Friday, April 3, 2015


The docks at Elliott Bay Marina have been busy with people preparing their boats for summer cruising and every boater knows that an expedition without the proper preparations can lead to trouble.  Regular maintenance, necessary repairs, and an inventory of spare parts can make a big difference in the boating experience.  Of course this also means maintaining a long “To-Do” list, which Leonard has down to a science.  He now has a color coded list grouped by priority:  immediate repairs, pending repairs, and wish-list items.  It seems everyone loves adding to the list, including boat surveyors.  A boat survey or inspection is normally required every five years for insurance purposes and must be completed by a licensed surveyor.  You guessed it, they always find something!  In our case, we needed to add a metal shield under the generator’s Racor fuel filter, a task easily completed. 
Bundles of Wire

An additional requirement to install a ground-fault circuit interrupt proved to be more challenging.  In the process of replacing electrical plugs in the engine room, we discovered that the ground wire that was originally installed was done incorrectly.  The wire had been hooked to the bonding strip without first being routed through the electrical panel.  This meant we needed to run a new wire with the correct/new routing, a four-hour job completed by SeaView Boatyard in Seattle.  Of course the project required taking down wood panels in the Pilothouse and in the Guest Stateroom in order for the electrician to access the many bundles of wire.  Ok, now we can move on to Leonard’s list of repairs and maintenance. 
Making Sure the New Chain fits our Windlass Gypsy

First on the list, replacing the anchor chain which had become quite rusted over the years from being immersed in salt water.  We decided to replace our 300 foot chain with a new 400 foot chain, but how do you remove an old rusty anchor chain weighing 400 pounds and install new chain weighing 600 pounds; it’s not like you can just load it in your car and carry it down to the dock. 
Spooling out the Old Rusty Chain
Thanks to SeaView Boatyard, we simply motored up to their high-profile maintenance dock where we could easily spool out the old chain and install with new.  The new anchor chain was delivered in a big barrel to the boatyard by Fisheries Marine Supply, a more convenient option than trying to haul it ourselves.  While the rode was being spliced onto the new chain, Leonard suggested I clean out the chain locker:  dirt, water, mildew and the like, ugh what fun!  Guess he assumes I always like to clean no matter the situation or environment. 
Lifting in the New Refrigerator
We also replaced our refrigerator which was delivered to the boatyard from Sure Marine Co.  Hefting a refrigerator over the cap rails and into the boat was a tricky maneuver but accomplished with the help of boatyard personnel.  Next on the list of repairs was the all-important Global Positioning System (GPS).  We had noticed while motoring over to the boatyard that the GPS had stopped working.  Ouch!  Without a GPS signal the chart plotter lacks important details for navigation, the radar overlay on the chart plotter won’t work, and the AIS (tracking other boats) also won’t work – you’re basically back to old school navigation, a guessing game mode of where we are in relationship to something else.  Leonard called Ray Marine and was told that the solution may simply be to change out the battery.  Oh that should be easy right, wrong!  As it turned out the battery was tack-welded in place.  Prying the battery loose means the holder becomes damaged and can’t hold a new battery, something Ray Marine failed to mention.  Leonard also noticed moisture inside the unit and that the seal had deteriorated so the decision was made to replace the GPS unit located on the mast. 
Feeding Wire down the Mast for the GPS
Yes, another wiring job which entailed removing the overhead liner in the Pilothouse and feeding a new wire from the GPS unit down through the mast and into the boat for connection.  Between the two of us, we completed this priority project and were very happy to check that one off the list! 
New Hose connected to the Galley Sink Thru-Hull
Another task completed by team Landon was the replacement of the galley sink hose; while Leonard worked under the galley sink feeding down the new hose, I was in the engine room (squeezed between one engine and a fuel tank) guiding the hose along a narrow passage down to the appropriate thru hull connection, oh boy, a clean galley sink hose.  All is well, but wait a minute, what about the other boat, the dinghy?  It too was in need of some repairs.  When Leonard took the dinghy out for a test run, he discovered that the shifter cable had broken.  Thankfully, Ballard Inflatables met us at Shilshole Bay Marina located next to the boatyard, picked up our dinghy and trailered it back to their shop for repairs.  They replaced the cable, the thermostat, spark plugs, and changed the oil so the dinghy is like new again - easy to shift and running smoothly.  Got d’ Fever and her companion Hot Flash are ready to go.

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