New Boat

Warming Up

It finally feels like spring today. I know, I know. People in the rest of Canada and many parts of the US, Asia, and Europe will be thinking, “Finally? It’s only mid-February!” But to us spoiled people here in Vancouver, this month marks the beginning of the end.

The days are getting longer too, which gives me a fuzzy feeling and an itch to get working on the boat.

However, I realized today that we have everything we need to actually sail Tomahawk. The sails are beat up, but seem workable. The hull is solid, albeit due for a cleaning and a fresh coat of bottom paint. The rudder responds well to the tiller. Our biggest concern is the engine. I’m starting to understand why so many boaters are fans of diesel over gasoline. And electric starters, rather than pulling the cord, which I suck at.

We also need to take our engine out of the too-small engine compartment and mount it on the transom. This will be one of our first priorities. Of course, if the engine won’t start properly, we may need to shell out the cash for a new one, which will hurt a lot.

After basic preparations, we will soon need to turn our attention to the battery bank. We’ll need a new battery, in all likelihood, as well as some sort of generator. We have a solar panel on board, but we are thinking hydro would be awesome. And possibly wind. The more sources, the merrier.

Of course, before we can live aboard, we will need a solution to our toilet problem. No, we haven’t solved that yet. We will likely ask a few sailor friends for advice and see what our bank account thinks of the various options.

And a shower. We have our solar shower, which should be fine for summer, but we need some sort of hiding place to shower in. I’m thinking maybe one of those collapsible camping showers, if we can set it up in the cockpit. Hmm…

Lots to think about. Can’t wait to finally start sailing next month!

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Categories: Getting Started, New Boat, Practical Stuff, Supplies | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And another thing…

We’ve been thinking (not seriously) of changing our blog’s name to “And another thing…” because every time we fix something on the boat, we find another thing we need to work on. It’s fun on one level, but it’s also very time-consuming and we have yet to actually take Tomahawk out sailing.

Here are a few of the items on our current to-do list:

  • Get the water out of our port compartments. We believe this leaked in through the companionway hatch when the boat was on its side. In other words, it’s not a hull breach and just needs to be sponged out.
  • Clean the interior. It was a bit of a mess before, but since the grounding, everything is all over the place. We bought some biodegradable, sealife-friendly Sea Safe cleaner. If you ever own a boat, please don’t use bleach or other chemicals that harm the environment. We haven’t tried it out yet, but this product is pretty cheap and very concentrated, so it should last a long time. They claim that three capfuls mixed in water will clean our whole boat.
  • Fix or replace the mainsail. Jamie took a look at our mainsail and discovered a tear in the cloth. The whole thing is pretty worn out. Sails are not cheap, so we may just duct tape the tear until we get a bit of practice in and we have some extra
  • Rig up an anchoring light. Right now, we have two solar-powered garden lights from Canadian Tire that are supposed to come on automatically at dusk. They don’t meet the regulations, but they will do until we can figure out how to hook up our electrical system – which brings us to the next point.
  • Hook up the electrical system. It turns out we don’t need to concern ourselves overly with an inverter. DC power will run all the boat’s built-in lights. We just need a solar panel, wind generator, and/or water generator to keep the battery charged. We might also have to do some rewiring, which we have no clue about. I’ve been reading Sailboat Electrics Simplified by Don Casey and am learning a lot. I highly recommend this book for people who have no idea about electricity, like me.
  • Patch the Zodiac. Yesterday, we went down to clean up the boat. Our dinghy was still floating, but had taken on a surprising amount of water. It had also deflated a bit. Jason was able to paddle out to the boat without sinking, so hopefully it will be okay until we can fix it. The goal was to get our pump, but the lock on the companionway has seized up. So he wasn’t able to get in and we returned home dejected.
  • Get WD40. See above. If we can’t unseize the lock, we will have to cut it and buy a new one.
  • Put a bridle on our anchor. Having your anchor bridled reduces the amount of strain on the line, since the force is diffused in two directions. It would also allow us to drop the hook directly off the front of the bow, instead of off to one side the way it is now. That would reduce chafe, which was what caused the line to break before.
Anchor bridle

An anchor bridle on the folks at Zero to Cruising’s boat. Check out their awesome blog by clicking on the image!

I’m sure there are a few more things and as soon as we finish one project, something else will crop up. If the dinghy does sink or become irreparable, we now have kayaks that we bought super cheap (display models in the off-season, dontcha know?). We will still be able to get out to the boat to move things forward.

 

Categories: Getting Started, Maintenance, New Boat, Practical Stuff | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

It Begins

We have officially taken over possession of the boat. Danny and his dad Gerald have vacated the premises, after doing a ton of work on it. They put in a new head (toilet) pump and replaced the wood around the entrance. They bought new locks and cleaned up the inside quarters.

After getting the grand tour, we walked back up the dock. The Zodiac is locked in place for our first trip out as independent owners. Gerald said, “Yesterday when we were working on it, I had a tear in my eye. You really get attached.” I’m sure we will!

Boat Keys

We have keys!

Our solar shower arrived today too. It’s a big black bag with a shower nozzle. You fill it with water and leave it in the sun. The temperature can reach 50 degrees Celsius, according to the instructions! Ouch! Now we just need some sun….

Solar Shower

Important: Place black side up! Should be easy enough, since that’s every side 😉

In spite of the great efforts put in by Danny and Gerald, Tomahawk still needs a bit of work. Here are some things to do, off the top of my head:

I’m sure there will be many, many more items added to this list over time.

 

 

Categories: Cleaning, Electricity, Getting Started, New Boat, Practical Stuff | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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