New pumps…

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

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

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

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!

Started provisioning

This is a small step towards provisioning the boat for the big race: I bought our emergency water! The race rules require 1 gallon per person. That mean that we would be “legal” with 5 gallons but I decided to be generous and bought 8 gallons:

Emergency water

Emergency water

The reality is that I had to add a “dummy” bottle for the 8 bottles to fit nicely in the locker so we will actually have 9 gallons of emergency water. This means that if we had to go 2 weeks without water, we would have almost half a liter per person and per day. This is not comfortable but definitely doable…

Emergency rudder: phase 2

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

Beautiful setup (Photo Dianna Kennedy)

What the fish will see!

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.

Bring this mast down!

So the Commodore said that I would be crazy to cross the Pacific without taking the mast down “to check things”. So I did!

The process is easy.

1) Bring a crane with a guy seating in it!

a crane + a guy

A crane + a guy

2) Bring the guy in the mast and lift the mast

Guy is in the mast

Guy is in the mast

The result is a boat without a mast:



Now the big question is what to do while the mast is out:

  1. Change the VHF antenna
  2. Change the coaxial cable to RG213 marine
  3. Change the LED navigation light at the top of the mast (previous one got broken somehow)
  4. Change the sheaves at the top of the mast
  5. Change some of the halyards
  6. My plan is now to permanently remove the radar. I know that this is debatable and it can be a nice features to look at weather systems during the crossing. I will consider informed opinions on the subject
  7. Repair the wind sensor
  8. Change none/some/all of the standing rigging. I need to sleep on that one (literally)…
Broken sheaves at the top

Broken sheaves at the top


Emergency rudder: phase 1

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:

  1. It does not fit on my boat
  2. 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

The cassette holding system

What needs to be “tuned” are the arms that will attach the top of the frame to the hull.

Better view

Better view

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!