Finally left the bilge and mechanical spaces of Temptation for the Great Outdoors. A beautiful day to be working outside.
The water system has finally been tamed. It has "beat me" so many times that I wanted to wait a few weeks before reporting that it is functional and reliable now. It turned out to be a multiplicity of problems with the biggest offender being partially clogged vent pipes. It now processes water well, but not perfectly -- that is another story.
We have done so much this winter on this boat. Replaced nearly all hoses and installed a plethora of toys. Just 2 weeks ago we actually tested the refurbished dinghy motor and took the boat for a sail. Ohh that felt good.
The number of improvements left now are quite few.
Some of the minor ones just bring so much joy; like correcting the hot/cold water faucets in the FWD head, installing a hand towel holder in the FWD head, installing a toilet paper holder in the cabinet door of the AFT head, replacing the AFT head sink fasucet which was too high and prevented the left door of the medicine cabinet to open -- how did people live with these annoyances for 16 years!!??
The Project for this week was to install a proper back stay antenna for the SSB. I had been using an internal delta loop antenna which worked great on Luna Sea but did not work very well at all on this boat.
My backstay is a 3/8" wire -- a big one for a yacht. I elected to use the Hy-Mod fail safe backstay insulators from Petersen Stainless Rigging of the UK -- high dollar!! But engineered very well.
The first task was to remove the existing backstay with my 230 lbs aloft.. I used the main halyard to hold the rear of the mast while the backstay was removed. We first attached a line across the aft cleats. Then ran the halyard to the center of this line and tensioned the halyard until the backstay became "droopy". I then went aloft with the aid of the Lighthouse Windlass and the assistance of Karen, Jim , and Barb. Once up there Jim checked that the backstay was still "droopy" and then I removed the attachment aloft and lowered the backstay down.
We removed the backstay from the boat and I commenced to install the insulators. I cut the wire using a dremel tool and metal cutoff wheel. Worked great. While installing the insulators in the wire -- Karen cleaned the stainless wire with a cleaner.
I installed the first insulator on the wire which took considerably longer than the dude in the Petersen Video who showed how it was done:
I probably took 20 minutes on the first and maybe 8 on the last. It wasn't difficult just clumsy to position all the wires on the crown fitting. The finished product looked great and felt like it was really done right
Then it was back up the mast to re-install the backstay. This was more difficult than I expected. To hold the fitting in the holder and push the pin through it was complicated by the weight of the wire plus 6 lbs of insulators now and a strong breeze blowing the wire around. I could only use one hand on the wire and one on the pin and all while seated in a chair hanging from a pair of 3/8" line 57 feet in the air!!
Well we got it but then could not attach it at the deck. There was just too much sag in the wire coupled with the strong breeze. I solved this by attaching a boom vang to the lower insulator and drawing the backstay tight while er pushed the mounting pin home -- finally job done.
I spent the rest of the day sipping a few beers and assisting Jim to get his new engine aligned to the prop shaft in his boat. That was frustrating- backbreaking work.
In the evening we joined Craig and Doc at Gary's Seafood in Arapahoe for dinner. That was good. Then back to Temptation to relax with the Thompson's before calling it a day.
Sunday I hooked the antenna to the newly installed backstay antenna and of course it would not work!!! The antenna tuner would not tune. I use a SGC-230 Auto tuner and it is the simplest one on the market. Just connect power and ground and feed RF and it tunes. Well I heard no "chattering" when feeding the RF. We heard a large click when we turned it own so it looked like power and ground was getting there -- damn... I tested the tuner with a dummy load and it still did not tune so it wasn't the antenna or ground. I then went to the trouble to install the spare SGC-230 from the house. Crap -- it didn't tune either. I was fed up then.
Later after bringing the first antenna tuner home I tried it here and it worked fine. Thus there is a problem in the wiring -- either power/ground or the RF feeder. Well project for next trip.
Overall a fairly successful weekend and really the boat is ready to play. If she would just stop "testing" me with these surprises and tasks that need to be done twice.
Can't explain why I do it to a non-boater but you boaters know why.