October 25 – November 2, 2012
The next 10 ten days spent at Jarrett Bay was a whirlwind of activity. From rudder repairs and overdue projects to Halloween and Hurricane Sandy, we were kept busy for the entire time the boat was out of the water. And of course, we had to keep school going, as well.
It took some brainstorming along with Bircher Machine Shop to come up with a solution for our rudder bearing issue, and in the end, we were quite pleased with the result. Bircher manufactured two rudder bearings that will also act as the housings. They are made to of an acetyl material to correct specifications, so they won’t expand and seize on the rudder post when they enter the water. They are also about an inch longer for additional support.
To allow for the rudder bearings to be installed with proper epoxy curing time, Bircher also machined a mock rudder post that we could use to place the bearings in their proper positions. Once the epoxy cured, the mock post could be removed. When it was time to lift the boat for launching, all we had to do was insert the rudders and re-attach the steering quadrant. It all worked perfectly!
Addition of insulation to our refrigerator was another major project. Along with some generous help from friends, the refrigerator was disconnected and relocated to the cockpit. The old, flimsy insulation was removed, and Wil added about 2 inches of new pink, closed-cell insulation, finishing it with a radiant barrier around the outside. He also drilled holes in the door, injecting 3 cans of non-deforming spray insulation, and then sealing off the holes with caulk.
Other projects completed during the week: new zincs on the props and shafts, new welds on the steering quadrants for the new autopilot, placed new transmission seal on starboard engine (and broke motor mount in the process), installed a new speed transducer, and repainted the bottom where paint was missing.
As it was for many, Hurricane Sandy was a surprise visit for us, and we were quite thankful to be in the boatyard during the storm. We were in a good spot for the tropical storm force winds and rain that lasted for nearly 3 days. However, while we were sitting on blocks and stands, we happened to be broadside to the strongest winds. The boat would shake and rattle, but she stood strong. For the duration of the storm, we’d periodically check the stands to make sure they were secure. At one point, Wil discovered that the rear stands weren’t even holding the boat. The ground was so saturated, and with all of our shaking in the wind, the stands sank into the ground, leaving at least an inch between the stands and the boat. Good thing we were checking!
Time was also taken out for some Halloween fun. Using what we had onboard, Colin was able to throw a costume together the night before. Justine’s final costume decision came just 2 hours prior to trick-or-treating.When it was time for the big outing, we picked up our friends from Patronus, who had only arrived in Morehead a couple of hours before. We went to a nearby neighborhood where we all enjoyed free hot dogs, cookies and cupcakes, and a trick-or-treating hayride. Afterwards, we dropped by a good friend’s house for a variety of chilies and other goodies.
After 10 days spent at Jarrett Bay, it was time to splash into the water again. We said many good-byes (and see-you-laters), and quickly had one last job done. An electrician came aboard to test for any electrolysis issues. He could only find a small, occasional spike in voltage from the port engine alternator. This alternator was a replacement for the one that had previously put out 16 volts. The bulk of the electrolysis problem had probably been the result of the high voltage output. However, the current spike could also cause a problem. Therefore, a plan was made to get both alternators repaired in the near future.