Preparing to leave the dock for an extended cruise is always challenging. Loading provisions and spare parts, last minute boat chores, and closing out shore side obligations always add to the stress of departure.
Here at the Waggoner Guide, we start early with maintenance and extended sea trials. For me it was a return from Seattle, where I used the boat at the Seattle Boat Show. All fluids were changed and the run down and back to Anacortes was a good opportunity to work out my re-fit list for the spring.
My Tollycraft 30 went into the yard at the beginning of May for a quick touch up. Everything has been running well, though red spots under one of my Norscott dripless shaft seals indicated a probable leak. Further indicating a leak was the quart of ATF I needed to add about every 20 hours. We discussed rebuilding it but wanted to inspect the seal further while out of the water.
North Harbor Diesel in Anacortes handles the maintenance on my boat and it is always fun to see how the boat is pulled out using a KMI lift and transported over to the yard.
Sea Raven on North Harbor’s KMI lift.
While the bottom was being pressure washed I inspected the zincs, shafts, and props. Some of the zincs were ready for replacement. Shaft zincs were gone. One prop looked nice and shiny, but the other was dull and had round rusty deposits on the surface (about half the size of a BB). Corrosion.
This is the prop with BB sized bits of corrosion.
Why one prop and not the other? Theories ranged from, “It must have been a hot boat on that side…” to, “Yup, the current went from the dock to that side of the boat.” There are lots of unknowns about corrosion. Luckily this was caught early and there was no apparent damage to the prop. The consensus was to zinc up and have it inspected more often. So now I have 3 zincs per shaft. There were other minor issues and I took advantage of being in the yard to refresh the bottom paint. The Interlux Pacifica bottom paint from last spring looked really good, except for at the water line, which just looked dirty. The bottom paint was redone and it now looks pretty sharp for this season.
I had a number of other items on the refit list. Custom Upholstery did an excellent job re-covering the helm seat. The salon settee was redone from its 1978 fabric (which held up well) to a more contemporary blue weave frequently seen in boats. A new Lowrance 9” HD Gen 2 Touchscreen plotter was installed with its own transducer. I also installed their StructureScan transducer to allow a view to either side of the boat and the bottom contour. I am still learning how to interpret this, but so far it is pretty interesting.
I re-worked the dinghy system for fast deployment with a new-to-me 2-stroke Nissan 9.8hp. Everything is in the dinghy ready to go. The RIB is stored vertically on Weaver Davits, with the engine now horizontal. I am trying a system where I do not have the motor on a swivel or lever bracket. You can only do this with an older 2-Stroke motor. I use a vang-in-a-bag from West Marine to raise and lower the dinghy. So far the system works very well and I can be in the water with the dinghy in 2-3 minutes.
Life is not perfect. Just after going back to the dock, the radar appeared to be reading incorrectly. While sitting at the dock it was hardly showing anything around me. I panicked with 1 day to go before I left. I talked to a marine electronics tech who said it sounded like the magnetron was going. With only one day to go, there was no way I would be able to replace the radar in time. I left the dock and, lo and behold, the radar works just fine.
On May 18th, I left the dock to lead our 9 boat flotilla to Ketchikan and then an entire summer of cruising for updates for the 2015 Waggoner Guide. The boat and all systems are running great. Hopefully all of this preparation pays off.