Thanksgiving On The Hard

If we have to be hauled out, at least this yard comes with a view.

We gave ourselves one week. One week to keep our girl out of the water and do some work on the bottom of our boat. After spending over 7 months living on the hard in Florida as we rebuilt our last boat, we knew what we were getting ourselves in to. We set out with a modest project list and a long holiday weekend, padded with a few vacation days.

I love the stern of Vagabonds, they are always smiling at you. (see how badly we needed to clean the hull?!)

The first project I tackled when we were blocked was to clean up our hull. The white gel coat was absolutely gross and brown from the haul up the ICW and sailing through the brackish NY waters. Our friend Scott found this miracle product called FSR when he was visiting us one day and it truly impressive. You just take a scrubber pad and wipe on the gel material, let it sit for a few minutes and rinse it off. For particularly stubborn stains you do a second pass. What it is really good at getting things whiter. What it isn’t good at is getting rid of marks from the rubber rub rails on docks and the like. We’ll be buffing those out. But, our girl has some new life in her!

One container is just about enough to do our entire boat.
Just LOOK at the difference! Seeing is believing folks.
Just LOOK at the difference! Seeing is believing folks.

Chancelot came with 26 through-hulls. TWENTY-SIX. Which is about twenty more than we are comfortable with. To add insult to injury, some of the seacocks were in not so great shape, while some of the seacocks were in appalling shape. We’re talking missing handles, frozen open, etc. Given some of these through-hulls were installed for systems that are no longer being used, we knew we could easily close up 3 of them. One was for an old keel cooled refrigerator system, one for a non existent gen-set and I honestly don’t know what the third was previously used for. What I do know is that now we have 3 less holes in the bottom of our boat and we will both feel a lot more comfortable when we leave the boat during the day. Closing them up involved a lot of grinding, sanding, giant white coveralls, face masks, and reaching into tiny openings in the floor. It was a relatively easy, yet lengthy process. Jason is putting together a detailed how-to, so stay tuned!

So thankful we were on the boat when this happened.

An unexpected project we had to tackle was our electrical situation. Thanksgiving morning I was up early. Cursing Jason for leaving his alarm on and not being able to fall back asleep, I headed out to the salon to make some coffee. As I passed through our workshop I smelled the awful scent of burning plastic and saw smoke. Quickly I turned the shore power off. Jason bolted out of bed and helped investigate. Nothing in the electrical panel was going on, so I went and checked the actual shore power connection. Bingo. A few more minutes and this could have been a MUCH bigger problem. The interesting thing was that we had already ordered a new shore power cord that was supposed to be delivered the day before but had been delayed due to the holidays. Were we predicting the future? While we waited for it to arrive Jason spliced on a new head, and rewired another inlet for a temporary fix. We quickly ordered smart plugs for a more permanent and safer fix. What this also revealed to us is that we really need to redo our entire 110 system, but that is a story for another day.

The last project we’ve been tackling is replacing a glassed in bolt in our rudder post. It broke on the way up from Florida and we’ve been relying on a set of vice grips to keep everything in place. Jason painstakingly spent a few hours drilling out the bolt so we can replace it. He’ll also be repacking the stuffing box as we’re skeptical if it has ever been replaced. Hopefully these two should lessen some of the water that comes into the boat and give our bilge pumps a break.

While we didn’t quite finish all our projects (we are still waiting on the bolt to be delivered and have to slap some bottom paint on the now closed holes), we got pretty close! And to be honest, we weren’t too disappointed to leave the boat on the hard while we head out to California to visit Jason’s parents for a couple of days. Our girl will be back in the water in no time!

The sunsets can be pretty in the boatyard, too.


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    • It really is amazing! Apparently there is another product called On Off that is supposed to be even better, but it is an acid so a little harder on the hands.