Monday, October 22, 2012


In the water and ready to go
It has been three years since Peponi was hauled out, put on a truck, and blocked in the driveway at The Boat Yard. Now The Boat Yard is an empty driveway again and Peponi is a sailboat, in her slip at the Everett Marina, with an icebox full of beer and a locker full of foul weather gear.

I started getting impatient a few weeks ago when the good weather was threatening to disappear and we looked like we were close to being done.

But as close as we felt to being in the water, the list of remaining tasks was long.

First came the rig, where the previous owner's pattern of neglect really cost us a lot of time and money.

On the haulout we struggled to even get the mast off the boat because corrosion at the mast step had virtually welded things together. The spreaders were similarly fused together. Every piece of hardware was corroded to whatever it was attached to. This meant drilling, grinding, cutting, and replacing just about everything. Luckily, still has all of the original rig parts for the CD 27. The only drawback is that you have to deal with the customer "service" at RigRite.

Detail of new spreaders
New spreaders, spreader sockets, tangs, masthead truck, sheaves, and halyards added a few boat bucks to the ledger. We ran the halyards internally, so add exit plates and rope clutches. This doesn't include the pending deck hardware needed to run the halyards aft to the cockpit. Add turning blocks, deck organizers, more rope clutches, and winches. Dollar signs.

Aside from the topping lift (which was lost along the way) all of the standing rigging went right back in place. And unlike everything else on the boat, the wire and turnbuckles were in great shape when we bought the boat. I had already run the wires and installed the masthead before the boat was trucked to Sea Marine, but everything else still had to be done.

Elton Schweitzer at Sea Marine was excellent at getting us rigged and ready. A big piece of the work was simply cleaning up all of the fittings, which had years of corrosion to deal with. We wire brushed everything down to clean metal and greased it all up to avoid it seizing up on us again. Instead of screws on most of the fittings, we went with the more proper rivets.

Elton solved a few issues with the running rigging as well (namely setting up a workable outhaul arrangement and an adjustable topping lift) and we were ready to go. Hayden and I made the trek to the yard on what turned out to be one of the last beautiful fall days in Puget Sound, and we worked on getting the mast up.

In keeping with the East African theme of Peponi, the coin under the mast is 20 Kenya shillings, a coin my world traveling partner just happened to have in her purse. I usually only carry US currency.
Kenya shillings under the mast
The short rig of the CD27 let us set the mast with a manlift instead of a full size crane, which was nice on the wallet. How it worked out that the lift, at full extension, was perfectly positioned to drop the mast onto the step is nothing more than good luck.

Setting the mast

The rig went up without incident, aside from one scary moment when I almost stepped off the ladder while walking it up to the deck. Once my heart settled down, we set the mast and installed new pins all around.

Peponi with the rig in place

It was such a shock to see the boat with the rig up after sitting in the driveway for so long. At this point we really started to feel close. Let's go sailing!

In the yard with the rig up!

Another view of the rig

The remaining details to figure out were all related to the engine and drive train. With the engine in place, we still needed to figure out the exhaust set up, the fuel system, and raw water. The details here are too tedious to list, but it was a few days of getting the right fittings, hoses, and other parts to get it all together. We came across a LOT of issues with the specs on the Beta Marine drawings and the actual specs of the engine. I should have verified every measurement on the actual engine when planning and purchasing. I already had to convert from metric to SAE on everything, and even then, the stated metric dimensions were usually wrong. Beta says the raw water intake is 7/8" (which is a dimension almost never found anywhere, and which made finding hose and fittings a real treat. Turns out the raw water intake is 3/4". Similarly, the fuel fittings are different from the line drawings. Worse, the fuel pick up on the Moehler tank is a different size than the fuel return. Awesome. We switched out some fittings and changed the hose ($$$) and everything worked out great.

Detail of engine mount
The engine system is made up of:
  • Beta Marine 14 hp Diesel
  • 75 amp alternator
  • PSS Dripless Shaft Seal
  • Mohler 13 gallon plastic fuel tank
  • Racor 500 primary filter/water separator
  • Groco water strainer 
  • Vetus waterlock muffler

In the end, and after not just a little head scratching, sketching, and consulting other mechanics, we came up with an exhaust plan that used a low profile Vetus waterlock and bellowed exhaust hose in order to maneuver around the various corners and through the maze that is the aft end of the boat.

After so long with tools strewn all over the place and things dirty and ripped up, I was really looking forward to returning the interior of the boat to something more than just a workspace. Cleaning it up was the first step. Power tools, hand tools, paint, spare parts, dirt, dust...she was a mess. Just getting all of the material and tools offloaded was a huge step. We finished up some painting and varnishing before the boat was splashed. Then, on the day of the sea trial, the new upholstery was added.
Sunbrella fabric on the interior upholstery

The v-berth with the new one-piece mattress. I think the fabric is named after some sort of wheat.
The launch went without incident. No leaks. No surprises. No problems.

Sea Trial
Hayden and I met Elton for an afternoon sea trial the day after the launch. I won't even try to describe the feeling of being out on the water for the very first time on a boat we have been rebuilding for 3 years.
Elton enjoying a little shakedown cruise.

The scene of the launch. Point Hudson Marina, Port Townsend WA.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats to the recent launch of your boat. The recently posted pictures of her on the mooring is a beautiful sight. Looking forward to seeing more.