Almost done …
It’s been cold and wet in Sidney. The brightwork is progressing just a bit slower than planned. We should have had the boat back by now, but the cold and wet weather has delayed the return by a couple of weeks. Don at Avalon Brightwork was kind enough to send me some photos of the progress.
As these photos show, it was clearly time for some serious brightwork TLC.
Archimedes came with a giant deck freezer on the flybridge when we purchased her. Since that time, the deck freezer has never worked. In fact, it could not have ever worked. Even for the folks that put it on the boat originally. The basic problem can be defined as this — it doesn’t get cold. With the thermostat set to its coldest setting, the freezer will get down to the mid 30’s. That’s makes it a serviceable refrigerator, but this is supposed to be a freezer. It also uses 5-6 amps all the time while the compressor is running.
From time to time I’ve tried to get it to work right, but without success. I’ve rewired the power (more on that later). We had the guts replaced (in hindsight, we probably didn’t need to). And it still doesn’t get cold. The compressor runs all the time and there is lots of frost buildup inside.
We took it to a reputable repair facility. They told us they added refrigerant and it worked right for them. But it still won’t get cold for us.
As it turns out, it took a fair bit of internet sleuthing to locate a likely solution, but I did find it. I think. Maybe. Of course, I could be completely wrong. And I am making a big assumption. I am assuming it can work properly as a freezer.
We left Poulsbo early last Friday morning headed for Sidney, BC. Our destination was Avalon Brightwork in Sidney. It’s time for a little brightwork TLC on our old boat. The weather was great for the beginning of our trip. Winds were calm, sunrise was pretty, and the tide was ebbing in our favor most of the way north. A nice day to be on the boat.
Trim tabs promise to (this is from the box) …
- Plane at lower speeds
- Improve fuel efficiency
- Reduce pounding
- Improve your hole shot
- Eliminate porpoising
- Reduce engine laboring
- Eliminate chine walking
All I am hoping is that I’ll get the stern up a bit at slower speeds. Much of the engine is in the water at slower speeds with just one in the boat, unless I sit as forward as I can. Getting up on plane easier would be helpful. With just one in the dinghy, the bow points up quite a bit. It takes some effort to get up on plane. Faster is always good too. ‘Cause that’s fun.
What I ended up with is Bennett SLT6 self leveling trim tabs. These are designed for boats 10′-14’. Ours is right in the middle at 12 feet. There may be other makers, but these are the only ones I could find that would fit our dinghy. These trim tabs came from Defender.com. I’d been holding off on this for a while due to cost. Defender lowered the price $50 recently (or at least since the last time I checked). It was close enough to what I thought was a reasonable price. I was also feeling kind hearted toward our little boat after the last blog post.
As the title suggests, we have not been kind to ours. We expect our dinghy to transport us to shore and back, take us exploring, adventuring, joyriding, and perhaps even rescue us in the event of an emergency. Yet we treat ours poorly. Not intentionally. We always have the best of intentions. I’d call it benign neglect.
We’ve had our boat a bit over six years now. The inflatable came attached to the stern. Back in early ’12, we installed new davits, seats, steering, and a new 20 hp Tohatsu outboard. For anyone wishing to relive that exciting story, visit this post.
Since that time, the dinghy has lived on the davits on the back of our boat. Good weather and bad. Tipped up on the stern, it’s convenient to use, but not to work on. We wash it and keep it mostly clean, but that’s just about the extent of our care. As for the motor, I check the oil from time to time. I also check to make sure it is still firmly attached to the dinghy.
The most recent abuse came from sitting in salt water for a month while our boat was in the yard. Barnacles and various slimy things were growing on it when we finally pulled it out of the water. Yuck.
Just when you thought it would never end …
It does. Really.
Now that we have the boat back, I was able to tackle what was the easiest part of this project. I just needed to mount the accumulator tank and the pump on the new filter platform, and run new hoses between everything. I pulled all the old plumbing out and took it back to the house. Here is everything mounted up and ready for the hose.