Thursday, January 29, 2015

Oh no not again

This morning before I had returned from the clubhouse I saw the lift moving Inspiration towards the water.  I jumped in the car and drove down to the launch site.  There she was sitting pretty in the water.  I was watching for a few minutes and saw the bilge pump spew out a large quantity of water so all was OK on that front. After a while I saw the bilge come on again: Not Good.  A quick check showed that a large quantity of water was coming in via the depth transducer thru hull. Out come the boat for the the third time - DUH.

SAM & I decided to light the stove to check propane levels while waiting for the bilge pump to come on again. No gas was coming out of the stove.  With a muttered curse, I opened the propane locker to check if the valve was turned on.  It was so I removed the tank, the only one I could, and then started to pull the connected tank forward so I could turn on the gas:  It was already on.  Back at the stove, I turned on the LP Gas switch and it clicked just like it should.  A few more on-off-on cycles and everything appeared normal but still no gas at the stove. I took the two cylinders to Ace Hardware that has a refill station right in GCS.  The Tech was real nice and very informative with some appropriate knowledge.  The grill tank had 2# of gas - about half of a tank.  The one stove tank was totally empty and the one that was connected had 7# of a total of 12#.  The tech guy explained to me that for the past 20 years or so that there is a pressure switch that closes when the brass probiscus is removed and you can open the tank main valve but no gas will flow until the probe is inserted and tightened.  BINGO: some lights turned on in my head.

Back at the boat I carefully inserted the probe and tightened while turning on the main tank valve.  I could hear gas escaping all was good to the electric valve. I went below and still no gas but the solenoid  was turning on and off.  As I back tracked I found another in-line manual valve that was off.  After turning it on all was AOK. One success for the day.  I went back to the Hardware and had the empty tank filled to the 13# level. I also painted the bottom of the tan k because it was getting rusty and tank would not expire until 2018 so it was worth trying to save it.  I will do the same with the other two tanks if the expiration is 2018 as well.                                                                                                                                                     

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

To the water and back again

We awoke and followed our usual schedule of eating breakfast, then police up the grounds in and near RV, down to the club house for tea or coffee and then back to the boat for some work.  Today was different because we went to the storage facility to deliver a trunk load of goods and to bring some back.

While at the storage we re-packed the smallish area we have to better utilize the small square foot but large cubic foot area.  The locker goes up to the ceiling if you can figure out how to use it.  We added a whole trunk load of stuff and removed Jerry's dingy plus the side curtains for the cockpit enclosure.  As such we returned more fully loaded than when we left but were better organized.

Upon return to Holland Marine SAM noticed the boat lift was snuggled around Inspiration II and was suspended in the sling.  Since it was 1230 hrs the workmen were off for lunch so we hurried to the Rv and had a quick sandwich of cold meat and returned to the boat just in time for them to start moving the boat towards the water.  I took a bunch of pictures with my phone so I will post some on this blog line later.

With the boat in the water it was time for leak checks and indeed we found one on the water speed transducer.  Tom Holland determined that the boat should come out and the thru-hull be re-bedded.  As of this writing it was finished and was waiting for the 4200 to set.  So I expect to be in the water tomorrow morning.

The temperature is supposed to drop to 36°F tonight so frost is expected.  We are snug in our RV with the electric fire churning out sufficient heat to keep us plenty warm.  Earlier we went to the club house for coffee and had a nice long chat about solar, tiny houses and off-grid plans of a guy who built his tiny house right on the property.  It is 24' x 8.5' x 13' high and is road-able.

Monday, January 26, 2015

LED Lighting re-done

I pulled the fixture down today and added 4 more LED modules.  I also added a ton of tie wraps to no avail.  You can still see the wires thru the fixture translucent panel.  I guess that will be bottom line for this panel.  The next one I will drill holes and run the wires to the backside so they cannot be visible.  I may replace the panel with the newer design if it looks good.  The heads have the old fashion 20W linear fluorescent tubes and I think making these will be easier.  I think 4 white modules and three red ones will fill it from end to end.

I spent an hour this morning downloading drivers for the wireless printer in the clubhouse and was ultimately able to connect to the wireless HP 6600. I printed out a FedEx return lable as my first document.  Anyway, I was pleased that it worked since copy document to a thumb drive and printing for the clubhouse computer was a pain.

We have set the date to launch Inspiration and the slip 4B has been assigned.  It looks sort of narrow so tonorrow I will ash how wide it is from the aft guide paost to the dock.  These are floating piers but the stern will face the open water and this will lead to some stern slapping by the bigger waves.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Required Visibility - Navigation Lights USCG

I just ordered a new bow light made by Attwood with following specifications. It is for boats up to 20 meters / 65.6 feet. Meets USCG CFR 183.810, ABYC A-16 requirements and all applicable standards as tested by Imanna Laboratories, on 3/6/2007. 2 nautical mile visibility.
Type of navigation lightLight beamAngleType of boatBoats < 12mBoats < 20mBoats < 50mBoats > 50m
Starboard112.5°Sailing & Motor boats1 nm2 nm2 nm3 nm
Port112.5°Sailing & Motor boats1 nm2 nm2 nm3 nm
Stern135°Sailing & Motor boats2 nm2 nm2 nm3 nm
Masthead225°Motor boats2 nm3 nm5 nm6 nm
All-round360°Sailing & Motor boats2 nm2 nm2 nm3 nm
Bi-colour2 x 112.5°Sailing & Motor boats1 nm2 nm
Tri-colour2 x 112.5°+ 135°Sailing boats1-2 nm2 nm

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday: rain to clearing but cooler

The temperatures are trending lower throughout the day with promises of 38°F tonight.  The day was a lazy one for us but we managed to go grocery shopping at a couple of local stores where we find good prices and sales.  That took way longer than I wanted but the First Mate is in charge of that detail so I find it better to keep my mouth shut.  Total bill today about $140.

When we returned to the RV we FM SAM put stuff away and we had rotisserie chicken with other pieced thru items like Artichokes, and bread with Almond Butter and Blueberry Preserves.  Afterwards I took a nap and FM went down to the clubhouse for quite awhile to work on the picture puzzle..  I was just coming around when she returned.

I went to the boat to do some work and made an aluminium cake dish into an air filter assembly that will filter the incoming air for the engine compartment squirrel cage blower.  Looks like it will work pretty good but we will be testing the design over time.

While at the boat I tried the new Attwood Louver vent plate but it did not fit.  It was too big by 1/32" to 1/16" in the height direction.  I just got thru putting  a new 1495 ventilator and 1491 collector box into my Walmart basket as well as 4 Stearns Type II vests.

FM is now making spaghetti for the crew and it smells good.  Abby is whining around wanting dinner too.  So the bottom line is that I did do some work today but not as much as I dreamed about last night.  With that I must go because the dinner bell is ringing.  BFN.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Jobs completed & started today

I installed some of the remaining sta-set line on the boarding ladder to use as a retracter to stow the ladder.  I'll probably change this setup so I can deploy the ladder from the water should the need arise.
Fully Threaded Hanger BoltsSAM applied the second coat of Cetol to the decorative trim under the caprail and it looks real nice.  We were thinking about a third coat today but we were tired so we went to Home Depot to get some Hangar Bolts.  I want to use these to hold the cabin light assembly in place.  It is very difficult to install the wood screws while holding a couple of fixture parts in place.  The hangar bolts will serve as a guide for the fixture base and I bought wing nuts to allow quick access.  They are pretty expensive items.

I mounted the curved base cheek block on the whisker pole today using 3/16" Stainless Steel pop rivets and installed the 1/4" red fleck sta-set line  from the wire pendent.  Let me tell you those rivets are very, very tough to set and took all the strength I possess. The job is complete and I extended the pole all the way and retracted it then stowed it away on the mast track. I am glad to have this little job done.  I must admit that I would like the cheek block sheave to be a larger diameter because 1 1/16 is pretty small.

Instant Zipper- Set of 4 Replacement Zippers in Black
The "Snap" Instant Zippers arrived today and with great excitement I brought them aboard.  Miracle of miracles they actually worked and this is the best $10 I ever spent.  I also ordered the fixnzip but it has not arrived yet so I may try to cancel the order.  Anyway, these things absolutely work and work well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Update 3M 4000UV

The first round of caulking with 3M 4000UV is complete and SAM applied the Cetol Natural Teak today.  I must say we have learned how to apply the materials.  The second and third days were a breeze.  The battery powered Ryobi did a fine job once you dial back the flow rate and cut a better hole in the tip. The key to success was laying down a 1/8" bead not the 1/4" we started with.  We also used soapy water to finger smooth applied caulk.  The material goes on perfectly.  I ordered 4 more 10 oz tubes from Zoro to apply on other areas of the boat ($14.84 per tube no shipping if you order >$50 and no tax in Florida).

Today was the end game in our saga that started a month ago to put Cetol on various trim pieces before we put Inspiration II into the waters of Alantic side of North Florida.  Cold, rainy, overcast weather dominated the period so we felt stymied much more than once.  Everything goes in series so it just takes time and more time.  She will look good in her new dress.

We had one failure this week.  We were going to have the fuel polished but when the truck arrived to start they could not find a suitable entry point for their input and output hoses so they left with a statement that we need to cut a hole in the fiberglass tank.  This is not a bad idea so maybe at the end of this season we will epoxy a cutout ring onto the tank and then at a later date cut the inside of the ring out and install a hefty SS plate on the ring.

While we were working we noticed two hatches that were leaking and since we are having friends and relatives in a continuous stream we cannot tolerate leaks in the sleeping areas.  I guess you can say we are becoming domesticated.  We hope to splash the boat early next week.

Alpha Test: Fluorescent to LED retrofit

I accomplished my first retrofit of the boat's fluorescent lighting.  I performed the alpha test to night.  The red light looks OK but the Warm White lights look like they are not diffused sufficiently.  I guess it is back to the workbench tomorrow to add a few more modules to try and make the light look a little more uniform.  All in all I am happy with the test but want a better look. Currently I have 6 white and 5 red modules mounted on a piece of Aluminium flashing.  The red string is not intended to be bright by design.  The white I want as bright as the circular 9W fluorescent tube.  At present iot is not quite as bright and it is a little warmer than the fluorescent: I am guessing at about 3000°K.

The LED were purchased on eBay in strings of 20 modules and each module has 4 LED's.  The module input is 12VDC nominal and there are 4 LED's per module arranged in each corner of a 1.5" square.  I have not made any current draw tests yet but the fluorescent draws 0.7Aand the LEDs about the same. More on this project later as I go into Beta testing.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Active Captain, Polar Navy and NOAA

Yesterday  I installed Polar View for Windows.  It uses the free NOAA ENC vector charts.  I spent the whole evening downloading various charts. This software integrates Active Captain data so it is a very handy application to know how to use properly.

Disastrous 3M product application

Hopefully, we can chalk it up to inexperience with 3M 4000UV but todays work was not so good.  SAM had previously taped the teak that we wanted to apply the sealant.  The stuff is pretty fast to start firming up and we were not ready.  Also the taped area is to seal the cap rail to the decorative teak that butts to the underside of the cap rail. The bottom side of the decorative strip is to be sealed too.  Starting tomorrow we will make the bead area smaller from 1/4" to 1/8".  We will also change our work efforts to a more coordinated effort: I will use the caulk gun and SAM will do the finger smoothing and remove the take immediately.  This should help spread out the usage of the expensive stuff.  Our tape was too old as well and it stuck tightly to the teak.  OK so I ordered 4 more tubes because we will use a lot of the stuff to bed various other areas.
Raymarine Masthead F/ST60 Only
While all this was happening I happened to look up the mast.  Guess what?  The wind direction indicator is missing ca-ching $350 more please. I ended the day depressed and tired.

After a few hours my sense of humor is returning and I do not feel so bad except I am missing the coffee I left in the clubhouse.  I put a free sign on my leftover coffee in the pot but someone extended the free to mean a whole bag of expensive gourmet coffee.  Boo.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Look at the big picture

In the grand scheme of things today was just andother day filled with normal successes and frustrations.


  • Ordered the wrong Ryobi Battery which should have been a One+ but is not
  • tried using the zipper slides we ordered and failed to get one to work
  • The #10 yellow marine grade wire was 75°C not the 105°C
  • It was cold, rainy and no sun the past 3 days
  • The marina and I had a little issue today about computers & print privileges 
  • Got to use the new plywood to keeep out the rain
  • Met some new friends and had a good talk
  • Shoulder felt better most of the day.
  • The First Mate cooked a great dinner topped off with fried Plantain.
  • One zipper in the aft head worked after a little persuasion.
  • The marina IT guy called to say the HP Cloud print worked 
  • The new squirrel cage blower was so quiet we can leave it on at will
All in all it was a good day despite the immediacy of frustrations.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ryobi Smart Charger arrives

We received the Intelliport charger today and I could not wait to plug it in and charger the battery.  I am supposed to be able top charge a One+ in an hour.  I hope so.  Another NiCad battery is on its way.

Ryobi 140153004 ONE Plus 18V IntelliPort 1-Hour Ni-Cd Battery Charger

Today's boat work

Today, on this cold, humid, dreary day we went to the boat to trace back the water supply for the airconditioners.  We were worried about a seemingly crushed or flattened hose at the aft airconditioner unit.  It turns out that the flattened hose goes to the bilge and must be an efluent discarge for the condensate.  Anyway we now know this little area of the boat.Size 60 Rollstop Hatch

SAM then proceeded to clean an area that was used to hold solvents by the Nav Station and she did a fine job.  By the time we finished with this task lunch was at hand.  After lunch we went to Home Depot where I bought wood to use as a hatch closure when the hatch is removed.  I am making one for the size 60 and one for the size 40 hatch.  Total materials was $20.  These should last for a while and be used in rotation as I either send in hatches for repair or repair them myself.

I am going to try and find a local supplier for the cut acrylic so I do not have to send the hatches all the way to Michigan (SONSET) or South Florida (Florida Rigging and Hydraulics).  If I can get the cut material I am sure I can bed them myself for a fraction of the cost.  The ones I send in I am going to get new handles installed by the repairer (a handle kit is about $60 complete with the right and left handles and outside fittings).  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Blower Installed today

We received the new b lower for the engine room this morning.  We immediately set out to install it and it was more difficult to  install than we thought it would be.  However, we got her done and will test it tomorrow.  The blower is an AC version and it is attached to the "B" subpanel. and we did not have a shore power line availab le tgo test this afternoon. The primairy use would be to remove heat from the engine room after engine shutdown.  Man, I hate stuff that does not work so it was on the list.

Rainy & Cool.

It has been very rainy, overcast and in the 50's 0 60's this week past.  I spent one whole day researching various parts and Things-To-Be-Done.  I ordered electronic and electrical parts such as shrink sleeve, SS washer kits and crimp terminals.  Nothing special but necessary items to be sure.

The Ryobi Caulk Gun arrived and we went out and bought some butyl rubber sealant and painters caulk ( just to practice with the  device.  That is on the list for tomorrow.  The butyl sealant is to try and reseal the aft hatch that is leaking pretty good.  All the hatch part arrived today so I can start installing outside hatch dogs and rubber O-rings for the hatch handles.

As soon as Lee A arrives with the ages old closed end pop rivets I can re-attach the dog down plate in the aft head hatch.  I was lucky the other day and the old rivets just popped out  - no problems. Lots of work but it is regarding work..

Friday, January 2, 2015

Converting Fluorescent to LED

A good video for converting to LED lighting.:

A successful day

Today we fired up the new ProMariner battery charger and it we as it should (I think).  These new smart chargers are smarter than most people can be. It started in the Condition Mode and continued like this for at least 6-7 hours gradually declining in charge current from about 8 Amps down to 3 Amps and then switched to Ready Mode where it was 2.1 Amps.  The device started in the default mode of Sealed Battery.  Just about dark I switched the mode to Flooded, Profile 2 mode and it popped back into Condition Mode where we left her for the night.

After dark we turned on all the lights and everything worked on the interior. Tomorrow I will try the anchor, steaming and bow/stern lights. I also want to let out all the rode just to check the integrity and to measure all the lengths of the chain and line. Our previous boat had 100' of chain and 300' of 8 plait nylon since I wanted to be able to anchor in 70' of water we encountered at S. Manitou Island on the Great Lakes.

 I did notice that the VHF radio did not turn on so I have to check this out tomorrow.  I intend to purchase the new Stand Horizan GX2200 MATRIX AIS/GPS Fixed Mount VHF Radio.  It is a bit pricey but it does have GPS and AIS included. One of our friends has one and likes it so it has a good testimony from him.  I do have to check the antenna system and cabling for loses and VSWR since everything we have encountered is marginal and therefore suspect.

It was a good day indeed.