I cut a big hole in SVPinga!

It is universally frightening to make big holes in one’s boat, no matter where above the waterline… This is for the B&G NMEA2K Vulcan display. It cleaned up real good and the fit was perfect.


Some tools I’ve discovered recently…

There are some tools I’ve only recently found and I do sometimes give up on tools that have proven difficult.

Here’s one I made: a threaded bar with several wide thick washers and nuts on each end becomes a press for inserting a sleeve (cutlass) bearing. A wrench holds one end and turns the other. Grease between the two washers will prevent it from turning on the face of the bearing.

One I’ve seen but didn’t think would be useful:  the flexible socket wrench extension. I placed it under the engine’s distributor,  reaching in to a very corroded water jacket side plate bolt. It turned with good strength to remove the bolt without removing the distributor. I didn’t realize it would be so strong.

Irwin bolt extractor sockets. I used these on the infamous Atomic4 corroded engine bolts. They were non-destructive and very efficient. And they look so pretty, like little flowers.

I also used a strap wrench for the first time. It held the engine output coupling to immobilize the shaft while I worked on removing bolts. But now I realize it is a better tool for removing fuel filters and holding on to other things as well.


I’ve added to my toolbox a small high-quality Knipex pliers wrench which has a push-button adjustment.

I had a common set of nutdrivers on board and use them all the time, but I never reach for the right one. So I’m giving up on them and using a socket set on a quick-change nut driver handle instead. I’ll have the whole set in a compact space so it can be placed next to my work.


Boat Haulout Time turned into a month on the hard

What a very interesting haulout it was! The entire drive train was pulled and replaced all new. An unseen problem was discovered: poor engine alignment caused a hole in the shaft log (hidden under the packing gland hose) and that was a major repair! I had to wait weeks for the fiberglass work to be done. Wanna see some  of my “before” and “after” photos? It was a difficult “drive train” install in 8 1/2 inches.

S V Pinga looked real good with her wax and paint refreshed, until a month in the boatyard covered her with grit and stains. Oh well. I also installed a new tiller and a NMEA2000 speed/depth transducer.

Atomic 4 engine work for stay-at-home fun!

I placed a Blue Sea Safety Hub in the electrical system and saw the condition of the engine with “fresh eyes”: so then I decided to replace the engine’s water jacket side plate. Since I had to strip off the thermostat and alternator and more, why not paint the bay side wall? Why not paint the engine? So I did. And that got me through the “stay home” days and gave me something detailed to think about. Here are some photos of my project:

Atomic 4 engine side view with water jacket plate removed

Atomic 4 engine side view with water jacket plate removed.

Atomic 4 engine in spray paint tent showing gray primer

Atomic 4 engine in spray paint tent showing gray primer

Four Facebook Groups have my posts; S V Pinga will be getting a new prop; And more…

There are 4 interesting Facebook groups that I post to:  Ranger Yachts R29 Sailboats, Ranger Sailboats, Women Who Sail (and power cruise) Pacific NW, and the group Women Who Sail. None of these existed when I started my blog. One reason that I started the blog was so I would know how to do it. Folks ask me questions about things like WordPress,  Facebook, etc., because it seems to them that a software engineer should know all about these tools. I know more about designing them than using them. So it has been a wonderful experiment, which is winding down. The 4 Facebook groups are getting my posts, photos, and comments now, so I hope you will stay tuned but on these new channels. Okay, here’s just one recent photo: I liked the self-tailing primary winches so much that now I’ve replaced the main halyard winch also. Shines, doesn’t it? The exciting news for 2020 will be the Big Spring  Haulout, which means I will be pulling / replacing the drive train from coupler through prop.


Lewmar EVO Self-Tailing      2-Blade Shaft Folding Propeller  Flexofold folding prop.

A pretty Canadian Coast Guard boat passed us…

Garde côtière canadienne

Garde côtière canadienne

Photo of a pair of red Ranger 29 boats!

I’d like one of each as a matched pair power and sail! But mine is the one on the left.

Rangers 29

Rangers 29 moored in Butchart Cove, 2019.

Remodeling pays off with unexpected benefits: the bread-warmer.

Brioche buns sitting on top of the bread warming cubby.

Brioche buns sitting on top of the bread warming cubby.

I’ve been out on Bellingham Bay many times in May and June, but only last weekend made it to the islands. Sucia and Vendovi Islands, specifically. I had to motor for some of this trip, but then I can use the tool cubby to warm sandwiches, brioche buns, or my gloves:

The drawer in the “over the engine” cabinet was a pain so I turned it into a false front and installed a hinged hatch and box. Now it is easier to reach in to tools etc. from the cockpit, and no more drawer-on-the-floor. Imagine my delight when I realized this could also be a bun-warming bread box…. yum… warm chocolate brioche buns from France… warmed by the heat of my dear and dependable Atomic 4 engine. It’s a little thing that makes me smile.


“It’s A Visual” — old deck drain

Showing disintegrating old deck drain.

Original deck drain.

All prepared for the upcoming season of fun. The usual spring routine has been done: oil change, new spark plugs, inspection, lots of cleaning.  I took the thermostat home for the annual boiling/testing, and returned it with a new thermostat housing to make it function at its best.

Two of the deck drains (scuppers) had leaks. I searched for replacement parts and replaced the uppermost two. Removing the old ones turned out to be easy because they disintegrated… ha ha! Here’s an old one showing holes where there should be metal.

I enjoyed the Vancouver Boat Show very much, and picked up a couple of nice LED reading lights there, now on the port and starboard cubbies at the very back of the cabin. ( I always think of that as the front because I work in the galley facing out the companionway, still, I guess it is the “back”. )

S V Pinga looks real nice with her new Dubonnet Tweed sail cover and winch covers, her sails all fixed up with several chafe patches done by Port Townsend Sails, and all lines washed and ready. Come by on Opening Day to check ‘er out…


Preparing for the 2019 boating season: rope wash and inspection day.

The Ashley Book of Knots and a few of the ropes that serve S V Pinga… be prepared for washing.

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