Sunday, December 27, 2015

engine hours

Unlike a car, where you perform maintenance by how many miles you have gone. IE: oil changes, tires, etc. On a boat you use an engine hour meter that shows how many hours that you’ve run the engine.

Right after I started using the Snow Goose back in the late 1990’s the original hour meter went bad. Now, 15+ years later, it's replacement has started to add 100 hours every so often. So, we now have a replacement for the replacement! The best thing is… I can proudly tell guests that our boat’s engine has only been used for 1 hour! Why, the engine is brand new!!!!!! See, just look at the hour meter!!   : )


(It's a shame that it's not April 1st)

Friday, December 25, 2015

A quite boat

For the first time in forever, Anna and I are apart for the holiday season. We have a family emergency back in Michigan and she has flown back home to take care of it. It makes a lonesome boat especially with the resent loss of Edie. Never fear though, I (as always) have the “LIST” for company! Oh, you say… what list? The never ending maintenance list that magically grows even as you finish items off from it. It’s like trying to walk up a sand dune, two steps forward and one step backwards.

I also have the osprey’s, one juvenile bald eagle, lots of different kinds of birds, an occasional dolphin and manatee and (as always) the other cruisers to watch and talk to. We have friends on shore and my trusty bike to take me exploring (when I tire of the “list”). Still, I wish that Anna were here.
On Anna’s and my behalf, I wish all of you a very merry Christmas and joyous holidays!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Manatee Pockets

After a medium day of motoring into the current and the wind we arrived at our next anchorage, Manatee Pockets, which is just SE of Stuart, Fl. We enjoy stopping here. The Manatee Pocket’s are a nice, well protected anchorage that has a free dock with access to many shops, stores and friends! The old channel was dredged a few years back and now boosts 9 ft of water with a generous area for transients to anchor in. It’s only 10 minutes from the ICW and services are within a long walking distance, though, having a bike would be a better idea here. That’s why the first thing that I did was I spent several hours doing the annual repair work on our two folding bikes.
A busted spoke and a frozen cable later, the bikes were ready for the road
Friends of ours took us to the “Marine Liquidators”. It’s a marine store that's filled from floor to ceiling with racks of boat parts that they buy at liquidation sales. It was like being in a toy store for boaters! Outside were several anchors and stuff on display (both old and new) so, Walt and I decided that the Snow goose needed an upgrade to her armament…. So we stole their cannon! (It was a bit heavy to carry back to the boat but, we have been working out lately). 
                                                    : )
I think that it will look good on the bow!
on the right it's nothing but propellers.
Just for a bit of fun, we treated ourselves and went to the movies and saw......

Friday, December 18, 2015


This year it’s suprising the number of wrecks that we have found along the way here in Fl. There must have been a good size storm that blew threw the anchorages down here to have sent so many boats onto the shallows. Here’s just a few  in the Titusville area that I took the time to go and check out.

It's very sad to see these. Each one, no mater how junky, was someone's dream and now it's just a hazard to navigation waiting for someone to pony up enough money to raise them and cart them away.

Monday, December 14, 2015

A little maintenance

As they say (and I’ve said before) “Cruising is the art of doing repairs in exotic locations”.
By the time we got to Titusville, Fl. the engine was due for a bit of routine maintenance. Oil and filter change, the 500 hr. valve clearance check, a new fan belt for the Alternator along with a host of other small periodic checks that I do on a 100 hr. basis.

The engine compartment, my home away from home.

 Checking valve clearances. Old technology but easy to adjust.
Oh, and of course, my annual tear down of the outboard motor. Sometimes I think that it is far more trouble to have an outboard that they are worth… that is until I think ablut the ¼ mile row that I’d have to do to get to the dock. 
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We Left Titusville and sailed (instead of motored) down the Indian river. It took us two leisurely days of sailing to make it to Vero Beach where we planed to stop for a night... which has become 5 days! We ran into many old friends here so,our short stop just keeps getting longer every day. No wonder they call it Velcro Beach instead of Vero Beach... (once you stop here your stuck!)
Running under spinnaker down the Indian River.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Heading south

We had a sleigh ride after we left Beaufort Nc. The first 1 ½ days were spent under reduced Genoa and mizzen as we headed south before a 25/30 kts breeze that ran us along at 7 kts + (sometimes hitting high 8 kts while surfing down big waves). In other words it was NO FUN. But, we made 180+ miles in that run from Beaufort to Winyah Bay running the Frying Pan shoals in the dark with 5-7 foot seas. YAHOO! In reality it was a long miserable night of wild sailing. The inside of the boat was so violent and noisy that you couldn’t sleep so the next night we stopped in a Winyah Bay for a much needed rest.

After a day on the intercostal we will left Charleston harbor and head south again. This time the waves and wind were tolerable and after two 1/2 days we headed into Ponce Deleon inlet at 4:30AM (translate this to scary) and dropped a hook. During the last night at sea there was a large swell right on the beam that would violently roll the boat every 14 sec. So, again not much sleep. Over all we had one of our fastest passages but paid for the speed with rough conditions. The happy ending is that it’s 75 deg during the day down here and sailing down the Indian river (a wide, 100+ mile long sound behind the space center) is just delightful… no waves and soft, warm breezes.
Under spinnaker heading south on the Indian River
 (OK, I must like this picture since I used it in back to back posts... It was a great sail though!)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

New dinghy

As the date for our departure loomed brightly in front of us I was troubled by the choice of a dinghy that we were taking with us. Last year Anna had purchased a Walker Bay 10. Which in subsequent use had turned out to be a bit "tender" (if you'll pardon the pun) and I didn't want to take it. 2 days before we were to leave we had a used dinghy offered to us. 

the ropes are holding the glue job together
OK, it’s not new. In fact the first thing that I had to do was repair it. (So, what’s new?) It’s a cast off from a boat that I did a lot of work on at Deaton’s and the owner gave it to us. (Thank you Fordyce!) Just in time too since I had just cut up our old inflatable and tossed it into the trash. I guess that God looks out for fools and sailors, I just don’t know which category I fall into… maybe both!
old dinghy and good riddance!
On another note, on the way down from the Chesapeake we were using the mizzen staysail and it ripped apart. I tried to repair it but the tear was to extensive and the fabric was just to old. I called and checked many sites on the internet that sell used sails and no one had any mizzen staysails. Then the next day we got a call back from a place in Fl. They just had a person bring in a used mizzen staysail that was about the right size! So, the Goose now has a new (used) sail. Just hope that it lasts as long as the old one did.

Notice the date on the old sail ? It was built in 1958!
 We're headed off shore for the next bit. Should be in Fl. in 6 days or so. See ya there!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

And the work begins

The next day after we arrived at Deaton’s we were hauled out and found this. We had a total failure of our boats bottom paint. It took us an hour of scraping, powerwashing and more scraping to clean them off. Then a few weeks later I had to rough sand the entire bottom to remove the round pads that they leave behind.
thousands of barnacles
They set us in the side lot and that's when the real work began. I removed the transmission and sent it in for rebuilding. It sounds like such an easy thing… just remove the transmission. NOT!
To  remove the transmission you have to disassemble the sound box around the engine, and remove the exhaust system, but to do that you have to remove the: house batteries, battery box, battery box frame, and then exhaust which is 30 lbs. of steel! Then you have to remove the turbo charger from the engine (only to find that the heat exchanger has been leaking and the engine, rear mount, etc. are is rusty). In this process I also found that the raw water pump is leaking and the front mount, etc. is rusty also. Now, disconnect the propeller shaft, remove the coupler, remove the PSS rotary seal on the shaft. These items are (of course) very hard to reach no less work on. Then grind the side of the rudder away (so that the shaft can slide out of the boat), remove the propeller and slid the propeller shaft out of the way. Finally, you can disconnect the transmission and rig up a 3 part tackle to lift it out of the bottom of the boat. Oh and in the process of cleaning the exhaust (previously removed) you also discover that it has rusted thru and needs to be replaced. Now, you have major clean/repair to do to the bilge area too. Other than that, it’s just another day on a boat.

6 of our 8 house batteries. Each one weights about 60lbs 
While grinding I discovered... 
So, I hit it with a screwdriver and this hole appeared!

One month later, the transmission was back, everything was rebuilt, replaced, sandblasted and repainted, and ready to go. It was a scary yet satisfying day when we put the Snow Goose back in the water and had her running along under her own power. Now for the next job, and the next and the next…..