Monday, August 25, 2008

Fix it

Deb’s description of this weekend’s sail covers it. About the only thing I can add is that I clearly have avoided being bitten by the “racer’s bug” when it comes to sailboats. I love every chance I get to sail on different boats and with people who know more about sailing than I do; which includes about everyone who has ever been around a sailboat. I suspect I will crew any chance I get, but the racing itself? I’m just not interested in taking someone's wind or using the rules of the road to force him off the mark. Maybe someday, but for now I just like going where we go, sitting in the shade, getting a cold one whenever the mood strikes and munching a peanut butter and jelly sammich for lunch.

Little Nomad’s list of discrepancies continues to grow, though getting to the marina after a couple of weeks away to discover that she had absolutely no water in her bilge was a pleasant surprise. The flip side of that discovery (since the bilge has a lot of water in it after every sail) is that the stuffing box has to be leaking whenever the engine is running or the prop is turning. Something that is now high on the priority list to understand and get fixed. We popped a water line while cleaning up after dinner Friday. An easy fix even at night down in the starboard lazarette, but a more permanent repair will be required. The water pump itself is somewhat intermittent; the wiring is exposed and stuff in the port lazarette can lean on the connection making the pump fail. The bilge pump is something I haven’t quite figured out yet either, it moves water up but not out. We are going to try a new pump and I suspect I need a check valve in the overboard line, but… And we have discovered a water stain forward on the starboard side of the V-birth. A stanchion is leaking, maybe; or a bowsprit bolt or water fill line. Cause and repair are yet to be determined. Both AC and DC power systems need attention and the winches need lubed.

None of this is really serious enough to keep us off the lake. And the fact is I am kind of putting off tackling some of them until the weather cools off a little. A boat in a slip, sheltered in a marina, in August in central IL, can be a brutally hot place; hot enough to take all the fun out of tinkering. We did take some time after Sunday’s nearly perfect day of sailing to remove all the fittings, pipes, seats, pulleys, etc., that were cluttering up the stern pulpit and starboard stanchions but where not being used for anything. (One or two of those parts are really, really removed, having slipped out of my sweaty fingers and landing in the water rather than the boat. At least I didn’t drop any tools!) All told I must have pulled 10 pounds of metal off the boat that was just along for the ride. As important, every single item was yet another place for a creepy to set up a home. There are a whole bunch of spiders looking for a new place to hide out this morning.

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