Thursday, June 19, 2014

New Nav Station Layout

When we sold our business we asked that we might be able to use the equipment for several months as we finished up our boat refit. The buyer graciously said, "Yes".

So last week (after changing everything around several times) we routed out the new Nav Station panel. Here it is laying in the galley with its second coat of varnish. 

At the top in the center is the Radar/Chartplotter. Below that are the GPS and Sailing Instruments. Across the bottom are the radios: two VHFs and a Stereo. In the upper left is the Inverter interface and two light switches. In the upper right is the Navtex.

Behind the electrical panel and the instruments is quite a collection of all kinds of wires: 110 AC, 12v DC, coaxial, antenna, and also noise suppressors. You really have to know what you are doing to make any changes. Thankfully, the Captain is an electrical genius and things are progressing nicely with our Nav Station remodel.

Part of this project was to remove unused cables and secure the existing cables around the generator and beneath the floor in the aft cabin. We also put new fittings on the antennas where they come through the aft caprail, AND we snaked a wire up through the pedestal leg to the helm for a remote VHF.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Nothing Is Too Good for an Alden

When we were looking at boats back east about a year ago, we heard this phrase: "Nothing is too good for an Alden." We assumed it meant that the boats were well planned, engineered, built and outfitted. And basically we found that to be true.

But just because a boat starts out good doesn't mean it stays that way and the hidden areas of our boat attest to that.

Most boat have some storage under the floor panels, but when we bought our boat we were amazed to find huge tangles of wire, hoses, and machinery placed willy-nilly in the bilges.

Above you see the area where the water heater sits just forward of the generator. This is how most of our bilges looked. They were also filthy and reeked of diesel.

Apparently over the years when some piece of equipment was replaced, the old wires were abandoned and left in place, and new wires and hoses were draped through the easiest part of the bilge. And not secured. And connected without proper terminal blocks. So now we say with tongue in cheek, "Nothing's too good for an Alden."

We have spent the last three days tidying up the bilges; rerouting wires and hoses, securing everything with cable clamps and zip ties, and cleaning everything with degreaser. So now the bilges in the center part of the boat look like this...
And maybe we can actually store a few things in the bilge now. 

And the spot where the water heater lives looks like this. It's still crowded, but at least now we can see the bilge pumps.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

New Companionway Doors

The Captain installed the new teak companionway doors Saturday. He made them to replace the heavy, ugly smoked plastic drop boards that came with the boat. He used removable hinges so we can remove them entirely in pleasant weather, and carved our "Thistle" logo in them.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mast Renovation

Here's a view you don't see everyday. It is the top of our mast which we pulled out of our boat on Tuesday.

The day before we had marked all the turnbuckles so the rigging shop would know exactly how long the rods are. We also unconnected all the electrical wires at the base of the mast, removed the bolts that go through the mast step, and dismantled the table a bit.

Tuesday morning we moved the boat over to the small boat crane area which has a nice concrete area right next to a floating dock. I went up in the bosun's chair and attached the strap slightly above the midpoint with another line down to a winch to prevent it from slipping up. We had a friend help us undo all the turnbuckles and knock the blocks out, 
And the the captain slowly lifted it out with the crane and laid it on some saw horses. The next day we moved it down to the shop area where we will remove the "in-the-mast" furling gear, and install normal track up the back of the mast.
It was very difficult to get all the foil parts off the forestays. The original installation instructions say to slather each connector with Locktite, and I'm sure that is what was done because we had to heat each section with a torch and hammer them off. 
This morning we took all the old rods to the rigging shop to be reproduced. They will also make three new wire/rope halyards.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Windlass Saga Concludes

We have finally got the windlass installed. First we thought we could service the old one, but it was irreparable, so we ordered a new one but they don't make exactly the same one anymore. We ordered what we thought was the same size, but when it arrived it was too small, so we exchanged it for a larger size. 

It finally arrived, but of course the holes were all different, so we had to fill one of the existing holes, drill two new holes (4" and 6"), ands make a new pad.  We finally got it bolted down, and then we put the new controller in the chain locker.  I was surprised that the captain had me doing all the work in the chain locker until I realized that he couldn't fit in there.
On our first test, the chain went up when we pushed the "down" button, so we exchanged two wires and it was good. And now, after two months, we finally have a windlass again.

Turk's Head Knot

It is common practice to mark a ship's wheel with a Turk's Head knot to indicate when the rudder is centered. And in our case, it also covers the seam in the leather nicely.

So yesterday I found a five bight, three lead Turk's Head in The Ashley Book of Knots (#1307), and worked it at the proper place. We are looking Shipshape now!