The fresh toilet water, deck hardware removed, fabric samples…

In October, my brother, cat, and car died… so no post, and not much getting done on Pinga.pinga_bidet

I did remove many bits of deck hardware no longer used and I love the clean, clear look.

For many years I have not used the seawater intake to supply the toilet, preferring to pour some fresh water into the bowl from a gallon jug. With this routine, I noticed less odor in that area. Last week I placed a bidet attachment valve on the Bosch hot water heater, because it is directly behind the toilet, and now I use a sprayer attached there to fill the bowl, or clean it. A tidy solution using an inexpensive bidet kit found on Amazon.

In the photo, I have not yet mounted the diverter valve on the wall and I am pondering how to do that without placing another screw in the bulkhead. Things on boats, interior or exterior, change so much and holes are a common problem, don’t you find this so?

Exciting news: I selected a fabric for new cushions and placed an order with Sailrite. Yahoo. Show it to you later…

September Sailing to Seven Islands

Seven September Islands: Lopez, Clark, Orcas, James, Ewing, Matia, Vendovi
On James Island we tied to the dock and hiked on up the hill to look across to Mount Baker. At sunset we rowed our dinghy along the shore to the kayak campground, where there is a most perfectly located picnic table. From the dinghy we saw an extensive rock slide of small rocks moving down the cliff, moving just like a waterfall.
Bird-watching at the lagoon on Spencer Spit was also rewarding and that mooring ball was quiet all night, a rare treat. Actual tasty treats were waiting for us in Olga, yummy, and one of my favorite docks for quick stop.
An overnight on the Matia Island dock delighted us with early morning otter antics and the company of Penguin, a fine motor vessel named for everyone’s favorite flightless bird. Matia is also the location of the most perfectly located outhouse.
How did I miss Ewing Cove all these years? I was thrilled with our best hike and most scenic views of bellowing sea lions hauled out on the reef just to the north of Ewing Island.

Ladies go sailing to Rosario Resort; see views from Mount Constitution

The first day of our trip saw wild waves filling Bellingham Bay, so we delayed. However we had plenty of sailing in our two days out. We decided to put the two crews together so we were cozy and happy as a crew of 6 on the larger boat. Pinga stayed home this time, so she could avoid any big weather still lurking in the corners of our islands. But all we found was sunshine and good winds. The sailing was great.

We did have pool time, group dinner, an evening drive up to the top of Mount Constitution, and morning in Eastsound for breakfast at Roses Bakery Cafe. The pools at Rosario Resort are wonderful, but the resort restaurant was too busy. It’s all about the pools and the heritage ambience.

Carol, Kris, Susan, and my shadow overlook the islands from Mount Constitution.

Carol, Kris, Susan, and my shadow overlook the islands from Mount Constitution.

What’s new? Electronic Ignition, Harken gear, and some sailing on frisky currents.

I had a great crew to take to Echo Bay (Sucia Island) over a weekend in June. We had good sails, lovely hikes, long rows, and fun foods. Our return required a long run motoring through confused seas. After several hours, Pinga’s engine had a “hot coil” shutdown. I replaced the coil while we sailed on, but I decided it was tune-up time.

I decided I would install electronic ignition, since the tune-up procedure is simplified after the electrical ignitor replaces the points inside the distributor. The installation instructions come with the part when purchased from Moyer Marine. Not so difficult, but I had to buy a big hardy flat screwdriver to break loose the screws. Used a hammer with a deep socket to set the magnet sleeve in place. Put on a new cap rotor and cap, as the old ones Sucia hiking view of Echo Bay.did look a bit green. I hope this keeps Pinga’s Atomic 4 engine happy for another year.

Deborah wrestles the mainsail...

Deborah wrestles the mainsail…

We did race in Bellingham’s WOW (Women on the water) race again this year, with the same wonderful crew as last year… I am so lucky to have a seasoned crew for this fun event. We had brisk weather, bouncy waves, a slightly ill skipper, and we tested out the new traveler system. I’m pleased it was smooth and efficient. Jean Penney was our expert helms-person and she demonstrated great concentration and skill.

My traveler project took months: I sent the old Nicro-Fico x-track to Garhauer but the system they sent me didn’t fit and was very clunky as well as oversized. I returned it and ordered a Harken “small boat high load” 4:1 system, sending them a carefully drawn template. I crawled into the space behind the rudder post (yes I did!) and set the many screws through the track: Harken has a “retro” replacement track that fits the old 4” spaced holes. The new traveler is perfection. TIP: The addition of the Harken “x-treme angle fairlead” on each control line cam cleat makes it easier to use and is well worth the extra cost.

Improved engine cover design and new Engine Room lighting.

The engine cover (and staircase) was quirky / tricky, so I rebuilt it just a bit.

New Engine Cover design

New Engine Cover design

Now it isn’t so fussy to remove or to place, to latch, or to use. The drawer front is a false front, so no more drawer to jiggle out while underway. I placed a bin in the top made of an access hatch with a drop-in liner. It is  designed to be walked-on and very sturdy. I am amazed I found one that fit right into the structure. I eliminated the odd place where water could spill into the engine compartment whenever I washed dishes.


Bought a new jig-saw in support of this work, yahoo. Replaced some teak trim, refinished some of it, and added a latch on the front. It was a very time-consuming process for a result that looks almost the same. But it functions so much better and that’s what I like. No mystery to my crew about where the latch is or how to jiggle the drawer just so or any of that. Best of all, I don’t feel the mental dread of pulling it out off to see the engine.

I now can check the oil through the top by lifting the hatch liner out. I added and aimed an LED light strip at the dipstick area, which required creating a surface-mount box for the light switch. So now I have “Engine Room Lights” complete with the custom label on their switch, from Blue Sea. Did you know Blue Sea lets you order just the labels you need? They each have a part number. Splurge and have all your labels correct and matching!

Using a Digital Sound Recorder for verbal Instructions

There is now a little box mounted near Pinga’s toilet: Push the little red button and you will hear my little scratchy voice offering instructions about how to use the marine toilet.
I purchased a Radio Shack 9v digital voice recording module and looked for a fun way to make use of it. It records and stores up to 20 seconds of sound and plays it back at the touch of a button. I mounted the module in a little black Radio Shack project box, drilled out some sound holes and rigged a push-button that extends down to the button on the circuit board. I tore apart all sorts of small household objects (ballpoint pens, etc.) looking for the right rubber boot and springy-like part to make this push-button.
Now there is no need for me to include the “toilet talk” in my boat orientation speech. Yes, I do that with every new guest that comes out sailing on S V Pinga.

Radio Shack 9v digital voice recorder with playback.

Radio Shack 9v digital voice recorder with playback.

Things I liked at the Seattle Boat Show, Women’s Day, Feb 1 2016

• New 2016 Sunbrella fabrics include several possibilities for S V Pinga. Jockey Red has been a cheerful color, and matches her cove and boot stripe color. But I’ll make a change when I make the next round of covers.
• The Rule / Jabsco product line includes a new low-profile automatic bilge pump.
• free Tide booklets, the complete program guide for the Northwest Maritime Center, and the “hints and advice on rigging and tuning of your Selden mast” booklet (it is full of information for any rigging.)
• Keltech plastic innovative solutions (Tacoma)… really is a custom plastic fabricator… something to know about, although it was hard to tell from the booth what they do!
• gave out a discount coupon, and I had free boat show tickets courtesy of Seaview boatyard.
• Emarine Electric Marine Propulsion, Seattle Boat Works, dealer. Learned about batteries: Northstar lead or new OASIS carbon foam AGM batteries.
• I attended Northwest Women in Boating seminar to SBUX_view_ferry.JPGhear the stories and sit in a room full of women captains and cruisers. A wonderful thing to do.
•Seattle: I went a day early and enjoyed a night at the Stadium Silver Cloud Inn. There are great views from the pool area on the rooftop, and friendly staff. Even better views for my morning coffee: Starbucks on the 40th floor of the Columbia Tower. I visited the new Filson store, explored the Living Computer Museum nearby, and ate Italian plum tart at the Macrina Bakery.
• Yummy treats for Boat Show Women’s Day include fish tacos at El Camion Mexican food truck. We had a delicious dinner at Tampico Mexican Restaurant in Everett, on the way home.

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