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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
|Bundles of Wire|
|Making Sure the New Chain fits our Windlass Gypsy|
|Spooling out the Old Rusty Chain|
|Lifting in the New Refrigerator|
|Feeding Wire down the Mast for the GPS|
|New Hose connected to the Galley Sink Thru-Hull|