So Much to Do, So Little Time for the Sailboat

As I sit here, heating pad on my back, I’m contemplating all the work that I want to get done on our sailboat before we cast off. It seems that I pulled a muscle in my back while bench-pressing the old refrigerator out of the companionway when we installed the cold plate. Darned old back injury from

The pathetic old apartment refrigerator in the galley.

The pathetic old apartment refrigerator in the galley.

falling off a horse years ago has come back to haunt me for a few days. But then that is why God gave us Scotch. At least the old apartment-sized refrigerator is gone and the new cold plate is installed and working! Oh well, this down time gives me the chance to do some planning and some work on our websites and Facebook page.

First Mate is chomping at the bit to get some sailing in, but before we can make a shakedown run to the island there is just one more thing to attend to. The mainsail has two small tears at the top of the sail, and we have to fix them. I noticed it just after we sailed back from the island on our last adventure, but have been busy with other things. In the past we’ve used sail tape with good success to mend tears on a Genoa. The trick seems to be that you need to make sure the surfaces are clean and tape both sides of the tear. It is also good to sew around the tear, but we do not have a sewing machine at this time, so we will tape it for now, then sew it when we buy our machine. The main is fairly old and you can feel that it is almost brittle, so we will be replacing it soon, anyway. And lest I forget that I need to replace lights at the top of the mast.

Another punch down item I want to look at is the water tank in the forward cabin. There is a water tank beneath the berth that looks to be between 40 and 60 gallons. It is plumed to a valve in the port storage locker, and then runs through the forward head, back. I have not traced the water line beyond that point, but I do not see it plumed into the valves in the engine room. The tank has not been used in many years, and the previous owner knew nothing about it. It could have a leak in it, and that is something we will be finding about this next weekend. It would be easily replaced if it is leaking, so that is not a grave concern. It will also bring our water storage to around 160 gallons, which is almost respectable. With our watermaker, this should suffice. Realistically we could cruise for around 40 days without using the watermaker, if we are conservative. Of course having a watermaker aboard removes that limitation, but it is always good to plan for equipment failure. I also purchased a TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) meter to test our water. In playing around with it at our office, I found that we had around 450 PPM at the tap, which is not all that great. When I tested the water we get at the water store (reverse osmosis), the first bottle read 28 PPM, and the next that we bought a week later read 8 PPM.  Good water! I already made a video on installing the cold plate, and I will make another for installing the watermaker.

Other things to do include buying and installing the new stove, installing a dodger, installing an arch to mount the solar panels and radar, and a few other things. But hey, if nothing needed fixing, then all we’ve have left is boring old sailing, right?

Oh, forgot to mention that we’re installing lighting, too. We have had good success with the adhesive string lights (LEDs) on our previous boat, and we’re going to use them on the Morgan. They do an excellent job in lighting up whatever area you install them in, and they use a fraction of the power of incandescent bulbs. More to come on this topic.

About Captain Tom

Over 10 years sailing and over 3500 miles under our keel. Was an engineer (EE) for over 30 years, then after moving into management, decided that the corporate world was no longer for me. Ran my wife's law office for 15 years and recently retired. Now we live aboard and sail the California coast, soon to leave for the Sea of Cortez.