Monday, October 30, 2017

2017 POST # 28 - 31 OCTOBER - Idle thought

Re-designed a new fantail to aft cabin entry ladder (steps), 11 inch treads rather than 8 inch, three steps rather than two, and 8 inch rise rather than 12.  Original Tollycraft design was for side cabin from dock entry, the transom was not used as Main entry because the rear cabin was intended to be the main berth area.

Redesigning the aft cabin for live-aboard as a main entry, office, Pantry, tool room, cat box area, washer/dryer and freezer compartment changed all of that, so the steps needed changing as well. Plus, Bonnie and us, were both having a terrible time going up/down, especially when rainy and wet.

The drip-leak chasing, and elusion of source is a near-mental cracking project. It is unreal to think you can find/cure 40 years of neglected leaks and drips in one attempt, just like fixing all the electrical stuff all at once.

Looks like a repeat (to the day) of last year . . . we have three more days of sun coming then on the 1st it turns to rain -Forever !  like no sun, ever til Spring (we usually get 3-4 days of rain then a couple of Sun days intermittanly all winter long here).

Another off the Vessel Design 21st Century changes: When this Tolly was built in 1979 there had been a 25 year-old term established . . .  "Pleasure Boat", that term lived on,and some still use it today. A Pleasure Boat in the 21st Century has morphed, and for us, the term is sooo obsolete.

In the "real" world of boats, laws and regulations have changed tremendously, but perhaps the biggest has been the "Clean Waters Act", in its many incarnations it has impacted more than any rule in the past 50 years. From my "skipper's" and engineering viewpoint, in particular.

Waste-water, Grey-water, Dock water and electric, Port facilities (showers/toilets) and Waste pump-out stations have all changed . . . but the "boater" himself has not kept up.
   The 21st Century boater is ignorant, of all that has changed because he is a "Pleasure boater", not a "full-time" boater, this part-time vs. full-time status difference is immense, it impacts the respect, and marine knowledge differences between the two.

Some (a very few) boat owners, Commercial fisherman, Naval/Coast Guard and Merchant seamen all have stayed up with the times, but, 80 % of the hobbyist boat-world has not.

The absolute biggest item is the U.S. Clean Waters act (clean harbors, rivers, lakes and marinas), thus relegating all sewage to be dumped beyond three miles from shore, or, to a waste barge, or dock-side waste dump station ONLY !

Other than an incinerator toilet (which has been standard on commercial boats of all types for years), those super expensive  sewage treatment systems (like we have "Electro-san"), are now illegal... so, let us ask ourselves a few questions here about septage.

If you are a seasoned boater, you knpow all about macerators, holding tanks, marine flushing toilets, and the overboard (at sea) bypass "Y" valve, many different systems, many age-old never solved problems . . .the biggest being toilet breath.

This smell problem has been unsolveable, after all these years, and is still the number one complaint boaters have, and is the very reason big boats all put the heads in deck compartments (even the incinerating toilets), because worldwide, there simply has never been a solve for the terrible smell.

If you are a boatwright, and have dealt with cracked leaking holding tanks or bladders, and changed out Y valves and hoses, plus worked on these macerators and toilets, you have the same insight I have. Even the maintenance on an Incolet (or other) is ugly, but, FAR FAR better than any toilet system built (including vacuum). it is one thing to "use" a stinky marine toilet, but entirely another to repair one...

As So...fea evolved out of her 1979 design errors, the first thing to go was the holding tanks and deck pump-out system, replaced by a mega-costing Electra San overboard sewage treatment system, (now made illegal by the clean waters act), so she must evolve again.

Like much aboard a "Pleasure" boat, things were ment to mimic a home, or be equal to the best of RV life, or please the "Lady of the house", and often times compromises were made to accommodate those mimics. Toileting was always (still is) the bug-a-boo of making the little woman smile, not embarassing you with guests, and certainly "NOT" being smelly.

Let's wake up to reality, every flushable porcelin toilet STINKS ! .....badly !  Spend whatever you want, it cannot be undone. And now with the new rules . . . good luck.

So...fea has her flush water coming into the macerator-flush pump from under the boat, here in Florence, the sea chest fills er, "clogs" with sea grass, using the Electraa-san is illegal anyway, and reinstalling holding tanks or bladders means undocking, moving the boat to the pump-out, then retyiing up ... once every two or so weeks year 'round, and, you "still" have the SMELL.

SO . . .  the redesign happens, the 2017 redesign for modern use and to eliminate smell.

I am ripping it all out, everything goes, and in comes two campground portable toilets (flush units).  Yes,I have to dump them every two weeks year'round, but, I do not have to move the boat, and they don't stink !

With us, this boat is never going to go out past three miles to dump, the Electra san is illegal (and stinks, and clogs up with sea grass, and requires constant salt maintenance) and Florence does not have a sewer barge, and the toilet dump station is 175 feet away on my dock. It is so logical even a boater can figure it out. end of problem.

We removed the aft head 8 months ago, and have been really pleased with the portable toilet, and no smell . . . so,now, I am going for the second one forward.

we just had three days of 65 degree blue skies sun ???   so, leaks are dying (being found, then repaired), we retied for winter storms, and are pretty well through our prep-for-winter work. Bonnie still refuses to leave the boat, once in awhile the kitties will pop out on deck, then run inside terrified, they have not been out of here for a year.

NOTE: Log booms went up on 2 November.....

Friday, October 20, 2017

2017 POST #27 - 20 OCTOBER - end of it all. . .

Started this on the 17th . . .
The Fruit and Veggie tents closed and disappeared for the season today . . . the Port-a-johns are all gone, it's raining, it's in the upper 30's overnight, the geese are Vee'ing in the grey skies (four huge flights of them during the night-awakening us), and the hobby week-ender seamen and professional fisherman <sarcasm> marina is now empty.

There is a distinct possibility winter is on the way.

Had our harbor "invasion" by 8 inch deep sea foam yesterday (a natural phenomena caused by sea temp change or currents moving nitrates and phospates around . . . that create a bloom of plankton, when they die off they create foam), and a 24 hour fog day, the first wind-rain set of the year began tonight at midnight, called "the big dark"  and here I am still fighting "phantom" leaks !

Today, the 20th, the storm is not as advertised , I claim "Fake weather reporting" !

Squalls ... one after the other, no wind, and balmy, we have seen worse weather in Jamaica, but, the noisy little outboard weekenders are almost gone (which is in reality, the biggest-best event of the year). I have a new saying "why, even a leak is smarter than he is".... and applying it to me, I am flummoxed and reduced to eating candy.  These things are "smart" !

Cape Shoalwater to Cape Blanco is now under a SSW wind gale warning all weekend, with 50-60 mph gusts, so, we battened down and retied for the blow, since it comes at us across the bay full bore, if the WiFi and electric stay on, and we don't Poseidon, there is a week of sun coming !

Friday, October 13, 2017


One year ago today, we paid off So...fea at the bank . . . CASH ! remember, the Selco Credit Union Main Branch bank would not accept a Bank Cashiers check, Personal check, Money Order or Draft . . . ????

So, I marched in with $ XX,000.00 in ones, fives and tens. (a brown grocery store shopping bag full ! and the first "so fea" was dealt. We never saw the previous owners or heard from them after that day, we got the title and keys two days later, and began our move-aboard. You can follow those antics by looking at last October's Posts. (Remember read bottom post first !)

Got our final warning storm in today as well, black skies thunder, lightening and hail, rain and severe 40 MPH blast of wind that ripped off our no-slip mat from the swim deck...deep sixed. 39 degree overnight, this is looking like last year almost to the day.

Sold the big shop toolbox today, and working on getting the skiff gone before November as well, really need to get the aft bimini built for the rains (and bonnie), so, this $ is already gone.

Monday, October 2, 2017

IT'S OVER ! 2 October, 2017 - POST # 25

The Boardwalk Flea Market closed for the year, all around town, the flower baskets came down this AM, the place is dead-quiet, many stores have now closed for the "season" - some, of course go year around.  it was the "second" late-night AM need for two (2) heaters ! This AM's hobby/amateur fishermen in their trailer boats was greatly diminished . . . with only 8 or so boats active (vs. 35-40), I think their season stays open until 31 October, but the rain, and cold AM seems to really dampen their seafaring "Deadliest Catch" identities.

We think it has been a full month since Bonnie has been off the boat, we tried to take her with us yesterday, she simply does not want to depart, perfectly happy onboard. Three big V flocks of geese flew in and around today as well, the first geese we have seen since spring... crystal blue clear skies, only 52 degrees at 10 AM.