Saturday, March 19, 2016

Recommissioning 2016

White Pepper is slowly coming back to life after 8 months on the hard at Green Cove Springs Marina. 2016 was a rainy year in Florida, and the moisture and mildew damage to the boat was worse than usual.

Jan spent the better part of 12 days completely stripping and varnishing the cabin sole with 7 coats of polyurethane. Then she painted the pan with 2 coats of Interlux' Brightside paint. The effect is stunning. When I glance down I see a new boat. Then when I glance around she is a 30 year old interior, albeit lovingly cared for.
New varnish and new floor paint

Our home for 9 days during the varnishing.

While Jan was laboring, Aphrodite and I were not allowed inside. At least I was able to redo the bottom. This year we chose to use an ablative paint for the first time—Trinidad SR 60. The old hard abrasive paint that I used to use is no longer available. I can only hope that the extra expense is worthwhile. Also I got to clean the deck with new purchase—a Roybi pressure washer. This device is amazing. No amount of elbow grease could clean the winter's grime and mildew as easily and completely as this (fairly cheap) pressure washer. At night during the varnishing and painting we stayed in a small trailer, an Airbnb type operation, care of Steve Frederick, 904-838-4497. We were very satisfied with the modest arrangements, price and convenience. I can recommend Steve highly to any one staying at Green Cove Springs Marina.

Al Blande from Al's Mobile Marine Service came from Palm Coast to change the oil and perform the new engine's 250 hour service. It was expensive. But my hope is that his signature on the warranty sheet will help if I ever need to claim a warranty repair. Also Al took the old Yamaha 8 HP outboard back to his shop for a consignment sale.,

The big ticket repair so far has been to replace the compressor, keel cooler, and speed controller on the freezer/refrigerator. It had been installed in 2007 at great expense in Houston and had worked flawlessly until last year. Readers will remember that last year the fridge was a constant problem. Three Bahamian repairmen could only get the thing to work for a few days or weeks at a time. I spent hours on the internet and prowling auto repair shops in the Bahamas for R134 refrigerant and gauges. Clay from Hansen Marine out of St. Augustine spent 3 minutes with the system and condemned it as hopelessly full of water. He said it needed to be completely replaced. Later we may have found a leak in the corroded keel cooler. The unit was replaced a week later by Chris, technician for Hansen Marine, and now seems to be working fine. Nothing lasts forever; not the earth, not the sky, and certainly not a Fidgoboat system in salt water.
The new keel cooler and the new paint. Note the two zincs

New Danfoss compressor and controller. Keel cooler is lower left.

My modest contribution was a new grill to help cool the compressor box.

Chris from Hansen was a great help.  Thanks.

There are still a dozen projects and “headin' South” date seems far off. Will keep you posted.