With the calendar finally turning to April, we only have four weekends to go before launch. Even though Jeff was fighting a head cold, he was still game for getting a few things done on Pegu Club so we made our way down there last Saturday and Sunday. Now that he has weekends off, we’re able to get so much more done. And when the season starts we’ll have double the sailing days!
On our drive down to the marina we could see a reddish hue on some of the trees along the freeway, a precursor to budding leaves. We were pleased to discover when we arrived that the the last of the snow had melted at the marina, and the mooring balls had been placed in the water. It’s definitely getting closer to sailing season.
We started off by wrapping up our small electrical project – we think. The battery on our boat has two small boxes attached to the terminals:
We were never sure what they were, but in researching how to wire the fan we discovered that they allow us to connect four items directly to the battery. All four slots are being used, so we bought another set for the computer fan. Since the fan needs to be on 24/7, there’s no need to use the off/on switch on the electric panel so it makes sense to simply wire it directly to the battery. The fan came with an inline fuse, so we spliced it into the marine grade wire that we had previously purchased and the ran the line from the fan to the battery location. Hopefully there will be enough space on the terminal to add the new ones. We’ll find out when we put the battery on the boat in a few weeks. If it fits and it works, the project will be crossed off the list.
In addition to the wiring we made some more progress on our thruhull/seacock installation. Pegu Club can’t go in the water until this project is finished, but it’s been too cold until recently for the sealant that we’re planning to use (3M 5200) so the project has been on the back burner. Now that temps have risen into the upper 40’s and 50’s in Groton, it’s time to get cracking.
Thru hulls are generally too long when you buy them, I think because the hull thickness varies on different boats and there are different styles and sizes of seacocks that people buy. The excess gets cut off after a dry fit, so we got to work on that so we could finish the installation the following weekend.
Jeff discovered that the original hole needed to be SLIGHTLY larger so he busted out his trusty Dremel and did some slight sanding. We hadn’t brought a mask with us, so he used his always-present hankie bandana-style.
Once that was finished we measured several times, checked our math (dusting off our fractions skills from elementary school – converting, adding, simplifying), and used a marker to draw where he was going to cut the thru hull (which he cut at home).
Back at the marina on Sunday, Jeff sanded the inside of the hull where the backing plate would be installed, along with the outside of the hull where the thru hull flange would be. A potent cocktail of dewaxing chemicals was used to clean the area (a proper mask with filters was used this day), and then one more dry fit confirmed that we would be all set to finish the installation next weekend.
This project has gone much more smoothly than we anticipated, undoubtedly due to Jeff’s extensive research. The new seacock, thru hull, and backing plate provides for a much beefier-looking system than the prior factory installation. The old setup didn’t have a backing plate, which I think is the primary difference. Anyway, our plan for the next boat is to replace all of the seacocks and thru hulls (unless the prior owner has already done it), so this project is a good confidence booster. Provided that Pegu Club doesn’t sink within minutes of her being splashed into the water!
Finally, Jeff had a bit of energy left so we removed the brackets holding our old anchor and took the old chain and rode off of the boat. Then we measured out the new rode placing a zip tie every 25 feet and using a different color at the 100 foot mark.
Hopefully that will make it a bit easier to keep track of how much we’ve let out when we anchor. The new chain and rode went onto the boat, and we called it a day.
While it was a bit nippy from the wind, it was nice not to be freezing, and it was really nice not to have to shovel a path to the boat. I think it’s safe to say that winter is finally over!