Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Glass & Bilgey Blog# 146

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

Some more lovely liquid joinery. I just love working with epoxy. Oh the wonders of modern chemistry.  It makes all-thumbs schlubs like me able to fix things.

Good thing I have a background in electronics.  It’s been many years since I sat at a workbench and wired things up but that training has served me well here on Little Bear.

I did get the pump & switch installed and gave it a test run. It’s fun to see water shooting out of the boat. Like it has to take a pee or something.



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


Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Take off! You hoser. Blog# 145

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

Pulling hose. What fun. Hideous, wonderful joyful hose pulling. Ha! Nothing a little dish washing detergent won’t fix.  I am now a bona fide hoser. 😀

I explain it in gory detail in the vid:


I hope you enjoyed that (blah blah blah blah blah [inhale] blah blah blah)

And as always,  fair winds, following seas, and God bless.

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: The Dreaded Bilge Hose # 144

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

A quick update on the various projects I have on the go. The main focus of this episode is to get the bilge pump working.  The issue with the pump is … it doesn’t work. I suspect that the impeller of the pump has been sitting in diesel fuel for a while and has bloated to the point that it no longer turns. Ergo – no pumpage. I bought a new pump for the boat but the hose barb on the new pump is larger than the old one. I tried to find a step down coupling but no luck there.  I opted to replace the hose. Not a particularly difficult operation except that where the hose connects to the outboard through-hull is hidden behind the fuel tank. !!



Cutting through the deck turned out to be unnecessary.  This video was recorded in the fall. During the winter cold the one ‘good’ tank started to leak. So I had to remove it. Once removed the access to the fitting became quite easy. Oh well. Lessons learned.  The tank removal vid comes later on.

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

Little Bear Westsail 32 goes for a sail! Blog # 142

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

I enjoy working on Little Bear. Really, I do. But after two years I’m really itching to get out there on the water.  So, even though the boat isn’t really ready, although there are tools and parts scattered all over, although the head doesn’t work, although the lights are only half working – I decided to get out for a sail. Sail meaning ‘motor’.

July first; Canada’s 150th birthday seemed like as good an occasion to get out and go for a trip down the river and around the bend. So that’s what we did. Dread Pirate Admiral & a friend took Little Bear out to see the fireworks in White Rock…


Of course, seeing fireworks means that we’d be out in the dark. The Admiral said that without a head there was no way we’d be anchoring out so we had to navigate back to the dock in the dark. Fortunately the tide was right and we managed to get her back to her slip without mishap.  Although it was a bit of a white knuckle ride up the river.

Special thanks go out to all the power boats with their 5′ wakes blasting past us to create the atmosphere of a hurricane in full fettle.  So kind and thoughtful of you. Blessings.

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

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Plugging holes Blog # 141

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

So many projects, such little time. Actually, I have all the time in the world. If I don’t mind spending all my time doing DIY projects on the boat.

I continue working on the wiring making sure that it works while keeping it neat at the same time. Now there’s a challenge.

The time has come to fill the holes in the bulwarks. Due to the foam and ceiling I was unable to access the top nuts on the chain plates when I removed them. So the simplest solution was to cut 1″ holes and access the nuts that way.  Well the chain plates have been back on the hull for quite some time and the wasps haven’t made nests in there yet this year, so in a pre-emptive strike against the wasps, I decided to fill those holes.

I made some plugs with some G10 I had left over from doing the backing plates for the through hulls. I then used some thickened epoxy to ‘glue’ them in pace. I’m happy with the result.

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

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Post Splash Projects Blog # 140

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

“Moonch up”. That’s the operative term for this video.  I thought the projects would be well suited for a collage of video clips.  I was wrong.  Each of these projects, in typical boat-land fashion, have grown and taken a LOT longer than anticipated.

The first project was to replace the bilge pump.  Well that didn’t happen. The pump is still non-functioning.  Because.  Don’t judge me.

Ok, I’ll tell you why: the old pump had  a 1″ outflow port. The new one has a 1 1/8″ outflow port.  I tried to find a step-down coupler but couldn’t find one. I then thought I’d just force it. After all 1/8″ isn’t that much. However, when I tried I realized that the hose (it must be original; 41 yrs old) was cracked and checked.  So I ordered new hose. Then I discovered (of course) that the through hull for the bilge is tucked away behind a fuel tank.  To move the fuel tank the engine has to come out. *sigh*.   No! I will find a way to do this without removing the engine.

I did manage to get the coax for the VHF run. So, I have a functioning radio but I still need to tidy up / fasten down the cable.

For the very first time in my life, I took a trip up the mast in a bosun’s chair.  This has revealed a couple of ‘needs’.  One; a better solution than a chair.  My wife is just barely able to crank me up the mast, and she’s too short to see the stuff at the mast head when she is hoisted up.

The other ‘need’ was to get a new winch.  I was blessed to find a good quality winch for much cheaper than I had anticipated.  The new winch will facilitate sailing, and it will help with the bosun’s chair situation. It’s self-tailing, and 2 speed. So Dread Pirate Admiral will be able to hoist my lard-butt up without too much problem.

With the sails back on the boat and the boom flopping around it became apparent that the boom gallows need to go back on. That created a whole new set of challenges. But we overcame. Got it done. Yes we did.

The sail maker identified the need for a tack fitting for the inner jib / stays’l.  I decided on replacing the turnbuckle pin with a shackle. I did that without too much of a hassle.

I spliced the bow pulpit wire for the nav lights.  It took a while as my soldering iron struggles to heat up enough to solder the heavier gauge wire outside in the wind. Once the splice was done, I threw the switch and was amazed to see that the old incandescent lights actually lit up!  I’m going to swap them out anyways because LEDs are just much more power friendly than incandescent.

I work in a large company. We have GREAT benefits. One of which is generous sick leave. The idea is that if you get sick it costs the company less to have you off at home, than it does to have you come to work and make other people sick reducing productivity. One of the guys decided to be a hero and come to work sick. Of course, I got the bug too, didn’t I? You can hear it in this vid. I sound stuffed up. That’s because I was. Total cold-head. 😦  For the love of all that’s healthy, if you’re sick – STAY HOME. I have a boat to work on for Pete’s sake.  Ok, enough of a rant. Back to our normally scheduled boaty happiness.

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

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: Splish Splash! Blog #139

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

At long last! A major milestone has been reached. The day I have been looking forward to for a very long time – launch day.

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