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!
• Go2Marine.com 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.

A new tiller for Pinga… custom-made from Ruddercraft

tiller_ruddercraft (2)The new custom-made tiller has arrived and it is lovely. Nice job, Ruddercraft. I sprung for the epoxy+varnish finish, so it is all ready for installation. But I am not ready to put holes in it to mount it just yet. I will restore the old tiller for a perfect spare, as it hasn’t split yet.

Pinga gets red glowing LED gauge lights and a little red LED indicator.

Pinga gets new red lights: I pulled the lamps out of the Stewart-Warner engine gauges (oil pressure, temp, voltage instruments) and used the bases to hold red LEDs, plus one to light the cubby and one that indicates power is on. These 5 individual LEDs are on tiny 24 or 26 gauge (size) wires and must join to a 16-gauge wire to connect to a fuse and power. The way to handle this is a Posi-Lock connector. They are reusable and the best way to connect the tiny wires going onto a “big” wire. You need about 16-gauge wire to place a ring connector on the Blue Sea bus bar for power from battery positive. I’m also going to add a Posi-Fuse in-line fuseholder and fuse of an amp or less to protect the tiny wires.

LED replacement lights

LED replacements are being prepared and tested.

When working with individual LEDs, you can buy ‘em “prewired” with resistors for use with 12 volts. Bench testing is important: I set them in a mini-breadboard clipped on a 12 Volt wall wart in my kitchen, and leave them lit for an hour or so. Test each for correct wire color because polarity matters.

I am happy to be seeing less rain, warmer afternoons, and longer days now. I’d better get on with my projects. Next I’ll be doing some sawing and sanding and varnishing: the staircase / engine cover is sitting on the kitchen floor. Look for “before” and “after” photos later, and a report from the upcoming Seattle Boat Show Woman’s Day.

Practical holiday gifts, for S V Pinga and me

Looking for a practical holiday gift for a fellow boat-owner? Try a set of silicon lids that “stick” to the tops of pans or bowls.

soft Silicon lids

It is important to use a lid when cooking on a boat stove. I improved my galley with the new silicone and “squish” collapsibles, but also these flat round lids. While pots and pans nest nicely, the lids slide around and take up more room, so just take those  metal or glass lids home. Save the weight for this cool little tool: mini right-angle ratcheting screwdriver, useful when keeping control of a small screw going into a terminal block.

mini right-angle driver

Our entire cooking set fits inside the oven, tableware fits entirely in one “cubby” area, and bowls entirely fit inside the microwave. I like it all enclosed, clean and quiet, so there’s no clanking noise when the boat gets tossed a bit. Noises make the boat’s movement seem so much more dire to your guests aboard, clanking pan lids, slapping halyards… you know it is true.

 

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.