Refitting Glory

The plan was to find an inexpensive boat to sail around the harbor.  

Nothing fancy just a nice cheap day sailor.  

Eight months and several thousand dollars later we have the most pimped out Hunter 28.5 in America.  I think the plan changed that first week, in the boat yard.  When I had the option of either touching up the existing bottom paint or a complete new one, I chose to bead Blast down to the gel coat and start over. Needed done anyway and it was the right choice because the previous owner had put on a new bottom every two years but never stripped off the old one. Best I can tell there were 15 layers paint. It was so thick that it had huge foot wide sections where water was trapped between layers. Probably two nickels thick.

Well anyway, once it had a first class bottom job it deserved new standing rigging. Then running rigging. And…As long as the mast was down, might as well run new wire to go with the new instruments and antenna. On and on. From October through June my goal was to get something accomplished on the boat every day. A new coat of varnish on the sole, a part fabricated for the binnacle…. something.

and today …. after having given up on ever getting the speed thru water on my MFD.

(Letter to the electrician)

Hi Ed!

I can’t believe it.  Over the last couple of months I’ve probably spent a dozen hours trying to fix or replace the old speed transducer.  I spoke with the techs at Standard horizon who sent me to the techs at Airmar who ran me through a bunch of hoops.  I sent them measurements and pictures, they responded with the model number and said there was no replacement for that size anymore.

I took the old transducer to a small electronics repair who tried, and failed, in splicing the stump.  I finally investigated rebuilding the transducer using the old body with new sensors and paddle wheel.  Air Mar wasn’t willing to help me get a new sensor … “wouldn’t support it”.  Eventually I gave up and was resigned to wait until I hauled the boat next year to install a new thru hull.

So… I’ve pretty much finished the refit.

We’re racing in the moonlight regatta tomorrow, I spent the day doing final little detail stuff and cleaning up the shop.  I was sorting through all the junk I was taking to the marine consignment store.  And there…. in a box of miscellaneous stuff was a brand new (20 year old) paddlewheel speed transducer with 30 feet of cable! The original owner must have bought it years ago and forgot all about it.  It felt like a mini miracle.

Anyway,,,

Would you confirm for me how I connect it to the ITC-5 analog to digital converter.

The cable is only one wire (white) with a screen of silver wire shielding it.  Like a small coax cable.

It looks like I connect the white wire and the shield to two of the 5 connectors on the speed/temp bar inside the ITC-5.  All the diagrams I’ve found show a modern triducer with 5 wires .

Don’t do a bunch of research,  I can call Ray Marine Monday.  I only ask if you know off the top of your head.

Take care. …. Let’s go for a sail again sometime when there is a bit more wind and let me know how the delivery job is going.

There it was … the last piece of the puzzle. From here on it’s mostly just embellishments. There are still plenty of jobs and parts to acquire but for the most part…she’s done.

Here are some pictures

Flight #1004

Better and better. I was noticeably more comfortable in the air this morning. It just took awhile to get back in the game. The launch was slightly crosswind. The APCO LIFT EZ is still pulling to the right under power.

So…I should adjust the hang-points before the next flight, also, I need to fix the mirror/power panel where the mount has come loose.

Flight 1002

It was like old times. Mike , Mike, Bob the Pilot and Ty drove down to fly with us at Placida. I drove through a short, strong rain on Gaspirilla Road and there were boomers were boiling off the coast. We waited and watched the sky and eventually determined that it wasn’t getting any worse. Mike was first up. While I was ramping the Falcon I heard him fly over and holler at us to get in the air. I moved 1000 feet to the north to get a better line and launch without drama.

The air was a little switchy below 300 feet so I climbed to 1500 where it was all good. I could see it was raining between Gasparilla Island and the mainland. There was virga to the East. Not the best conditions for an Epic flight. Mike and Bob were playing down low in the swamp. I pulled some long slow spirals while watching Mike Lange do a long, long foot drag across the big pond. As I descended he moved to the LZ and landed. The turbulence was strongest at 300. It was time to get out of the sky.

Twenty minutes later we spotted Ty coming back from a high flight. His landing was fast and rough and I shouted “whoa” when I heard his Titanium Frame pounding in. No damage. Turns out he broke both trimmers while doing some hard wingovers and had to land on the “Ds”.

Later we all went to the spinnaker for breakfast and talked about possible x-countries.

It’s all good.

Photo credit Ty Jenkins

Photo credits Bob the Pilot

Flight 1001

No Drama. I almost didn’t go because the first thing I saw on the weather app was storms boiling up over the Harbor. After walking the dog and sniffing the air I decided to drive out to the field and take a shot. At Placida it was very light wind and the clouds were starting to develop.

Launch was clean but the air was ratty all the way up to 800 feet. I bounced around for a few minutes and landed. Not an epic flight but I’m glad I went. It looks to be stormy the rest of the day.

The mirror needs to be remounted with a nylon nut.

Breaking the Fast #999

I hadn’t flown since Hurricane Irma, almost 9 months ago. There were a few good reasons. I damaged my wing which took 3 months to get repaired and I bought the Hunter which took a lot of my energy. But … for some reason, I just didn’t have the burn to fly. Don’t know why. My last several flights had been fantastic. I cracked off several in the two weeks leading up to the big #1000. I was joking that the 1k milestone was going to be a non event after so many epic flights.

Well the boat is essentially done and if I was ever going to get back to it, now was the time. A few things needed to be done. I fabricated a new gas tank, replaced the battery, installed a primer bulb and put air in the tires. Not much.

This morning I arrived at 6. There was a light breeze from the East. I set up and flew for 30 minutes and landed on spot. No drama but a few glitches.

1. My “click” glasses were hanging by a thread when I discovered them about to fall off my shoulder.

2. The mic. had come loose from the helmet and needs to be reseated.

3. AND…. THIS IS A BIGGY. When the wing came back from the rigger they failed to run the brake line through the pulley on the risers. I didn’t notice it until landing. Wow! If I hadn’t parked the brake in their magnets, it could have flown and I would have had to land using the D’s or worse…. it could have gone into the prop and wrapped up the wing sending me back to earth like a lead brick.

My bad. There hadn’t been enough wind this morning to kite the wing, it probably would have revealed the hazard. But… shame on me for not doing a proper inspection.

On to 1k