It’s Sunday evening and Laura and I are sitting in the salon catching up with correspondence and paperwork. I found some recent photos I wanted to post, so here goes…
First,we have been making good progress mounting the AutoHelm wind vane. The wind vane is a mechanical self-steering device, and will steer the boat under all kinds of weather and waves, without battery power. The photo above shows a great friend, Bob Misasi and Steve mounting this unit. Bob owns an immaculate and very babied sailboat, a Bavaria 38, and he took a large part of his Saturday to help me with this project. It actually went very smoothly, and we had it mounted (and square!) in about five and a half hours. If you look closely at the photo you will see I had the big hammer ready for final adjustments!
This was a dry fit, without sealant, so the next day, I removed the unit and painted the inside of the mounting holes with epoxy. I will paint another coat of epoxy paint, and as soon as that cures it will be ready for final mounting. This will be a big project to put behind us.
Above are two photos of our recent haulout. The bottom photo shows the boatyard guys doing final painting on the bottom of the keel before putting her back in the water. The top photo shows her sitting in the travel lift ready for movement back to the water. This is always the time of the most stress. She is a heavy boat, and the boatyard crew does everything slowly and methodically to prevent accidents. However, it’s still 30 tons of boat hanging from those slings and they need to move her about 150 feet to get back to the water. You can see me nervously pacing around as they are moving her. It’s always a great relief to see her floating again!
Cheers, and thanks for visiting!
We hear this question a lot. The correct answer is “We will leave when the boat is ready and the weather is good”.
However, we can expand on this a bit. My “to-do” list is a whole lot shorter than it used to be. We have made countless repairs, upgrades, and improvements to make Orontes II safer, more seaworthy, and more comfortable. The list now has only a few major projects to complete.
Here are the major things left to do:
- Install an extension on the bow to prevent the two anchors from fouling on each other.
- Improve the insulation for the freezer
- Install the external rudder for the wind vane
- Relocate the life raft on deck to make room for the dinghy
In addition, there are a number of smaller tasks that need to be done. These are mostly small and take a few hours at most. With everything considered, I believe we will be ready to depart by mid March.
After that, we just need to make several trips to Sam’s, Wal-Mart, Krogers, and boat stores and load up. We are getting close!
We just completed our haulout of the boat and are now back in the water. We had last hauled out almost two years ago. The bottom paint was in good condition and the zincs looked very good. The exception was the zinc on our prop, which was completely gone. We will need to keep a closer eye on it as we cruise.
While we were in the boatyard we also had four thru-hulls replaced. These were located near the waterline and are the discharge for the air conditioner water, shower pump, and bilge pump. The fourth is a spare. These were a concern to me because there was no way to shut off the flow of water in case of emergency. There needs to be a sea cock or shutoff valve installed so that it is quick and easy to close this flow path. On most boats, the thru hulls and valves are bronze. Bronze is not a good choice for us because we have a steel boat, and this can cause dissimilar metal corrosion. Therefore, we installed Marelon thru-hulls with Marelon shutoff valves.
Marelon is a glass-filled nylon which is very rugged. It is also impervious to corrosion. The new thru-hulls and shutoff valves didn’t go in as easily as I had hoped. There was a bit of trial and error to get the correct configuration of the new equipment, and then the inevitable trips to the marine stores looking for there fittings and adapters we needed to make it all work. Finally, all was finished and sealed up.
We were launched yesterday morning without event. She was lowered gently into the water by the Travel Lift, and we went aboard to check things out. There were no leaks, and we headed home.
It is a short ten-minute ride back to our slip. Our good friends Jeff and Marie were waiting for us at our slip to take our lines. In just a few minutes we were secure. It is good to be home.
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One very large project is done – the batteries and DC distribution system. Also, one smaller but very nice project is complete – replacing our aging Force 10 with a new Tasco three-burner propane stove.