Thursday, January 31, 2013

Warranty issues

The little Suzuki outboard has done a good job of moving us and our gear back and forth to land for almost 3 years now.

Last week though, when I changed the oil I noticed that the lower cowling was cracked. It’s a one piece, plastic cowling and it apparently broke from vibration.
Whether it’s a bad design or over tightening of the bolts at the factory I don’t know but when I sent a picture to the dealer he emailed back that he would order one under warranty and it should be here in about a week. So, my 2.5 HP mighty mite lives on! The best part is that the labor for the replacement is also covered by the warrenty... Oh, and the warrenty runs out in two weeks. Found it just in time.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bachelor life

Anna has gone back to Michigan for a short visit to take care of our newest grand child, little Carter Alexander De Commer.
Grandma and little Carter
She picked a poor time to go for they have had some of the coldest weather of the winter during the last week, nights in the single digits and days not getting out of the 20’s.
Carter's big brother, Jackson
Little Carter was born a bit early and had to spend some time in the neonatal unit but, he’s back home and doing well. I just wish that I could have gone north too. Edie rode with me to Fort Lauderdale to drop Anna off at the airport and when we got back, she had to ride in the basket on the bike to get back to the boat.
one happy dog

The website and the blog have suffered since Anna left because she took her phone with her and we use it to “tether” the lap top to the internet. So, I have to bring the computer it to the marina or try to post something on using my phone to do it. As you can tell by the last post, it doesn’t work very well doing it that way. Sorry for the missing posts.

During this week our boating friends have decided that I must not be able to feed myself and they have insisted on having me over for dinner on a regular basis or inviting me to ride out to breakfast with them.

Dinner on Roy and Yasmond's boat

Deserts by Bonnie and Yasmond on Sid and Bonnie's boat

Biking to breakfast with Walt and Pat
Between that, continual work on the boat, learning to play tennis and taking care of Edie, life is very busy.
I will be leaving here is about 1 week to sail up to Fort Lauderdale to PU a friend. If Anna isn’t back by then we’ll take Snow Goose on a “bachelor” tour of the keys, Dry Tortugas and the west coast of Fl without her. (Sure will miss her cooking!)  I’ll try to get some pictures and post them ASAP. Stay warm up there in the frozen north!
LATE BREAKING NEWS… I just found a site called “easyteather” and now (for the low, low price of $9.95) I have a way to tether my phone to the internet and it works fantastically! (as you can tell)

Friday, January 25, 2013

no internet

Well, I have a new phone but Anna has gone back to Mi. to help take care of our newest grand child, Carter De Commer. With her went her phone and the tether for our computer to the intetnet. So, I'm trying to write this on my phone. It feels like I'm back on the trail trying to post something to the web. Anyway, several other boats have had me over for dinner so, I'm doing OK even with Anna gone.

Friday, January 18, 2013

New phone

Another short post,

Got a new phone but newer activated "automatic backup" so, I lost all of the info stored on the phone. Damn. Anyone who wants to call me please do for I don't have any of your tele # any more.

Thursday, January 17, 2013



Don’t feel like telling the long story so, the short story is my phone (and glasses) went over the side. Shit     )-:       New phone on order.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Battery issues # 2

Now, After taking 2+ hours to buy the parts and make up a new cable it’s time to install it. The engine is under the sole of the cockpit and to access it you have to move the large wooden floor grates out of the way.

There are 2 of them and they get stacked behind the aft wheel. The cover to the engine compartment is a large steel hatch that I installed ‘gas piston supports’ to. (Just like the ones that hold up the rear hatch on a car).
I used these supports on both the engine compartment hatch and the battery compartment hatch. Once in the engine compartment you can see a large white box. I built it to enclose the engine and to absorb sound (and it works great!).
To work on the engine though, I have to disassemble the box. The top comes off easy and I’ve installed quick release clamps that hold the rest of it together. Then, after removing several screws that hold it down, you can gain total access to the engine.
each of the 4 sides comes out
Next, the battery compartment. Again, up comes the wooden floor grate, the steel cockpit sole hatch and the cover to the battery’s.
6-golf cart battery's
Now, all that was left was to empty out the port aft cockpit seat locker to gain access the battery cable run. In the end, it took 20 minutes to open everything up, 20 min to” de-wire” and rewire the engine and to test it and another 20 to slowly put everything back the way it was in the beginning. About 4+ hours of work to install a 12 inch piece of cable.
On the plus side though, it’s warm, with a nice breeze and hey, I’m retired and need something to keep me busy!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Battery issues

After loosing the starting battery (2 months ago) to thermal run away, I’ve decided to completely removing the starting battery from the starting/charging circuit. This will require rewiring the heavy duty power wires to the engine, removing some wires and installing a short jumper from the back of the alternator to the starter.

An easy 10 minute job if I had a 12 inch, # 4 gauge jumper with the correct ends on it and everything was easy to get to. In the end it took about 4+ hours to do this simple little bit of work.
 First off, a pre-made # 4 gauge, 12 inch cable at West Marine runs about $16 so, instead of paying the people at WM I headed down to the hardware store and bought the items that I needed for less then $5.

It’s a 8 mile bike ride down to the store and back but it was a nice day and Anna insisted on lunch at Pizza Hut with the money that I saved so, it wasn’t too bad. Once back at the boat, I fabricated the cable by first trimming the ends, dipping them into paste and inserting them into the lugs. I dimpled the ends by pounding a punch into the lugs (I didn’t have my crimper with me).
both front and back were dimpled until very tight

ends installed
At this point, Edie came over and tried to help but the next step requires fire so I said no.

Then, it was into my "garage" for more tools.
the "garage" is 4 shelf's that hold tools and parts and also serve as steps into the engine area.
plumbing on left and electrical on right
To ensure a good connection I got out the torch and soldered the ends on.
MAPP gas burns hotter than propane
After that, the ends received a sleeve of shrink wrap around them and wah-la, you have a cable that is ready to install, just like WM’s at 1/3 of the price.
Tomorrow, it’s the installation process.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Getting to Marathon


On the way down to our winter home in the Fl. Keys we passed a few interesting boats, one interesting bridge and did a small adjustment to the front sail that I thought you might like to see.
This house boat was as large as a small house and must have been built on a barge base. The only trouble is that most barges are built of steel and just like the Snow Goose steel is prone to rust in salt water… and that’s what must have happened to this house boat for it’s now sitting on the bottom in about 5 feet of water. The entire first floor is a couple of feet deep in water. I think though, that the deck railing sticking out of the water is cute.
We also passed this homebuilt gaff rig that went sailing by as we were powering into the wind. We know the man who built the boat and it’s a true ‘one of a kind’ boat.
I’ve always loved these bridges, (the arched one) it looks like it could have been a railroad bridge and that's because, they were. The original way the  Florida Keys were connected was by railroad. After it went bankrupt the railroad bridges were converted to automobile bridges during the 1930’s. The original train system was considered one of the “wonders of the world” at the time that it opened. Now though,,,
it’s been replaced with these modern ‘high rise’ bridges. Ugly if you ask me. When we finally got to a point that we could sail, I noticed that the forward sail was flapping on the bottom edge so I had to climb up on the lifelines to adjust the leach line on the foot of the sail.
(It’s not as dangerous as it looks). It was a great trip south this year (despite the problems that we had) and we are looking forward to our stay in Marathon.