After the Long Island Regatta, Brian buckled down to work on the boat for three days. He along with Ray, Lance, and Ren were all focused on boat projects; collaborating and helping one another while resources were at hand so that we would all be in tip-top shape for our next round of galavanting.
Rode Trip’s first priority was the outboard. While in the Raggeds the outboard had a few minor setbacks that needed tended. To begin, the latch responsible for keeping the cover in place fell off. The latch fell off while I had been using the dinghy and the outer pieces were never found. All that remained were a nut and bolt on the inside. So, Brian fashioned a new latch.
The next piece to disappear was the shifter handle. We’d returned to the boat with a functioning shifter, shifted the dinghy into neutral, turned off the engine and had not even gotten out of the dinghy when Brian had wanted to start it again and discovered the handle missing. It was not floating in the water and he couldn’t find it sunken below. Brian had to temporarily leave the engine in gear, forward, because we could no longer shift. So with hardware from Ray (a stainless steel rod), Brian fashioned a new shifter. Serious upgrade!
And just when we thought the outboard could be checked off the list, Brian gave the starter cord a pull and the entire cord came out! After rummaging through our rope stores, he found a replacement cord. Finally we were up and running again.
Brian’s next task was sail repair. Ray had offered the use of his zig-zag sewing machine and Lance had plenty of deck space on his trimaran for a sewing project. Ren had a tear in Nila Girl’s main that was repaired first, and then Brian stepped into line to complete some patchwork on our genoa. In-between sail repair, Brian was trouble shooting our very poor range on the VHF. He shimmied up EZ’s mast to borrow Lance’s antenna. Then he shimmied up Rode Trip’s mast to try the antenna and did determine that the antenna was at least part of the problem. Brian also checked all of the connections and replaced one connection where the VHF cable starts up the mast. The range has improved but we have added an antenna and possibly new cable to our “to-do” list.
As always there is some unplanned project. We would have thought in this particular instance that it had been the outboard, of course we hadn’t planned for it to slowly fall apart. But actually, this unplanned project was the batteries. We have been nursing very old batteries for much longer than we’d care to admit. The batteries could no longer hold enough charge and it was time to replace the house battery bank. Very fortunately, Seafarer Marine at Salt Pond, LI had batteries in stock at reasonable prices. We not only replaced the house batteries, but were able to upgrade to a larger battery bank. Brian spent half a day building a new shelf to house the new battery. Once installed we had unlimited power!