Friday, June 15, 2012

"I read it for the pictures" :)

As promised, here are some progress pics of just a FEW of the projects which kept us busy over the few (to five)  months...  HAPPY VIEWING :)

Removing chain plates

Chain plates removed (thankfully no H2O damage below decks)

Had to remove this "packing twine" (not sure of official name) from around the chainplates - very tedious and time consuming task! Unfortunately had some H2O damage in this area!

New chainplates (not really new, but cleaned, polished, bead blasted) and installed with butyl tape below the cover plates - hopefully this keeps the water out!

J in the amidships locker - yes, it is very big!

J mixing epoxy for our blister repair job

This exoxy stuff is crazy - gets so hot it smokes!

Second step in the process - epoxy with thickener (sorry technical term escapes me at this time)  :)

One side done!

Blister repairs done - next step is sanding...

My bday present - a very practical and worth while gift! Thanks J!

Her bottom sanded and ready for some paint

Finished!  3 coats of barrier and 2 coats of bottom paint

New port of hailing :)

Galvanic corrosion on the mast spreaders - pre treatment

Its a bit blurry but gotta love working with chemicals with 'CANCER HAZARD' written in CAPS on the front!

After alodine treatment - it would turn from a golden yellow upon applying to a blueish color (approx 3 minutes later)

Mast head after sanding off corrosion (pre alodine)

Mast head after alodine, zinc cromate primer and two coats of polyeurthane paint

New teak accessories with three coats of varish

Old rigging, used as templates, for new rigging

J building up the new Sta-lok fittings

New rigging installed

Serviced Max Prop

LONG screws (at least 6in) from pulpit

New USCG Numbers and new trawler gas lantern

Lamp from our first boat, Moondance, which was taken to Knotty and is now in the aft berth on Tango

One of the new winch covers I made

The new hatch covers I made. Once complete, we'll have 6 of them!

Halyard saver that I made - secures with a common sense fastener when not being used.

Interesting Ice “Cubes”

More like ice blocks!  Our refrigeration is made by Sea Frost, with two cold plates in the freezer section - one for 12VDC and one for engine driven.  We found the ice cube trays (I guess you would call them trays) to be intriguing and were anxious to try them.  They are hollow stainless vessels which are filled with water, and then a divider with multiple block cutouts is inserted.  They are then placed beside the cold plates and secured by a metal rod.  Once she was back in the water we finally got the opportunity to experiment.  So, as advertised, within 30 or so min of putting the trays on the cold plate, we had ice!  Okay, that is great but the other night J went to make us a couple of cocktails (I have a FANTASTIC new mint/lime syrup which I made to pour over fresh fruit, but it came out so good, we made slightly modified mojitos out of it!) and we weren’t too sure how to go about getting them out!  The trays are solid stainless steel, so it isn’t like you can just twist them out.  So, in the moment we ran some hot water over the trays, hoping it would dislodge them and eventually it did (but surely there is some easier way, which I’m sure we’ll figure out!). 

Next challenge was dislodging the actual ice from the inserts (thankfully not as difficult as the initial extraction).  Finally, we had our ice cube (yes, singular as you only need one of these!).

By the time we both finished our cocktails, the cube had barely melted!  I guess that will come in handy when we are cruising in hot climates, only need one per drink and they will likely last multiple drinks!! :)

Update:  J just did some online reading on the Sea Frost ice trays…it appears we need to take the ice trays out some time before intended imbibing of libations in order for it to melt around the cubes so they will come out without such a fuss.  So much for spontaneity L

Up I go!

So this past weekend we took advantage of the calm winds to get some stuff done with the sails and the mast.  We were able to get the mainsail bent on a couple weeks ago, but when we purchased her there had been some issues with the in-mast furling so the light winds allowed us to play with that a bit.  Finicky things, those in-mast furlers, especially this one!  We never had a problem with the Selden in-mast furling on Knotty, but Tango has been a bit more of a problem child!  We also got our headsail bent on, which now opens up a lot of room in our forward cabin, or what J refers to as our “storage closet”.
So, back to the in-mast furling...  J and I both agree that when we leave in a few years, we do not want to leave with this mast.  It is just too temperamental and don’t want to have to worry about it when we are in the middle of the ocean or if we hit rough weather.  We’re using the Navy training J had for 20 years and trying to apply KISS (Keep It Simple Sailor) to all essential systems; so, we’ve been entertaining some different options.  We can buy a new mast ($$$$) or we can try to find a used one.   J has been talking to a fellow Mason 44 owner who recently upgraded his spar with a carbon fiber mast.  Depending on the condition of the mast, we may buy that one.  But before we can even consider replacing the mast, we had to know exactly how tall Tango’s mast is.  That meant one of us was going up the mast to measure and, seeing as how I am the lighter of the two of us, it was a no brainer who it was going to be.  Plus, even with the assistance of the winch, I’m not sure I could have hoisted J up there!
Thanks to my repelling experience when I lived in San Diego, and the awesome gift my big bro got me years ago (which I’m so happy I kept through all our moves), I put on my harness and up I went!

Me, repelling in San Diego, 2007 (note this is not said awesome harness)

47' 7.5" above deck (to be exact) :)

Other side of our marina - shame we're the only full dock.

We wanted to run our flag halyard lines last weekend as well, but the line we had previously purchased for Knotty’s port flag halyard (but never got around to putting on) was too short, so looks like I’ll be taking another ride back up the mast to do that.   Oh and when I was at the top of the mast I discovered that the spinnaker halyard is not run correctly (runs around the front of the headsail halyard…oops!) so that will need to be re-run as well.  The positive to all this is that while I’m not afraid of heights, I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of them – these hoists up the mast are certainly forcing me to be more comfortable and giving J a good workout! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

She's home!

Yes, it has been awhile (again) and the excuse is the same – we’ve been very busy with the “Fleet”… 
As of our last post, we have splashed Tango and she is now resting comfortably in our marina a handful of slips away from Knotty.  We scrambled to get everything we HAD to get done in order to get her in the H2O but unfortunately, once we got her in we were disappointed to discover that she would not be able to sail home.  Turns out there were some issues with her rigging which prevented us from sailing.  Right before we launched her we replaced the fuel injectors on the engine and we had changed the oil when we hauled her in November so thankfully her engine worked like a champ.  We, along with some of our closest friends, made the most of the beautiful day, fired up the iron genny and made our way home. 
It was a beautiful day and we were grateful to at least be heading home.  Since she got to our marina we’ve continued our projects and we’ve moved aboard. We are just about done moving everything off Knotty and once complete, she will be hauled and be prettied up for her next owners (which we are still looking for… Catalina 350 Mk II for sale, for anyone interested!!  LOL!) . 
We had hoped to get Tango out on the H2O for the long Memorial Day weekend but since she wasn’t/isn’t ready, we ended up taking out Knotty for a couple of days.  Our good friends S&A joined us - seems Memorial day with them has become a bit of a tradition.  Last year we gunkholed around the bay for 4 days and wanted to the same this year, but the weather was not on our side.  We still had a great time and it was the break that we all needed.  We pushed off around 5PM on that Friday and headed up the Potomac to the river just north of us, St. Mary’s River.  Short sail but it was so nice to be swinging on the hook and disconnected for the night.  The next AM, we were making our way further north towards Breton Bay but decided, with the direction of the wind, that we’d be better off cutting across and staying the night on the hook in the Lower Machodoc (no fun sleeping on the hook with no wind, gets very hot!).  We ended up calling it an early day and dropped anchor around 1500, which was nice.  Typically we are pulling in later in the day, getting started on dinner and then heading to bed.  This time, we all just relaxed - sat in the cockpit with a cold one, read our books or took naps.  J was the brave one and got in the H2O and scraped some barnacles off the prop (thankfully the H2O up river has fewer jellies than where we are!).  That evening, as we sat in the cockpit we got to take in 5 different firework shows – certainly a treat!
The next AM we decided to head back south and visit a marina on the VA side that one of our boat neighbors, S/V Tadby II, frequently visits.  They have a brunch on Sundays which definitely didn’t disappoint!  Due to the weather (hot temps and no wind), after a gluttonous feast, we decided to head back home.  While we were sad to be heading back, J and I had much left to do on Tango and we wanted to try to take advantage of the long weekend to get some stuff accomplished. So, the rest of the weekend was doing more projects and getting a bit more settled.   Still not there, but we are getting closer each day!