Monday, April 29, 2013

Wash Down Pump Installed -Verdict In

If we have learned anything in our 3 years of refitting (who's counting, right?!?!?) its that many times things that sound like a great idea can disappoint you in oh, so so many ways. Let's face it, there is a ton of stuff-gadgets and geegaws a plenty-out on the market to festoon your boat with. Lot's of stuff that while they say it will make life easier, your boat sail faster and make you more attractive and more fun at parties, often just leaves you with a lighter wallet, missing a weeks time and something else that will inevitably need repair. This is not the case with our new wash down pump. This thing is awesome!

Mark got the pump and the necessary plumbing installed. The hose which was supplied by the manufacturer was well, how do I put it nicely? Crap. It was crap. We bought a heavy duty hose, removed the brass fittings, installed heavy duty plastic ones and added a pressure spray nozzle for it. Oh, and you might think taking apart a hose is no big deal until you realize that Mark let me do it, which means he let me use his heat gun, hose cutters and screwdriver. Yes, he let me touch his tools. It's a red letter day around Ceol Mor.

After emptying the anchor locker of the chain rode and dropping the anchor so we could get access to install everything, we had enough disgusting slime, ick and sticky black mud to see how the pump would handle it. It handles it fantastically! We had a moment of doubt when we first turned on the pump without the pressure fitting and saw what appeared to be a tiny little trickle of water. Not to fear, once the pressure attachment was fitted and the sprayer was engaged it had plenty of pressure to knock the mud off. Kitty had too much fun spraying the chain...and the deck...and me. Mark made her day by allowing her to work her way up from Baby Bilge Rat to full fledged Deck Monkey. With some assistance, she was able to work the windlass in a stop and go manner while Mark washed down the chain. She eventually got enough skill to work the windlass on command by herself, although she wasn't maybe spot on when Mark would tell her to stop. Oh well, That's what reverse is for.

For the time being (unless we add a new ac unit and watermaker under the v berth) the plumbing and wiring is done in the front cabin. This means the construction on the cabinetry in the front cabin can begin again in earnest- if only we had a boat wright. *sigh* Let's just say the Universe giveth and the Universe taketh away and try to keep a stiff upper lip and get on with it.
OOOHHH Plumbing AND Electrical runs....

Plumbing...just to document how lovely Mark's installs are. No one cares but boat dorks. I am a boat dork too. Its ok....

Soon....very soon!

Friday, April 26, 2013

And Now We Are 3....

In the midst of all the plumbing and painting, our wee girl turned 3. What she wanted more than anything this year was a birthday party. I suppose my career as an event planner/manager is the reason I felt a flush of panic. Visions of bouncy castles, lavishly decorated tents, a huge guest list, caterers, pony rides, magicians and photographers bounced around in my head as I nervously queried what her expectations of a party were. Kitty had my back. What she wanted was a cake, balloons and party hats. Her requested guest list was Mommy, Daddy and Maura. Okay, this I could handle.

 For a while, Kitty was into Spider Man. It didn't take long for her to figure out  that Spider Man is a boy and she is a girl and she wants to be a Super Hero too. So Spider Man was quickly replaced by a love of the Power Puff Girls who are sugar and spice and everything nice with a healthy dose of Chemical X which enables them to fight crime and save the world. The great thing about this is how cute Kitty is 'flying' around with  her cape streaming behind her saving us and her stuffed animals from evil doers. The bad thing, she really wanted a Power Puff Girls party and the Puff Girls are now considered "classic". Ouch. This means there is nothing available on the well supplied kiddie-licensed-character market adorned with Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup.

I took Kitty with me to every single darned party and toy store looking for anything with her beloved Power Puff Girls. Zero luck. I gave Kitty the opportunity to choose anything else she wanted- Thomas the Tank? Nope. Spider Man? Nope. She saw the pink pirate hats and eye patches and that was it. Okay, its your party and you can "argh" if you want to.

Remembering the Great Poop Cake Incident of last year, I played it safe and just bought some cupcakes from the bakery. Kitty was every bit as happy as if I had gotten her an elaborate cake because she got to blow out candles and make a wish. That's what she wanted- party hat, candles and a wish. How could I say no?
Every time Kitty sees this photo she says " Look! Its a wish!"

We all wore pirate hats. Kitty blew out her candles. We had non-poopy cupcakes and Kitty opened her gifts of Play Dough, Crayons, High Ho Cherry O and the thing she loves most- a robotic rabbit. (she really wants a rabbit but we've got no room on the boat). Simple. I do not think she would have been any happier with an elaborate, huge shin dig. 3 year olds get it. Joy and happiness is everywhere and its usually in the simple things.

Oh. Would you believe in the very back of the balloon stand at the grocery store Kitty spotted a Power Puff Girls Balloon? See? Miracles do happen.
Happy Birthday Kitty.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Opportunities Abound!!

Rebuilding, I mean refitting an older boat offers so many opportunities to not just learn new skill, but to perfect them. That is a positive way of saying that it gets really frustrating to work your butt off to repair something correctly and then have the final stages go wrong. Calling it really frustrating is being polite. I believe the tack Mark takes is to begin weaving an elaborate tapestry of obscenities where in he curses the project, the products used in the project, the people who designed the products and then he saves the really strong derision for himself.

After carefully removing the rot from around the port light and carefully rebuilding, fairing and epoxying it (which took days and days) he was ready to paint it all to match. It looked perfect. He prepared everything and did a few practice runs with the spray gun and was pretty chuffed that he found an exact color match with the Awl Craft. If you have been reading this blog for any length of time you know that all of this is foreshadowing for what was to come.

After carefully, painstakingly and meticulously painting the port light it looked like this-

Pretty good, right? From a distance, with your eyes squinted it looks good. Without the benefit of Hyperopia the flaws become very, very apparent.

Despite carefully researching and practicing with the paint gun, the paint spattered and speckled its way to a lovely textured finish reminiscent of that ever so popular in the 80's ceiling treatment called a popcorn finish. Fabulous. Note to self- higher pressure is a good thing.

I asked Mark if it was something he could live with and he replied that it would catch every speck of dirt in a 5 mile radius and would slowly, but surely drive him insane. So he now has the opportunity to perfect his sanding and fairing skills- again- before tackling the painting again.

Me? I'd give it one more go after fairing it if it falls short of perfection just live with it until the time comes to have the boat repainted. But its not me and its not my project so I will just get Captain Perfecto to laugh about it in much the same way as you would laugh at Lucy and Ethel on the chocolate factory line and get on with it.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

On Shut Off Valves, Wash Down Pumps and Artists.

Oh you KNOW there are schematics for this. I'll post them soon.
As much as I tease him, he does manage to solve a lot of problems
using that Perfecto noodle of his.

Mark was pretty darned stoked about the valve on our water tank. He excitedly told me how he had spent days designing and manufacturing a custom valve that would allow us to isolate the secondary water tank without ripping the settee which houses the tank apart. He started talking about the lack of commercially available valves that would be accessible and functional while installed in a boat setting and then he started telling me about psi and flow rates or something along those lines. I can't tell you precisely because it was at this time that my eyes glazed over and I started noticing that his hair was kinda crazy and made him look a bit like a mad professor... then I started thinking about mad professors movies...then I started thinking about the movie Real Genius and how much I would like to be eating popcorn. I snapped back to attention when he said "it will allow us to isolate the water tank so when we run the water maker we can test the water before mixing it in with the main tank". This means he has agreed to put in a water maker! WHOOP! Since a water maker is at the top of my wish list, only just below an in boom furler I was pretty ecstatic myself. Now if I can just get him to see the beauty of the engineering of the Leisure Furl...and sell a kidney to fund it will be better than Christmas around here.

Every day our UPS man rings our doorbell and drops off various small brown boxes. Kitty is well trained. She pipes up "A present for Daddy!" and runs off to open the door and collect the days parcels. In her world Santa Claus wears a brown UPS uniform. She waits eagerly for Mark to come home so they can open them together. Usually, they are filled with odd bits of plumbing supplies but every once in a while, we get something exciting- like a wash down pump. Kitty thinks it is great to pretend to spray her dad. I think its great that I never again have to remove the thick black mud that loves to stick to our anchor by hand. Ok, so I will still have to remove the muck by hand but now at least I have a shot at not being completely filthy by the end of the job.

One of the cool things about having an almost 3 year old is to see the leaps in development they make. Up until now, Kitty has been happily scribbling with crayons and mixing paint colors in abstract designs with an occasional circle drawn just to show she can. Today, she started drawing objects intentionally. It was such fun to see the pride she had in her work and for me to be able to recognize the objects she was drawing. She will happily spend hours drawing if you will only draw with her. She carefully doles out the paper and assigns the crayons you will get to use. we might want to start helping her learn to not micro manage other peoples projects. (wonder where she gets THAT?!?!) She is also developing a bit of kindness in that she never points out that I can not actually draw. "Good job Mama!" she says, no matter how wonky the rendering. Yeah, having an almost 3 year old is pretty awesome.

Why its a boat of course.
An owl, with "softly feathers"