HAUL-OUT NEWSLETTER 4- Continuing Repairs and Freezing the Winter

During Fiona’s haul-out from October to approximately May of 2004 I will briefly list the work needed to get her shipshape for the next cruise.

Haul-out notes for January.
January has not been a good month for working on the boat. It was rare even for the daily high temperature to crawl up to the freezing mark. And so I did a lot of work in the basement at home. I took the staysail boom down there, stripped it, primed and painted it and re-attached the fittings. Then Bob donated his time and pick-up truck and we transported the main boom home just before a big snowfall. It just fit into the basement. It had already been sand-blasted so I primed it, spray painted it white and added all the fair-leads, pad-eyes, cheek-blocks, etc and got Walter to help me hang it from the rafters in the garage until the boat is in the water. I installed the heater in the boat after it was overhauled by the dealer in Connecticut. I could not test it, of course, as there is no fuel in the new tanks. I bought a sheet of ¾ inch plywood and cut some new sections for the cabin sole in the area of the companionway. This leads to next step of re-building the dinette, but it was too cold to do that. I removed the forward bilge pump and controlling float switches. The whole installation was showing signs of corrosion, so I re-built the complete assembly. Another electrical item which was a good candidate for a basement re-build was the shore power transformer. Once away from the American continent most shore power comes as 230 volts. A small transformer steps this down to 115 volts so that we can use the battery charger and AC outlets when tied up in a foreign port. I decided to put the transformer in a small box to keep it away from the salt water that always seems to find its way into the boat on a hard beat.

I pondered the problem of the freezer re-build a good deal. Since I built the original freezer more than 20 years ago using the compressor from a car air-conditioner the state of the art has moved on. Electrically driven compressors have made big strides but I finally decided against this approach as it would have necessitated more 12 V batteries and a bigger alternator to charge them. I went for a commercially available kit called ‘Sea Frost’, which uses an engine-driven swash-plate compressor. The thing arrived in two large boxes just before the end of the month . I stripped the old cold plate from the food cabinet and cleaned up the thermal insulation so that I can bolt on the new holding plate. Hopefully I can get the new freezer built in February, although it will probably be a couple of months before I can get the cabinet back in the boat.

I decided to remove the main cockpit compass from the boat one day when the weather wasn’t too bad in order to paint the base and replace the terminal board for the light. Normally this would be a ten minute job, but I turned it into a three hour job by dropping a screw down the steering pedestal. It is still there and will have to be removed in nicer weather. Unless I can see it and fish it out I will have to disassemble the steering system to get it out. In the carpentry department I made a new hatch for the chain locker and shaped about four feet of new teak railcap.

A major repair was completed; the Flag Pole factory maneuvered the bow platform into its bending machine and bent it straight. They then welded on additional strong-backs at this point of maximum bending moment. Some minor repairs are still needed on the platform, but this is a major step forward. One worry: will it fit the mounting lugs on the hull? We will find out in due course.

I am still chasing some ½ inch chain to use as the bobstay. Other items ordered or received this month include a speed transducer, new ground plates and new main sheet. I am going to install a CD player/radio in the cabin for the next trip. Since the boat was launched I have carried tapes for musical entertainment so I decided to convert many of my favorite tapes and vinyl records to CDs. I bought a special program for the laptop to do this and so far I have made 40 CDs. I was tapped for jury duty in January but after sitting in a court room for three days I was excused. I put together a tentative schedule for the 2004/2005 cruise which is posted at FNN.

Until next month keep smilin’; winter will be over soon,


The main boom just fit in the basement, shown here prior to painting.

The new forward bilge pump assembly.

Floyd the cat supervises transfer from a vinyl record to a CD

View from the kitchen window-definitely a day to work in the basement.

The main and staysail booms tied to rafters in the garage.

One day it took me a couple of hours just to dig a way out

Floyd was not impressed with the weather.

The old cabinet showing the copper to which the cold plate will be bolted.

A nice new box for the shore power transformer

The bow platform inverted in the garage, note the strong-backs at the former point of bending.