22 Mar

Boat Maintenance

They say boating is fixing things in exotic locations. Well it’s not too exotic here but the list of things to do keeps growing. We are hampered somewhat by a lack of tools and materials; I don’t want to buy a bunch of stuff I will have to store and then haul off the boat, but on the other hand paying someone else to do things is cost prohibitive to say the least.

I can tell you for a fact, the bottom’s not this clean now.

So here is the current list of things we need to do before we take off, or at least before the end of June when we get off for the season — in order of importance or likelihood to get done.

  1. Change oil
  2. Check all safety equipment
  3. Certify Fire Extinguishers
  4. Check all lights
  5. Dispose of outdated flares
  6. Repair fiberglass dings
  7. Patch shower base
  8. Clean dinghy & find slow leak
  9. Repaint dinghy transom
  10. Rebuild head again
  11. Fix loose dome light (aft cabin)
  12. Fix loose plugin (aft cabin)
  13. Fix faucet
  14. Fix hydraulic cylinder on freezer
  15. Scrub rust on stove burners; repaint
  16. Fix velcro on port settee
  17. Screw panels back in
  18. Rebuild fresh water pump
  19. Re-waterproof canvas
  20. Scrub decks & nonskid
  21. Polish hull topsides
  22. Haulout and clean the hull
  23. Change zincs
  24. Fix antenna connector
  25. Fix BBQ
  26. Find anchor locker leak
  27. Make windlass cover
  28. Find ST 60 covers
  29. Polish wood (in progress)
  30. Refill Head-O-Matic bullet
  31. Relabel old Rainbow Hunter gear (in progress)
  32. Mark anchor rode
  33. Get new BBQ starters
  34. Fix autopilot remote
  35. Service sails

Must do’s

Change Oil
When we tied up for the winter we were pretty close to our 100 hour oil change. The last time we changed it we used all of R Shack Island’s tools and I had been intending to buy my own. Now that we are going to be putting Never for Ever into charter that’s not so wise an investment. So I either buy tools I won’t have any further use for, pay a ridiculous amount of $$ to have someone else do it, or see if I can borrow an oil filter wrench and oil pump and scrounge the rest.

Check all Safety Equipment
We have to check the airhorn, the batteries in the flashlights, expiry dates on flares and make sure everything is in an easily-accessible space. I also want to take off the life ring and rescue sling to see if the lines are in good shape and ready to be used without mishap.

Certify Fire Extinguishers 
When I bought new fire extinguishers I didn’t realize they were not certified “out-of-the-box.” I need to get all three inspected. And every 6 years they need to be re-tested.

Check all lights
We had a few burned out or non-functioning navigation lights last fall, so I want to check them all again before we take off.

Dispose of outdated flares
We also have old flares that need to be disposed of properly. Here in Victoria there is a place that will do it for a fee, but I think the Power Squadron will be having a free disposal day sometime this spring.

Repair fiberglass dings
I also have to start in on the dings and gouges in the fiberglass and gelcoat; these are mainly in the cockpit on the nonskid, so I am not sure how I am going to make those look good. But at least one of them looks to be deep enough to be a problem.

Patch shower base
The shower base has a few old dings that were patched with silicone that need attending to. Hopefully I can find something that will not be too ugly but be a bit more permanent.

Clean dinghy, find slow leak, repaint transom
I spent almost a day in October cleaning Laughing Baby and patching her slow leaks. But apparently I didn’t find them all since I still have one pontoon that goes soft after about 2 weeks. And because I wanted to keep the foredeck clear she’s been in the water for 7 months and needs another thorough cleaning. I also need to repaint the transom on teh dinghy as there is bare wood showing.

Rebuild head again
I (we) rebuilt the head last summer but it is already starting to allow a little backflow into the bowl. So either I didn’t do it right or we need to do more in the way of preventative maintenance. Since you can buy the whole pump assemble for slightly more than the rebuild kit, I think that’s how we are going to go this time.

Fix Dome light (aft cabin)
One of the dome lights in the aft cabin spins when you touch it. We both know why, given we’ve hit our heads on it a half dozen times each. Hopefully a quick fix.

Fix plugin (aft cabin)
The 110v socket in the aft cabin is not secured to the bulkhead. Again I am hoping for an easy fix although I suspect something has been stripped or broken.

Fix faucet
The kitchen faucet fell off mid passage last July. I fixed it underway but never got back to it. There is some sort of seal/washer missing from under the counter so the faucet doesn’t pivot smoothly and it is eventually going to work itself loose and fall off again.

Fix hydraulic cylinder on freezer
When we bought the boat the hydraulic lift arm that hold the freezer open wasn’t working. Then it started working. Now it isn’t working again. If I could figure out why, I would be tempted to leave it, but the lid is pretty heavy and I’m afraid it will just come crashing down on someone’s arm.

Scrub rust on stove burners
I noticed the tops of the burners on the stove had lost some enamel and were rusting slightly. I’d like to scrub them down and look to see if there is a heat-resistant paint I can use to coat them again.

Fix velcro on port settee
The port settee cushion works its way out as you sit on it because the velcro on the seat does’t match the velcro on the cushion. I have no idea how that state of affairs came to be.

Screw panels back in
When searching for a fresh water leak, I unscrewed an awful lot of panels and floorboards. Not all of them got screwed back in.

Rebuild fresh water pump
Our fresh water pump goes off for half a second every hour or so. At first I thought it was a leak somewhere, but I couldn’t find one anywhere and now I am convinced the pump is just leaking pressure. Rebuild kits are reasonably affordable so that’s my next step.

Re-waterproof canvas
We cleaned and waterproofed all the canvas in October, but I think it would be good to redo it before we take off for the season.

This seems to be the problem area of the boat with at least three jobs relating to the anchor locker that need to be done

More want than need

Scrub the decks and polish hull topsides
All the decks and nonskid need to be scrubbed to remove the city grime that has settled over the whole boat. We got the hull repainted and polished last year but I never got around to cleaning and polishing the topsides. I’m hoping to borrow or rent a rotary buffer.

Haulout and clean the hull
We will haul the boat before we turn it over to NYC but I would like to at least haul and pressure wash the hull before we take off. We’ll see.

Change zincs
If we do haul then I will change the zincs. They were last changed in April last year so it is probably a good idea. (Zincs are sacrificial anodes that are designed to easily dissolve instead of important metal bits in the harsh and conductive saltwater environment.)

Fix antenna connector
When we were tracing masthead wiring last summer we noticed the VHF antenna cable connector at the base of the mast was a bit corroded. If it’s not already affecting reception it probably will eventually.

The heat plate in the BBQ is rusted through. It works fine as is and I have built a heavy duty foil replacement that lasts 4 or 5 months; but I really should order a replacement part. But it is an old BBQ. Maybe a new one is a better idea.

Make windlass cover
We had a leak in the forward cabin that turned out to be a corroded seal in the windlass. So until we can get it replaced we had a sunbrella cover made up to keep it dry.

Find anchor locker leak
There is also a small fresh water leak somewhere forward. No big deal but it does mean the bilge is never dry and you can’t use the storage space immediately aft of the anchor locker without things getting damp. I am still trying to find out what’s leaking.

Find ST 60 covers
When we bought the boat one of the ST 6o instrument covers was missing. And on our first big sail, as things went flying across the cabin, another one went missing. We have searched high and low to no avail. I’d like to see if I can pick up some used ones as replacements.

Polish wood
Apart from general cleaning I would like to apply some oil and/or polish to all the wood in the boat. And there is a lot of wood.

Refill Head-O-Matic bullet
Our head came with a Head-O-Matic system that injects blue stuff into the water with every flush. We ran out and I haven’t found a replacement source yet.

Relabel old Rainbow Hunter gear
There is still a bunch of gear (spare fuel tank, power cord) that has the old boat name on it. We need to go through everything and use a big black marker to relabel.

Mark anchor rode
The anchor rode has red paint on it every so often but we have yet to figure out exactly what the marks stand for. We figure it must be around every 20 feet or so. Regardless, we need to measure it out and put fresh marks on just to make anchoring a bit easier.

Get new BBQ starters
…for starting the stove. We have at least 4 mostly empty starters, but it would be nice to start the season with new ones.

Fix autopilot remote
When we got the AIS working on the chartplotter we somehow (or else it was a coincidence) broke the wireless connection between the autopilot and the remote. While a remote is undeniably a luxury item, it seems silly to have one and not have it work. Still, tracking down the issue seems like it’s going to be expensive.

Service sails
Not strictly necessary since they were serviced in 2014, it would probably be a good idea to haul them down and take them in for a look. Time and money…


Well that’s it so far. I am sure there are going to be a ton of things crop up in the next month or so before we cast off for good, especially as we start to sail more, but for now it’s enough to keep us busy.


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