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April showers of prep

I am actually going to tighten my keel bolts on Valiente with that big bastard...once I retrieve the 1.5 inch socket from Alchemy.

Yesterday was interesting in terms of  "jobs done in spite of". April, particularly after a hard winter, can and does produce impressive weather as hot air from the States hits the still-frigid (and according to the Canadian Coast Guard, still icy at the east end of Lake Ontario) local waters. So I went to Valiente to do the recommissioning thing and to bring down a hand sanding machine to prep for bottom painting and to clean up the rudder. This involves hauling the Honda 2000 genset down to charge up the batteries, because they aren't nearly fully charged, and because I like light.

Yearly tasks involve tightening every hose clamp on the engine, the engine intakes and all the through-hulls (scuppers, galley and head). I also dog down all the chain plate bolts and (as seen above) tighten my head bolts as per the venerable and hard-to-source "Seacraft Atomic 4 Manual" (link works, but I have no idea if you can still get them) which I have along with the Moyer manual and the original. The Seacraft is the only one that has the order of the head stud tightening and the torque required (35 ft/lbs., evidently). By the way, you'll need an 11/16th inch socket.

Later, I'll service the winches, tune the rig and start cleaning the place up. I was fairly pleased with the sanded, stained and spar varnished tiller, which I didn't attempt to sand down overmuch, preferring the "y'arr" of its well-earned weatheredness.

Bronze and laminate, together again.
Needs a power wash, clearly.
Besides, it's soon going to be a concern of the next owner...fingers crossed. Despite half-hourly 40-50 knot squalls, hail and rain, which I do not recommend experiencing on a cradled boat, by the way, I got a lot done, including a test-fire of the refreshed Atomic 4. This year, it took two key turns before it roared back into life. Not bad. I heard others in the yard (when the howling wind let up) failing to crank their own engines, followed by swearing. Me, I shut down after 15 seconds, because now the engine is mostly coolant-free. I will likely splash next week if it even looks like 10C.
The staff at the as-yet unsigned "Westport Marine Supply".
Those who have watched aghast in the downtown Toronto area as first Genco Marine's Queen's Quay outpost, and then West Marine on Jarvis closed in August and January past, respectively, may have thought "the Dock Shoppe isn't stocked I drive to Scarborough (The Rigging Shoppe) or to Mississauga (HMP, Mason's/Fogh's, Genco, etc.)? Well, despite the notable absence of signage, there is a new sort-of-downtown chandlery in town. Behold Westport Marine Supply (it's at 4 Carlaw, Unit 8 on the south side) and while they are not super-stocked at the moment (although there's the usual commissioning products), they have a big repair and service space and ambition to match. Some may recognize diesel mechanic and Beta vendor Mark Bird on the right: it's his baby and it's nice to have alternatives after the exodus of other chandleries to the suburbs. To the left, note the Honda 2000-by-bike. Five minutes after this shot, it was blowing yet another frozen hoolie. Such is the life of the itinerant boat fixer.

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