Believe it or not, this ONE TINY little hose clamp is all that’s keeping our boat from potentially sinking to the bottom. It’s part of our centerboard operation, and unfortunately there’s not much we can do to improve it, except to ensure that the clamps and hoses are in good condition. So we tear the whole thing apart and make sure all the bits and pieces are up to snuff.
There’s heaps more in this one… We prep our mast and rigging for re-stepping, test a new water filtration system, and take measurements for our new headsail from Precision Sails.
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Lauren & Kirk
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[Kirk] Looking pretty comfy there.
Good tape, bad tape.
One, two, three.
This is what we have to do to go get drinking water. Somebody’s lucky day. So this is something I’m really not looking forward to doing, but it’s incredibly important.
[Lauren] Wow, that’s the piece of hose, huh?
[Kirk] That’s what could sink our boat.
[Lauren] Last time on Sailing Soulianis. After five months away we returned to the boat in Florida. Oh that’s so dirty.
[Kirk] Yeah. I don’t see any real water damage.
[Kirk] Mister Beke looks pretty good, just thought the way that we left him.
After getting the boat put back together and organized, we made a list of all the things we wanted to get done before we splashed. We’ve got a decent amount of projects to do. The goal is to be out of the yard in two months. So this morning we’re gonna measure our headsail. Right now, Kirk’s watching some videos online about how to do it, it shouldn’t be that difficult.
All right, we ready for this?
[Lauren] If you remember a long time ago, we talked about how we really needed a new headsail, because our genoa was too old and too big.
Our only headsail is 155% genoa. We reach hull speed at about 13 knots of wind, and are quickly overpowered. It’s old, it’s blown out, and we are heading to the trade winds. So this sail has been a big source of anxiety when the winds are up, for us, because we know that it’s not the right sail to have. In any case.
We need a new headsail.
We need a new headsail.
[Lauren] Well, we’re finally getting around to placing our order with Precision Sails, a Canadian sail loft with pretty much the best customer service we’ve ever come across in the marine industry. Everything is done completely remotely, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world. They guide you through taking your own measurements, you submit them online, and voila. In a handful of weeks, you’ve got a brand new sail.
[Kirk] Okay, so we’re gonna do leech first. Photograph of that. So that they can see it, you know? Got it?
[Lauren] Got it.
[Kirk] Okay, pull the line tight.
[Lauren] Okay, we got ’em all.
[Kirk] Okay, well do you wanna go double check?
[Lauren] Yeah, sure.
[Kirk] Okay, go ahead.
Now that we’d gotten the measurements off our old sail, we needed to get some from the boat itself, which we’ll do a bit later. All right. Going for a run. Bye. How far should I run?
[Kirk] Two miles.
Two? At least two.
[Kirk] Okay, well don’t be too long, ’cause it’s getting dark.
[Kirk] Bye. Do you have the key for the gate?
[Kirk] How was your run? Was it good?
It was really easy.
This is at the end of the road that our boat yard is off of. Just a little bit further, there’s access to a walking path. Oh, you gonna be some gator’s dinner! There’s stuff skittering everywhere, on both sides of the path. I got the bejeezus scared out of me the other night when I went for a run. I guess the bushes were pretty close, and something huge just started scrambling in the bushes, and I screamed and jumped into the middle of the road. Yeah, it’s alive down here.
So this is something I’m really not looking forward to doing, but it’s incredibly important. Our center board line runs down through our mast, and exits the boat at the top of the center board trunk, which is below the waterline, so there’s a little nipple on the end of the top of the center board trunk, where the line comes out. And we have a conduit that serves as a channel that goes well above the waterline, that will allow the line to run through it, but not have water come leaking into our boat. And to bridge that gap, there’s this little section of high pressure hose. And I’ve kept an eye on it, because there appears to be one hose clamp that is kind of sliding off the edge. Everything else about it looks okay, although there is now a little bit of rust on the hose clamps. So I’m either going to just replace the hose clamps, if the hose still looks solid, or I may also take off the hose and replace that, but both situations kind of give me concern. ‘Cause sometimes when you take off a hose clamp, and you put on a new one, it never reseats exactly the same. And you end up with not as good of a seal as the original one. But also I’m just not sure if taking off the hose, if it’s going to be all that easy to get back on, and we really need to get our mast re-stepped. But the thing is, is this is an unprotected thru hull, so if this fails, we have a half inch hole in the bottom of our boat, that is about two feet below the waterline. There’s no seacock there, so the only thing we can do is plug it with something, and hope that our bilge pump can keep up with it, and that we can maneuver with eight foot of draft, because our center board’s gonna be down. It’s a pretty sketchy situation. But we need to do it.
[Lauren] Oh no, what are all those screws down there?
[Kirk] Flatheads. I’ve unscrewed this, so it can move. This is the moment of truth, I guess. This is unscrewed, so it’s loose, and I take a razor blade and I cut right through that.
[Lauren] Oh man.
You ready for this?
Really? Okay, there’s no turning back. Yeah, that’s some heavy duty hose. God, that’s what I feared. So this second hose clamp was pulling it off. Okay.
[Kirk] Yeah, that just fits.
[Lauren] Wow, that’s the piece of hose, huh?
[Kirk] That’s the piece of hose. That’s what could sink our boat. That is what scares me though. That nipple is so short.
[Lauren] Hey, what you got there?
[Kirk] I have a new exhaust hose, that I’m dipping into very warm water, to loosen it up a little bit. I called around for about two hours today, looking for one inch diameter exhaust hose, and nobody had it, and I went to go pick up a package, at the boat yard that we’re at, and I said “Hey, do you by chance have any?” He walked in the back, and hanging from the rafter, amongst a bunch of other random stuff, two exhaust hoses. One of them happened to be one inch diameter exhaust hose. So it was fate. [Lauren] Gosh, we have a s&*^ storm happening in the kitchen.
[Kirk] You putting raspberry in yours too?
What? No, that just–
In your G and T?
No, it was just on top of the tonic.
Can I do a raspberry gin and tonic?
Yeah. I got a pressure cooker. I’ve never used the cooker, and it was still in the van in the box, and we really wanted to make this rice and bean and mango and whatever dish for dinner, and we found out that the only black beans that we have are dried. My hand has been forced. We need to make these beans, and we can’t wait all night–
For them to soak. So here we go with the pressure cooker. So I pulled up on this earlier, because they talked about showing two red lines, and that tells you how much pressure the cooker’s under. But I pulled it up without reading the instructions. I got really scared, ’cause I thought maybe I wasn’t supposed to do that, and I was like “Oh my God, did I break my pressure cooker?” One cup of beans, some water. Time for the heat. Ooh, buddy. Be happenin’. This is very scary. All right. All of a sudden it went “Pshhh”. Whoa! So that was only the soaking process. Now they’re ready to be actually cooked. Look at those mango rice bowls with fresh cilantro.
I think like six minutes probably would’ve been okay. ‘Cause they’re pretty mushy.
Yeah, they are pretty mushy.
You could’ve just used the–
Hey, we made re-fried beans!
The re-fried beans.
This is what we have to do to go get drinking water. Step one, climb down the ladder with copious amounts of water jugs. Step two, remove all of the Reflectix in the window of the van. Step three, forget that you were supposed to bring a filter and a hose to fill up the jerry cans, and reverse down the street. Step four, go back and get your stuff.
[Lauren] Wait, what’s step two and three?
I don’t know.
[Lauren] The reason we had to do this was because our boat yard’s water wasn’t fit for drinking.
Somebody’s lucky day.
Kirk had the brilliant idea of siphoning the water from the deck down into the tanks, so we didn’t have to haul all six is it six cans? Down through the companionway. He already had to haul ’em three miles.
[Kirk] Here, dump the remaining in there.
From the other yard.
Magic. Well not really, it’s just gravity at work. But I was able to transfer the siphon from the first bottle to the second one and it kept going, which is pretty sweet, I gotta get ready for this next one.
Tomorrow is mast stepping day. Or re-stepping day, whatever you wanna call it. So Kirk is working on getting the mast prepped. This is so exciting, look at how beautiful those spreaders are.
Do you know why the nut goes on the bottom?
So that water doesn’t gather on it?
No, that’s not a bad idea though, I like where your head’s at. The nut goes on the bottom so that if the nut were to come off, your bolt doesn’t fall out.
The bolt still stays in there.
Ah, got it!
At least if you see the nut, if you hear the nut fall off–
All the way down there.
You kind of go “Oh, what the heck is that?” It probably stays in long enough for you to figure that out.
Where’d you learn that? The interwebs?
I don’t remember. Maybe Bruce, I don’t know.
Or somebody in the flesh.
I think it might have been someone in the flesh.
So how did these get so pretty? ‘Cause they looked like crap before, they were just like a dingy gray.
I sanded them down to bare aluminum, primed ’em, and then painted ’em back up. They’re gonna get really dirty really fast, because I forgot to get UV clear coat while I was at the hardware store today.
And we’re stepping the mast tomorrow, so.
One of the things we have to do is actually slide the entire mast forward about eight feet or so? Because currently it’s sitting under someone’s boat, at least part of it is, and if it was lifted up now, it would smack right into their hull. We did this six months ago right before we left Florida for the summer. Kirk and I both shimmied the mast out of the aisle, so that people wouldn’t hit it with their cars as they were driving by. How heavy is our mast, Kirk?
[Kirk] Good question. It’s at least, I would say, 500 pounds.
Yeah, yeah. It is very heavy.
[Lauren] What are you doing right now?
I’m trying to get another block under here, this is a low section, but it looks like…
You’re not gonna be able to do that unless I lift the end of it. All right. Ready?
Yup. Lift with your legs, not your back. Come on, bird.
[Cliff] Let me come over there and help.
All right. Yeah, we gotta back this out about eight feet, Cliff. ‘Cause it’s underneath their hull, so. I just wanted you to know what you were signing up for.
You know, Lauren, no offense, I’m sure you’re powerful, but–
I don’t know.
All right, you ready Lauren?
[Kirk] Okay, one, two, three. All right. All clear now.
Okay. Now we are going to start attaching the rigging to the spreaders. Good tape, bad tape. This is self-amalgamating tape. This is self-adhesive tape, meaning this has glue in it. It says no sticky residues, no liners, yada yada yada, but it has glue in it. This sticks to itself. This is very expensive, this is very cheap. This was free, actually. It was sitting around in the boat yard for 10 years and they said “Just take it”, so. I don’t even know if it’ll stick. So this is going around the spreader, and around our spreader boot, to hold that stuff on. And because it only sticks to itself, the idea is you can pull it back off easily, and you don’t have a bunch of gooey residue all over your accoutrements. So what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna wrap a layer around of this, and then I’m gonna go over the top of it with this.
[Lauren] Just because you don’t have enough amalgamating–
Because I don’t have enough, before we go step our mast tomorrow morning. Hey Mike, how are you?
[Mike] Good, how are you guys doing?
[Kirk And Lauren] Good.
We’re making progress.
[Mike] Making progress, yeah. Ready to leave tomorrow?
[Kirk] No, not quite tomorrow.
[Mike] You might have to try the tool I have for cutting.
[Kirk] What’s that, you got a special tool for cutting cable ties?
[Mike] Yes I do.
It’s mast stepping day! It’s gonna be another month before we drop into the water, but this is the stuff that makes me feel good. ‘Cause it looks more like a sailboat than not.
[Kirk] Butyl rubber for the wind.
[Kirk] Yeah, it never leaked.
[Lauren] What d’you have to do to get that off there?
[Lauren] Just unscrew the–
[Kirk] Really hard and rock it back and forth.
Nice. Last time we cleaned up the mast, we attached the spreaders, I cleaned up all the stainless steel with some polish. They weren’t really that rusty anyway, so we did a good job in June doing that. And we’re pretty far from salt water, so. Kirk just took the mast plug out, and I have to clean up the partners. We gotta clean up the stays, put the turnbuckles on, and I think we’re ready.
You guys ready?
Okay, boom down.
Oh man, it feels like we just fought a battle.
We’re a sailboat again!
Yeah. Fish out of water.
[Kirk] Those spreaders look awesome.
It really wasn’t that big of a deal, it’s just there’s a million things to think about, and they all have to be done at the perfect order.
And we’re on the clock.
And we’re on the clock, yeah. Two things we messed up. One was we had the what, forestay?
The forestay was on the back side of the spreader.
Of the spreaders.
And then wrapped through the upper port–
Shroud. We’re gonna blame that on Mike, though.
Yeah, for coming over and talking to us last night.
[Mike] Cuts ’em clean, cuts ’em perfectly clean.
[Kirk] I didn’t know that even existed.
[Mike] Yup, I have two of ’em.
He’s over there.
So, we had to take all the–
Rigging tape off.
Yeah, off the spreader boot. And re-tape it, but whatever. But the second thing, we learned that the best way to put our mast chocks in is bow, port, and starboard first, and then stern last.
And we started off with the stern in first, and we were trying to winch the mast back, to create space for the bow chock, when Brady suggested–
[Lauren And Kirk] Doing the opposite.
And it went in so easy, so.
And it worked way, way easier.
Ah. Such a nice sound. Just kidding. For the first 30 seconds, and then you start to go batty. Are you filming?
So we just stepped our mast. I’m now going to hook up some water filters so that we can flush our tanks, while Lauren sits here and eats her bonbons, and drinks her coffee. Looking pretty comfy there. So, we got a reverse osmosis water filter kit.
[Lauren] That’s giant.
Yeah, that’s pretty large.
[Lauren] Where the hell are we gonna put that thing?
It may go under the sink, it may not. I don’t know. I’m not sure. If it doesn’t, we just store it somewhere, and pull it out when we need it. Accoutrements. I think that’s the word of the week.
[Lauren] And the waste water line is the black one. And we have an hour of this?
We have an hour of this, yeah. It’s interesting, though, that not even a drop has come out of the good water yet. This one, because the water’s so dirty, and because it only makes 75 gallons a day, you do get a lot of waste water.
[Lauren] I see.
But I’m just surprised we haven’t even seen a trickle start yet. So this is why we weren’t getting any water out of the blue hose. It’s leaking.
[Lauren] Mystery solved.
The gasket was pinched. Hopefully the gasket isn’t ruined. We’re gonna try it again.
[Cliff] Looks like two weeks to me, what do you think?
[Kirk] I mean, I think–
[Cliff] You think two weeks?
I think about two weeks, yeah. The joke was that every time I saw Cliff, he’d be like “So, think you’re gonna be in in two weeks?” That was the first day we arrived, and it’s been two and a half weeks now since we’ve been here, and he’s still saying “Gonna be about two weeks?”
[Cliff] I’ve been sayin’ that for a year.
One of these days we’re gonna be right.
All right, so is it leaking now? There’s water coming out of the blue one, so that’s good.
[Lauren] Yes! Looking good.
No leaks. All right. So the whole reason that we wanted to put the mast up sooner, rather than later, even though we’re not going in the water for another month, probably?
Or as Cliff would say, two weeks, is because we needed to get some measurements for our new headsail that Precision Sails is making us. So we’ve got like 20 minutes of sunlight left. We’re gonna bang this out. Right?
[Kirk] Okay, measurement one. We need a messenger line.
[Lauren] And the tape measure.
Measurement one is the furling drum height. Right there.
[Kirk] What do you think about those guns, is that what you’re showing me?
Ooh. Happy hour’s always accompanied by boat projects. Is it not?
[Lauren] Okay, what’s first?
The furling drum height, which is from the deck to the tack attachment point of our sail. So we’re gonna call that–
[Kirk] 18 inches.
[Kirk] Number two. And then we’re also just gonna tie this little messenger line onto the bottom here.
[Lauren] In case the tape measure breaks, is what you’re saying?
Yeah, in case the tape measure breaks, or we can pull our whole set-up back down. Okay.
Sip a beer?
Take this right on down to our tack point here. 46 feet.
[Lauren] Next, foretriangle height. So that’s the weird one.
[Kirk] What are we doing?
[Lauren] It’s this angle from the–
[Kirk] Oh, okay.
[Lauren] Yeah, top to the–
[Kirk] To the side deck?
[Kirk] But just to right here.
[Lauren] 45 feet, 9 inches?
45 feet, 9 inches.
[Kirk] Come on, we were supposed to do this before the noseeums came out.
This is the noseeum dance. Ah, okay.
[Kirk] We’re almost there.
Here we go.
[Kirk] It’s gonna be a nice looking sunset, I think. Foretriangle base, measure along the deck from the forestay to the forward face of the mast. This isn’t taking too long, huh?
[Kirk] We haven’t even finished one beer between the two of us.
I know. We’re slow drinkers. Okay.
[Kirk] All right, so we’re gonna measure the front of the genoa track. Twenty-three, three. And the back of the genoa track. All the way to the forestay pin.
30 feet and 4 inches?
[Lauren] All right, cool. So that’s everything–
[Kirk] All right, so now we just need to do the waterline.
[Lauren] The vertical distance from the waterline up to the intersection of the deck and the forestay.
[Kirk] Can you actually come down here, because I think we’re gonna need to eye the waterline. Because we have such overhang. Does that look to be about four feet?
[Lauren] No, it’s actually much longer.
Woosh! This is our waterline.
[Lauren] You’re ridiculous. What do we got here? Nyowm. Four feet and, yeah. Five inches.
Big day today. We are painting.
We’ve had a bare hull for six weeks now. Pretty frickin’ stoked.