Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Grub-a-Dub-Dub Vlog # 163

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

The less romantic and idyllic part of boat ownership is the not so picturesque job of cleaning. All boats need cleaning. Some get cleaned, others not so much. It’s sad to see neglected boats. And I see a lot of them.

The case in point: Little Bear.  The fuel tank holds are nasty. The starboard side must have been leaking for years. The foam around the tank is soaked in ancient diesel and the engine pan  that it sits on is stained by diesel and rust.  That’s gonna change. Today.

I do apologize for the audio quality and the sheer boring aspect of this video but I wanted to show that it’s not all exotic destinations, white sand beaches, bikini’s and buff bodies. To get to that point a lot of work and associated sweat needs to happen.

So I’m putting my scrub brush where my  mouth is. Ew. That was a mistake. But I think you get what I mean.

As always, fair winds following seas, and God bless.

The Yacht Club in the Storm surge

The following set of pictures were from the peak of the storm surge in the river.  It only lasted about an hour or an hour and a half. You can see how the gang way to the float is bent backwards on it’s hinges. Fortunately there was no damage  but any more high water and there would have been.  That gangway was only just installed!
Gangway from the dock at Ward’s
A zoomed in view of the gangway from the dock at Ward’s.
The road and parking lot by the retaining wall of Stewart farm.
The parking lot and gangway at peak tide and storm surge.
The tide is starting to ebb and the surge is dropping.
Tide and surge going back to normal
Nice clean gravel for the boats and vehicles to drive on.
Still submerged but dropping quickly.
The start of the ebb…

All picture credits go to Doug McKinnon Vice Commodore of MBYC. He said that he and the club Secretary Treasurer were down the end of the dock and someone on shore started shouting and waving at them. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong until they interpreted the waving to mean ‘look at the gangway!’. It only took about 10 minutes to to from normal to ‘oh my gosh! we need to vacate NOW!’

Fortunately there was no serious damage to the gangway or the dock itself nor were any animals hurt in the creation of this blog. None of the boats were damaged as the river is fairly protected from the wind that hit White Rock.

Locals are correctly saying they’ve never seen a storm like this one.

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Tank Template Blog #162

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

Back on track. It’s fuel tank time. I have the styrofoam template mock-up complete and I will try to fit the whole thing into the tank hold. The trick with doing this is the material that the mock-up is made of.  It’s styrofoam.  If I push too hard it will bend and I’ll be able to fit it but metal will not bend so I have to be very careful.  If I push even harder it will break – not good. Not good at all. Bad even.

At the end of the expedition, I did manage to get the mock-up positioned correctly in the hold. Making a template based off of the large end proved to be the correct idea. The template fit just as sweet as sweet can be.

Now that i know I have a workable mock-up, I can take it back to welder-dude and we can start on the real thing. The aluminium tank. I will be using 3/16 5050 grade aluminium. This is suitable for  the marine environment and probably a bit thicker gauge than necessary but I want these puppies to out-last me. Fortunately for who ever owns this boat after me, the grunt work of replacing the tanks has been done. It’ll be pretty straight forward to create new ones.

As always, fair winds following seas, and God bless.

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Le Mastgate Vlog # 161

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

Annnnnd another small project with which to stall the important project.  This small project is necessary, but not too important. It’s self explanatory really.  When I refit the mast and boom I didn’t want to have to disconnect and drop the boom to take the mainsail off. Now I know that the number of times that I’ll have to remove the mainsail will be few. But the prospect of disconnecting the boom under what may be rough circumstances seems a bit daunting.

The solution? Simply to cut a slot in the sail track through which I can remove the sail lugs. The challenge with this is that with an open slot, the lugs tend to want to fall out of the track under normal use. This will not do. Not at all.

The slot in the track is about 2″ long and I need a graceful and elegant cover for the slot. Fortunately, there is an outfit in the US that specializes in mastgates. Yes, that is what such a solution is called: a mastgate.  So I bit the bullet and purchased a custom mastgate for my specific mast to accommodate my specific lugs.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work. the mastgate is about 1/16th of an inch too thick to allow the lugs to pass comfortably.  The manufacturer is quite willing to reconfigure to fix it but that would be $10 shipping handling which is more than I’m willing to spend on top of what I’ve already spent.  I’ll have to fix it myself.  :/

As always, fair winds following seas, and God bless.

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Franken Tank Blog # 160

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

Winter has set in. Rain, cold, wind. Not a good combination for working on a boat! Fortunately there are things I can do to move the project ahead. Things that I don’t have to be on the boat to accomplish.

In a previous blog / vlog, I mentioned that I had created a tank template out of cardboard for a test fit. That was a massive fail. But I generally fail my way to success so there was no great frustration or disappointment.

In order to get an accurate assessment of what the new tanks would have to look like I needed to reassemble the old tanks.  When I took the old tanks out I was pretty brutal with them. I gave no thought to careful cutting and removing. It was more of a hack and slash job. I just wanted them OUT!

Once I realized that I would have to reassemble them, I thought “huh”. Oh well, onwards and tankwards.  In this episode my friend who also  happens to be a professional welder volunteers to give me a hand in fabricating new tanks.  Step one: reassemble the old tanks.

It is more or less like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. Satisfying once finished.  Now we have the ‘originals’ from which we can make templates. Right?

Well, almost.  Because they have been welded back together from pieces, the corner angles and precise dimensions are a bit off.  This will come back to plague us as we cut and assemble the new tanks. But as always, we overcome, we conquer and attain victory.

As always, fair winds following seas, and God bless.

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Glorious Sanding! Vlog #159

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

Procrastination.  Oh boy, the killer of progress. Yes it is. focusing on the necessary over the important only delays the important. The important still has to be done, but now it’s later than anticipated.  What am I talking about?

The weather is beautiful so I chose to work on the deck. Do a little sanding. Pretty easy, needs to be done. But at the expense of moving the fuel tank project forward.  Oh well. It’s only time right?

There is always a consequence for putting things off. You’d think at my age I would know that. And in reality, intellectually, I do. But I still do it. Do you? Ok, I know you do, so don’t get all judgy on my butt.

I did get a lot of the sanding done albeit not in time to paint before the cold and rainy weather set in. Winter on the west coast is wonderful.  No now to shovel. 🙂

As always, fair winds following seas, and God bless.

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Bilge Water Blog #158

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

This post is a bit out of order. I filmed this right after I discovered that the fuel tanks had been leaking and before I started removing the old tanks. My big concern was to get the contaminated water out of the bilge.  I need to have a functioning bilge pump, but I can’t allow the pump to engage when there’s fuel in the bilge. Nope, wouldn’t be good.

I used a hand pump to pump out the bilges into jerry cans. With that out of the way, I used some oil absorbent pads, and some eco-friendly grease cutter to clean the mess up. I am pleased with the result. It was a quck job and not as gross & messy as I had anticipated.

It’s good to have clean bilges, dry and tight. With this little job done we can move on to building the new tanks.

As always, fair winds following seas, and God bless.