Always Something…It’s A Boat

sunset at anacortes marina

Tonight’s sunset at Anacortes Marina really lit up the sky above the boat houses. Gorgeous!

Our plan was to get varnish on the exterior teak and then, weather permitting, start on waxing the cabin and hull. As soon as we finished varnishing the cap rail, fog and mist set in. It lasted 4 days, and ended with a thunderstorm on Sunday night. We got the varnish supplies put away, but have not been able to get started on the waxing.

Yesterday it rained. So waxing was out. Well, that was okay, as we had another project to do. Our satellite radio stopped working last Thursday. It was either a problem in the 8-year-old radio, or a problem with the external antenna. The antenna is mounted on the stern rail of our fly bridge, and is connected to the radio on our dashboard by a cable that runs through the fly bridge.

After discussions with the technicians at SiriusXM, we decided the best fix was to get a new radio and antenna. The package is available at several outlets for less than $50, and last Friday we drove to Best Buy in Mt. Vernon to pick up a new radio. So, today our project is to install the new antenna on the fly bridge stern rail and string the new cable through the boat. Not a quick installation!

SiriusXM radio kit

When our 8-year-old satellite radio stopped working, we replaced it with a new one. It came as a kit that included the radio, antenna, cable, cradle, and automotive power supply.

Jim spent most of today with this project. It was fairly easy to mount the new antenna, but running the cable through the fly bridge and down a chase to reach the dashboard in our cabin involved working in small spaces and was rather tedious. In the process, we discovered that the problem with the radio was not the radio, but rather that the existing cable from the antenna had been damaged last year when we installed the controls for the electric winch for our dinghy. Those controls are also mounted on the fly bridge stern rail. Apparently, the damaged cable finally wore through, and the connection from the antenna to the radio was no longer working.

xm radio antenna

We mounted the new SiriusXM radio antenna on the stern rail of our fly bridge, above the canvas. We used split loom to protect the cable that goes to the radio. The button antenna is shown near the center of this photo.

By the end of the day, the new radio was connected to the new antenna and it works! We still have to figure out how to mount it and take care of tidying up the cables. More for tomorrow…

We also had another unexpected project yesterday. In addition to our Webasto hydronic diesel heater, we have a couple of King Electric Heaters mounted on bulkheads, one in the forward head and one in the aft head. The one in the forward head stopped working yesterday morning. After taking the heater apart and testing it, we couldn’t find any problem. Next we checked the connections in the instrument panel, and after more trouble shooting, found a loose screw at the circuit breaker. Once it was tightened, the heater works again! Yea!

wall heater in bulkhead

The wall heater in our forward head quit working yesterday. After much trouble shooting, we found the problem was in the circuit breaker.

Waxing is still in our future, and we’ll get started soon…unless something else breaks. There’s always something…it’s a boat.

2 thoughts on “Always Something…It’s A Boat

  1. Did anyone say owning a boat is low maintenance? Have you been out for any crabbing this fall? We have had some fall weather in Bend. A thunderstorm came through two weeks ago and had lots of wind, No damage at your place but I did see one tree that blew down in BT. I had hail at Snowshoe Inn. It leveled most of my plants. I hauled two yards of pine needles in to recycling the next day from my driveway alone.

    Keep warm & dry


    • Nope. Boats are NOT low maintenance! Houses also fall into the category of NOT low maintenance! No crabbing, we’re staying at the dock to do our work on the boat. Thanks for the update re Bend weather, and for news that all is well in our yard. Will be glad when thunderstorm season is over…of course, that probably means snow season will have started. There’s no way to escape dealing with the weather! It’s a sunny morning here today, so looks like we may be able to start waxing. Hope you’re out enjoying some end-of-season camping.

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