I’m a winter weenie. Even in the lower mainland, which usually only has a wet stretch between fall and spring, I find it tough. I think it’s the short days that are the worst, but the cold and wet don’t help. There are fun distractions, but I spend too much time waiting for the spring.
Weeknights are the most difficult. I have this really bad habit of sitting down, firing up the computer and surfing the internet or watching Netflix. I kill precious hours doing essentially nothing, and then wonder where the evening went. Not good. Even worse, when the sun finally shows up again in April, I start working like crazy, trying to get all of the projects I want to get done finished before July.
I decided this year would be different – I would be productive during weekday winter evenings. Hopefully this would also tick a few chores off the list earlier and restore some sanity to the spring.
So far, so good. It’s still been cold and wet far too often for my liking, but I’ve been productive. You’d think the list would getting shorter, but in normal way of boat jobs, it’s just changing as newly discovered jobs replace the original jobs.
I started with a re-build of the gooseneck. After 30 years, the aluminum toggle was completely worn out, and the welds on the tangs were cracked. After checking out the original supplier’s price I decided to get the tangs re-welded to the backing plate (thanks Pierre at Poco Marine – you’re amazing!) and machine a new toggle myself using an oversized chunk of aluminum. This was a small job that I got done before our cruise in November. It eventually lead to a similar redo of the boomvang bracket too (thanks again Pierre).
The next job on the list was way more substantial. When we bought the boat, I discovered rot along the bottom of the main bulkhead. For anyone looking to buy a Sabre, I think that this is a Sabre issue that is related to the design of the mast step – take a close look at the floor and bulkhead here before making an offer!
This bulkhead is also the wall of the shower stall in the forward head. I cut the worst of the rot out right after we bought the boat, putting this shower out of commission for the whole time we’ve owed the boat. Cutting the bottom of the bulkhead out revealed a seriously poor shower sump design that needed a re-work to be viable. I fixed this by cutting all of the rot out and replacing the material with epoxy, woven rovings, and multiple layers of 1/8″ ply. I also moved the sump pump plumbing and replaced the pump.
The shower was a big job, and I don’t really like fibreglassing, but it pales in comparison to the next item on our list: a watermaker. I’ve written a post detailing the whole process, but suffice to say that it was a surprisingly complicated job that had a cascade effect on a bunch of other stuff: cabinetry, a complete re-plumb of the pressurized side of the cold water system – not a small job – and wiring..
I hate messy wiring – I understand the attraction to just running a new wire when installing new equipment, but unless it’s done neatly, labelled and tied up in a logical manner, it just makes dealing with problems later a headache. There are always problems later.
While I started this task because of the need to run power to the water maker, it is really a completely new job that I tackled because it’s relatively easy, low on the stress scale, and makes me happy when I open the panel. I pulled tons of old wire out – some of it burnt – straightened out what remained, installed a new ground bus to get wires off of the panel buses, and tried to label as much as I could. I have identified the function of about half of the ground wires so far, and the panel is now much neater.
It’s still early in the year, but the days are noticeably longer, and the boat is definitely better than it was in September. Even better, I’ve cut my “sitting on the couch time” way down. Is it summer yet?