Projects, Projects, Projects!

As any boat owner will tell you, there are always things to do on a boat. Finish one project and start two more! Here is a list of projects that we are working on for the next few weeks.

  • Clean engine room
  • Replace main halyard
  • Take down old mainsail and install new
  • Refurl and raise the jib
  • Tighten pedestal bolts
  • Check hydraulic steering lines

Unfortunately, the engine room needed cleaning because when I changed the oil last I neglected to check that the old gasket had come off with the old filter. After running the engine for a few hours, oil started spewing from the filter and sprayed all over the engine room. We bought a box of absorbent pads and I went to work. Between the Dawn dish soap, a few stiff brushes, and a sprayer I have in the engine room, I managed to do a pretty good cleaning.

The main halyard was really old and was the old-school rope to steel cable type, and the cable has quite a few “meat hooks” coming out of it. It was past time to replace it, so we opted for Dyneema line and are really happy with it. Much easier on the hands when raising the main!

The big news aboard this week is the new mainsail that we commissioned from Precision Sails. They were able to finish the sail in about three months, which is not too bad considering they started it at the beginning of the season. We will be installing and raising it this week. More on that once we have sailed with it. It ended up being a loose-footed sail, as opposed to an attached foot. This will be our first experience with a loose-footed sail!

The steering pedestal has always been just a little loose where it mounts to the cockpit floor, so that should be an easy fix. I have excellent access to the base from within the engine room. One of the things that I really like about this boat is that we have great access to a lot of the systems from within the engine room. There is enough room for me to climb to the starboard side of the diesel and sit while I work on things.

Back in October 2019 we were headed to Catalina Island and ended up having to turn around and call BoatUS to tow us back because one of the hydraulic lines for our steering had burst. It turned out that the copper line had corroded and leaked the pressure and fluid out. We replaced all the lines with all rubber and were really happy with the results. After that I have always checked the pressure and fluid level before we depart.

It never ends, but mostly in a good way. We enjoy the projects that are to improve the boat, but sometimes the repairs are a pain. All part of the life we chose, so no complaints here. We’d rather be out sailing, and we will in a few weeks!

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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.
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