We left Nanaimo to move the boat 200 miles south in mid-April to go to Seattle for the Great Malo Windshield Roundup. We had a defective windshield, and Malo was sending out a specialist to rebuild the windshields of five boats. So, our trip was cut short. We motored south through wind and tides, waiting out three major gales in protected anchorages - a very uncomfortable trip with little to no sailing. Before the roundup, though, we were going to haul out.
We made an uneventful passage through the locks to Canal Boatyard where I spent a five days sanding and fairing the hull, and polishing the boat. It was wet and cold, with rain, and about 15 knots of wind all of the time. I did not then realize that this would be the easiest part of the next two weeks!
During the haul out we stayed at our great fiends Larry’s apartment. Larry was moving to Phoenix, so his apartment was a total construction site. We dragged a couple of boat mattresses in and slept on the floor - Larry was in Phoenix. There was still some pots and pans, a TV, internet access, and a bathtub - though savage - it was kind of nice staying there - reminded me of the 1980’s when I used to live in the apartment buildings I was rehabilitating - these were first class accommodations compared to those.
We finished with the haul out and went to a friend’s slip in Shilshole for a week. We cleaned a bit. The hot water tank stopped working - so that was a few days trauma while I installed a new element. . We went to leave Shilshole - Also put in a water purifier for MS. We went to start the boat to leave for the roundup, and….oh yes - I spent two days helping Larry rebuild his apartment - boy - did that take me back to the good old days of apartment building ownership….
The boat would not start!
We had been having troubles for some time - finally, we got it started - carefully watching the water flow out of the stern to make sure we did not get flooded. Come to think of it - that starter had been having some trouble for some time - need to get a mechanic on that right away.
So - into the locks again - rafted to a very nice older couple, - ex-sailors in a big beat up power boat. We are getting away from about the mid section of the locks and somehow, we were wrapped around the front of the power boat - water was churning past as the locks opens with about 8 knots flowing current, and 10 knots wind on the bow had blown us around. Also, we think that MS had not put the helm in the correct position - a little thrust getting away and bam - what a mess. We got off from the power boat, but put a scratch in the hull from out stanchion. We motored up and gave them our card and apologies. MS was pretty upset, but I say shit happens - she drives the boat everywhere, and its easy to make a mistake.
So - we get to the roundup and I find I am building a workbench - I had volunteered and been accepted. Mike Locatel had designed it and we had the wood cut to spec - so - we spent the afternoon screwing it together - then I sanded it down - it looked good.
Saturday morning we started on the windshields - Anders from Sweden had come out - what I great guy - calm, professional, unflappable when all hell is breaking loose. Our windshield went pretty well, and our job was finished. We went to start the boat to move it and….
The boat would not start…..
… must be that pesky starter motor - or is it the battery. Have to get a mechanic on that - wait - that’s right - we had called on Friday and the earliest appointment was in three weeks - yes that is three weeks - I can schedule brain surgery quicker in Seattle than get a mechanic out to a boat in May - did I mention its “Opening Day”.
Opening Day is when they have a big rowing contest - the Windermer Cup (which is actually a reality office). And 1000 powerboat come in and line Lake Washington to watch, have a parade, and do all of the incredibly stupid thing old farts and wives with poodle dogs do on three story powerboats - its a zoo and we avoid it at all costs - well - now we are in the thick of it….
So - I order a new starter from the marine story - $350 and has to be shipped from Chicago - will take 10 days…..
Well - I check the oil the next morning and somehow it has milked - become contaminated in the crankcase with water and been churned to a milky consistency. I spend three hours pumping out the cold oil with a hand pump, pull the injectors and find there is water on the heads - FRESH water - what happened???
Well, in addition to the starter motor failing, the anti siphon valve was clogged - the engine had sucked up fresh water from the exhaust riser connecting to the muffler.
I clean the ant siphon, clean the oil and get the engine started - we move over to our new slip. I check the oil and it had MILKED again…
So we clean the oil again - this involved three separate oil changes - by this time I have pumped about 9 gallons of oil through with a hand pump. Pull the injectors - they are dry - no oil there - then check the ant siphon valve - it is working, but barely.
This anti siphon valve is of a very old style design with the little rubber flapper - what junk - I replace it with a new Vetus constant draining valve - this involves running 15 feet of hose aft, and plumbing a drain into the cockpit drain - seawater runs through this pipe constantly when the engine is going so you can look and see that it is functioning.
So - we install this valve, clean the oil, and replace the water pump - the last point on the raw water circuit that could leak water (except the oil cooler - but lets no go there)..I have to pull one engine mount to change the pump….
By this time I have found a place to get a starter motor for $220 - I buy two.
So we fire up the engine and it seems to be working - did I mention that to install the ant siphon vent I had to install a new door into the aft lockers - I had been carrying one around for about two years - that only took ½ day……
So here we are - three weeks into the haulout - I have worked on or done the following, in somewhat chronological order…
Painted the hull
Waxed the hull
Cleaned all of the canvas, cleaned the upholstery, cleaned the rugs
Replaced the water heater element
Rebuilt three outlets, plumbed a kitchen sink, repaired a thermostat, cleaned a refrigerator, and painted (at Larry’s)
Installed a water purification system
Rebuilt a Malo windshield (helped, watched, lifted carried and provided a vast array of tools, power equipment, drills, saws, punches, and pencils - the other Malo owners, with a couple of exceptions, seemed a bit unprepared - but then again, they all own houses, which is where they keep all of their tools…
Changed my oil seven times
Replaced a starter motor
Replaced an ant siphon valve
Installed a new locker door
Installed a new water pump.
Removed and reinstalled a motor mount.
I must say I was very flatted when Anders said to me that he could not have done the job on the windshields without my help - also - I am the only one to come away with the inside of my windshield caulked - I did the job, but Anders came over to give me the finer points of windshield caulking - I learned a lot from him - and his was one of the nicest complement I have yet received, coming from a foreign professional …
So the moral of all of this is that shit happens, be prepared, expect the unexpected..
And never buy a monkey…..