Saturday, March 11, 2017

Commenced to cleanin'

I “commenced to cleanin’ ”.

The preferred cleaning agent to remove mildew is bleach. I had gotten a big squirt bottle of Tilex and started at the chain locker and did the forward stateroom, quick satisfying progress and I could hear the anguished cries of the mildew legion as they succumbed to my chemical warfare.

Took the cushions outside to air out and let the sun kill more mildew (radiation warfare). Lifted the hatch covers under the V-berth to reveal a coil of huge rope (hurricane strength, thank you PO) and HUGE Water tanks. This boat has 150 gallons of water storage and 50 gallons of diesel. And a 15 gallon grey water tank right under the starboard side of the V-berth. I’ll give Kathleen the port side (chivalry is not dead). Fired up the pressure washer and blasted the mildew legion with kinetic weapons, Dawn and more bleach. It’s definitely less icky than it was yesterday.

Jey arrived and started installing the stuffing box hose. I went outside, climbed down and started on the second coat of bottom paint. With this coat the bottom painting is completed and black paint covers a multitude of sins. It looks pretty sharp. Will get the spots under the jack pads and under the keel when the slings pick it up again.

After the morning’s work the stuffing gland is good as new, the bottom is waaaay better than it was and we’re pretty satisfied. Lunch at a very successful Irish chain restaurant, a fish sandwich for me (not quite up to Gator Cove standards and back to the boat.

Jey scrubbed down the bilges. These are deep pockets in the keel where water goes when it gets into the boat- a certain amount of water is intended (i.e. constantly dripping stuffing box, water from the sea water cooled V-drive, pressure washing, etc.; a certain amount is probably unavoidable; and a certain amount happens and needs to be minimized. At any rate, the bilge is not dry and was pretty icky when Jey commenced. A wonderful product called OrPine (from West Marine), an industrial cleaner that smells like pine, Simple Green and water and the bilges are sparkling! Oh, and Jey’s sweat and effort. We put a half cup of Ore Pine into the clean bilge to mix with water that we will run into the bilge prior to the voyage back to Yankeetown to slosh around and complete the washing job.

After Jey knocked off for the day, I resumed my unskilled attack on mildew in the head, and main cabin and galley. I took particular pride in the nav station which is commodious, has the radar screen, a chart drawer, a night vision red light and is the nerve center (I suspect Kath will keep track of our progress and my wiggling course from that location) of the boat. I need to replace the 12V outlet there so we can have the tablet with the navigation program plugged in and charging.

A quick note- we will not spend thousands of dollars on electronics. We have the radar previously noted- not new, but works better than I know how to interpret the information, two hand-held VHFs, a Magellan GPS, and a Samsung Note Android Tablet with iNavX for charting and navigation. iNavX is made by Navionics and is very powerful, yet easy to use app. You tell it your boat’s essential characteristics- draft, fuel consumption at speed, max speed and it can automatically create a good course from Point A to Point B. It plots it one the chart and tells you the heading to the next mark as well as tells you your speed over ground (SOG) which is the actual progress and is different than a speedometer type speed which in a boat is often only part of the SOG story which includes currents, wind, etc. iNavX can use all the NOAA charts which are free and include depth info, details about aids to navigation, etc. A pretty impressive solution for about $20 per year. For this application good Android tablets are superior to iPads because iPads don’t have actual GPS chips. They give your location well, but use cell tower, internet information, not actual satellite info like a GPS or Android. We may also use a mac laptop with OpenCPN, a free very, very powerful open source program that does similar things to iNavX but on a laptop which has a bigger screen.

I have also started offloading bags of the previous owner’s treasures. There is some truly wonderful stuff (I like the hookah tank and 40’ scuba line) but a huge amount of detritus. There’s also the difficult decisions- expensive, good product that really doesn’t fit my idea of life on a boat, like this huge recliner-type cockpit chair that’s very, very comfortable, but takes a ton of volume when not in use. The PO owned a hardware store, so there are tons of old tools (I have new screwdrivers, I don’t need or want these old rusty ones) and boxes of wonderful stainless steel parts. There are also some spares like an alternator, propeller, belts, filters, hose clamps, O-rings, gaskets and more. Those I’m keeping. Over the course of this phase I have thrown away more than 10 yard-sized trash bags into the dumpster. I am also washing lines, anything fabric, throwing most fabric out, and trying to figure out what to do with the foam cushions which are mildewed but unreasonably expensive to just replace.
The boat is dramatically less icky after today, but tomorrow I’m taking off to go to my hometown for church, have lunch with the PO and his family at Sonny’s, and drive to the cometary my Mom and Dad are buried in. I haven’t been to the grave for at least 9 years (so says my daughter), so that’s a must do.

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