This past weekend, I took the mobile boatyard, otherwise known as s/v Pretty Gee, on a short trip to Bourne. Dale and I had planned on getting some work done on s/v Hilarity. Instead of dealing with the atrocious Memorial Day weekend holiday Cape Cod tourist traffic backups and delays and spend several hours each day stuck in traffic, I thought it made far more sense to sail up to Bourne and anchor out off of Monument Beach.
The weather forecast was quite promising, and bringing the boat along meant that I would likely have almost any tool I needed for any of the tasks at hand. S/V Pretty Gee does have fairly well equipped tools and parts lockers.
Some of the projects we had as goals for s/v Hilarity included:
- Replace the wet exhaust hoses on the engine.
- Replace the bilge pump hose.
- Re-bed the genoa tracks and add the new genoa fairlead cars to them.
- Get the alternator up and running properly.
Well, we didn’t get all the things done we’d planned on and some of the priorities changed.
Dale and I did get the hoses on the engine replaced. Now the engine runs and the exhaust goes outside the boat along with the water. This is a good thing. The bilge was getting pretty nasty from having the engine’s exhaust dumped into it. We did relocate the water lift muffler a tiny bit to help with the hose alignment. Fixing this allowed us to put the engine cover and companionway ladder back in place, at least temporarily.
The alternator is an API Marine replacement unit and one of the previous boat owner’s had bought a nice Xantrex external regulator for it, but had never connected it for some reason. I think the XAR unit works, but I have to get some wiring information for the API Marine alternator to connect the two pieces together—waiting on that information from a friend at the moment.
As an alternative, we connected the small winter “maintenance” solar panel I had on my boat to s/v Hilarity’s batteries. That will at least ensure that one of the two batteries is properly charged up when he needs it. I even had a Marinco 30-Amp trolling motor plug to install on Dale’s boat to use to connect the panel to the battery. I use the Marinco 30-Amp trolling motor connector for connecting solar panels on s/v Pretty Gee because it is pretty robust and allows me to use the plug as both a way to connect a solar panel to the charging system and as a 12 VDC accessory outlet, with the right pigtail.
I decided to have s/v Hilarity rafted up to s/v Pretty Gee. The Rocna 15 kg I use can hold the two boats pretty easily and it would make doing repairs and such much simpler. We kept the boats rafted up for a couple days and that allowed me easy access to the tools and parts I needed.
I did remove the port side genoa track and Dale and I re-bedded it. To remove the genoa track I needed the Makita impact driver and a pair of Vise-grips. The Makita’s battery pack was dead so I turned on the inverter on s/v Pretty Gee and ran the charger until both battery packs were recharged. Having an inverter and access to 110 VAC is very convenient.
Dale needs to order some 1/4″-20 flathead screws, washers and nuts to finish up the job. It has been bedded in butyl tape, and it shouldn’t be a source of leaks any more. Pulling the track off required removing some cosmetic teak covers that were covering up the holes the nuts and washers were located in in the cabin liner overhead. The teak pieces were held in by wood screws and the bungs that were covering the screws were almost impossible to remove. I think those need to be re-designed to make access far simpler.
I used the Makita impact driver and a pair of Vise-grips to remove the old fasteners. I’d clamp the Vise-grips on the nut in the cabin and set it so the Vise-grips couldn’t turn very far, and then go topsides and use the Makita to remove the screw. One of the screws was directly over the bulkhead for the companionway. Apparently, they couldn’t have moved the track or the bulkhead an inch in either fore or aft and made it possible to do maintenance on this for some reason.
The track takes 26 fasteners… thank God for power tools. Re-bedding it took two people because the track is curved horizontally a tiny bit at the forward end. Why they didn’t just use a straight track is beyond me… but it is what it is.
Dale and I got the track bedded down, and most of the fasteners in. I told Dale to buy some more fasteners at Bolt Depot, which is one of my favorite vendors for fasteners.