Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gave Stray Cat another wash down and more organizing today and said goodbye for a week. I have a work Conference to attend and Freddie will continue to prepare Stray Cat to hopefully shove off the first available weather window after I get back.
Looking better after a scrubbing.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

We Ain't Blowing Smoke! Yippee!!!!

With the port engine pouring black smoke every time it was under load we were getting seriously worried. We checked the air filter/ the exhaust elbow and even dove down and checked to make sure that we didn't have anything wrapped around the prop. None of those were the problem so a call to Jack our favorite diesel mechanic was in order. We even had Jack scratching his head. Turns out that there is a no load governor type thingy ( I know a very technical term. I cannot remember the real term). This part controls how much fuel the injector supplies and it was supplying to much fuel, result, black smoke. After a simple adjustment, no more black smoke. Freddie wired in the new freezer and started clearing out and organizing his tools. We moved all the scuba gear on board, brought the dingy back to the boat and took the jet ski home. Took the boat out to the sound and checked out the new auto pilot and other electronics on our own. It's kinda cool the way it steers back and forth as it learns the tide and wind conditions when you set new waypoints. The depth sensor for Freddie's new fish finder is in a different hull than the original depth sensor. That works well since our hulls are 21' apart and can have much different depths below the keels.  I have then spent the last 2 days thoroughly scrubbing the outside of the boat. Stray Cat has some scars but looks much better now that she is clean. I have a work conference to attend this week. Freddie will spend his week finishing up things on the boat. When I return Hopefully all we will be waiting on is a weather window!
Freddie learning the auto pilot

Cushions and seats scrubbed. lines and sail bags washed and drying in the sun.

Removed the old non slip strips now cleaning the old glue before installing the new ones.

Not so good illustration of smoke and smutty exhaust water.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Well we had a good day today. The Auto Pilot is now functioning properly!We took the boat back out into the river and the River and this Auto Pilot is a big improvement over the other one. That was a must have to start our trip. The only biggie left is to solve the problem with the port engine and Jack(the diesel mechanic) will be here at 8 am tomorrow. We even saw dolphins, always a good thing. This afternoon I started to get familiar with the SSB radio. It's been over a year since I even looked at it and I didn't know much then so today I was totally lost. Tomorrow morning i have to go and re-certify my lifeguard certification ( 60 yr old lifeguard! crazy) then I am going to really work on this SSB RADIO.
River Pics during Auto test

More River pics

Freddie and Ken working on the Auto Pilot

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Almost but not quite yet.

Ok, I know it has been a long time but was honestly getting sick of repair projects that didn't seem to be getting anywhere. It's true that everything that has to be done to a boat takes twice as long and cost three times as much as the same thing on land. We were suppose to leave this weekend but again we have some issues to straighten out before we can actually leave. Took the boat out to calibrate the new Auto pilot and test the other new electronics and the news was not good. We could not get Auto to work and the C180 couldn't get a fix on the boats location. To top it off now the port engine was belching black smoke whenever under load. It did not do that when we did the engine sea trail. Still trying to find the problem with the port engine but found that the gps antenna was bad and was able to acquire a used one that works. We can now get the boat to show up on the chart plotter and hopefully we can sort out Auto and the port engine and be on our way. By the way, West Marine takes a lot of heat on the forums, but I have to compliment them today. When we figured out that the gps was shot we started looking for replacement. Of course the C180 is an older unit that needs a Raystar 125 which is now practically obsolete. A call to WM and the guy told us he had one in stock so off we went. When we arrived the guy we had talked to had gotten off and the new clerk could not find the unit we needed. Finally he talked to the guy we had spoke with earlier and he let him know that he had called Raymarine and they told him another unit was what we needed and that unit was the one he told us he had in stock. The unit that he had would not work without an adapter (another $100 and  not in stock). We were not happy after an hour drive. The clerk got on the phone and called around and found us the used unit. That's true customer service and was greatly appreciated!

Capt. Fred at the helm again

Circles in the sound for calibration

More circles in Cumberland sound. We still had to do it again in the river.

Jack our Diesel mechanic.

At the dock in Rocky's boat yard

Starting to get cleaned and organized

Freddie up the mast pulling wires

My not so set up salon