Sunday, October 26, 2014

I Have Returned!


Figure 71
When our 35 gallon fresh water tank
 below the front berth ran out of water, 
we just collected rain water through the
starboard galley portal.  Wing nuts 
had replaced dog ears

It's Saturday and it's warm and sunny. Low 60's. I felt like General Douglas McArthur returning to the Philippine Islands. I was armed to the teethe with Gray Enterprises portals (see below), I wanted to see how long it was going to take to change one out, having never done one before. I started with smaller one on the port side of the front berth. The first task was to remove the 15 interior screws. As these were the original portals, there were also the same number of exterior screws to remove. I went back inside and then carefully used an 8" mini-crowbar, the kind with the 90 degree honed edge, and proceeded to loosen the grip of the silicone that held the plastic portal frame to the interior wall. I was sweating the fact that I may have to make adjustments in the interior wall to accommodate the drain holes at the bottom of the new portal. With some wiggling the portal frame pulled out cleanly. To my joy, Mr. Cherubini and his design team has engineered a two inch slot for just such an event. I returned outside to remove the exterior frame. Remaining outside I sanded the rough edges of the opening and took a razor blade to removing any remaining silicone. I then cleaned the area with acetone. Did the same for the interior.

Figure 72
Gray Enterprises Portal Small


I turned to to find out if there was any information relevant to Gray portals and I was pleasantly surprised to find the exact, but enhanced, portals were available in the small Model 512 and large Model 715 sizes.  I bought all eight (4 small / 4 large).  I chose the following specifications:  white frame, clear lens, angled drain, black screen, white outer ring (new enhancement), white knobs with pin, gasket seal.  For sealant I went to Lowes and bought some GE Silicone II mold resistant slicone caulking for adhesive.  I love the Cherubini 27.  Sure the 30 footer has an entirely different interior with shower and I can stand up in it without bending over, but to me, the 27 is like getting into the equivalent of a Willy's jeep.  Not a lot of horsepower, and it may not be the prettiest boat with all the fiberglass, but everything on this boat works and works well.  It is reliable, responsive, turns on a dime, not that costly to maintain and the hull on this boat looks so good, that you think we had rubbed botox into it. Each portal took about 15-20 minutes to install.  Even I was amazed and to realize that all THESE PORTALS OPEN UP to let those cool breezes flow through the galley while gunk-holing.  Having heeled 35 degrees last year, I realized you don't sail with the portals open, unless of course you want to wash the galley floor with a fresh supply of water.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Third Time Is A Charm

Figure 69 - The future Club President
is driving the tractor while CM is nestled
in Her hammock for a short nap
That time of the year again when the winds begin to exceed 20 knots and the temperature is inching toward below 30 degrees.  For those of you who know the traditions of the Chesapeake Bay, in April we conduct the Burning Of the Socks to mark the opening of our sailing season.  Now it is time to begin to think about buying some new socks as the colder weather is coming.  Well, the Constance Marie is now an experienced member of our family.  She will be 35 years old in 2015. Hmmm, that means that we have owned her 11.67% of her existing life! I power washed her and set about to finalize the plan and schedule next a weekend that I will put in some new portals. This is her third time being pulled.  Everything went well to include putting the landscaping material underneath the boat stands. Big improvement over the past year, especially when the rain and snow manufacture muddy waters.

Figure 70 - Man those boat stands look
good all freshly painted!
Pulling and storing only took about 20 minutes and the engine oil was still hot so I changed the oil as soon as I could get aboard.  As I add more details and pictures later to this Journey, I will show you how I did that.

If you click on the picture to the left, you will notice the wooden footings for the boat stands.  They were made of regular 3/4 inch plywood and pretty much shot.  A few days later, I bought some 4 x 4 sheets of 3/4 inch marine plywood and cut them into one square foot sections.  I hammered two sections together creating 1-1/2 inch footing.  Did this for 15 footings. Took a Saturday afternoon to accomplish.  I then loosened the support panels at the top of each boat stand (ONE AT A TIME) enough to slip three new footings under each boat stand.

Now I am excited because the next project next weekend is to put a couple of new portals replacing the 34 year old originals.