The new flag
Today has been a productive day. I knocked off a series of small jobs that have been on my list for a while. Other than the earlier mentioned Garmin update, I've also:
- Put a US flag on the anchor light stem
- Moved the anchor chain bitter end tie in the anchor locker
- Made an anchor snubber
- Fixed Lucky's USCG Documentation number on the hull
- Marked the water tank
- Got spare Raycor filters
I still have a few more things to do:
- Wash the boat (funny how it keeps getting put off, eh?)
- Fix the fwd bathroom sink (the plug is leaking)
- finish the bimini
- repair the bow cushion cover
I'll get on that tomorrow, after we refuel and pump out.
Pics here, more details follow:
Put a US flag on the anchor light stem
When we head into The Bahamas, we need to fly two flags. The first is the national flag of country the vessel is documented in - hence the phrase "flag of convenience". When you enter a country for the first time, you are supposed to fly a quarantine flag. It doesn't mean you have the plague, just that you haven't cleared customs and immigration. After the formalities, you then fly the country's flag as a courtesy. I plan to fly the courtesy flag from the VHF antenna. I haven't got one yet as they don't sell them here in Naples. I'm sure I'll be able to get them in Miami.
Moved the anchor chain bitter end tie in the anchor locker
By moving the eye under the windlass in the anchor locker, I've made the whole starboard side of the locker available for other storage. Right now I have the second anchor, with it's chain and line rode, the newly made snubber and a wash down hose.
Made an anchor snubber
An anchor snubber is used when you anchor with an all chain rode. Yes, I know I haven't been doing so, but from now on I will be. It's a length of braided line with an eye at each end and a hook in the middle. Once you've played out the correct length of chain and the anchor is set, you hook the snubber into the chain and loop the eyes over the forward two cleats, making a 'Y'. Pay out the chain until the snubber slack is taken up. At this point any catenary effect (yanking, to you non nautical types) is absorbed by the natural elasticity of the snubber. This reduces wear on the boat windlass and cleats. Another side effect is it reduces the noise of the chain. Very important when trying to sleep in a stateroom at the bow.
The line I used already had an eye spliced into one end. Rather than put a loop in the other end with a figure-8 or bowline, I decided to get all nautical and splice an eye. I pulled out my trusty Chapmans and followed the instructions. It worked out rather well, as the photo shows. Maybe the splice is a little long, but I'll know better for next time.
In the middle I tied a figure-8 for a loop and attached a shackle and hook. I can't wait to try it out!
Fixed Lucky's USCG Documentation number on the hull
So we got boarded by the USCG last Friday. So we passed. So we have a filled out form that should provided a pass if we get boarded again. I don't care.
Although they didn't check, if they had they would have got me for two other things. I hadn't secured the 'Y' valve on the macerator. The macerator is a device for pumping the holding tank over board. When within the 3 mile limit (9 miles in the Gulf) it isn't allowed to be used and the 'Y' valve must be secured in the closed position. A zip tie will take care of that. The other thing is you have to have the vessels documentation number fixed to the hull. A quick trip back to West Marine and I purchased 3" decals (the USCG required minimum size) for the number and fixed them to the hull inside the engine room.
USCG - bring it!
Marked the water tank
Our water maker makes around 15 gallons per hour. Once we get out of the US, we'll be using it quite frequently. When running, it's designed to run for an hour for every push of the run button. To make calculating how many presses needed to fill the tanks easier, I marked the port water tank. Each mark represents one hour of water making. So poke your head in the engine room, count the marks above the water line and push the button that many times. Easy!
Spare Raycor filters
Lucky is a power boat. As long as there's power, all is good. With two engines and a generator, there's plenty of redundancy. Other than a total engine room melt down, the one thing that could cause all three to fail is bad fuel. Fuel with water or dirt in it. The first line of defence are the Raycor fuel filters and water separators. These are 30 micron filters, very similar to a car's oil filter, only easily removable, like a car's air filter. If we have bad fuel that is causing engine failure while underway, our only recourse (other than calling for help) is to keep swapping Raycor filters until all the nastiness has been filtered out. We now have 4 spare filters and I've practiced changing them.