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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hopkinson

Boat Werk

We've been doing a fair amount of work on the boat in preparation for more upcoming sailing adventures on the island of Roatan in the far western Caribbean. None of this boatwerk has been really major, but everything together added up to a tidy list that just wasn't getting any shorter, so we've been diving into ticking items off said list. It doesn't necessarily feel good, it is work, but it feels good seeing a list with a bunch of things crossed off.

First up, after changing the impeller the other day we needed to open up the heat exchanger and see if we could find some of the little bits of impeller blades from the old one before they started causing more problems downstream. Only we can't find our 12mm socket, so once we borrowed one from a kind friend, and got an assist from another friend, and we end up pulling both the end caps off and having a look inside. Then we cleaned each of the little holes out using what can only be described as an improvised Honduran tool -- a good old wire hanger -- which almost perfectly fit into the holes. We recovered several little pieces of impeller, cleaned out some scale and then put it all back together again.

Then we dove into the bilge. It's been a bit of a running issue on City Dogs, so we finally got our new one, fit it down into the bilge, wired it in, attached the hose and when we fired the DC panel back up, the little pump kicked in immediately. Within seconds it emptied the bilge and kicked off again, just like it's supposed to do. It's been days now since we did this and we're happy to report we have mostly dry bilges now. The compartments we had under the floorboards that had been semi-dry (especially in the marina under shore power running AC 24/7) are now all dry, except for a tiny amount of condensation.

The next day, we installed a new long section lifeline on top of the starboard side of City Dogs. We noticed a very small, one or two thread break near one of the rear stanchions during some routine maintenance and decided it needed immediate replacement. Of course, immediate down here in Honduras means anything but that, so we got this job ticked off our list almost immediately upon returning. Getting the old line off and weaving the new one through the dog netting was certainly a challenge, one that Andrea rose to and conquered under the hot Central American sun. But doing the job was a blast with the BILT app, which shows 3D renderings of installation jobs, and this one really made lifeline installation a breeze.

Next we went out and changed the zinc anode on our propeller shaft, a little piece of metal that is supposed to keep our boat (and our engine) from corroding in the salt water. Since we installed our galvanic isolator, we've gone from around three weeks a zinc to well over six and a half, almost seven weeks, which is great. But we're still convinced there has to be some stray current in the water at the marina which is making these anodes decay faster than they should.

Then we had a friend of ours, Andrew, fix a couple of fiberglass issues that needed doing. He's great with fiberglass so we had him patch up a couple of very small impact areas on the swim platform. He patched them up from the inside really good. It wasn't a major job, but we could, at least theoretically, have taken on some small amount of water in following seas, like on the way back from any of our day sails from Port Royal.

Andrew also touched up our scuba tank holder, making it a little easier getting the tanks in and out of the third and fourth slots, which were just a hair tighter than they needed to be.

While we were in a maintenance kind of mood, we also changed the raycor fuel filter, something we were told to do every time we change the oil, which we just did before we left. And we finally got some pictures up and actually affixed to the walls of City Dogs. We haven't put the big turtle pic up yet, we've got to find a good spot for it. It's 21 x 11.5" so it's not super small. It's not huge either but wall space on boats is a premium. This other one below with the dolphins off the bow we got printed up is 8 x 8". A little easier to find a home for, right? We thought it looked cute above the water dispenser. If you like either of these printed photos, let us know, we've got loads of great photos and these prints look great on canvas!

Yesterday, we cleaned. We went from stern to bow and did a nice thorough cleaning session, getting all the crud up from the jobs we've been doing. And the canvas guys came back so we finally got our dinghy chaps resized! Now all we have do to is get a Paw Patrol logo painted on the front there and we'll be good to go. Hit us up if you know what paint works well on sunbrella.

Tomorrow, hopefully, weather permitting, we go diving. We need to take the dinghy out, let the engine breathe anyway, so we'll do a tank or two close in to the Parrot Tree marina. We'll probably bring our lionfish hunting gear along, see if we can't catch lunch or dinner while we're at it. Today, we watch the final game in the Women's World Cup, maybe see a game that isn't completely ruined by VAT, like the England Sweden 3rd place fiasco. It's been great watching all these teams play their hearts out in France over the last few weeks. We're excited to see the women from the USA take home another championship.

Oh and happy 8th birthday to Mischa! Here she was yesterday enjoying a ride in the car.


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