Webasto Repair, Winch Replacement

Webasto Expansion Tank

A new cap on the Webasto expansion tank fixed most of the problems of leaking coolant.

Manual winch on boom for hoisting and lowering dinghy

The self-tailing manual winch mounted on the boom has been used for hoisting and lowering our dinghy.

Boom with mounted manual winch

Jim removed this manual winch from our boom, and will be installing the new electric winch in its place.

Yea! We are able to use the Webasto heater again. Heat is a good thing! But when the system got hot yesterday, some of the coolant leaked. Turns out that the pressure relief cap on the expansion tank has worn, so we replaced it with a new cap. That helped the bulk of the leaking, but today we noticed that there is still a bit of coolant overflow, which we will have to address by adding an overflow reservoir…another project!

The first step in installing the new electric winch on our boom is removing the existing manual winch. Jim got the manual winch off yesterday afternoon, but work time was cut short today due to rain. We’ll resume this project when we have a bit of dry weather.

Webasto Repair

Webasto plumbing in the engine room

Webasto circulating pump and associated valves in the engine room. One of these valves was the culprit, and was turned off when it should have been on.

Cap Sante Commercial Fishing Boats

Commercial fishing boats moored in Cap Sante Boat Haven

Anacortes Fixup House

Small house in old downtown Anacortes…ready for some TLC.

Last March when Jim came to the boat to check on things, the Webasto diesel circulating hot water heater started, ran for a while, and then quit and wouldn’t restart. So fixing the heater when we got to the boat has been high on our list of repairs. This morning it was 42 degrees, windy and cloudy. It was 56 degrees inside the boat. Wow, did we miss the warmth of the heater!

We have small, electric space heaters mounted on bulkheads in the two lower cabins, so we weren’t completely without heat…but it takes a long time for the electric heaters to warm the boat. This was a good day to get the heater working.

Jim discovered that one of the circulating pump valves had been accidently closed. This caused air to enter the system, thereby causing the heater to overheat and shut down. So today’s task was to bleed the air out of the system, add coolant as needed, and restart the heater. It took a while, but by mid-afternoon the air was out of the system and coolant had been added. Since the sun came out later in the day, the boat became too warm (go figure!) to test the heater, so we will test it tomorrow morning.

While Jim worked on the heater, I walked to the post office. I headed north along the waterfront, past the nearby Cap Sante Boat Haven and back through some of downtown Anacortes. It was windy and cool, but sunny…so it was a nice afternoon for a walk.

New WiFi Bridge

WiFi bridge mounted in hanging locker

Rosie checks out the new WiFi bridge mounted in the hanging locker in our forward stateroom. The bridge is the small white box held in place by a black velcro tie.

One of our first maintenance projects after getting settled on the boat was installing a replacement WiFi bridge so we can connect to the Internet. We access the Internet from our boat at the marina using a WiFi connection provided by an account we have with BroadbandXPress (BBX), a local provider of WiFi for the boating community in the Pacific Northwest.

Our previous wireless bridge died over the winter, so we bought a replacement and brought it with us. It is an Air802, model AP-G250, Ethernet to WiFi bridge with a 250 mW radio. Jim mounted it on a bulkhead in the hanging locker in our forward stateroom, and has run cables to a connection box in our main cabin where we use our computers. The bridge works through a previously installed marine antenna—an Air802 ANMA 2412, 12 dBi antenna—which is mounted on our flybridge.

Bend to Anacortes

Heading north on US-97 north of Madras

We found a brief dry period on our way north on US-97 north of Madras.

Rosie in the car

Rosie curled up in the kitty cup for some of the drive.

Wind turbines in the Gorge

Hundreds of wind turbines line the horizon looking toward the Columbia River Gorge.

Columbia River Gorge looking east

Columbia River Gorge at Biggs Junction looking east

Vineyards at Maryhill Winery, Goldendale, WA

Vineyards at Maryhill Winery, Goldendale, WA

Wind turbines line the highway in Goldendale

Wind turbines line the highway in Goldendale

Toppenish, WA, looking east from U.S. 97

Toppenish, WA, looking east from U.S. 97

Mickey in the car

Mickey’s turn to ride in the kitty cup

Stormy sky near Snoqualmie Pass

Storm clouds build near Snoqualmie Pass

Blue sky and a nice sunset approaching Interstate 5

Blue sky and a nice sunset are a welcome change as we approach the junction of I-405 and I-5

Phoenix at Anacortes Marina

In our slip in Anacortes Marina the next day, Phoenix looks great in the setting sun.

Time to head to the boat! It’s about a 9-hour drive from our house in Bend to our boat in Anacortes if we drive north through Yakima and then west over Snoqualmie Pass. We prefer going that way because we can avoid heavy truck traffic and backups on I-5, so that’s the way we came this time.

We tried to get on the road early in the day, but, as usual, it took longer than we expected to get the car loaded and close up the house, so we didn’t actually leave until 1 PM. The late start meant that our arrival in Anacortes was later than we’d like. Fortunately at this time of the year the days are long enough that it’s light until almost 10 PM, so it wasn’t completely dark when we got to the marina.

It was a stormy weather day for our drive. It was raining and hailing in Bend as we loaded the last of our stuff into the car, and we had a mixture of rain and sun for the entire drive. The worst part was from Snoqualmie Pass to Issaquah, where we encountered rain that was heavy enough to pool up on the road and cause some hydroplaning.

As we headed north through Kirkland on 405, the skies were clearing, and by the time we reached Everett and points north, we had clear skies. When we arrived at our marina, we felt lucky to arrive at high tide, making it easier to carry our things down the dock ramp to the boat.

New bottom paint

Under the swim step, Diver's Dream zinc on the right

Under the swim step, Diver’s Dream zinc on the right (before new paint)

Starboard bow with tube opening for thruster

Starboard bow, showing the tube opening for the bow thruster (before new paint)

Phoenix in boat yard after new bottom paint

Phoenix in boat yard after new bottom paint and zincs

Port bow, after painting

Port bow, after painting

Side view, after new bottom paint

Port side view, after new bottom paint

Marine Servicenter picked up Phoenix last Saturday and took her to their boatyard to haul her out for a fresh coat of bottom paint and new zincs. Good weather helped get the job done. They told us that the bottom paint from three years ago has held up well, with only a few areas where the paint came off during the pressure washing. Having a diver come each year to scrub down the bottom definitely helped preserve the paint. Now Phoenix is back in our slip and ready for us when we arrive next week.

We’ve arranged for Dana Bower to wash the decks and house early next week so that Phoenix will be cleaned up when we arrive. Dana operates Dana’s Boat Detailing in Anacortes, and we’re very fortunate to have her wash our boat each month when we can’t be there to do it ourselves, which really helps during the winter months!

Superwinch arrives!

Jim unpacking the Superwinch and battery charger

Jim unpacking the Superwinch and battery charger

We now have gathered all the piece parts for replacing our manual dinghy-lifting winch with a new electric version. The Superwinch and battery charger that we ordered from Amazon arrived this week, and Jim bought the Optima battery at a local Bend auto supply store.

Superwinch package

Superwinch package

We hooked up everything in our garage in a test mode to check that it works. It does! Now we can pack it up to take it to the boat next week when we head up to Anacortes. After we get settled on the boat, we will tackle the actual project of installing the new winch system.

Superwinch and charger

Superwinch and charger

Testing the Superwinch, battery, and battery charger

Testing the Superwinch, battery, and battery charger