Friday, April 1, 2016

Settling in

This part of the ICW has some remarkable homes.
Kintala settled into her slip at the Snead Island Boat yard Wednesday afternoon. After motoring away from Blackburn Bay and stopping at Marina Jacks in Sarasota for fuel, water, etc., we cleared the bridge into Sarasota Bay, put the Beast to rest, and romped northward at 6 knots in post cold front winds. There are two lifting bridges between Sarasota Bay and Tampa bay. Since all bridges frown on people sailing through them, we tucked away the jib and motored through. Once in Tampa bay we sailed as far as we could, making it into the Manatee River before being too hard on the wind to keep going under canvas. The Beast went to work, pushing us up the river, through the tiny opening into the yard, and between the piers. It was a good effort on the part of the Beast as, by that time, the spray from the raw water pump was getting serious.

Now THAT'S a mooring ball.
Don't tell anyone that the new mechanic came limping in, nursing a failing engine.

There is no way to avoid that fact that we are now, officially, “between cruises." This will be home base for a while. The hope is we will spend as many weekends and holidays as possible exploring the Tampa bay area, anchoring out like we did in little Nomad on Carlyle lake. That will mean parsing out boat jobs in such a way as to keep Kintala mobile, that is, after we get her mobile once again. That may be a few weeks with pump, alternator, tachometer, wind instrument, inner forestay repair, and replacement staysail furling being things to do before we leave the dock even for a weekend.

Deb's new wheels. No, no grandbabies. The trailer is for laundry and groceries.
Kintala rests in her slip in the shady background. Shade is good in FL
With the main focus being proving my worth at working on other people's boats, it is likely that my efforts on Kintala will go a little slow for the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, we are settling in, shore power is on, the Dink is folded up and stored away, sheets are already tied up. We have to get used to dock and boatyard noises. This weekend we will try to get some of Kintala's most pressing projects started, though there is some weather inbound.

My first official day as a boat tech is Monday, but I got my golf cart / mobile tool box today and started to move in. It felt a little weird, hauling tools off of the boat and setting up a new work space. It will take a few weeks to know what tools will be the hardest used. For the time being it looks like I'll be the new spark chaser in the yard with mast wiring, battery installs (including re-configuring battery banks and boxes) and pumps being on the list of the first three or four boats to deal with. Already the “customer stories” have started. My favorite is the new owner who thought his Max Prop needed adjusted since the engine would only turn a max of 2500 RPM instead of the rated 3200; though he did note a boat speed of 7.5 knots. The boat also idled at an indicated 50 RPM, about 700 RPM too low. In fact the engine will not idle at 50 RPM regardless of what the tack might say – something the owner / captain simply didn't know. In any case an electronic (and calibrated) tack showed the engine making the 3200 RPM. No problem with the prop, the tack is 700 RPM off.

Then there is the older Island Packet with its first-time-boat-owner. The boat was delivered with just the starting battery installed, no house bank at all. In fact we are not even sure where the house bank was located as there is a cut-off hot battery cable in the wrong locker, and no other battery cables are in evidence anywhere on the boat. Did the Broker explain to this new owner that he was getting married to a boat whose very DC electrical heart was missing? In any case we will be installing a fresh heart and sending the new couple off to live happily every after.

Another owner had his boat hauled for the hurricane season, went to unhook his batteries, and lit up the inside of his boat by throwing sparks everywhere. He decided that someone from the yard, someone who owns an "insulated wrench", should take care of it. It looks like that someone will be me though, (again, don't tell anyone) I don't have an insulated wrench in my box anywhere. I guess I can come up with some electrical tape if I need to make one.

Though my head is making the transition to being a boat tech / live-a-board / dock dweller, my heart still lies offshore. Just off the boat yard is a popular anchorage. I can look “out there” and see home. I'm hoping the view will help keep me focused, working to keep bosses and customers happy, filling the bank account so we can be on our way … one of theses days … once again.

Post-storm sunset in Blackburn Bay.

1 comment:

The Cynical Sailor said...

I love your boatyard transport - pretty adorable! It must be strange to transition from active cruisers to dock dwellers, but your cruising kitty will thank you and I'm still looking forward to your adventures and stories from the boatyard and local area.

Cheers - Ellen |