7 weeks + 2 days later…

After seven weeks and two days of being in the workyard…

Leah + Jon afloat again...…we’re a floating ship again 🙂

And after 7 weeks and 2 days of workyard’in, what I really have to say is “Phewf… thank god that’s done!”

I find the transition from being a sort of trailer on land to being a real live floating boat again is a little traumatic… everything moves, the wind is once again important, and there’s no outlet to plug in a little electrical heater (it was 1 degree this morning – ONE!!!).

These traumas were compounded this morning when the first thing we heard once the boat was in the water was a “gusshhhhhh” (not a tinkle) of water. Suspect: Something under the cockpit floor, in the lazarette. So out every carefully-stowed item comes, while the work yard guys patiently wait to see if this newly launched boat is just going to sink or what, and I try to hand Jon the tools he wants (and dodge the items he’s tossing out of the lazarette) so we can figure out *where* all this water is coming from.

Culprit: Prop-shaft stuffing gland was loose. We’d replaced the packing but didn’t want to over-tighten it when we put it back on… apparently we needn’t have worried 😉 So Jon tightened that one back up, and we were good again. Phewf.

Then, because nothing follows up the feeling of sinking like the feeling of mechanical failure, the engine wouldn’t start. At this point I just walked away from the boat and bought some carrot cake muffins (these improve all serious problems). By the time I was back, Jon had the motor running. Turns out the Westerbeke doesn’t much like 1 degree weather either, and just needed another minute of glow plugs. Phewf.

Now we’re sitting happily on a mooring in the bay here, slowly remembering how to live on a boat and appreciating the little things (like a head that is three feet away instead of a 3-minute walk away. I was literally sitting here, holdin’ it, trying to decide when I’d make the trip down the ladder and across the dusty workyard, past the little man guard who thinks he’s still in the army, to the bathroom… when I realized, heyyyyy, I can just go! Right here! Right now!! Former-workyard-pee’rs rejoice!!).

Anyways, on to the serious things in life: Pictures.

Removing and Repairing Old Thru Hulls NorWest 33

Happy to be on the water again…

Getting those last bits of bottom paint on before launching…

Not that engine maintenance ever ends… the outboard was seized (despite us fogging it in last spring) so mechanic Jon was required once more… a little transmission fluid and wrench work and we were good to go again… and damn is she fast!

A new location for our engine gauges — tucked away out of the direct path of sun & water…

A close up of the engine gauges, because I’m quite proud that I wired all these suckers myself, and even earned the moniker “Sparky” from someone (hahahaha)

New jerry jug covers for the new jerry jugs.. sewn on the new Sailrite machine! In the end I made a pattern from someone else’s covers, and I plan to share the pattern later — super helpful for me!

A quick picture of our new mainsail — unfortunately taken on an overcast day — but this was our biggest purchase ($1800) for the boat this year, from National Sails in Florida (a Rolly Tasker outlet). Will let you know how she sails… but she fits like a glove!

“Radiadores Ramirez” spray-painting our newly-soldered, cleaned & repaired heat exchanger in Guaymas — this guy was great!

Just another day in the work yard — Jon post-some terrible project I can’t even remember…

Jon builds our Christmas Eve bonfire on the beach while we watch the “Parade of Lights” go by

My first Christmas away from the family — this is what lunch looked like! Shrimp, shortbread, stuffing & potluck 🙂

It’s my intention to also write the list of projects that we accomplished, mostly so we can feel better about ourselves for spending so long in the workyard… but also because I am quite proud of everything we did & everything we (I) have learned.

Brio – Workyard Projects 2012/2013

  • Removed 3 useless transducers; ground fibreglass; repaired holes; faired hull
  • Replaced rudder pin with new bronze stock
  • Pulled prop and prop shaft; replaced packing hose; re-packed prop shaft; shined prop; replaced prop zinc; reinstalled all the above
  • Replaced cutless bearing (painfully!)
  • Pulled quadrant; cleaned & checked steering cables; re-packed rudder shaft packing (terrible job); replaced quadrant and cables; did it again after doing it the wrong way the first time 🙂
  • Removed, cleaned, “Flitz’d” (Jon’s favourite buffing compound) and re-bed all stanchions, cleats, genoa tracks, deck hardware; changed from threaded backing plates to bolts & nuts system
  • Painted bilge under cockpit floor
  • Removed old engine gauges; laughed at condition of Tach (“no wonder this thing never worked”); created fibreglass backer for holes; fibreglassed & faired holes in preparation for painting cockpit
  • Sanded decks and cockpit; filled cracks and dents; taped everything; primed smooth surfaces for Perfection in Snow White; painted 1.5 coats of Perfection (grrr) and 1 coat of Interlux Interdeck in Gray; removed most of that freaking tape
  • Rebed toe-rail bolts (more to go unfortunately)
  • Built shelf and compartment for refrigeration compressor; started process of installing evaporator (got sick of being in workyard; put on “to be continued in warmer latitudes” list)
  • Installed new engine gauges (with that darn Lexan!); admired new gauges
  • Replaced all electrical panel switches with new ones; re-wired all connections; chased sketchy 110 wiring
  • Replaced stove burners (thank you Daybreak!!!)
  • Reinstalled Kenwood HAM radio
  • Replaced old manual bilge pump with a new one (thank you Seattle swap-meet!); fixed regular bilge pump
  • Replaced lazarette gaskets in an attempt to make those suckers more leak-proof
  • Removed useless hoses & connections that went to old pressure water pump; painted under sink area
  • Sewed/patched Genoa sacrificial strip, jerry jug covers & bed cover set
  • Patched new-to-us dinghy holes (x5)
  • Patched new-to-us dinghy cover
  • Vacuumed every inch of the boat (including inside cupboards that had clearly never been vacuumed, and our poor dust-filled upholstery!)
  • Learned how to use a pressure cooker; tried lentils, rice, beans, tomato soup, borscht, chocolate cheesecake, creme brulee, and potatoes
  • Installed OpenCPN on mini laptop; trialled new nav setup
  • Read & made notes from Central American cruising guides & Yamaha shop manuals that we don’t have (Thank you Que Linda!)
  • Loaded 1000+ Kindle books — enough for a lifetime of reading!! (Thank you Anam Cara!)
  • Fixed new-to-us oars; painted them blue
  • Removed, took for repair & re-attached heat exchanger
  • Removed, took for testing & re-attached alternator
  • Added two more 6-volt golf cart batteries; planned and built battery box; epoxied box; painted box; planned new battery cables; installed new cables; installed new batteries
  • Cut down quarter-berth cushion (cutting foam… my specialty!) to accommodate battery box; re-stitched upholstery
  • Installed new inverter
  • Installed new stereo system (thanks Raj!)
  • Installed new solar charge controller
  • “Bent” new mainsail; admired the logo they created for us
  • “Bent” genoa; remembered to wind the furler the right way (counter-clockwise, for future reference!)
  • Reorganized interior storage; provisioned; stowed all our crap (somehow) back on the boat
  • Celebrated one month of marriage by going out for dinner with Que Linda; celebrated two months of marriage by installing random engine crap and crying when it didn’t work
  • Played soccer at noon with the workyard guys
  • Polished and waxed topsides
  • Sanded & painted bottom
  • Launched 🙂

If nothing else, it’s been an educational honeymoon 😉



7 weeks + 2 days later… — 14 Comments

  1. You two are amazing! Congratulations on being afloat and finding the leak cause. I know that feeling, and it sucks! We love you. Safe travels, good winds and following seas.

  2. WOW!!!…you 2 did a lot and did an excellent job!!!…the boat looks great and I’m sure it feels terrific to be back on the water 🙂
    What did you put in for an inverter?
    Topaz will come out of the water early this summer to have some work done prior to sailing into the Caribbean after hurricane season…I’m starting to get ready for my move to California!!!

    You 2 are awesome!!!,

    • Thank you SO much Chuck — your comments mean the world!! We ended up putting in a cheapy little 1000 W inverter, bought off Amazon — we’re finding the tropics are frying them over the summer of storage, so don’t want to invest too much until Brio is back in cooler climates 🙂

      Good luck with your move & keep us updated on the adventures with Topaz!!

  3. Wow, Brio looks amazing, it looks brand new. Yes what a nice and relaxing honeymoon!!!!!! Now that you are on the water, everything will be worth it. You look beautiful BTW. Congratulations to you both, you made it! I love to hear about your adventures.

    • You are so kind Jeanne — thank you so much 🙂 We are both feeling verrrry happy & relieved to be in the water again — it’s worth it already!!

    • Leave it to dad to get right to the heart of the matter. As a matter of fact, it does! We had the old one taken in to a shop here in Guaymas, they replaced the brushes, cleaned it etc, and then tested it — putting out the full 100 amps (cost us $22!). We haven’t been able to fully test it yet since our new batteries are still full, but we did see a minute of 22+ amps which was more than we’d ever seen from this sucker. So the Balmar is sitting out for now, and we’ll be carefully monitoring the old one to see how it goes the next few weeks 🙂

  4. Congratulations. Brio looks great….I’m so impressed by how much you completed in 7 weeks…that would take most boat owners I know about 7 years to complete…if at all:)

    • Thank you David — these compliments keep us going!! It’s nice to have such a pretty little boat to work on — makes it all worth it 🙂 How are things on Puffin?

  5. Puffin is great! I must post some recent pix. With a new bottom (blue not red), new canvas, and a waxed hull she’s looking good! We are going out for a quick sail on Sunday!

  6. Wow! Great job, you two. Brio looks wonderful and I’m sure you are relieved to be back to the ‘enjoying’ part. Although come to think of it the project part is the enjoyment for Kevin. Maybe I should have sent him down ;-).

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