We’re back at Anacortes Marina aboard Phoenix, but unfortunately not for cruising. Last week we received a text message with an attached photo from the woman who washes our boat when we’re gone. She said, “Look what I found when I came to wash your boat…hope no water got in…call me.” And the attached photo showed one of our cabin windows with shattered glass and a hole in the center!
Working on maintenance and projects at our house this summer kept us away from our boat in July and August, when we usually set aside time for exterior boat maintenance—varnishing the teak and waxing the cabin and hull. However, in order to protect the boat over the winter months, we still need to take care of the varnishing and waxing, even though it’s September and the weather will make this work more challenging. So, we packed up the car and headed to Anacortes in the middle of September, hoping for some decent weather.
Our first maintenance job when we got back to the boat was to replace the thermostat for our Webasto heater. The thermostat failed in August when we left, and we determined it was old and couldn’t be repaired, so a replacement was needed. We ordered a new thermostat from Sure Marine, where we got the original unit, and we brought the new one with us when we came back to the boat in September.
Connecting the battery and remote control to the solenoid is the next step of installing the Superwinch. We found a place to store the winch battery in the locker on the starboard forward end of the flybridge, then ran heavy battery cables inside the side wall of the flybridge to connect the battery to the solenoid.
Wiring the remote control to the solenoid required a little more effort. First we had to decide where to locate the plug-in for the remote so that the 10-foot cord will reach the places we want to be when we are using it. The best place seems to be near the base of the mast, close to where the dinghy is stored on the boat deck. However, we couldn’t find a convenient place where we could recess the plug-in connection. After many rejected ideas, we settled on buying a weather-tight electrical junction box that will be mounted near the stairs to the flybridge and painted white to match the cabin.
We had a dry day on Monday, so I was able to clean up the teak on the swim step and boarding ladder, using the same technique and product that I used on the teak decking a few days ago (see June 3 post). After some serious scrubbing, the dirty teak cleaned up pretty good and it was so nice to see the warm teak color return.
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.
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.