Hello friends! The last couple weeks have been pretty busy for us on tenalach. as we’ve been taking advantage of the warmer weather and longer days to get some repairs and upgrades complete. If you’ve been following us for awhile, you know that our home wasn’t in the best condition when we got her, and there’s still work to do. I have a bunch of travel coming up so we needed to get ahead of a few things!
First, tenalach brings us the luck of the Irish!
A fellow boater is outfitting his boat for extended cruising upon his retirement next fall. One of the things he was upgrading was his vessel’s reverse-cycle heat pump. I happened to be up in the marina office while he was on his way to junk the old one (that still worked, btw), and the marina manager Steve mentioned to him that we needed one. He looked at me and said, “Do you want it? I’m just taking it to the junkyard.” I emphatically accepted and we got ourselves a 16,000 BTU unit for nothing! I was very happy to have the universe in our favor that day. We’ll still have to get about $600 in parts and practice some serious boat yoga to get it installed, but the bulk of that expense was saved by the luck of the Irish!
Tenalach came to us with an older ST-60 wind instrument. The masthead unit needed some repairs, so we replaced the wind vane and cups for the anemometer last fall. The anemometer works fine, but the wind indicator instrument just spins. We didn’t have an analog wind instrument at all, so we decided that before we spend money getting the ST-60 repaired, we’d install a masthead WindDex. It always sounds so easy…
I stepped into our bosun’s chair and Captain Dave of Veritas, an Island Packet 40, helped hoist me up. On the way, I replaced the spreader boots we knocked off on our first sail way back in October. They’re now secured with cable ties, and shouldn’t go anywhere for a while. That took more time than I thought and we ran out of daylight, so the next night we tried again. Up, up I went all the way to the top of our 50′ mast. The wind was light so there wasn’t a ton of movement, until ANYONE moved around on deck or down below. It felt like an earthquake with every footstep!
I located the best place for drilling holes for the mounting plate screws and set about it. The only place feasible was on the port (left) side of the mast, and I’m right handed. The halyard I was attached to was on the aft side of the mast. You can work out the math there. It was hard. After finally breaking through, I started working the self-tapping sheet metal screws into the mast. With myleft hand. 50 feet in the air. That took some time. After I got those anchored in securely, Captain Dave sent up the new WindDex, and I got it all secured to the mounting hardware. Now we have a working wind indicator!
The next project, which had been on the list for a while, was getting our fuel tank cleaned. If you remember from our post, “We got cocky with our docking,” we had an engine failure due to fuel starvation last fall. All’s well that ended well with that, but we needed to get that fixed. We called Captain Alan with KleenFuel and he set to work. Upon his arrival, I showed him where the fuel line pickup is, just behind a hatch under the companionway ladder. He shook his head and said, “I need a hole about an inch and a half across to do this, yours are way too small.”
The solution was every boat owners nemesis: drill a hole. He got his hole saw and drilled a hole in the top of the tank. We made our best guess for a good location, and it turned out to be correct. 10 seconds and we could see diesel below the hole. Capt. Alan set up the rest of his gear, and we were off.
The pump apparatus can handle 600 GPH, and we have a 65 gallon tank that was nearly full. That means in the 3 hours he was pumping, we cleaned all the fuel in the tank about 30 times. The return line sends the clean fuel back into the tank under pressure, to get the fuel in the tank moving and cleaning the surfaces of the tank. Five filters later, we got a clean fuel bill of health. Captain Dave moved Veritas over for the day to have his tank done, as well.
That’s all for this update! Stay tuned!