatible.

The one chart that has helped me understand how my batteries are doing is below. Looking at the percentage on the battery monitor wasn’t entirely helping me understand what was going on. For example, it would show the batteries were at 85% but be at 12.20 volts, which as you can see is actually 60%. I am happy to say the voltage so far hasn’t gone below 12.5, and that was when I was charging my laptop after dark (whaaaat!). I think four batteries will be plenty sufficient for my minimal usage, the only appliance I am missing is the fridge/freezer unit. Once the area gets re-insulated, I am curious to see how much power it draws.

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Categories
maintenance

rigging, mast hardware, and everything in between!

Alright, the last maintenance post I did was about the mast sanding. I’d removed ALL of the hardware, scrubbed every screw until my fingers were raw, and thought about all the other things I should do while the mast was down. I had tried to slowly replace the rigging one by one, but no rigger wanted to climb a 40 year old rig. Gee, I wonder why?? In addition to the new standing rigging, and new paint, over the course of a few months I completed the following.

I added all new LED light fixtures and electrical components/wiring:

  • Spreader Lights (one facing forward, one facing aft)
  • TriColor masthead light with a windex
  • Ubiquiti Bullet for Wi-Fi
  • Shakespeare Antennae for VHF/AIS

I had the masthead piece welded so a spare halyard could be added (hanging from a block)
I had the shivs inside the masthead remade as the old ones had jagged edges and could potentially fray the new halyards.

The chainplates (as well as most of the metals used on this boat) were known to be terrible. I had them remade, and they somehow came back wrong. I know my boat well enough to know when a stack of chainplates come back and all the holes line up, somethings wrong. Everything is pretty much hand made on board, no two items are the same and you know you have the right piece when it actually goes back on properly. When it doesn’t, chances are I’ve been trying with the wrong piece. The boat was built in Taiwan in the 70s so they apparently used a melting pot of metals, meaning they corroded quickly because of the weakness of the mixture. (I hope I got that right, it’s something like that.) SO the mast was down longer than anticipated because it took a while for these to come back in.

The chainplate covers up on the deck were also remade, because the original ones were very flimsy and not really doing anything at all.

I had purchased a used ProFurl from a friend and had to buy a couple of extension pieces for it to fit the forestay, so this also needed to be put on while the mast was down.

Once the paint was dry on the mast, I got to work putting all the pieces back together and attaching all the cleaned hardware. The mast went back up in March of 2017, and I was so SO happy. I think this was when people in the yard finally started taking me seriously, and they also stopped calling me a power boat ;).

Once the mast was back on, there was still a lot of work to be done! I still had leaky hatches, I still didn’t have a roller furling jib, I still didn’t have the boom set up to the track, or reefing points, or any kind of rigging to assist with solo sailing. And of course, there are always those surprise issues too 🙂

 

 

Categories
maintenance progressions

mast work: sanding and painting!

By now I have spent a LOT of time with my dear Coconut’s mast. Because of this, I have named her Stella. She is getting her groove back, yo! There was SO. MUCH. WORK. to be done, so I’ll publish the posts in the order the work occurred.

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Stella is a six year old, 41′ tall Sitka spruce mast. As far as I understand it, wooden masts need to be pulled for inspection semi-regularly. The paint was flaking off on the rounded corners as you can see in the image above, not to mention the standing rigging was original (40 years old!). If there were any boat work I dreamt about doing when I was out of commission for 2 years, it was mast work.

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First things first, I marked the rigging before the mast came down. This simply means loosening the turnbuckles and placing white electrical tape on top and bottom of the turnbuckle. This lets the riggers know how long to cut the wire. Then the magic happened. I put on a hard hat and just like that, the mast came down!

The standing rigging was rushed off to the riggers den. Everything would be remade exactly was it was, with the exception of the lower shrouds. A couple of riggers had mentioned how they appeared to be undersized, so up a gage they went.

I quickly got to work scraping all the paint off the mast. I’d point the heat gun at a small area, wait for the paint to bubble up, and then scrape scrape scrape with a paint scraper. Heat gun, bubble up, scrape scrape scrape. I could only manage two hour shifts because it was just too much for my flimsy arms to bear. I was making too much of a mess with the paint scrapes flying all over the place in the mast area, so the yard moved Stella into a shed where it would eventually be spray-painted. We were blocked from the wind, and the sun! #blessed

Once I had scraped all the paint off (all 4 sides) I then sanded… all 4 sides.

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After I got the mast down to bare wood, Arturo, who was going to be painting the mast, sprayed on a primer coat. I took a two part epoxy and filled in all the cracks and holes in the mast. That’s the green stuff in the photo below. After, Arturo sprayed a thin layer of black stuff which showed all the imperfections. I sanded it down again (yay) but this time with a #240 grit sand paper until it was nice and smooth.

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I have no idea how many hours I spent scraping, sanding, and filling in the mast but by the end of the sanding my arms were as strong as noodles. It probably took a month all in all. It didn’t help I was in school full time (5 classes!), so time and energy was precious. The good news is I only found a pea sized area of dry rot. The wires were also confirmed to be easy to replace, as they were in a PVC pipe and were moving which was a good sign. So far, none of the wires had actually been connected to anything… 🙂

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After I got it as perfect as I could. Arturo sprayed Stella with three coats of Eggshell White. Oh Stella was shining! I shouldn’t forget to mention the boom as well as two spreaders were in this shed with us. I used the fancy kind of paint which should last 7-10 years provided I buff it once a year. I haven’t buffed it yet but keep telling myself that I will one day. I’m terrified of heights. I probably won’t do this and will pay someone else to do it.

Now that this is completed, I will show everything else mast related in my next post. I added a spare halyard, had new shivs made, etc.

 

 

Categories
adventures maintenance progressions

coconuts’ sister

I can’t tell the story about how Coconut found me without mentioning my friend Joel. I’d met him through friends in the Bay, and he was just getting ready to sail down from SF to LA. I was green with envy and wanted to join, but… work and stuff got in the way.

When I’d planned to visit LA to see an old friend, I stopped by his boat to check it out as I hadn’t seen it yet. It was SO cool! I remember thinking how big it was for a 35’er. We went for a quick sail and that was that.

A few days later I was at my marina’s potluck that I never went to anymore, just to say goodbye to a friend who was leaving. There were a few of us talking about our next boat, I was completely over my little Columbia and needed something bigger. Again, that was that.

The next morning I got a text from an unknown number offering me a 35′ boat for sale. I looked at the Craigslist ad and thought “harumph, beautiful but it’s too big for me.” I posted it to Facebook, as I was posting potential boats every day asking for feedback. This boat got LOTS of interest. People were seriously considering buying it. I went back to look at the ad again. Was I passing up a good deal??

I read the description rather than just looking at the pictures and noticed the boat was a double ender center cockpit, which as far as I’m aware is not really a thing except for Joel’s boat that I had just seen. I forwarded the ad to him and asked if it was his boat. It was, and he said if I didn’t buy it, he would. This boat was half the price he got his for and was in better shape, sort of, and he raved about his boat.

My friend Steve came with me to check out the boat that same day, and several other people (who I’d alerted this boats’ availability to) came as well. (I made sure I had first dibs!)

When I heard the boats name was Coconut that was it for me, my heart melted into the bildge and we became one. That was May of 2014. Side note, people always ask what the name was prior to Coconut, but I’ve looked through the documents and it has always been named Coconut. Further proof this boat has always been awesome, perhaps not always allowed to show her true colors from being neglected for so long.

I left the Bay (as in sailed away!) exactly a month ago and had the opportunity to see Joel and his boat Valkyrie. He doesn’t live on the boat anymore, but he was in town working on it. So many people have helped me with Coconut since we left the dock, so sanding, scrubbing, bondo’ing, and painting Val for a couple of days was my way of paying it forward.

It was really trippy being on another twin boat. There were so many similarities, yet enough differences to let you know it’s not your baby. I learned more about the boat, why things are the way they are, and what important pieces I’m probably missing (because he was too). It was a lot of fun rowing across the harbor to give some love to another Fantasia.

Just a few days prior to this I’d been approached by a gentleman who used to own a Fantasia for 20 years. It turns out he also was a long time friend of a former dock neighbor, it is such a small world. He also had lots of advice and fond memories of the boat. I love talking shop with salty sailors!

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Hi Val!
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Hey Coconut!

 

Val’s cockpit is pretty similar, except it is fully enclosed and Coconut’s have cutouts on the port and starboard side. There used to be a folding step there apparently, and whoever had my boat just tore them out and whoever had Joel’s boat decided to enclose them. Coconut’s cutout is better for when water enters the cockpit, it at least has somewhere to escape. Val also has mechanical steering and Coco has hydraulic, so our steering columns are different.

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Valkyrie
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Coconut

 

I was going to ask how Joel’s kept the portholes from leaking, but his are totally different. I’ve replaced the gaskets on mine and they’re leaking again. Grr.

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Val
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Coconut

 

There was a bunch of water damage in the aft cabin of Coconut and I’ve mentioned to several woodworkers I want it rebuilt eventually. They always ask me how, and now at least I have an image of what it should look like! One day, in Mejico, this will be done.

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Val
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Coconut

 

I remembered Joel telling me his chainplates were put on the exterior of the boat. When I was redoing my rigging, I mentioned this but the yard wasn’t interested in re-doing the design and getting a naval architect involved. The picture of Coconut’s chainplates are the old ones, as you can see they were pretty crusty. They’re new now, so have no fear!

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Val
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Coconut

 

 

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Coconut’s hatch has plexiglass to let light in, which I prefer. But I also prefer Val’s style of non-skid.
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Storm sails! We don’t have any.
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The universal ball joint that hooks a steel rod to an emergency tiller to use if you loose steering. I do not have this piece! In Mejico….
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Val’s got an electric motor, hence all the batteries. Also recently got a water maker, hence the 1 cylinder engine.

 

The shelving area where the fridge is on Coconut was torn up. The photo below is from when I first bought the boat, so I immediately tore out all of the old electrical stuff. I eventually filled in the hole in the shelf with epoxy so I could at least use it as a shelf, but being that there’s no railing things fall off fairly easily. Also, on Val a previous owner attempted maybe to replace the insulation on the fridge, something I will need to do at some point. I’m not sure I’d go about it the same way they did…

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Val’s area under the refer
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Coconut
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SO MUCH SPACE AFT!!! Joel removed the propane box, both dorade boxes, as well as the traveller track. It looks slick! Not sure I’ll get into those projects anytime soon, although it looks so roomy.

 

When it comes to the shop… I’m not sure I can work this but I really like the doors on the cabinetry, along with the upper shelf (white). I currently have to reach my hand around the corner to feel my way to the correct tool I’m looking for. It never works, and I end up removing everything which is annoying. I’ve got a 2nd shelf but it’s kinda sorta falling down and there’s only maybe 2″ of space to store stuff. I like Val’s solution better.  I also realized after the fact that Val’s hull number is inside the shop! When I had a survey done, we couldn’t find the hull number anywhere and honestly I’ve never seen it. I now know where it should be. (Anyone know if I can just inscribe it on a piece of wood and slap it in there? Or does it have to be more official?)

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Val
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Coco

 

Categories
maintenance progressions

the prop shop

My dear Coconut had a brand new engine as of a couple years ago and to date it only has 60 some odd hours on it. The only problem is the prop is old and meant for the original, larger horsepower engine.

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My helper cleaned the prop up real nice when I was hauled out the first time. This revealed pitting as well as chunks missing from the edges of the blades. It’s too big to let me get to the full RPM’s anyways and obviously needed to be replaced. One thing I learned about Yanmars in Hawaii is that if you never rev the engine up as high as it can go for a reasonable amount of time, the heat exchanger will get clogged with salt water buildup causing the engine to overheat. So, we need the full rpm’s!

I went to The Prop Shop and gave them all the relevant specs (transmission gear ratio, right hand turn, model number, weight of the boat). With that info they ordered this beautiful new prop for me! Woo hoo. As soon as that baby was put on (ok, it was put on and several months later I tested it out) and I was able to get up to the full RPM’s!

Watch out!

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i fixed something!

I can’t believe it! I fixed something by myself. Well, not really by myself but kinda-sorta by myself. My helper had hooked up the propane stove before he left a couple of weeks ago, but none of the burners were working properly. One burner wouldn’t come on at all, another would come on but with the safety feature of the stove as soon as you let go of the nob the flame disappeared. The other one came on and stayed on, but only at a simmer. I’d been told to look for thermocoupings, as they most likely needed to be replaced. I went right to my favorite boat store, Svendsens, but they didn’t have anything similar. I tried West Marine also, but they didn’t have anything either. I went to YouTube and tried to find videos of thermocoupling replacement, and 100% of what I found was for replacing the thermocouple on a home furnace. So not even the same game, people!

Since I struck out everywhere, I tried asking my buddies here in the Bay Area if they knew what to do. Someone recommended to call Sure Marine in Seattle. My goodness! The guy on the phone knew exactly what questions to ask. It started with the type of stove (Force 10), then with the type of nobs it had, then with the type of burner (does it have a bunch of little holes or does it have sticks?). From that he could tell the stove was pretty old. “Pre-1989” he called it. I described what was going on with the burners and basically he told me what part to remove, he told me how to remove it and told me things I’d have to be careful not to do (don’t drop the piece, make sure to put tape on your tool so that it will cling to it). He told me how to clean the pieces and voila, a few hours later I have a functioning stove! OK, only two of the three burners work really. The third piece I’m having a hard time going back in but I’m sure if it were in there it would work! I let out a huge scream, and then I danced for a little bit! Woohoo! SAM_4578

SAM_4592

SAM_4597

I’m still tackling the water tanks, but I’m making progress. So far the least invasive plan for ensuring all the leaks are fixed is to rip up the floor and make it into a hatch (sad face!) and create a new access port in the middle of the water tank. There’s access ports on each end, but there’s about 2′ of tank in between baffles that I can’t get to. More on that later!