Copyright (c) Marc Dacey/Dark Star Media 2006-2020. Above photo (c) Marc Dacey. Powered by Blogger.


An outbreak of boat jobs

Can't. About to move aboard!
The above request is courtesy of Marina Quay West, which has several dozen liveaboards in residence and where the good ship Alchemy is being readied to being a floating home once again, and, it is most devoted to be wished, a sailing home by April 30th, which is when our apartment lease and our marina dock lease expire.

There have been many, many changes since the last post. A major one was the offer of our boat club, National YC, to offer us a dock (good thing we never "cashed in" that dock right, right?) for the summer, which means going "up" the membership status ladder from "crew" to "senior"...which will cost us money. Given the extremely tentative nature of our plans to leave Lake Ontario this season, even to get just to Nova Scotia and get our hull recoated and our standing rigging redone, leading to the possibility that not only might we cruise in circles this summer, but might also have to haul out (because the antifoul paint will be rather tired at that stage) in Toronto, our plans scuttled for another years, we decided to rejoin the club and get a dock, a course both providential in terms of timing, but a little bitter in terms of dreams deferred.
The underside of the wind generator "body" has a compressing collar and Allen bolts. I believe it is happiest with a 1.875 OD pipe.
Nonetheless, while there remains even a glimmer of hope of leaving on May 8th (the first day of what was the "suspended until further notice"  aspect of locking down the Seaway for boats such as ours), we press on with the refit just because we should. One long-postponed project is the installation of an Air-X wind generator on the stern to supplement the solar panel portion of the shore-independent power regime. This 12 VDC model is not necessarily the best or the quietest, but I traded it for a 24VDC acquired at a yard sale from the people who sold us our solar panels, and it seems reasonably robust, although it needs a paint job. Andrew Barlow, fabricator extraordinaire, is going to make up a pole for it and a footplate on which said pole will be mounted, which in turn will be bolted onto the flange off the stern of Alchemy fit for the purpose. Its role is supplemental to the solar panels, and we'll see if it earns its keep in that regard on, for instance, night passages when we'll presumably want radar and AIS chewing amps on the night watch.
Because it wouldn't be a passagemaker without a load of gear off the arse.
Other improvements include the resurrection of Alchemy's original 20 amp charger, which I found was made not only for Westmarine, but in versions labelled by StatPower and Xantrex (as the Truecharge model). Manuals are available still, and this is a pretty straightforward unit suitable for keeping two Group 27 deep cycle batteries of about 210 Ah capacity and wired in parallel topped up.

Does the job and so did the 5200 in sticking the board to which it's screwed to the collision bulkhead.
The idea here, which I consider not overly crazy, is that if the main house bank fails or otherwise requires service (or simply needs to be moved out of the way for access or repair of the tankage and plumbing beneath it), I can have two Group 27s at the ready to "become the house bank" or the start batteries as needed. After all, the windlass can also be worked manually, if onerously. Belt and suspenders thinking at work!
The energized windlass breaker and solenoid box: This is tidier than it looks.
Part of the prep of moving aboard is sending things into storage. To that end occassioned a socially distanced visit from my nephew Ryan Dacey and his still-under-warranty missus, Alex. The two of them brought some of my late parents' records, old photos and other "treasures from the basement" of their mother, my late sister. Off to Trenton it shall go.
Try not to cough.
Onward to the construction of the bed platform, which, being 90° rotated from the original, needed accessorizing to serve as an athwartship double berth. First up was constructing a crosspiece on which the hinged "bed flap" could land smoothly and capable of supporting the weight of two dozing admirals. This required an aluminum backing plate for the inside of the hanging lockers.

Why, yes, the vacuum cleaner got a workout in this process.
The flap itself is 1/2" marine ply, reinforced by stiffeners underneath and hinged with a stainless steel piano hinge and two SS strap hinges at either end. It will be held just past vertical when not in sleep mode by a peg set into the bookshelf surround, backed up by an eye-and-hook.
The underside is shimmed 1/4" to make the whole thing level. There will be a strip of gasketing material to keep those bolts and screws from chewing at the wood and metal. Stowage is below.
The upper side will have, at first, thick closed-cell foam as a Velcro'd on base, with memory foam as a mattress. We will have to improvise to get the hinge covered for comfort, but expect to get fitted mattresses and a Froli-type substrate sometime down the road. Mrs. Alchemy is already planning out lee cloths.
Prior to strap hinges and, you know, the bedding.
Imagine, if you will, that we are on either starboard or port tack, at night, with Cabin Boy on watch. We can shift our head or feet to either end, and our weight is farther forward than it would have been. A simple movement gets us into the pilothouse (there's a new handrail just out of shot) and there's also new stowage (the rectangle cut out of the former port berth) for light items, such as fenders. We hope it serves us well. 
Moved logbook rack, restored 24-hour ship's clock and freshly repainted port-side helm area suitable for chartwork.
John Cangardel was kind enough to give us some anti-chafe gear that wraps itself around line, such as our "cross-channel" bow spring to the docks opposite. Handy, this.

Yes, our son finally cleaned the deck. Well, somewhat.
Lastly, I spent a couple of hours yesterday tracing some wiring glitches and restored the radar's power circuit and that of the AIS. This involves taking down the pilothouse wire loom secured on the forward part of the pilothouse just below its roof and getting busy with the heat shrink. When I deselect the B&G plotter's internal GPS for that of the Vesper XB-8000 AIS unit, which has its own GPS receiver above the radome some seven metres up the mast, the positional accuracy was improved...the big scribble in the second slip was "before" and the boat running its forward-looking sonar was "after": we are in fact in the first slip of this pier.
But not travelling at 0.1 knots.
A few fuses blown last year (perhaps during the October "thrashings" we administered while racking up sailing hours) were replaced; some legacy circuits at 2 amps or under have glass inline fuses, which is a better solution in some ways for small draws than endless five amp circuit breakers. So back on came the helm reading lamp.
Maybe too many pens, pencils and loose cable ties? Can confirm.
Mrs. Alchemy is prepping the saloon floor with a vigorous belt sanding so that our freshly purposed roll of Lonseal Marine teak and holly flooring can spruce the joint up a bit. It had better: it was impressively expensive, even for something with the word "marine" in it.
Wiring to be confined better before we actually leave, which could be in either May or 2021...sigh. The boxes are full of watermaker parts.
More to do, of course, but we are clipping along nicely, despite the dour circumstances. More to come soon as the seacocks are opened for business...after it snows this week.
That Chelsea clock is keeping near-perfect time now, thanks to Mr. Del Rosario's ministrations.

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