Less than a week before I leave

I have been working on the boat way too much to have the energy to update my blog in the past 10 days. I have pulled 3 all nighters since Tuesday. I normally blog on my lunch breaks at work, but I have been using my lunch hours for sleep lately. I finally got a good 10 hours of sleep last night so here I am, on my lunch break.

The boat splashed. I had a great splash pot luck with many friendly faces in attendance.

Meredith came over and we got to work aligning the engine. We got it aligned to within .003″ in less than 5 minutes because, not to toot my own horn, I had gotten it down pretty close already.

So I started to drill the holes for the lag screws to mount the engine. I was on the last hole and I drilled the hole clear through the bottom of the boat. Water started gushing up. I plugged it with my thumb and waited for Meredith to return from the bathroom. When she got back I simply said “My thumb is the only thing keeping this boat from sinking, but don’t worry I have a plan. Go get me some chopped strand and tear it up into little clouds. Bring me a flat head screwdriver.”

Meredith did so, muttering, “Woman. I leave you alone for 5 minutes!” She also brought me a hammer and a hex bolt. With the screwdriver I stuffed the chopped strand as far down into the hole as I could and then when it got stuck I used the hammer and the bolt to push it all the way to the bottom. The hole was a 3″ long channel of 3/8″ thickness. The packed chopped strand totally stopped the flow of water.

Meredith thought it wasn’t a structural solution. Lucky I had Splash Zone underwater epoxy. It also isn’t a permanent structural solution but it might do for now.

Meredith drove all the way down to Olympia at 11pm to get her dive gear. While she was gone I worked on mounting my solar panel

I also wired a GPS antenna that I’d bought from EBay in China to a Raymarine NMEA 0183 cable. The color code was different for the Chinese cable and after consulting with my coworker Rob I thought I’d figured out the correlations but I guess not because I didn’t get a fix. I don’t have time to figure out the color code. Oh well I can acquire my GPS position from like 4 other devices on my boat. It just would’ve been nice to see where I am while looking at the plotter.

We drove to my house in Kirkland to get my dive flashlight that ended up not working so we borrowed one from a marina friend who was still awake.

Meredith dove below the boat with a syringe of mixed Splash Zone that I had prepared.

She patched it up as best she could so I took out the chopped strand with some tweezers to continue epoxying from the inside. But the water started sleeping in so it must not have gotten a perfect seal. It was a very slow seep though.

It if was just that I would’ve kept working on it but I also had a leaky raw water intake thru hull. I spent a couple early morning hours trying to understand the source of that thru hull leak and stop it with Splash Zone. When that didn’t work, I used caulk and chopped strand. It almost worked and it seemed totally dry. But then I would feel a bit of wetness somewhere. The water always found a way to continue a very slow seep, at some far away edge of my caulk. I decided to get the boat hauled the next day.

The next night, on the trailer in the yard again, we installed a brand new thru hull and strainer and sealed it with 3M 5200. We also poured epoxy into the drilled tunnel.

The boat was supposed to be put back in the water on Saturday at 2pm but the marina staff urged me to wait until I could pull my rudder and check the bushing. The tiller’s movement was stiff and there were about 20 degrees of play before the tiller started to move the rudder.

So tonight I’m gonna try to pull the rudder. If I end up needing to replace the bushing I’ve got a friend who does machine work who has offered to make me a new bushing.

I’ve also gotta do all that engine stuff we planned to do on Thursday night.

Because of this I might have to leave on the 2nd or 3rd instead of the 1st, my planned departure date. But lucky my last day of work before my vacation is Monday, so after that I will have 24/7 to work on my boat (with sleep in between of course!)

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