Hooray! I have a full crew to safely make it from San Francisco to Hawaii! About 9 weeks remaining, and plenty to do.
Dave will take the aft starboard bunk, and is starting in Brisbane. He even volunteered to stay on the boat in Morro Bay. Jack and his wife Charlene will also be starting in Brisbane in the forward port bunk, but probably will be off the boat during the Morro Bay downtime. Gerry is a maybe from San Francisco to Morro Bay. I just have to convince him to take the port aft cabin. In Morro Bay, Ed will join us in that cabin and head to Hawaii.
I haven’t started thinking about the return trip yet.
The Do List
I’ve broken down the list into “must do” and “really want to do” items.
Trampolines: They are removed and the new line is here. It’s just a lot of knots. 20 hours.
Lithium: Finish the battery bank. The new lithium bank is there, but to use it I have to split the input and output power. This was completed on the starboard engine, but not the port engine, and involves removing the alternator and running some new wires. There are also some additional cables to install to parallel the banks together, and I need to complete the ammeter setup.
Liferaft: Remove old liferaft, install the new one. The raft has been ordered but hasn’t been shipped yet. The old one needs to come off the boat. I’m going to need help to do that, so Dave is going to help me this weekend.
Windex: It’s stuck. This involves climbing the mast and figuring out why. I bet a bird sat on it and bent it. Without a windex, in the event of a chartplotter, anemometer, or NMEA2000 failure, we have no easy way to maintain a specific wind angle, which could be dangerous when sailing downwind.
Macerator: The old one is old and stuck. This is perhaps the second to worst job to do on a boat. Without it, while on a mooring, we would be at the mercy of a pumpout.
Engine maintenance. Both engines need a fresh oil change, coolant change, impeller inspection/change, transmission oil change, zinc inspection/change, and heat exchanger cleaning.
Inspection: I have a 100 point checklist and want to be sure everything is solild before heading off. In particular, inspecting all the safety gear and emergency systems (tiller, generator, flares, EPIRB test, etc).
Haulout: I can’t believe it’s time for a bottom job again. This is scheduled for mid-January.
Really Want To Do
It would be so great to get to all of these, but I suspect many of these won’t get done.
- Overboard Overflow. The old engine had a bypass so that some of the cooling water didn’t go into the exhaust system, which lowers back pressure and hence fuel economy. I’d like to get that installed on the new engine. It’s easy to do on the starboard side, harder on the port side.
- Exhaust fans. Right now, only the starboard one is wired at all. These should ideally be wired to the ignition panel. These lower the engine room temperature and also may affect fuel efficiency, but probably not as much as the overboard overflow.
- Ignition Panel: Right now, there’s only one engine that requires a key, and it’s only wired to prevent someone from starting it. I would like to have the key operate like the old boat: turn on the key and the system is in “standby” where you get an alarm for low oil pressure. it would also be great to get the USB ports working back there.
- Outboard: The carburator needs a rebuild. It only starts with a spritz of starter fluid, which we now have on board. It will be a pain to start once we are moored, but it still is doable. We could also get it fixed in Hawaii, or even consider fixing it enroute.
- Fresh water flush: I would love to have an easy way to pump fresh water into the engines after they are used and remove the salt. This isn’t too hard, especially now that I read of a great way to do this. I just have to plumb the fresh water to the intake filter using some of my leftover pex tubing.
- Speaker. The forward facing speaker was the wrong one. If I replace it, I get a PA and an automatic fog horn.
- Monitoring. I want to complete the monitoring circuits on the Alba-Combi, a NMEA2000 analog to digital adapter. Still to monitor are the exhaust temperature of the port engine and the battery voltages of both the starter batteries and the house.
- Mirrors. There is one ready to install in the port forward cabin, and there is a broken one in the starboard forward cabin.
- Chart updates. Probably okay with 6 month old charts, but getting them updated before leaving shouldn’t be too hard.
- Watermaker. Would be nice to test before we head offshore. Running it in the bay isn’t great as it goes through filters pretty quickly.
Here’s Dave with one of our fish from Mexico. It’s clear from the smiles on this picture and deliciousness of the seafood we need to step up the fishing game. We think we’re going to be averaging 6 knots, maybe a little more, following the trade winds down to Hawaii. I’ve been doing some reading, and as long as we stay under 9 knots, we should be able to catch some amazing fish.
First, we need to up the test to 300 lbs. Although we don’t expect to catch anything over 40 pounds, some of these fighters know how to pull pretty hard, and have broken smaller lines. It would be amazing to catch a marlin.
Second, we need some better lures. In particular, we need the lures to be underwater a little, more than we did in Mexico. And, we probably want them further behind the boat so the fish don’t get scared off.