Sunday, October 16, 2011

Windows open and windows close

Clearly, I spoke too soon in my last post! The weather gods got their laugh after all! After the ugly storms and wind of last weekend, this past week was .... well, gorgeous! Calm seas, blue skies, just a perfect weather window for passage-making -- and we weren't out there. Ugh! Alas, timing is everything!

Nevertheless, while the weather window was teasing us, we stayed focused and kept steady at our work after all our delays. Equinox was a beehive of activity! The water-maker was re-installed, the A/C units inspected with a spare unit brought on board, the engines had their needed 2000-hour maintenance (quite a long list of items done), George got our new freezer installed, and many other assorted bits of work completed. We got the new tender delivered and got her set up with anchor line, life jackets and assorted safety items. And we continued to clean, organize, stash and stow more items from clothing to dive gear to spare parts to pantry items. A never ending list! We also had the entire interior detailed after the majority of the mechanics were done.

Gleaming new solenoids on the engines, one of many projects  that
George has been tackling for us in the engine room.
One of the things we got done this week was get the davit checked -- again. Turns out the Marquipt guys did nothing for us; while they did a cursory check on the davit and said it was in good shape, they didn't do anything else we'd requested, like change the oil and replace the cable if it needed it. SO...we checked with Nautical Structures, and they referred us to a great local company, Florida Rigging and Hydraulics, that services hydraulic and marine rigging components. They were very responsive, and happily we arranged for one of their service technicians, Ray, to come aboard all Friday morning. 

As it turned out, I became Ray's shadow for the day, due to the fact that I was the only one who could reach the davit's hydraulic reservoir tank! We know it's in a fairly inaccessible spot, being inconveniently located behind the 20kw genset on the port side of the boat, and we had warned Ray about it beforehand. (To get to the tank, one has to be a bit of a contortionist, because the only way to reach it is to carefully slip between the port engine and the port-side fuel tank, then shimmy headfirst and sideways over the exhaust manifold.  It's a tight squeeze at that juncture -- I know, as I've done it before, like when the old cap cracked and the unit started leaking oil a couple years ago.) While Ray tried, he wasn't able to get past the manifold to reach the tank, so instead, he talked me through the very simple procedure to change out oil. (Gotta love learning new maintenance things!) 

Ray starting to tackle the windlass 
Ray was very accommodating; after he was done inspecting the davit, he walked me through the procedures to maintain our windlass as well! I am a bit embarrassed to admit this, but the internal workings of the windlass have always been a mystery to me, and I certainly didn't want to screw it up by taking it apart without knowing what I was doing! While it's been working like a champ, I had no idea how to do the suggested cleaning and lubricating, so it was nagging at me that we'd not done anything with it before. I'm relieved that I asked, since it was pretty grubby inside, rather crusted with salt and dirt -- clearly in need of attention! I'm happy to report that it isn't rocket science, but the windlass is a well-designed unit that needs care and feeding  -- like every other system aboard a boat! I was soon at work beside Ray, scrubbing the gypsies and lubricating parts, as I learned how to disassemble/reassemble each part of the top unit for cleaning. Fabulous!

Ray lubricating the port-side gypsy after I cleaned it
So now, a few days later, we're almost ready to go! A couple more things remain to be done (getting new port hole gaskets in, for one) and then, the biggest obstacle remains: awaiting another good weather window! 

1 comment:

  1. I love how you tackle maintenance issues! Woo Hoo for handy ladies :) hope you got your weather window and have cast off. Can't wait to read about your adventures. Fair Winds, Laura


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