Saturday, January 28, 2017

Winter boat projects continue

Back again for another fun-filled Saturday on the boat.

Some of the wiring that needed to be completed turned out to be difficult to do properly but this weekend, we applied ourselves and did it all correctly.

The switch for the new lights in the head needed to be hidden and that took at least 45 minutes and our entire vocabulary of foul language to get the switch mounted and the wires routed. But once done, it worked out as planned and unless you know where the switch is, you will never see it.  (For our good friends, just slide the right vanity door open and the switch is on your right. The light will be bright enough for you to easily read a chapter or two of your favorite book while sitting on the head.)

We also fixed some of the wiring for the LED lights in the galley and we were happy to see that everything works.

Our effort to fill in the missing pieces of our starboard triangle will take a little more work. Let's just leave it at that, okay?

Finally, we shot some video and proved to ourselves that Bill will never get a job as a CNN anchor. He even forgot to take off his head-mounted light. We don't use a Teleprompter, which is pretty obvious. Still, it's fun to do and look at later.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

January 21 and it's 52 degrees... now we can get some things done!

We hit the boat early on Saturday to take advantage of the good weather. It was so nice to be able to work without four layers of clothes on. In fact, we didn't even bother with the electric heater.

We cut an accurate cardboard template for the patch we need to repair our so-called triangles.  We have the 3/4-inch plywood ready at home with one side primed with fiberglass resin. We'll cut and test fit the two pieces next weekend. Once we know they fit properly, we'll take them home again and apply resin to the other size and all the edges. It's a little too cold to mess with resin on the boat right now.

In our last post, we mentioned removing the dreaded "white" VHF marine radio at our lower steering station and replacing it with the newly repaired Icom radio, which is black. You'd think that one radio could easily replace another since they are supposed to be a standard size but no, the Icom was just a hair too big fit the cutout used by the old radio. We used our multi-tool to shave off just a little of the panel and in it went. We love that multi-tool!

Rather than pay Icom $49 for a "Flush Mount Installation Kit," we bent and drilled a couple of short lengths of aluminum we had on hand and made our own. Worked fine and when we turned the radio on, the nearest NOAA weather channel came in loud and clear. Frances will now have a nice black radio to work with rather than that ugly white one.

Next we ran the wires needed to power our new light in the head. This took some time because we like things nice and neat (and safe) and because it meant making the connections in a locker not quite wide enough to crawl inside. It all worked out and before we left for the day, that new light was working.

On Sunday, the warm weather continued so we went to the boat immediately after digesting much of The New York Times (as well as some breakfast). We weren't through in the head.

When we remounted the LED strip lights in the galley, we bought another string of LEDs so that we could make the galley lighting a little longer by just adding a short section of new LEDs and splicing them in. But when we were finished with that, we noted that the remaining unused new LED strip was just the right length to mount under the front of the vanity in the head. And for us, the head could always use more light.

It took us a while to figure out how to mount the LED strip so that it wouldn't be obvious and all of the wiring was hidden. Once we had a plan, it took several hours to get it done, since our head isn't the easiest place to work.

Here's the head before installation of the new LEDs. 

and after they were installed and powered up. We'll mount a switch inside that cabinet next weekend.

Before we left, we turned on the VHF and heard the weather forecast for Long Island Sound over the next few days. "Seas 13 to 18 feet, wind gusts to 60 miles per hour." We're glad to be where we are.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The "honey do" list

We went back to the boat project list last weekend (January 7) but it was bitterly cold on the boat, even with the electric heater on. After about 45 minutes we went out to the car to get something and there was three inches of snow on the car. The only other boater in the yard was just getting into his car and he waved and said, "I'm outta here!" We followed about five minutes later.

This weekend was more productive. We got our new light mounted in the head and it looks like original equipment.

We haven't wired it yet because all the wiring will be well hidden in a locker behind that wall and that's going to take a little time. Once we get that done, it's one less thing on the list.

We also took care of the drooping LED lights in the galley.  We installed them under the edges of the counters about three years ago and rather than use the tiny plastic clips that come with the LED strips, we glued them in place. Bad idea, since cooking and dish washing eventually caused the lights to come loose in places. Lesson learned, we disconnected the LEDs, took them home and remounted them on a thin strip of wood.

That would allow us to mount the wood strips under the edges of the counters. However, mounting the little plastic clips meant driving in dozens of the tiniest Philips-head screws known to man.

That's a quarter behind the lights, just for comparison.

Anyhow, we reinstalled the LED strips and the galley is now, once again, nice and bright.

We also made some progress on replacing the rotted wood on our port side triangle. We posted about that project before and won't update it until we have a good fit for the new plywood.

The white radio
When we bought this boat all those years ago, it came with a white Horizon VHF radio hanging from under the fly bridge. We eventually mounted it next to our lower steering station as a back-up radio and it worked fine.

Recently, we were going through our electronics stuff and came up with an black Icom M304 radio that had stopped receiving. At the time, we simply replaced it with a newer Icom radio, which we still use on our bridge today.

But before throwing this older radio away, we checked some forums and found that this particular Icom had a known receiver fault that Icom would repair for free. We followed up and found that the repair wasn't free any longer but wasn't much money either.

We talked about spending $75.00 or so to repair the Icom radio (it has all the bells and whistles of the new ones) and Frances replied that she always "hated that Horizon radio because it is white!" Who would have known? She's called the marina for a pump-out a couple of hundred times using that white radio.

As you might have guessed, we had the Icom radio repaired and that was quick and inexpensive. Now, part of our "to do" list is making that black Icom radio fit the cutout the old white Horizon radio occupied. We think that won't be too difficult.