Sunday, May 10, 2009

A very wet week on the dry

Monday morning, as planned, Papy Jovial was hauled out at Portsmouth Boating Center. Of course, as soon as she got on the dry, the skies opened up and we were in for three days of continuous thunderstorms and showers !
The plan is to give it two coats of anti-fouling check out again the steering system and install a grease fitting for the rudder post. As Papy Jovial came out, I noticed that the zinc anode on the shaft had disappeared. Then, looking closer, it appeared that the cutlass bearing was nowhere to be seen.
So, we took out the rudder, then the prop, then the shaft to recover the cutlass bearing which had found its way up the shaft. Then, we found out that the shaft itself showed signs of heavy wear and tear at the location of the packing in the stuffing box.
So, we ended up changing the shaft, putting new clamps and a new stuffing box. The grease fitting works fine and I know that with 50 strokes of the grease gun, I can practically fill the whole tube around the rudder post with fresh teflon 
based grease. The steering was already working fine, with no further problem w
ith the autopilot and the windvane working well without having to disconnect the piston from the electric auto pilot.
Meanwhile, I checked out and marked the chain, keeping 160 feet of chain. Besides, I have to anchor rodes with a short length of chain each and 200 feet of rope. I also changed the line on the roller furler, and I will use the old one for an anchor marker.
The freezer problem turned out to be a loose connection which caused the voltage to drop almost a full volt. Easy to fix.
I installed a third solar panel (125 watts) and even with freezer and refrigerator on all day, leaving the control entirely to the thermostats, I gained electricity during the day. I probably won't have to charge the batteries very often, since on long crossing, there will be no autopilot but the wind vane.
I also had a handle installed above the chart table, as I know that in very choppy waters, I tend to look for something to grip when I come down from the cockpit to the chart table.
And the computer came back, and within less than one evening, I had almost everything reinstalled and running.
So far, nothing on the horizon as far as finding a crew for the first part of the trip. I am not very happy at the prospect of going solo all the way to Tahiti, but that is what it looks like right now.
Less than a week to go, but fortunately, not much to do on Papy Jovial. This week, we will change the cables on the steering system, replace the hose which goes from the top of the valves cover to the air filter in the engine (PCV system), and do most of the provisionning. I will also check out the new water catchment that I had made by Mike and which will cover the whole of the front part of the boat.
I almost forgot one important piece of information. If you want to follow Papy Jovial on the map, go to the left of the page, scroll down a little and click on the link "Where is Papy Jovial ?". This will open up  world map showing all the sailboats being monitored by Purple Link. If you want to only see Papy Jovial, click on "asset map" and go down to pull down menu until you find Papy Jovial. You can click on the boat to get more info. You can also zoom on the map and see more details on the weather I am having.
Still, a busy week ahead . .  . .

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