Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday Afternoon Sail

After a long work week, we finally got a chance to go out for a brief evening sail on Friday around 5:30. We hit the water around 6:20. The winds were about 16-17 mph from the south, and it looked like most of the boats out on the water were only using either the headsail or the main alone, so we decided to play it safe and just sail with the headsail today. The waves on the big lake were rumored to be about 2-4 feet, so once we got to the channel entrance, and the wind switched direction to come straight down the channel, we opted to sail around on Lake Muskegon instead of going to the trouble of switching on the engine again. Sailing to the north side of the lake was a piece of cake, getting up to speeds of about 5 knots on a run, but once we started trying sailing on a beam or close reach on the north side of the lake it became a bit more of a chore. We sailed towards the east, skirting the edges of the shallows until we got around by the museum boat across from the green channel marker, where we did a series of coming about maneuvers trying to get back to the less gusty side of the lake. We tacked back and forth across the lake a couple times getting in position to work our way back to the marina, and eventually tied up around eight pm. On the threshhold of being too much wind to be comfortable, we get a little nervous when the boat heels a lot, and we did our fair share of that today, but we'll take what we can get. Flawless exit and entry out of the slip today, and the new kill switch worked like a charm.

(battery 2)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Kill Switch Saga Concluded

Me and Terri drove out to Muskegon this afternoon to finish up the 'kill switch repair' that has been plaguing us for most of the season this year (it originally failed on us last fall, and we've been messing with it off and on since then). The installation of the teak switch cover went quite smoothly and we were able to fix it in place and connect it to the engine with no major problems (aside from forgetting to bring a power drill from home, assuming there was one already on the boat, so we had to run up to Home Depot to pick up one), and it works like a charm.
While we were there we also gave Fannie a much needed deck washing and flushed out the bilges a bit (boy those squished spider guts sure stain the deck and require a lot of elbow grease to clean up). We'll hopefully find some time to get out and actually go sailing next week, since this coming weekend is already pretty packed with activities.

(the photo above is of the completed repair, but before we cleaned the decks)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Kill Switch Continued

Got up this morning and drove out to the boat, with a new scheme for the kill switch problem. My idea was to build a teak cover to go over the two previous holes with a new hole for the swich in between. I thought that if I made the hole just a snug enough fit, that the plastic housing for the cable wouldn't need reinforcing from behind. I also had a plan of driving my 'scheme' down to South Haven to pick the brains of my Dad, the resident mechanical genius in our family. On the drive down from Muskegon to South Haven I also had another brainstorm that I could make the switch cover in such a way that the switch could be angled in an upward direction instead of the 45 degree angle it currently resides in (and frequently gets tripped over in the 'out position').

Turns out my Dad, after inspecting the parts that I brought down to him, had a beautiful and elegantly simple solution that hadn't occurred to me. A small hose clamp tightened on the cable behind the wall, would effectively keep the housing from slipping out and firmly place the apparatus in the hole. I continued with my 'teak cover' solution, along with the 'angled hole' idea, and I also got some help on cleaning up the end of the cable to make it easier to thread into the toggle arm atop the diesel.

While we were there, we also did some building of the cradle pads that we need to replace before haul out. Next, I'll be driving out to Muskegon to install my new switch, and I have every confidence that we will have finally completed a mechanical boat project ourselves, at minimum cost (aside from the driving, gas and labor time) without resorting to calling in the repairmen at Torreson. I feel like celebrating. Now let's get out there on the water this month!

(once I get it installed, I'll be sure and post pictures)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

July 4th Weekend

"We were WONDERING if anyone owned this boat."

A comment the boat slip neighbors made to us as we showed up Saturday evening for a sunset cruise. Completely missed the month of June in getting out on the water. We are still struggling with the 'kill switch' situation. The repairs we tried to make over the last two visits seems to be completely for naught, and my idea of 'filling with epoxy from behind' was a total washout. We did manage to get it hooked up and working (sort of), and took the boat out for a 3 hour evening sail on the big lake, using just our headsail and getting probably about 3 miles offshore and returning back to our slip in the dark (and a good chance to see if our running lights were still working - they were).

Battery 1 - Terri and Candy and Tim along for the ride. Pictures to come (we did get some nice sunset pics this time).