Sunday, March 19, 2017

More on the winter boat projects

With last week's snow beginning to melt, we were off to the boat on Saturday to see how long it would take to get of cabin up to an at least not painful temperature. The answer is about an hour, during which time we walk around making notes of things we want to do before spring.

Our "patch the triangles" project, which has now consumed much of the winter, is slowly drawing to a close. We've fitted a couple of plywood patches and pieces of 1/8" plywood veneer that bring the patch piece up to a full 3/4" thickness.

We've coated all the pieces with epoxy and once they are in, we'll bed them in marine caulk and fair the edge between the patch and the old wood. Once we've painted it, we assume that no one will ever notice what we're repaired.

With the triangle project out of the way, we need to concentrate on the sliding door that separates the cockpit from the cabin. The wheels that run along the bottom need to be replaced.

We've located the right replacement wheels and we can remove the door quite easily but we don't know how to open the bottom of the door to gain access to the two sets of wheels that support the door. We've also learned that there's nothing "marine" about this sliding door. It's the same door that is used in household applications, which explains why the wheels are readily available.

We suppose we could take the door off the boat and take it to a sliding door expert but that wouldn't be in the spirit of do-it-yourself boating. No, this is one that we have to figure out.

We also have to mount the new LED light that Frances bought at Defender a couple of weeks ago. Finding the right mounting location of a light on our boat isn't a trivial decision. Frances likes things mounted, in the case, exactly on center and we both agree that we hate things just screwed into place anywhere. This has to be done just right.

We made some video of this thrilling day on the boat. OK, not exactly thrilling, but fun to make. It's only five minutes long.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Winter Storm Eugene

No working on the boat this weekend. As the snow piled up on Sunday afternoon, we decided to go back and look through the earliest of our boat logs. There are 31 of them and the oldest aren't nearly as elaborate as the ones we keep now. They are mostly just notations of how much gas we bought and a simple description of where we went. We did come across this photo, the first one we took of the original Mad Dog, a 28-ft. Luhrs.

This is dated June, 1986 and it shows Bill surrounded by friends who volunteered to work on the boat that day. We had that leaky old boat for about ten years until we found the second Mad Dog, our much-loved 1967 Chris Craft.

The old logs note that back then we paid an astounding $1.10 per gallon for gas and in a few years it had risen to $1.49. Of course that Luhrs held just 75 gallons and we only left the Connecticut River a couple of times each summer. Still, we had a lot of fun on it.

We visited Defender Marine last weekend and Frances picked out a new LED light that once properly mounted, will illuminate our cockpit at night. Nice light and it cost only about $54, which seems inexpensive for a quality marine grade all-weather light of more than 1,000 Lumens.

Finding exactly the right spot to mount it will be another Frances-based decision.

 A few of our neighbors are out trying to clear their driveways as we write this, even though the winds is blowing and there seems to be a mixture of rain and sleet coming down. We'll wait until at least when the snow stops before firing up the snow-blower.

However, while the snow blows, Frances is in the kitchen making a chocolate pudding cake. What could be better than that on a snowy afternoon?

The next day...
Can you believe that Frances actually enjoys shoveling snow?  She really does, and even with that weenie shovel, she she cranked out quite a pile!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Let there be light

Okay, the reading lights that have consumed three (or is it four?) weekends are finally installed and working. They look great and provide the light we wanted but they took much longer to install than we thought they would. We doubt that anyone will ever notice them, which we suppose it's the way it's supposed to be.

You might as well see the port side, as well.

That's enough of the lights. We are moving on to other projects.

The rotten triangles project is also coming along. The inside piece is now in place. Nice fit. That will be painted to match the section above it and then, hopefully, disappear.

To wire the new lights, we had to open the hatches and crawl down into the engine space. While we were there, we inspected the engines and all the cooling connections. No water or coolant mixture in the bilge, which is always a good sign. Belts were tight, Wiring was secure and it looked as though we could simply turn the keys and cruise down the river. Not quite yet, unfortunately. We still have two more months before we can get back into the water.

But the river is out there and before we leave, we almost always have to see it. Very cool breeze, clear skies and not a soul in sight. This weekend the river was high, It just touched flood stage and then receded. It will be back up again as the snow in Vermont melts and we'll be here to see that too. Then we're looking forward to riding that river downstream this spring.

We shot some video that our You Tube followers will probably consider a waste of time. We try to plan in advance, what we want to show and that works until actually doing the work gets in the way of shooting the video. That means that some of what you see isn't in the original order. But who cares?  It's fun for us to do and sharpens our editing skills.