Freshening Up

12/5, 54/36, sunny, NW15-20 - Morning arrived chilly and crisp, and we were glad to have our small electric heater going. I made coffee, eggs, toast, bacon and kale for breakfast - a fine meal to start the day. On the docket: boat cleaning.

After so much rain this Fall and the condensation that happens when the air and water temperature differ, we were starting to see mildew on interior surfaces. We try to open up the boat and elevate the V-berth cushions on the warm and dry days, but that combination is getting harder to come by. This time of year, above the “frost line” of Cape Canaveral, warm air is typically accompanied by fog or rain or both. To freshen things up, I rub orange oil onto all the wood and scrub the hard surfaces with cleaner.

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I brush down all the cushions and wipe underneath them. I open all the lockers and drawers and clean them too. Dobbs cleaned our mast, which gave us visibility to potential clients and gained us a bright white spar. The painted aluminum picks up gray filth and can get pretty dingy looking. Brush against it and make a clean spot and then you’ve got to do the rest!

 Before- the lower half of the picture - and After - the upper half.

Before- the lower half of the picture - and After - the upper half.

We finished up around 2pm. Then we walked the docks again, meeting more people and handing out flyers.

Our mechanic Brad texted to say he’d received the transmission last evening and opened it up this morning.

 Photo (and skills) credit: Brad Bordner

Photo (and skills) credit: Brad Bordner

My understanding is that the culprit is two thrust washers that saw heavy wear due to years of mistreatment, including our running it low on fluid. If the thrust washers wear, the clutch plates don’t travel the distance needed to fully engage the transmission.

 Photo credit: Brad Bordner

Photo credit: Brad Bordner

Grace has an access hatch in the cockpit floor that was created by a previous owner and is utterly essential to doing anything constructive with the engine. How the original owner managed in the years before it was put in is a mystery to me - I don’t even know how a person could adjust the stuffing box. The cockpit hatch had one flaw - it leaked. The transmission has a vent hole in the top and is situated directly below the hatch. Whenever it rained, water would leak in the hatch and drip into the transmission. We rebuilt the hatch during our first year of ownership and started changing the transmission fluid regularly, but we suspected something had to have suffered from the water ingress. We also didn’t know how much transmission fluid to use. We have two different engine manuals and an engine that is part Atomic 4, part Universal diesel, and part Kubota generator with model years ranging from 1966 to the 1980’s. Dobbs was filling the fluid to the specifications in one manual and now we know we have the transmission from the other manual (which takes more fluid). It doesn’t help that our transmission, an HBW-5, is in the case (for reasons beyond our pay grade to comprehend) for an HBW-10, or something like that. We are so grateful for Brad’s expertise to repair our vintage equipment.

We rounded out the day with some office work and took Murphy for a walk. For dinner, I pressure-cooked russet potatoes and we ate them with butter and sour cream. I boiled rehydrated green beans and heated up canned red beets. We played a couple hands of gin rummy and now Dobbs is washing the dishes while I finish up here. Murphy’s already in bed. Time I get to helping dry those dishes!

Suzanne FrybergerComment