My Atomic-4 Engine gets a new valve in the cooling system.

There is a kit available to add a check valve and a ball valve in line with the boat engine’s water flow, just before the thermostat. Today I experimented with this system in our kitchen sink, learning exactly how each valve affects water flow by using the faucet to vary the water pressure and see results. I also cleaned and test the thermostat and hose interiors. A good vinegar soak for everything.  Nice, eh? Now it is ready to be installed on the engine.

The ball valve in this kit is for use in “special circumstances” such as when thermostat innards are clogged, causing the engine to run hot. The check valve creates a little back pressure which increases the flow into the engine block. It really isn’t that useful to those of us cruising in cold water and I will probably remove it next time I’m pulling the thermostat for cleaning.

Since I am the wife, there is no wife to scold me for turning the kitchen sink into a testing bench, he he.

This isn’t Pinga’s engine, but this shows how the valves go into the thermostat housing.

Pinga gets new valves in the cooling line. Cooling bypass valves and hoses attached to the kitchen faucet for testing. Thermostat and nuts/washers get a vinegar bath.

Happy Engine Day, Pinga!

Today was “engine day”. I inspect and clean Pinga’s engine and drive train.

The oil change is done using a drill pump and I find this works well if I prepare carefully. Two quarts of oil fill the engine to the middle of the dipstick marks.   TIP:  In our first year, I learned the hard way that an engine manual is written for a level engine, not one mounted on an angle. The angle means the oil capacity is reduced so do not use the amount of oil specified in the manual.

I inspect and gap new spark plugs and pop those in. The old spark plugs show how the engine is running… mine are too clean and only show that I did not use my boat enough last year!

Atomic 4 Engine Oil Change

Atomic 4 Engine Oil Change Day

New settee cushions arrived for Passover.

cushions (1)Here are the new cushions, thick and lovely. Fabric picked out by Susan, ordered from Sailrite, and construction by Oyster Creek Canvas, Bellingham. Great fit, and firm for sitting or sleeping comfort. Oyster Creek did a great job for less than I’d expected to spend. Pesach Sameach.

A PO redesigned the teak trim under the port settee, and I replaced that board which was too tall and hurt the backs our legs. Using a smaller board also removes weight. This was my first time removing teak plugs; I removed the old plugs using an awl and a small utility screwdriver. Interlux Goldspar varnish was very easy too apply, but a few of the plugs darkened quite a bit.

TIP: Hold the plugs with needlenose pliers, to dip the backs in varnish and place them in the direction that matches the grain.

Sailboat on rustic potato kale pie

This is a sailboat on a rustic potato kale pie, for the beginning of another boating season.pie_kale.JPG

I go to Barnes & Noble bookstore to relax on a wintery Sunday

Good Old Boat is in “Women’s Interest” section….Bookstore shelf

Elegant going-ashore dress for the lady sailor: The Reefing Skirt

Reefing Skirt illustration

Reefing Skirt

I don’t know how I came to have this image on my PC but I love it! Anyone know who did this? Ooh, and has anyone tried to make up a holiday version of this wonderful dress?

Happy Decennial, Pinga! Our 11th winter cleaning: shining kettles for the galley.

We are celebrating our 10th winter prep on S V Pinga… more fun when I think of it as Pinga’s decennial. I couldn’t have been more fortunate when buying Pinga 10 years ago; she’s a charming and well-behaved boat. I had no one to help me and no experience, just a “list” from reading books, but I bought her based on intuition and the nice smell!

S V Pinga sailboat galley stove top kettle and shorepower kettle.

The stove top kettle and the shorepower kettle.

I thought this was funny, seeing the two kettles gleeming side by side. In the winter, I rotate through everything on board, bringing it all home for deep cleaning. But I realized I’d forgot about the kettles in past years. One is for shorepower and one is for the stovetop. Now here they have been rinsed in vinegar and washed real good.

  • Water heats fastest in the kettle and creates less steam.
  • This wide-mounth shorepower kettle also warms soups and stews.

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