On the Hard

The past week on the hard has in many ways been our most challenging week so far, and unfortunately the end is not yet in sight. The repairs to our hull are nearly complete — just waiting for the last coat of interior paint. The work looks good (too good, in that the surface has a nice gloss that is long gone from the rest of the hull).

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What’s been difficult about the repair is the epoxy and fiberglass dust within our living quarters.  But worse, we were parked next to a large steel (or possibly aluminum?) work boat where they were grinding the bottom and welding on cooling tubes. For our first days on the hard, with the wind blowing from the east, the noise was annoying (along with the Navy jets constantly flying low overhead). Then the wind shifted to the north, and their grinding dust covered our boat – ugly and black and into everything. We tried to ignore it, but it became intolerable.

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We complained to the yard manager, who reluctantly moved us to a new parking spot, while muttering, “It’s a boatyard. That’s the gamble you take at a boatyard.” Not sure what’s going to show up on our bill…

While stuck here, we’ve done LOTS of projects on the boat.

Sail cover removed to sailmaker for repairs
Sail cover removed to sailmaker for repairs
Replace cracked 'lenses' on hatches
Replacing cracked ‘lenses’ on hatches
Secure handrails on transoms
Better mounts for handrails on transoms
Repair chips in transom, and reinforce cleats
Repair chips in transom, and reinforce cleats
Plan for lightning protection at base of mast
Plan for lightning protection at base of mast
Chart plotter sent to manufacturer for 'recall'
Chart plotter sent to manufacturer for recall/fix
Cleaning/painting props
Cleaning/painting props
Fixing switch to electric winch
Fixing switch for electric winch
Making fender boards
Making fender boards
Making dinghy cover
Making dinghy cover
Outboard mount to carry O/B off of dinghy when at sea
Outboard mount to carry O/B off of dinghy when at sea
Rigging control lines for new hydro generator
Rigging control lines for new hydro generator
Remounting WiFi antenna
Remounting WiFi antenna

And more…

Yesterday we thought we were down to the last time-sensitive project — getting a mechanic to diagnose why our starboard engine (the “new” one) was increasingly difficult to start, and belched black smoke when it did finally start. The mechanic did a cylinder compression test while we watched, and one cylinder was bad. [The compression was below the point where diesel will ignite, but close enough that once the engine started on the other 2 cylinders and began to heat up, the bad cylinder would kick in.] He asserted that the engine has more hours on it than we were led to believe, and it needs serious work. We agreed to have him remove the engine so he could work on it in his shop. Pulling the engine through the hatch is no small feat!

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Tim and Bill watched as the mechanic pulled the engine apart, and demonstrated a long list of problems with it. What we thought was a nearly-new engine needs to be rebuilt! And…some of the parts are on back order from Japan. Tim has been on the phone calling all over the country for parts. We asked about going back in the water, and installing the fixed engine without another haul. Nope; not a good idea to have our saildrive transmission hanging loose, disconnected from an engine.

So…time to recalibrate our expectations about getting off the hard.

4 thoughts on “On the Hard”

  1. MUST FEEL DISHEARTENING TO EXPERIENCE SET BACKS,,,,,,,
    I CHOOSE TO BELIEVE THERE WILL BE THAT MUCH MORE APPRECIATION WHEN THINGS RUN SMOOTHLY & IT ALL COMES TOGETHER,, WHICH IT WILL:)

    ,

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  2. Zeke, It sounds like you have busy. I haven’t been caught up. I haven’t even seen Hallie. Been busy trying to finish my final paper. I am off task right now, but, oh well. Are you back in Maine before the final send off? James

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  3. Hi Zeke,
    thanks again for sharing your journey with us – your descriptions are so clear that, at times, I feel that I’m part of the experience…very exiting!
    I’m glad that they found the culprit with the engine (the bad cylinder)- I did not think that bad gas was the issue (as previously reported).
    Yesterday we went to Darryl’s Christmas party and saw many of the old “comedians” (CoMed colleagues). It’s nice to see people that I have known for almost 30 years…by now you know who you can trust or not. I just wanted the rest of your crew to know that they have one of the best on the “no regrets” – they could not have picked a better crew member.

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