As Bob and I are working on getting Med Viking ready for the big race, we have good days and bad days…
Bad days: changing one of the two heads looked like an easy project a few months ago.In reality this project took a very long time. First the holding tank was leaking so I ordered a new tank from Beneteau. When the new tank arrived, I had moved on to another project so the tanks sat uninstalled for a while. Just as I was ready to install the new tank, I discovered that the other head also needed a new tank so I “borrowed” the new tank. At that point we had at least one head fully functional. I ordered a new tank from Ronco Plastics in Tustin (highly recommended). The new tank is more practical than the Beneteau original because it has all the pick up at the top:
Tank from Ronco Plastics
After the tanks was installed I discovered that the motor that runs the electric toilet had been damaged when it got soaked into water. So I ordered a new motor… A few days later I was able to test the whole setup only to realize that the macerator pump was not working well enough to empty the tank. So yet another trip to West Marine to get a new macerator pump…
Good days: after I removed the diesel generator, I needed to find a good way to charge the house bank. One of the members of the Beneteau 411 group on Facebook offered a never-used 100 Amp alternator at a pretty nice discount. I bought it from him. The good news is that we were able to install the alternator pretty quickly. The 100 amps alternator is coupled to a smart charger (MC-614 from Balmar) so we should have plenty of juice to run all the electronic gadgets we are bringing with us!
The 100 amps alternator
When the cat’s away, Bob is sanding! It is wonderful to know that progress is made even when the skipper is at home!
Thank you Bob for working so hard and to Dianna for allowing Bob to flirt with Med Viking so often.
After the inspection, it was time again to work on the boat. This was another very busy weekend. The highlight of the weekend was to frame the emergency rudder to tun a regular rudder into a cassette type system. The rudder will need to slide into the cassette:
The rudder can be seen here as the cassette is constructed:
A lot of epoxy was used:
A fresh batch of epoxy
The frame is taking shape:
A few good stainless screws and we are almost ready to go:
Closing the frame
Ready to test the rudder blade before glassing over the wood:
Does it fit?
We did a lot of other things such as:
1) Installing a new holding tank
2) Adding our sail number to the 135% jib:
Our sail number
3) Testing the new AIS Class B transponder
4) Cutting a piece of foam to create a new bunk in the salon
5) Routing the TV antenna coaxial from the mast: while the TV antenna is not a race requirement it must be noted that the admiral (spouse of the skipper/owner for those who don’t sail) is very supportive of the race effort. The TV antenna is a small reward for her support.
7) Changing the main sail halyard
The good news is that the inspection is happening this Friday the 16th. The bad news is that we will fail the inspection! We are actually very close to having all the required information and equipment but the delay caused by the leak that almost sunk the boat together with the time it took to get the mast back up has eaten up all the buffer we had.
The main issue is the emergency rudder. The cassette system is installed but the blade is not ready and we were obviously not able to test the emergency rudder without a blade.
Bob and I used last weekend to make progress on the following:
- Rewire the mast connections and change most of the through-deck bypass
- Bring the emergency VHF antenna to the chart table and solder a nice (silver/Teflon) connector
- Bring the main VHF antenna to the chart table. As mentioned earlier, there is no additional connector between the mast and the VHF radio (this is a good thing, very low loss)
- Getting ready to put the fridge back into action. We found out that one of the spare pump got damaged by the leak and it needs to be replaced
- Tested the short wave radio to receive weather faxes. Here below is a fax that was received in the noisy marina environment.
- Tested the short wave radio with the pactor modem to insure that we can send and receive emails using short waves
- Build a bunk slighter better than the lowered table in the salon
- Started cleaning a very messy boat and collect the items that will be needed for the inspection
A weather fax
The mast finally went up last Thursday.I had to rush to take the boat from Yacht Haven to the Marina Shipyard in Los Alamitos bay. The rigger and his crew wanted to be in a “clean environment” to take the jib furler apart and change the forestay. Once everything was ready it took 2.5 hours for the crane operator to be ready since they were still moving boats in and out of the water.
In a way the wait was good for something since the rigger realized, 2 hours into the wait, that one section of the furler had been installed backward! You could not make up these stories! Anyway, everything was dismantled on the spot and the section correctly installed.
Finally the crane operator came and the mast was stepped on the boat.
Here comes the mast!
After that I “sailed” (really motored) back to the marina just in time to go to LAX to pick-up the sister-in-law + husband and their 2 children.
The new rigging is really shiny but it still needs to be tuned we should happen this week.
The picture below shows the top of the mast with the new navigation/anchor LED light, the new VHF antenna (with RG213 coaxial all the way to the radio and without any connector), the new socket for the wind instrument and the new rod for the wind indicator (aka windex).
The top of the mast
First I need to formally congratulate Bob and Dianna of Pura Vida. They won their class in the Newport to Ensenada race. The fact that they won is only part of the story. They won in a cruising class, beating some PHRF boats. It was Bob’s first race as a skipper and their boat is also their home.. I am very happy to have them as part of the Pacific Cup on Med Viking.
The winning crew: Mike, Bobby, Bob and Dianna
The weekend was very busy with Bob and I spending a lot of quality time on Med Viking. We did add the Dan’s Buoy to the rail:
We also put the newly chromed chain plates (or whatever they are called) back in place. They may be useful if the mast if ever stepped back on the boat (this is dark French humor):
The round one
The ugly task was to change one of the holding tank that had leaked unnoticed for quite a while.
We also installed a new boom outhaul car. The previous one used Torlon ball bearings. The new one does not have ball bearings. The car slides on 2 sticks of “exotic” material.
Finally we did a lot of wiring by bringing a new coaxial for the emergency VHF antenna (might be used for AIS transmit as well), a new cable for the wind sensor and a few more…
It is really frustrating… The mast has been removed more than 3 weeks ago and I am fighting with the rigger to get the rigging back in place. Despite the frustration the spirit is still high.
The additional delay gave me time to get the mast hardware (not sure what the real name is) re-chromed.The result is beautiful. The pieces are massive cast bronze. The plan is to put them back in place this weekend. I also received the sheaves that were missing so everything high in the mast will be new. That includes a new Windex:
Hopefully the last consequence of the massive leak has been addressed by replacing the water heater. The water heater was the boat original so it did last longer than a household heater!
Atwood water heater
As expected and predicted by the followers to our blog, the pumps that got submerged during the flooding got damaged. The bilge pumps failed immediately: it tripped the circuit breaker the first week after the incident.
New bilge pump
The new bilge pump (which is really a sump pump) seems to be a little more sturdy than the old one. I still don’t have a high water alarm but this is definitely something that I will add before leaving.
The fresh water pump appeared to be more resilient but it started to sound a bit strange so I decided to do a preventive maintenance to anticipate the imminent failure!
New freshwater pump
The new freshwater pump has a variable speed motor. This means that we were able to remove the accumulator tank. The accumulator tanks provide “for smooth, steady water flow”. Bob was the first one to notice that the accumulator tank was actually full of rust and quite “smelly”. I was happy to get rid of it!
Both pumps, no accumulator tank!
Bob was obviously present to help so the upgrade went very smoothly: only one additional trip to the hardware store per pump!
Last Friday evening, I went to pick up the new struts from Mark Shutts and on Saturday morning, Bob and I started to drill some holes. Things went very well but we decided that the hull could benefit from additional strengthening where the mounts are bolted.
Beautiful setup (Photo Dianna Kennedy)
What the fish will see! (Photo Dianna Kennedy)
Through this process, I heard of a product called Tef-Gel. This products prevent corrosion especially when metals like stainless steel and aluminum are bolted together.
After many back and forth on the subject, I decided to buy an emergency rudder cassette system that had been removed from a boat. It is a nice system except for the following problems:
- It does not fit on my boat
- It does not include the most important part (the rudder itself)
Problem #1 is to be expected from any system that is not custom designed for a particular boat. After installing the bottom part, I once again used the service of Mark Shutts to make changes to the existing set-up. The temporarily installation can be seen below:
The cassette holding system
What needs to be “tuned” are the arms that will attach the top of the frame to the hull.
Mark already designed the stainless mounts that will be bolted to the hull.
Problem #2 is more interesting! I am currently trying to make a 3D model of the rudder with FreeCAD in order for a surf board shop with to mill it out of foam. Stay tuned for more details!