A retrospective from haul-out 2015. A bit trickier than usual since we took the engine out last week.
Followers of this blog will know that we have very brutal winters in Cape Breton, especially recently. Followers know this, because I winge on about it all the time. But, despite the endless bombardment of snow, we spent the winter of 2014-15, doing the the RYA Dayskipper Theory course from the comfort of our own living room. Just recently, the course became available to do online, as opposed to a 40-hour, 5 day session. We took the course through Dave at Discovery Sailing once again. It was a created by Navahome.com, and covered a lot of ground. It features quite a few animations to keep things interesting, and we found the the information covered to be presented well and easy to follow.
We would find ourselves making our way through the course, a chapter at a time after the kids were in bed, which took us a few months. By the time we were ready to write the final exam, the topics we had done at the beginning of the course were a bit on the hazy side. After some revision, we shipped the kids off to Port Morien to their Grandparents house, got some breakfast and coffee and cleared the kitchen table to do the evaluation, which could take up to eight hours. Luckily we were all done in about three.
Autumn in Cape Breton Island. Arguably the best time of year here. Tourists come by the thousands to see the leaves change on the world famous Cabot Trail.
This autumn will also present a good time to get some blogging in. As the kiddos get older, the house gets busier and the summer was pretty hectic. Because of an engine issue that I gleaned over in previous post, our sailing adventures were very limited in the Summer of 2015. We raced in Ben Eion, had a few trips out in the harbour with my cousin who bought our old boat, but the biggest adventure by far was our 5 days living aboard Michaela during the RYA Dayskipper Practical.
In Canada, the RYA Dayskipper Practical course is only offered by two instructors in the whole country, and they live in the same area! I suppose we were pretty lucky in how that was only a 6 hour car ride away from where we live. (In this country it could have just as easily been 6 days!)
We went with Discovery Sailing, whose owner/instructor Dave DeWolfe was an incredibly experienced and patient sort who let us learn from our mistakes. I am quite convinced there is nothing about sailing that he does not know. Although his jokes and puns could use a bit of work, he was a delightful person.
On a 35ft sailboat for five days with three other people, it is easy to see how personalities can clash and one can get a bit bristly over the course of the week. We were very lucky that Dave, and the other student, Laura, (who was from that area), every got along quite well and were always there with some encouragement or a helping hand!
One of the most popular posts on the blog is about money. How do people do it? I know the amount people spend on the high seas differs greatly depending on how much you are willing to rough it, but online there are precious few resources online that can give you actual numbers. Obviously, finances are a very personal thing. I’ve asked fellow bloggers who are out there doing it.
This is from a cruising couple from the UK. They sold their home, and cruise with their savings and income from rental properties.
I think the reason people don’t post info about money is because it’s fairly personal and different people have different ideas on ‘how much does it cost’. For instance we didn’t go into any marinas in Australia because it was way beyond our budget but here in Malaysia it’s much cheaper so we do.
Again in Australia we didn’t eat out very much but here we do. We live roughly on a £1000 +/- a month which covers food, marinas, fuel, occasional car hire (again not always in our budget), entrance fees, laundry, custom fees, small hardware bills, that sort of thing. It doesn’t include big jobs on the boat, flights home (which we don’t go very often) and expenses at home ie management fees for the flats. If we go on any land travel the boat budget pays for the marina while we are away and eating out, etc but I have a small personal income that we use for the flights and hotels for land travel.
We know some people who think £1000 a month is a lot of money and others who have pensions, 2nd incomes etc who live on £2500 a month so it’s difficult to give a definitive answer as to ‘how much does it cost’ but I hope that helps.
Although we had some interesting sailing adventures this season, as a whole this has been the quietest sailing summer so far. This is primarily because of this guy. The 200 pound rusted and gristled heart of Hurry On, the Yanmar 1GM10. When we bought Hurry On, it had been a few years since this beast ran, with the previous owner saying we could expect some black smoke. My wintertime reading explained this was one of the symptoms of unburnt fuel, much fun to look forward to.
Checking/Changing the Oil
Job one was checking and changing the oil. Because it was so long since the engine last ran, I tried to make sure it was lubed up before starting. This was simply a matter of pulling out the kill switch and turning it over for a few seconds. In order to warm up the oil, the next step was to run the engine for a few minutes. Being the first time in a few years, really had no idea what to expect. Away she went, loud and banging, it sounded terrible*! Surely this thing was going to break free of its engine mounts! We killed the engine. (*editor’s note – I later discovered that the sound of this engine was completely normal. Because it is a one cylinder, there is nothing to balance out single the piston, hence the bang! bang! bang! Once the rmps increase, the engine actually gets considerably quieter)
There was a neat little oil extraction pump in one of the lockers, which I never used before. You put the hose in the dipstick hole till it hits the bottom, pump about 40 times and wait about 10 minutes until you hear it gurgling up the last few drops. For some reason, the oil filter on the Yanmar 1GM10 screws on horizontally. This is a pain in the arse, and can get a bit messy. You can get Yanmar filters around here for about 10 bucks, or Fram PH6607 for $7.
Changing the Fuel Filter
Remember to turn off the fuel at the tank! If you can manage to get the filter case off, its a pretty simple replacement. Just have to remember to bleed the engine at the three bleed points when you’re done.
Changing the Impeller
The bit that sucks the raw salt water up through the engine is the impeller. It sits behind the alternator belt. When I removed the speed seal, the impeller seemed to be intact with no cracks or anything. I replaced it with the new one anyway, and kept the old one as a spare. A little bit of dish soap for lube and then back on. I noticed that no matter how tight the seal, there seemed to be a single drop of water that leaked out once every 10 seconds. The leak doesn’t appear to be coming from the seal though, rather from the pump housing itself.
I should mention that for most of these engine projects, that they are made infinitely more difficult by the lack of space and accessibility. With the exception of changing the oil, all of these jobs can only be done with only one hand, and, unless you can strategically duct tape a compact mirror and flashlight in place, you are likely navigating by feel. The zinc is inconveniently located on the port side of the engine. And it is another one-handed, no-looking kind of thing.
This was by far the quickest and easiest fix. After a particularly squealy, noisy start, the the original belt appeared to lose quite a bit of tension. The replacement was put on by loosening the alternator, removing old belt, putting the new one on, then snugging up the alternator with a hammer handle, and tightening back up.
These have a finite life. Their job is to combine the raw water with the exhaust and safely put it out the back of the boat. What happens over time, and what happened in our case, the inner sleeve perforated. So when the water made it to the elbow, it went out the exhaust, AND into the cylinder head as well. A new elbow was 220 Canadian flippin’ dollars.
The engine starts easily and runs. At the moment, it appears to be going through a lot of oil with no visible leaks. Also, there is a great deal of white smoke when in neutral at about 2500 RPMs, under load it will only get up to about 1500 RPMS. Ok for short trips into the harbour, but for any longer distance this will have to be rectified. May be time to think about a rebuild, or at least call in a pro!
It has been a busy summer, so I’m not catching up on the blog posts! This was from a few months ago, sorry!
The windows in Hurry On upon receipt were a sight. Fogged, cracked, and keeping very little water out. They needed replacement. When I started this blog I hoped it would be a useful resource to those in the same figurative boat as myself, and perhaps some useful ‘how-to’s here and there. I didn’t think of it at the time, but my mistakes, and false assumptions, may also provide a valuable insight; A ‘how-not-to’ if you will.
The following is a ‘how-not-to’.
The windows on Indy were nice, small, with easy to manage aluminum frames. Hurry on, and all C&C 27 Mk5s are what are known as ‘floating’ They are basically held in place by adhesive only. A number of owners I had read about used screws to hold them in, but I decided to go the purist route. According to common convention one of the most important bits of this job is getting the surface clean. This was the worst part of the job. The old adhesive was like concrete, which couldn’t be scraped, or cut away, and was very stubborn when met with a palm sander. I finally borrowed a Dremel-style rotary tool, and the powerful little sanding drum chewed through the old stuff, but it was still a very laborious task, and the drum ate through fiberglass just as easily as the hard glue, probably easier.
After the openings were cleaned out the area around the window was masked with frog tape. I love that tape.
I should mention that up until this point, I think everything was done correctly.
I read about many people singing the praises of Sikaflex 295UV so this is what I went with.
MISTAKE 1 – This is a two part system. Sikafex requires a very expensive primer which in my infinite wisdom decided not to use.
Whenever my brother is in town visiting, I always put him to work. I got him to rough up the edges of the Lexan.
MISTAKE 2 – I got him to pretty much take some sand paper and basically take the shine off the edge. I now realize the sticking power would have been greatly increased, had we done a proper roughing up with a rasp.
I filled the frame with goo, and stuck the panes in. Then the mechanical supports were put in place which were pieces of 2X4 strategically notched and angled. They were then weighted down with sand from the kids’ sandbox.
I then took my finger and wiped off all the excess from the outside, Ray got the inside.
MISTAKE 3 – I removed the supports after a few hours. I really should have let it cure while supported for a few days.
I’m not going to lie, after the clean up, the new windows looked goddamned incredible.
It was less than a week, I could see air pockets starting to form. The real bugger about windows from the C&C27 Mk5 is that they are curved, not straight. So the forward and aft sides are constantly trying top pull away from the corners. After a few months (tonight) I went ahead and screwed them in, admitting defeat.