July/August 2010 Sailing Trip — Day 23

Today was a pretty long day, but we got a bunch of stuff accomplished.

First, we decided to go ahead and drill the holes for two more padeyes in the cockpit; these are on the larger, unvented locker on the port side of the cockpit. After drilling the holes, we started cleaning the surfaces, both in the cockpit and below in the “garage”, first with soap and water, then with a good solvent to remove all the oils. Now, here I should confess that I have never until today had to bed anything that would otherwise let water into the boat, so I was a) nervous and b) all thumbs.

Based on advice from our buddy Earle and more advice from Howard at West Marine’s Gulf to Bay store, we had decided to bed the padeyes with 5200. As Earle put it, “You’re not planning to remove these very often, are you?” So we picked a padeye and started trying to bed it. Well, it was a minor fiasco, let me tell you. We got 5200 on the body of the padeye, but we also managed to get it on the eye itself. (Hmmm, perhaps I should explain that these are Wichard drop-forged padeyes in which the eye is a D-shaped piece that is held captive by a U-shaped channel in the padeye body. Having two separate pieces significantly increases the awkwardness of getting it all in the right place at the right time without getting 5200 all over everything.)

After a lot of fumbling and turning the air purple with invectives, we managed to get the padeye, not terribly contaminated with 5200 in all the wrong places, loosely held against the locker wall by its screws. Off I went down into the “garage” to do the same to the backing place (a much simpler proposition, except for the miniscule amount of space I had to work in) and get the nuts onto the screws. As advised by Earle and Howard, we snugged the nuts just enough to be sure that the 5200 on the padeye body and on the backing plate made good contact with the locker wall so a bond would be established. And then we left it for at least 24 hours before tightening it.

After that, we moved to the next padeye. While trying to figure out how to do this one without getting 5200 all over the eye itself, it occurred to me that the solution was to make the eye unattractive to the 5200 by coating it lightly with Vaseline! Man, did that do the job. The 5200 wouldn’t stick to the eye even if we’d wanted it to. What a timesaver that turned out to be. We snugged the second padeye same as the first, then did it all over again with the third padeye.

I have to admit, I’m more than a little proud of ourselves. It was a bit step for us, even though most of you will think we’re real wusses for having such angst about it.

By then, it was getting to be midafternoon (my, how time flies) and very hot. So we moved inside to do another job that I’d been avoiding for a couple of years…relocating the propane sensor (of the alarm-capable propane solenoid switch mounted just behind the companionway steps) to be nearer the propane stove and away from the batteries. When I first bought this switch, the alarm kept going off, even when there was no propane on the boat; it took us a while to become convinced that it would alarm because of the hydrogen that is put out by the batteries when they’re charging.

Well, silly me, I thought I’d just drill a couple of small holes in some galley locker walls, slip the cable through, and mount the sensor. Two hours, tops.

Hah! In the process of actually getting the cable run from the switch to the new sensor location, we had to drill holes in about four locker walls. No problem, right? Well, as tired as I was by then, I failed to notice that the right wall of one locker and the left wall of the next locker weren’t the same wall at all. There was a gap of about 4″ between them. And I failed to realize that in the hollow space thus created, against the hull, was the hose that took water entering one of the deck scuppers down to the water line. As a result of all this blissful ignorance, I managed to drill at least one hole in the scupper hose!

Jeez! Now, we couldn’t just leave it alone, because there’d be water leaking into the backs of the lockers. So we had to cut a 2″ × 2″ hole in the left wall of the second locker, find the hole I’d drilled in the hose, convince myself that I hadn’t actually drilled so deep that there was another hole on the opposite side of the hose, etc.

At this point, we took a break to drive Peyton back up to Hudson to return him to his new daddy, who’d just returned from his Colorado vacation. That took about three hours, of course, which made it kinda latish by the time we got back to the boat.

I’m exhausted, so it’s off to bed. G’night!

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