In a sense living in a hotel for four weeks was a nice transition before moving onto the boat. After we arrived in Ventura we spent the following week living at the Marriott (due to my sweet discount!) until Maluhia made the rest of the leg of her trip. While it was nice sleeping in the Marriott’s big cozy beds and watching free cable TV, eating out was getting a little boring, so was living out of a suitcase. But, we didn’t let living in a hotel stop us from starting on some of our boat projects. I mentioned we had driven across the country with a full car, but I don’t think I mentioned we had also strapped our two full sized Trek bikes to the back. They made the trip too. While nice, we decided to trade them in for folding bikes. It was a little safer than keeping them in the marina (due to theft), unless we wanted to keep them on the deck of our boat. Our bikes served as great collateral when we traded them in for Origin8 F7 Speed folding bikes.
Let’s take a short time out here before we continue with the story. I will warn the non-sailor and the sailor alike about what to expect moving forward. There is ALOT of sailing vocabulary and technical words that will start to encompass some of these blog posts. We promise to do our best explaining what we mean by specific words during the first time they are mentioned, while still keeping the content interesting. When in doubt refer to the pictures. After that your own your own. Look, we had to learn it all too! Plus, it’s good for you to expand your knowledge. If there is ever a question, feel free to leave a comment and ask, or a quick Google search will give you an answer on anything your most curious about.
Once Maluhia arrived at the boatyard, they unloaded her off the semi and put her on the hard (in the yard on stilts that support the boat) because we still had some items we wanted to work on before we splashed her in the water. First item on the list, a fresh water rinse. The boat was a little dirty after the drive through the desert and still had leaves from the Midwest stuck inside her cockpit. Next, before moving on board we had to make Maluhia a presentable living space by removing all of the tape and bubble wrap we had applied before we got her ready to be shipped. Nonskid liners were cut and placed in the bottom of all the galley cabinets. A special bedding liner (HyperVent Marine) that helps prevent mildew from forming by allowing air to pass under our mattress, was also installed. We reconnected the battery terminals, and plugged into shore power at the boatyard, with much success! Now we had lights and working outlets!
Let the boat projects begin!
Before we left North Liberty, we had decided that we would be replacing the standing rigging of the boat. It arrived neatly packed in boxes, which we loaded up and drove to California with us. The standing rigging is everything that holds up the mast (long pointy item in the middle of the boat, usually where you see the sails connected). The wires are connected to the mast with bolts, then run down to specific thick metal attachments called chain plates, located on the front, rear and sides of the boat. The number of wires that hold up a mast on a boat can vary but ours has nine. We had two options, hire someone for $10,000 (no exaggeration) or attempt the project on our own. We decided we would attempt this project on our own.
Project 1: Install New Standing Rigging
When we ordered the new rigging we sent specific measurements to the company. Once we unrolled both the new and old rigging, and had them matched up next to each other, we noticed the new rigging was much longer than the old rigging. Probably to give you a little extra in case you need it. We made note of where to cut them. To cut the rigging our first thought was to purchase some heavy duty wire cutters. However, even with much applied force, standard wire cutters did not work for us. (I found out later, the type of wire cutters that work best are hydraulic powered and cost a couple thousand). So we reverted to using a high tension hacksaw which allowed for a nice flat cut. Surprising that worked really well. Next, we applied a sta-lok terminal to the end of each wire. This required a series of additional tasks.
- Slip the socket (screw head) onto the bottom of the wire
- Unwind the outer strands of wire
- Insert the wedge on the core of the wire
- Reform the outer wire around the wedge, being careful not to allow any individual strand to fall back into the wedge slot.
- Apply Loc-tite around the screw (a threadlocker that helps prevent screws from galling (melting together to become one metal) and unscrewing itself)
- Insert the former into the bottom of the terminal body
- Screw the socket into the terminal body
- Unscrew the socket from the terminal body to see if the wire is forming correctly around the wedge. If yes, continue to step 9. If no, return to step 4.
- Apply Life Calk to the inside of the terminal body and gently tighten until you start to feel pressure, do not over tighten.
- Repeat as many times as you need to finish all of the standing rigging. In our case 9 times!
Project 2: Replace Zincs
Next we decided to replace our boat zincs…..Commence down and dirty chemistry lesson. Galvanic corrosion (rust) can occur when two metals come in contact with electricity. Zinc helps protect a boats underwater metals (it’s prop, shaft, rudder etc.) from galvanic corrosion in a seawater environment. VERY important. The max-prop zinc (found on the end of our prop) was very easy to remove and replace. We ran into more trouble when we tried replace the teardrop zinc on the starboard side of our skeg (kind of an underwater fin that helps protect the prop and rudder). As we tried to unscrew the screws, they were being eaten alive! In an effort to loosen them, we tried hammering and applying heat to the screws with a torch. Nothing! We reverted to getting a second opinion from one of the boatyard workers who requested to see our blow torch. He chuckled and said we would need a bigger torch. What we had was only good for lighting cigars! He said he would switch it out for us and we let him.
Project 3: Re-thread Lines Back Into The Mast / Unwrap Boom
Our next project was to unwrap the carpet, bubble and plastic wrap from the boom & mast. Wrapping the mast and boom this way worked like a dream. Nothing was scratched. However, next time I would make sure that no duck tape touches the mast. While removing the tape in some areas, it actually peeled paint off the mast. Bummer! To re-thread the lines back into the mast, we used the same concept that we used to take them out. We attached each halyard back to the messenger and pulled the messenger back through the mast until the halyard was now reinserted. Starting with the spinnaker (type of sail) halyard (line used to raise sails), we had success! Then, we began work on the genoa (another type of sail). Grant attached the genoa halyard to the messenger line at the top of the mast, while I held the bottom. At this point we decided to break for lunch and I ran to the bathroom. When I came back Grant was already in position at the top of the mast, but the bottom of my messenger line was nowhere to be seen! It had accidentally slipped back into the mast! Argh! We did not have a rivet gun, and the line could be seen right inside the mast. I found some wire on the ground and bent it, sticking it on the inside of the mast in an effort to hook the line. We tried various methods but it was like treading a needle. It took quite some time (1.5 hours) to fish it out. I realized I probably wouldn’t have made a good surgeon, as I couldn’t even snag a simple line through a dark narrow hole. Finally, Grant was successful at getting the messenger out and we celebrated with a series of high fives!
Project 4: Remove Wooden Box From Navigation Desk
Inside the boat we had decided to remove the custom wooden box that sat on top of the navigation desk for two reasons. One, the radar would need to be replaced anyway due to age and two, we felt the box was obtrusive and taking up extra space. It was surprisingly easy to remove and really opened up the area! A boat has limited space as it is, the more we can reduce clutter, the better!