Friday, June 6, 2014

Winches, Faucets and Bungs

We're taking the time we have at the dock to refine a few systems and to fix a few items that we identified on the passage back the the US...

During the passage the winch we use for the staysail sheets and jib furling line was irritatingly squeaky despite Baxter's best efforts to disassemble, clean and lube many times throughout the winter.  It was #1 on the list of to-dos.  

In order to focus on the problem, since it hasn't been resolved previously, we watched several Lewmar videos but our winch was circa 198? so the differences between ours and the newer models seemed to make a difference.  Finally, we struck "gold" and found a pdf that diagramed a "key" that had to be released in order to remove the stem (where the winch handle fits.)  We saw the part, but it didn't look like it was removable. In fact, the key was so dirty and imbedded that we thought it was just a discolored part of the winch shaft.  It turns out the key was so dirty and grimy (probably never having been removed) that it was just jammed in the slot.  Not anymore.  Key removed, stem removed - winch parts cleaned with diesel and lubed.  Hopefully, that will take care of that issue.

#2 - Mast step leaks - We were enjoying dinner one night when it started to sprinkle.  Then we felt drops on our head - in the cabin.  Seriously?  We've been through this before.  Baxter spent the next day (rearranging all his other to-dos) to put an end to this once and for all.  He removed the metal ring around the mast step on the deck and we rebedded all the bolts again.  Sounds simple - I must not have mentioned removing the teak trim, the headliner, running to West Marine for new bolts since the previous ones were trimmed and the nuts no longer threaded correctly.  (Surely there was a good reason for that.)  Eight hours later - mast leak fixed.

#3  - Forepeak leaks - Do the leaks on a boat ever end?  During the passage, Daniel mentioned that the area he put his head in the forward cabin was wet.  After lengthy examination, Baxter realized there were two issues:  a) the stantions needed to be rebedded - yep, big shocker there and b) the screws under the bungs that attach the toe rail to the hull were screwed in without any sealant.  As he ran a hose over the deck, he could watch the water drip right through the screw holes.  Again - remove the headliner, the 1" marine plywood supports and grab a tube of 4000.  That resolved the problem for rebedding the screws.  In order to resolve the issue with the bungs - he removed all of the bungs on the bow, replaced them, chiseled them flush, sanded down the toe rail and then revarnished the toe rail.  4 days later, leaks are fixed.

#4)  Faucets don't like salt water.  Once the corrosion begins, you should start your search for its replacement.  As we left the Chesapeake in November, we had a single spot of metal corrosion on our galley faucet.  As we pulled into Georgia seven months later, there was not a spot that wasn't "eaten" away.  A quick trip to Home Depot, a brainstorming session on how to connect the "house" hoses to our marine plumbing - another trip to West Marine and new sink in place.  

Don't get me wrong, boat projects are like house projects - they are endless.  They can be and usually are fun because you get to know your boat really well.   Hopefully, these issues are resolved and they won't be of concern for a long time.

The innards of the Lewmar winch.  Baxter is holding the "key" that fits into that small slot on the center of the stem.  The key is actually white - this was before he cleaned it.

Corroded galley faucet

Pretty new faucet sans salt

The port forepeak exposed to rebed the stations.

Happy girl with new toys.

Headliner removed, wrench in hand.

Bow bungs removed ready to be replaced, sanded and revarnished.

Tools of destruction.

Anatomy of a bung.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How Far We've Come

The other day,  I happened to look at my watch and realized it was June 2.  What were you doing last year on June 2? 

As I thought about it for a minute, I realized in 2013, Baxter and I were in Jersey City, NJ – across the Hudson from the new WTC, and had arrived just the day before via Sea Tow, on a boat that we had sailed for less than 7 hours before the engine died. 

We were pretty frustrated and faced with the question of “Do we sell the boat…how can we without an engine?”…”How much is this going to cost?”…”How do we make money to pay for this?”…”Will we ever sail this boat to fun places?” but then we made a commitment to Terrapin and ourselves to chase our dreams....
New rigging and new engine took us 2,000 miles south of New York.  Putting our feet up in St Anne, Martinique was a fantastic way to relish in our achievement.

Monday, June 2, 2014


After making landfall at Brunswick Landing Marina, it has not taken us long to reconnect to the world beyond Terrapin.  In less than one week, we have been able to visit with family, access free wi-fi from the boat, do laundry for free, and Kala has been able to run on terra firma as many times per day as she would like.  We also are plugged into shore power and have free water at our disposal as needed.

Though these amenities have high value, I'm sure it won't take long for us to be overcome with the complexity of it all, the cost of it all and want to break free and get back on the water.

Sarah and Jimmy giving us a warm welcome to Georgia!!

We love all boats!!  Helping Jimmy with a boot stripe.

Great to be enjoying family in person!  (The lady in the back doesn't seem to be too thrilled...just disappointed she wasn't invited to our party!)

Another road trip!  Wonder where we're going this time.