Saturday, October 18, 2014

Time to play electrician

After cutting some crucial wires last weekend, I decided to have a look at the current wiring.

I was not impressed. My mind was made up, and I was going to rewire the boat. While I was at it, I decided to add some new sockets, switches, and maybe even a fuse or two.

$200 on Amazon prime and a 6 pack later this is what we get:


Lots of wiring, two days, several beers.

At the end of it all it was images like this that made it all worth it.

Backing up a bit, I will explain a few of the details of what I did here. The Osprey came with a shore power outlet, which wired through a breaker panel into one GFCI outlet.This one GFCI outlet was getting on my nerves, as to get power to the front of the boat I had to run an extension cord out in the open, which cluttered the boat and stressed me out for some strange reason.

The boat also had a 12 volt system that ran from the battery, into a panel mounted on the wall. When you opened this panel a spaghetti monster would jump out at you which was poorly labeled and impossible to make sense of, not to mention I had just cut the power to the lights the night before and now the lights don't work...

My grand idea was to run six new 110 volt GFCI protected sockets and four 12 volt fuse protected sockets. I wanted to move all of the electrical components away from the floor and clean up the look of the boat.

The first step was to cut the hole for the wall mounted fuse panel out larger to now house all of the electrical components. I then ran new 12 gauge wires to the battery and installed buses for both the positive and negative cables. I also ran 12 gauge (after researching code) wires to all locations in the boat that I wanted a 110 volt outlet.

Beginning with the 110 volt system, Ryan made a template and cut holes in the locations for the new plugs. We then glues in new receptacle boxes and connected them up. (This is a summary, it took two days!) I now have shore power coming into three 15 amp breakers, one for the battery charger, and one day refrigerator, one for the starboard 110 power, and one for the port 110 power.

Next on the list was the 12 volt system. Lots of wires were cut and re-run. Lots of excessive wires were removed and thrown out. I now have 10 switches running through 10 fuses of various amperage running about the boat in a clean manor.

There are a few 12 volt additions still to be made, and I expect to hit them in the coming weekends.

  • 12 volt light strips 
  • Anchor light
  • Cockpit lighting
  • Masthead light

A big bonus to the rewire, and thanks to Ryan, we discovered the head unit, which had all of its wires cut and was deemed by the previous owner as a hole filler, worked! We wired it to the speakers, and now I have tunes!

Bluetooth to be added soon.

Moving in and cleaning

After a month away from the boat, I returned to find the rest of my belongings had arrived from the Midwest. They were shipped minivan 2 day express from Indiana to Seattle thanks to some newly weds and Hiiiaaaann.

The challenge here was, where do I fit all of my belongings on this 28' boat?!

All of those cubbies that I was too scared to open must now be cleaned enough to accept my things (joy). I decided to start under the seats.

So much black guck had accumulated over time that I dumped 5 buckets of pitch black water into the marina toilets, and hadn't even finished cleaning out under one seat.

My vision is to clean under the seats and add some truck bed liner to cover the exposed fiberglass. This should be enough to set my mind to ease about how clean they are, and use the space for storage.

Also, I wanted to add some rope light LED's to illuminate the compartments in the case that I am digging for that one thing I know I put in there, somewhere down the line.

In the process of cleaning, my hand kept bumping up against some dangling wires (which were extremely dirty as well) and I started getting frustrated. Its getting later in the day, I havent showered, I'm covered in black guck, and I'm exhausted, that last thing I needed was nasty wires in my way.
Needless to say a little Serbian came out and I started cussing like the future sailor I will become... Out came the wire cutters.

Five seconds later, and complete darkness I realized I may have cut some wires that were important...

It's going to have to wait until tomorrow, time to shower and go clubbing...

Check Out My New Pipes!

When I bought the Osprey, Patty (former owner) told me that the head (toilet)
had a leaky pipe and that her husband told her not to use it, so she didnt, ever.

After I bought the boat, the head was the last thing I wanted to deal with, and therefore, I didn't. It wasn't until the morning before the maiden voyage that we even tested the head to find out where the leaks were coming from. After staring down that stinky pretzel-hosed beast, we found that one of the hoses was wrapped in duct tape, and that made me weary.

Before I let my worries get ahead of me, we tested the head, and sure enough, no leaks! After the getting to my new marina, I found a slight bit of free time on my hands, and was not content with the mis-match, grimy looking tubing. The black and fresh water systems quickly escalated to number 1
on my hit list.

Yet again, my dear friends the Flemings spent countless hours helping me map and replace
the nasty, algae-filled, grungy old lines with fresh new pipes!

Next on the list, the fresh water tank... After tracing the lines, two big problems stood out: the vents and the fresh water fill pipe were at the bottom of the anchor locker. In other words, to fill the fresh water tank you had to take the anchor and all of its line out and reach down to the bottom of the anchor locker. What sort of *** designed that?!

Being that the vents were also at the the bottom of the anchor locker, when/if the anchor locker filled with water, that nasty water would backfill into my freshwater tank through the vents. This would inevitably and unknowingly find its way into things of such importance as my morning coffee... gross!

This had to be fixed.

The first  step was to drill some holes in the deck, eek! And reroute the lines for the fresh water fill and the vents. I decided to mimic the black water pumpout line by routing the hose up to the deck in the v-berth. I routed the vents right in front of them to try and give it a clean look.

The fresh water fill cap was easy to install, the vents on the other hand, what a pain! Apparently the fiberglass thickness of my deck is not so consistent, and the threaded shaft on the vent caps was just not long enough to reach through the deck and thread on. We had to (painstakingly) shave down bottom of the deck to get it to thread on. End result looks pretty good though!

In the process of rerouting the fresh water fill line, I dropped my shiny new water fill cover overboard, and right into the sound. I watched helplessly as it slowly sank to the bottom. At least I didn't drop my beer too...

After all of this, we were getting ambitious, and decided to add an inline water filter to the sink. After buying all the required parts, relaxing with a beer on the boat got the better of us, and we decided to call it a night.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Maiden Voyage

It began simply, like most adventures do, over a beer or three with my good friends, the Flemings. We started into our Labor Day plans, it was only a weekend away, and we were hoping to bag a mountain somewhere in the cascades. After a bit of discussion, we started talking about my plans, and my fear that I would be able to move the Osprey North in a timely fashion to spend quality weekend time with my friends in the greater Seattle area. 

After some discussion, it was loosely decided that we would take advantage of the long weekend and attempt the near 100 mile trip up from Olympia to Everett. 

Everett became the destination, as it was still summertime in the PNW, and every slip in a 15 mile radius of Seattle was completely full. 

After some last minute Amazon Prime shipments, and a boater's ed class, everything was set to line up for the weekend.

The plan lined up quite nicely.
Land in Seattle
Pick up Amazon Prime packages
Meet Ryan and Kathi
Drive down to Olympia
Along the way, pick up two new friends that I have yet to meet

Wake up in Olympia
Bolt on outboard motor
Set sail north
Make it at least to Tacoma
(Hoping for Seattle for a night on the town)

Continue North
Arrive in Port of Everett

Shuttle cars/people

Saturday morning rolls around and the sky opens up. Its raining for the first time all summer and the radar doesn't look good. After about an hour soaked in the rain bolting on the outboard, and a near collision with my neighbor friend's boat, we were off. 

The rain slowed, and the fog made for a majestic beginning of the voyage. The down side to the fog was the visibility was poor, fortunately we had a proper navigation station installed for the journey.

As the day wore on, the skies cleared and we were able to set the sails and enjoy the day a little bit.

Hours went by to the slight humming of the motor and the crack of beer cans.... It was afternoon and we were making great time, only one thing we hadn't counted on, we were running low on gas. With the light winds the south sound was known for, we had the motor on all day to supplement the sails, and our little gas tank was about through. We decided to stop in Gig harbor to find some fuel and some late lunch. 

It wasn't until after we arrived in Gig harbor that we realized there was no fuel dock in Gig Harbor, and we didn't have enough fuel to make it to the next closes harbor that MIGHT have fuel. 

After chatting up a kayaker passing by, we decided to dock at the local bar and hike up the road with the gas tank to the closest gas station. That was also about the time we learned that the engine would not idle and it was go or no. The solution was simple, get close, kill motor, jump off boat with dock line and tied down boat. In practice it worked surprisingly well, until other boats got in the way...

Once we tied her up, my ever so kind friends made a run for the closest gas station in the rain, as the rest of us went inside the bar and ordered a beer and some appetizers. 

After the fuel and the beers, we were off North to Seattle. I realized that we were making good time, and could taste a night out on the town in Seattle hanging on the lips. A few hours later and we are coming into a beautiful view of the city. 

We ended up docking in the Silshole Bay Marina, and wandering into Ballard for dinner and drinks. No trip to Ballard is complete without a trip to the Noble Fir!

Sunday shaped up to be a beautiful day, and after a brief bout of nearly crashing into a half a million dollar yacht at the fuel dock, it was out to sea yet again. It never ceased to amaze me how much other boat would come right out at the last possible moment and cause a near wreck.

The winds picked up a bit and we were able to kill the motor and enjoy the peace of the wind.

Everett was only a half a day away, so we relaxed and enjoyed the sun as is ever so slightly peaked from the clouds. 

We ended the day arriving at my new slip and making a run to Skutlebutt Brewery.

A Whole New Heart (Kinda), Part 2

My last post about the Osprey's new heart, a 1994 Suzuki 15hp oil injected outboard, ended after my purchase of the engine. Since then I have installed it (with the help of friends) and used it to get to my new port in Everett, WA from Olympia over Labor Day weekend.

The plan was so simple and sweet, wake up drill holes for motor mount, bolt on motor mount, set engine on, and motor away.

Here is what actually happened:

We woke up Saturday morning around 7 or 8 am to the sound of rain, in the PNW who knew! For the next hour and a half we stood in the rain drilling holes and cutting plywood to mount the Suzuki onto the Osprey. Sorry, no pictures here, we were soaked, and focused.

After we got the motor on the boat, it was time to try and start it for the first time. So I cranked. And Cranked. And Cranked. And just as my arms were starting to feel the burn, i could hear the sputtering and popping of the 'ol Zuki trying to roar to life. We finally got her warmed up (it died several times during this process) and put it in gear. Dead.

Again I started cranking. Choke. No choke. Choke. And off it roared again. this time I was able to feather the throttle and off we went.

A few things to be noted about "simply mounting an outboard on you sailboat."

One, the hulls were never designed to hold weight on the back, aka LOTS of flex. This did not allow us to tighten the bolts holding the engine too tight, and it also wore on my nerves during the entire trip as I could imagine my little outboard coming through the transom and sinking my boat.

Two, the engine idle circuit was plugged, therefore we could not go slow, or get into a reverse gear for that matter. This made docking or maneuvering in tight quarters a dubious affair.

Fortunately we were slamming many a Rainier in the name of Poseidon, and we were granted with calm and slightly inebriated waters.....

Next edition, either beef up the transom and clean the idle circuit, or rebuild the inboard.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Demo, Part 1

Growing up in a family of construction minded people, I have spent many summers doing everything from demolishing old trailers to running electricity and plumbing. Now that I have a little home of my own, my mind quickly wonders what sort of modifications would really improve the look and functionality of the Osprey.

I picked up a little idea from a site most of you have probably heard of called Pinterest. Nothing like a little inspiration when taking on a new project.

After seeing this transformation, it made me wonder what I could do with this space on my boat.

My first thought, the old kerosene heater must go, not only is it bulky and creates soot, but I'm going to spend most of my days at port where electric heat will be my friend. My next though, what is with that ugly wall? What does it protrude so far? Five minutes later...

It turns out that that wall supports the bulkhead during sail, but I'm glad I removed it, I found some slight fiberglass damage behind it due to a water leak somewhere down the line. 

That's all for now!

A Whole New Heart (Kinda), Part 1

The biggest issue the Osprey currently has is that the only means to move her is via sail, and I don't know how to sail.... 

In 1976, the Capitol Yachts Newport 28 came standard with a little inboard engine to help move her around when the wind wasn't a blowin'. Fast forward to 2014, that little engine is seized up and worth little more than a 375 lb boat anchor. 

My options:

1) Trusty Rusty, I can TRY various methods of getting the motor "unstuck" and head North up the Puget sound some 75 Nautical miles to my new home in Port of Everett (still waiting on a slip to open up in Seattle) with a rusty, old, unpredictable motor. This may take quite a while, and may not even work at all.

2) Wind is free! I can pick a weekend and try my hand at sailing. Considering I don't know very much about sailing, and most marinas these days don't allow you coming in with sails up, this isn't even really an option. Not to mention I would be at the mercy of mother nature to send some wind my way. 

3) Outboard engine. If you take a walk down the dock at your local marina, you will find that most older sailboats have been retrofitted with an outboard engine of some sort. These more modern motors hang off the back of the boat and help push you around during light wind, or in close quarters when using the sails is impractical.

After looking at my options I have decided to go with the last. I did some shopping on craigslist and found a nice little no frills 15 hp Suzuki motor that I picked up for a mere $500. They even threw in a dozen fresh eggs from the farm when I bought it!

Thanks to Amazon Prime, I should have the rest of the parts needed to mount the engine in just 2 short days, and the Osprey will have a whole new heart!