maintenance

Winter is coming…

Laura and I began to notice that the main salon heat wasn’t quite keeping up. Knowing that we’ve been relying on the reverse-cycle from our two air-conditioning systems, I suspected that the water temperature had finally fallen low enough that they were no longer efficient.

Winter is coming...
Winter is coming…

Well then. That’s the end of that. We just shut down the reverse cycle heat pumps and have turned on the basic oil-filled electric heaters. We’ll see how it goes. If you don’t hear from us before spring… Well, you know what happened.

maintenance

Maintenance… Filters filters and more filters…

We had a minor diesel leak in our Racor fuel filter/water-separator… By minor, I mean a drip every couple minutes.  It was gradually getting worse. We couldn’t figure out where it was coming from, so took the whole thing off the bulkhead and did a proper rebuild.  So glad we did! The paper filter was saturated.  O-rings (the source of the leak) had degraded into little rigid lumps.  Cleaned it out, put a new paper filter in, and got it all back together.  fuelfilterDid the air conditioning (heater at the moment) raw-water filter while we were there.  All and all, a successful day in the engine room. Laura has mad #KayleeSkills.  Great in the engine-room on her own, or as an extremely capable assistant.  It’s awesome.img_0054

 

maintenance

Yacht potato, yacht potato…

So…

Here we are… Pleasant evening indeed at the Inn at Pirate’s Cove… A walk out to the committee platform, watching the stars go by… We come back to the boat (I’ve thoughtfully turned on the foredeck light) and my lovely lady Laura says to me, “Hey… Are those spider webs up there? I look up the mast, and sure enough, cobwebs between the mast and shrouds.

DAMN I need to get this girl out of the slip…

Yacht potato, yacht potato….

 

maintenance

About our Tagline…

Shindyah isn’t a new boat.  She’s not an old boat either.  She’s a classic.  Both in name and in feel.  She’s cut broad, but sharp forward, with a rise to her bow that the racers eschew.  Her stern is bluff and solid.  Her lines harken back to earlier vessels, though her materials and finish is more modern.

She is our salt-water lady.  A song by Roger Creager caught my ear when we commissioned her as Shindyah…  It’s called Gulf Coast Time. Here are the lyrics, and a link to the song is provide below.

We very much love our ole salt-water lady…


I like the way this salty, warm breeze feels
As I make another cast with this old rod and reel
Sounds like things are going well
From the tone of your letter
Am I doing okay?
I guess you could say
I’m keeping my head above water

[Chorus:]
On the deck of this old saltwater lady
Dancin’ ‘cross the waves
The seaside world slows down to an idle
The sun sets red over Copano Bay
You moved on with your life in California
I’ll move on with mine
Sometimes things take a little longer
Here on gulf coast time

It’s nice just getting back to the simple things
Like the taste of this fresh key lime in my drink

Took that watch you gave me
Tossed it ’bout a mile offshore
Just another anchor around me weighing me down that
I don’t need anymore

[Chorus]

And I know
I’m getting better with every breath of ocean I breathe in
And my soul gets stronger every moment I spend

[Chorus]

Sometimes things take a little longer
Here on gulf coast
Time


Youtube: Gulf Coast Time – Roger Creager, anthem of SV Shindyah

 

maintenance

Fruit Flies, Cider and Nationalistic humor…

We enjoyed the company of Captain Bill Richards of Celtic Cross at dinner aboard last night. Fine sailor, teaches navigation at Annapolis school of sailing, and drives water taxis up there for fun. I digress…

Laura (the XO) was having a “Beesting” last night. Well, we all were… 1/3 mead 2/3 hard cider… seriously tasty. But also seriously attractive to the little fruit flies that are (astonishingly) still buzzing around. Plop, into her drink one goes… Which occasions me telling the following story.
fliesindrinks
Gotta love the Scots.

maintenance

On Rodneys…

rodneyLaura and I often refer to “Rodney” or “Damn Rodneys” much to the confusion of our lubberly friends.  The term is most often applied to careless power-boaters, blasting through moorages at 20 knots, kicking up tsunami-like wakes that shake every boat they pass.  The term comes from the movie Caddyshack…  Where Rodney Dangerfield has a particularly memorable scene trying to control his behemoth yacht.   The clip is provided below.

If you find yourself being referred to as a Rodney (and your name isn’t Rodney) make amends quick, or you’ll find yourself buying your own beers.

Rodney Takes Command

 

maintenance

The Liveaboard Transition

April 2015, I bought my first boat. A 1975 Catalina 27. More or less derelict, but I got her for a song. I figured I could buy this old girl with some bonus money from my employer and “get my feet wet” as a boat owner.   I’ve sailed quite a bit on Puget Sound, but never owned a boat before… I was sailing club boats back then.

I and my ex girlfriend worked on the boat, cleaned her up and sailed a bit.  Her first experiences on the boat weren’t positive.  Clean up issues, and then a sailing trip that was frightening for her (she’d never been out in much of a blow) and she sort of distanced herself from the boat.

On the other hand, I was eating it up, more and more time spent on the boat, sleeping over.  We lived together in Ashburn, about 1:45 drive from the boat.  We just drifted apart, and in the late fall of 2015, I decided to move out, break up, and live aboard.

A Catalina 27.

In the winter.

I’m 6’2″.

A Catalina 27 isn’t.

But I wanted to see if the lifestyle was for me.

Oh my god.  I just ate it up. Everything was small, close and simple.  It’s almost a monastic lifestyle. Even in the dead of winter, snow and ice, it was like an attack of sweet butter creams.  I’d have been content on her indefinitely, except for one thing.

My daughter.  She lives with me in the summer.

A 15 year old girl is not going to fit on a 27′ Catalina with her 53 year old father.  She would need her own cabin.  The search for a new boat began.

My budget was insanely tight.  I didn’t have much in the way of resources, but I had a steady income and could make steady payments.  That limited my search to an older vessel.  I had a good friend who helped me with the financing.  I knew I wanted a center cockpit, because I knew the master’s stateroom and V-berth would be suitable for me and my daughter.  After exploring a number of boats, I came across this old Morgan 41′.  Her name was Jawz.  Not a good sign.  Then I checked her out, and had her surveyed.  Worse and worse.  She’d been allowed to freeze.  Her plumbing was badly damaged.  Her wiring looked like a tribe of monkeys went after her with balls of yarn…

We took her out for sea-trial.  She was unsailable, her main misrigged, and her genoa missing sheets.  Motored back in.

Something told me to give her one last look, so I said a little prayer to the universe, “If I’m supposed to save this boat, give me a sign.”

When I went back to her, she had 8″ of seawater on her cabin sole.

“This is not the answer I was looking for.”  I almost shut the hatch and walked away… But I couldn’t.  I couldn’t leave her there flooding.   So I found the leak (stuck seacock and damaged A/C water line), ran off to West Marine for fix-it-tape, secured the line, and manually shorted her bilge pump to battery to get her to pump dry.

It was just the weirdest damn thing.

She wasn’t proving to me that I should take her.

She demanded that I prove to her that I was the master to save her.

And I was.

April 2016, She was mine.

 

 

maintenance

Baking adventures in salt life

Again with the thinking small – baking adventures in salt life. I’m an adapter, more than I ever realised.

You’ve got two burners, and this little oven in a boat galley built for one.  Safer that way, the whole idea of being slammed around the galley does not sound appealing.  At. All.  Think of that Easy Bake oven you had as a kid.  Those small round cake pans.  They’re perfect for galley baking.  Ok, so those may be a bit too small.  You go into Wally World and the only place you can locate 4in round cake pans is in the fancy baking aisle, and they’re $6 bucks a pop.  Yeah, it’s going to be worth it.

I have found cookie sheets that are the perfect size for our oven. Score! Wally World has these cookie sheets for, like, 87cents. Perfect!  Then I used those to size cupcake/muffin pans. I think the one thing I struggle with is making sure the temperature is correct. I’ve got a propane oven at the house; however, this little thing is even more particular about fluctuating temps.

An oven thermometer is essential, no matter what oven you have.  Even more so on a boat. Keeping the temps around the recommended degrees for break-n-bake cookies seems to do just fine. I had one batch of cookies appear to scorch on the bottoms – the temperature got too high. They weren’t all that bad, especially since the cookies in the middle of the cookie sheet turned out perfect. The corn muffins turned out perfect! Today I will be baking cupcakes for the first time in this easy bake oven.  I’m looking forward to some tasty desserts to follow dinner.  Will I be able to fit the two muffin pans side by side? We shall see!

Check back to see if this endeavour has been a success – or an adventure in galley mishaps.

Update 15:03 

cupcakesWe definitely need larger mixing bowls. I wasn’t sure if the bowl would overflow with chocolately cake batter goodness or not.

Cake mix, check!

Eggs, check!

Vegetable oil, check!

Bill picked up a manual hand mixer for me at Target the other week.  Living on a boat, one must always keep in mind the amount of appliances they have which require a wall plug.  I’ve never seen an electric hand mixer that was 12v friendly. Besides, I love manual hand mixers. They’re fun!

I was starting to think this may get out of  hand, so I slowly started mixing in the water. Then I grew a bit more concerned as I continued to mix up this gooey, chocolately awesomeness. The mixture was swiftly approaching the lip of the bowl.  This is when one is grateful to have a manual hand mixer.  I am fairly certain that a hand mixer would have made quite an effective mess.

No spillage.  AWESOME!

In 15 minutes or so, we’ll see the first batch of cupcakes baked up in Shindyah’s oven 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

maintenance

Boat for sale – and it’s YOUR vessel, two owners ago

Boat curiosity leads one to strange waters, especially when wanting to make modifications.

We plan to update Shindyah’s cove stripe to burgundy.  Along with adding a linen coloured Bimini and canoe for the sail.  I very much want to upgrade her wheel to a wooden one with knee knockers.  Bill and I are also looking to add a teak sole to the cockpit.  We feel that the linen Sunbrella colour would compliment the classic feel we are after.

I’ve been quite curious about what our boat, Shindyah, looked like straight from Catalina in 1991.  We know that our current table is not from the manufacturer.  How did the salon look then, compared to now; what has changed besides the beautiful inlay Compass Rose table we have now?

To Google!

Bill and I looked at pictures of various Morgan Classic and Out Island models.  Then, we came across an image that was strangely familiar.

1991 Morgan Classic 41' boat - salon

Then we realised.  It’s our boat!

Sailboat for sale

Hakuna Matata - 1991 Morgan Classic 41' boat

Meet Shindyah, two owners ago – as Hakuna Matata.  The bell was above the ship clock, rather than above the light right above the port settee.  Even the television was the same.  We’ve recently updated the TV of course, to a newer HDLCD version and the older, and ditched the Black & Decker coffee pot for a Keurig.  The appliance stopped working properly a couple of months ago. Coffee is a must!

 

maintenance

The charms of salt life and living aboard a sailboat

Salt life = thinking small.

One must always keep this in mind when living aboard a boat.  You only have so much space.  One learns how to become more organized.  Being great at Tetris is a huge help.  Especially when your ice box isn’t the same size as the one you’d have in a house.  You learn what is essential versus what is trivial, like all those chachkies littering the mantle in a house.  One of the hardest things for my honey to give up has been his books.  Yay for the iPad and Kindle app!  Still, being able to thumb through a book, the feel of the pages, and the scent of old paper can’t be duplicated with a device.

Salt life = serenity.

On those fantastically excellent days, you can pull up your lines and head out for the day.  No need to drive to the marina, you’re already on the boat.  The peacefulness of a marina in the off-season is beautiful.   The sound of the water slapping against the hull can be a sweet lullaby, and floating wind chime farm can be as well – as long as it isn’t YOUR halyard slapping against the mast.  Having the opportunity to look up, whilst laying in bed, looking at the stars through the cabin hatch is amazing.  Even more so, when doing this, you catch sight of a shooting star.  Needless to say, I don’t want to live on land for an extended period again.

Salt life = adventure.

Living aboard a sailing vessel isn’t always glamourous.  Think about it.  If you’ve ever traveled in a motorhome, it can be quite similar.  Banging doors, rattling dishes, and of course the inevitable slamming of tool boxes when an overly excited wake of a Rodney comes up suddenly.  Not to mention the whole ‘what is that funky smell emanating from the head?!’.