Monday, January 15, 2018

Anchorage Sim

Kintala is out of the water once again, this time for a real bottom job. What looked to be about eight layers of old paint was sanded off down to the gel coat. There are some minor blemishes and a nick or two that need attention. Three barrier coats will go on, followed by a couple of coats of bottom paint. Given that the boat is some 35 years old, we are pretty happy with what we have found. This is the perfect place to get such work done. People I have worked with for nearly two years are attending to our hull. Friends. People I trust. People who make a living doing exactly this kind of work.

Other projects are underway as as well. Our little Merc outboard, a unit that has never been my favorite, came a bit of a cropper. The shift lever locked up in its housing leading to the wimpy plastic handle shedding its insides, stripping itself bare of any grip. We pulled the power unit off to gain access to the shift mechanism thus verifying that the interconnecting rod was frozen solid in the housing. Torque supplied by my largest pair of vice grips simply sheared the shaft, even after heating, liberal applications of penetrating oil, and light tapping with a ball peen hammer.

Fortunately, the shaft is aluminum so drilling it out only cost one broken bit. Still, with most of the core gone, what was left of the shaft still refused to budge. By then the sun was setting and it was time to call it a day. The next morning had us moving Kintala into the lifting well so we didn’t get back to the Merc until later in the afternoon. Maybe it was the chilly temperatures reached overnight. Maybe it was being soaked in penetrating oil. Whatever the cause, a punch and some gentle persuasion caused the trashed out bit of shaft to actually move a little. Persuasion of a less gentle nature was applied, and the trashed out bit moved a bit more. Yeah! A few more taps and we were home, the part free and, even better, the housing itself undamaged.

It is better to be lucky than good.

Primer coat curing
The new parts arrived and were installed. Added to the $100+ worth of fuel parts Deb installed earlier, the miserable little Merc should be about as good as it is going to get. Which isn't to say I expect it start on the first pull. My guess is it will take a few hours of nursing, cursing, and cleaning to get it chugging away once again. We are also doing all the bright work on the boat, a task that is at least a full year overdue. The good folks here at the yard have agreed to let us sit in the stands to put the finish on the toe rail.  Scaffolding is a lot easier and quicker to work from, easier than trying to wield a finishing brush while in the Ding. Sitting up here we also discovered an elusive fresh water system leak that has been lurking around the boat for a good while. It turned out the pump itself would drool water depending on just where the shaft stopped spinning. A new, and much (much) quieter pump was installed. An accumulator was added to the system as well, something we should have done long ago. (One could barely talk over the noise the old pump would make while running.)

Though it is all good stuff and Kintala will be in the best shape of her life when splashed, it feels like we are going backwards. Indeed, sitting on the hard, the boat in the usual state of disrepair that comes with sitting on the keel, the "to do" list far from being completed? Escaping the shore looks further away, not closer.

One nice thing is that being on the hard, at least around here, comes with a really excellent view. In the slip most of what we see are other boats really, really close, a wall, and a bit of water off the stern. On the hard we have an elevated view of the Manatee River all the way to Tampa Bay and out to the horizon. Sitting in the cockpit on a cool morning, sipping coffee?  It feels pretty good after nearly a year of working in the boat yard.

We are still working pretty hard, but at least we can pretend the scene is near that of riding to the anchor.

It helps.


Fred said...

Are you in Sarasota ? What marina would you recommend for a season berthing ?

s/v Sionna said...

Nice to hear you’re getting things accomplished and - hopefully - are close to escaping the dreaded land! Our escape from the County Sheriff is nearly complete, and we should be back aboard and away by this time next month, hopefully with four functioning eyes. I can’t wait!
Just read “How not to buy a boat” - Well said! Here’s hoping we cross tacks soon, maybe in the Bahamas this spring. Best, K & N

Deb said...

Fred we're in Palmetto at Snead Island Boat Works but it's not a liveaboard marina. Twin Dolphins in Bradenton is, as well as Regatta Point in Palmetto, but I can't tell you much about either one. In Sarasota there's Marina Jacks to consider too. Sorry I can't be more help.

s/v Sionna said...

Forgive me Deb, but Fred, we have a little experience with Marina Jack in Sarasota, and can recommend it highly. Great staff, great facilities, great location.

Deb said...

Absolutely Keith. We always welcome any personal experience anyone has!