Saturday, April 2, 2011

Traveler Man (And Woman)

2011 04 02
Vero Beach FL

Of all the reasons we could justify staying in Vero Beach for a week we had to choose the least desirable.

Who would blame us for spending time at a low cost marina ($13.50 a night) in easy reach of shopping with free buses to and from.  In like vein most citizens would approve of our remaining here while the winds blew out of the North.  It costs money to motor, about $2.50 an hour for fuel and another $5 an hour for maintenance and diesel engine depreciation.  Waiting for wind not out of the North makes us money.

Damage to Planes at the Local Sun n Fun Flyin - Floatplanes Failed to Float.

Even the fact that we have been beset by thunderstorms and tornados and all manner of unsettled and threatening weather would be a welcome excuse for wasting time in this backwater burg.

But no.  We are waiting for parts.

Waiting for parts means waiting for the opportunity to do more work on the boat.  Sure.  That is what I want to do.  Boatwork.

The municipal marina here goes out of its way to help with the shipping and receiving of parts to transient boaters.  As Meredith is scheduled to attempt a sail to Bermuda and, sailing gods willing, to the Azores we have been alert to the need to replace and refit aging parts and systems.  

It has been very discouraging for the BC and myself, who pride ourselves on tending to maintenance in a timely way,  to discover an unending number of things that need refurbishing.  Crew included.

Here are some of the more expensive items with our preferred suppliers:

1. New hi index lens prescription eyeglasses.  Received yesterday from Lenscrafters and the Budget Committee has already stopped oscillating as she walks through the mall.  Her old pair were killed by the salt and in keeping with recent advice she chose to dispense with the glare protection coating which seems to be the culprit.  She loves her new eyewear.  By the way - in Florida an eye exam costs $50 to $75.

2. Mast Parts:  Arrived yesterday from Rig Rite in New Jersey.  New runners for our spinnaker ring car (the old ones were crumbling from 25 years of sun and exposure, new purpose built shackle for the gooseneck on our Isomat NG70 mast and some small mast wedges to facilitate a sealing the mast at the deck partner to reduce water ingress.  Rig Rite are fast and pleasant to deal with.  They are not cheap.  And they cannot spell.

3. Running Rigging: Expected yesteray from Rigging Only in Boston.  Not here yet.  Our existing sheets and furling lines have  suffered 10 years of abuse at our hands.  They are fraying and fuzzy.

4. Honda Generator: Arrived Thursday from Mayberry Sales in Port Murray, New Jersey.  $899 no sales tax, no shipping. A great company to do business with and very proud of their multi generational family enterprise.  We sold our 8 year old "runs like new" Honda in Cuba for 50% of the cost of a new one here.  

5. New Main Traveler: Ordered from Garhauer Marine in California.  Promised to be shipped Wednesday, not shipped until yesterday.  Now expected to arrive on Tuesday.  We hope.

6. SSB: We have removed and are shipping our Icom 802 to an Atlanta repair facility.  The Florida authorized dealer has a bit of a reputation for excessive invoicing.  They treated us fairly but we will seek a second quote.  Our last quote was $800 for repair - $300 for parts and $500 for labour, not much of a deal on an $1,800 radio.  We can buy a new ham rig for under $1,000 with more features and an actual warranty.

Our old traveler was undersized and overworked.  Removing it looked like a nightmare job - the track seemed to have been not only bolted to the deck but also bonded with 3M 5200. 

Bolt removal was easy, requiring removal of two light fixtures and some flexible wrist work.  We were shocked at the tiny bolts used by the last outfitter for this job - 3 bolts measuring 5/16 of an inch.  Even Guido at Garhauer was amazed that the bolts had not failed permitting the traveller to be pulled right out of the deck by pressure on the mainsail.

Remaining was a massive job of debonding two strips of 5200 adhesive measuring 7 inches in length and 6 inches in overall width.  Since we were working on a sailboat thre was but the merest hint of access to the job.

After we removed the bolts the BC and I took the bus uptown to see if there were some tool that might help us cut through the 5200.  Nothing was found but we did get drenched in a massive thunderstorm - actually just another massive thunderstorm down here.  We have been wracked with turbulence all week.

Arriving back at our mooring ball we could not help but notice the mainsheet traveler - swinging from the boom as it hung over the water.  

Here swung our mainsheet traveler - 
torn from the deck by a passing thunderstorm
and just hanging there.

The thunderstorm had generated a lot of wind and a lot of force on the boom.  This in turn applied all of that force to the traveler.  In the event the track was glued with some substance that looked like 5200 but was not 5200.  

No harm to the boat and a two day job of cutting out a bonded traveler reduced to zero time!!!

Now if the new traveler would just get here.  

Experience has taught us that installing equipment on the eve of  a major trip, eg to Bermuda, is not good operating procedure.  

So, even though the wait is aggravating, notwithstanding the North wind, we are happy to be able to test the unit and our installation on a long coastal cruise from Fort Pierce to Beaufort NC.

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