Ahh, another successful getaway weekend to Astoria. We’re beginning to develop little habits that make us feel right at home there. We drive down on Saturday morning and work the rest of the day on Andromeda. On Sunday we walk down to the Three Cups coffee shop for a little Thundermuck coffee, some Wifi, and the local newspaper. They are getting used to seeing us there. While the baristas don’t exactly know our names yet, they refer to us as the couple who ‘bought John’s boat’ and say ‘see you next weekend’ when we leave. Soon they will have our order ready when we arrive. We’ll be ‘regulars’. I’ve always wanted to be a regular somewhere. After coffee we might do a little sight seeing before returning to the boat to work a few more hours, then driving home.
Today we saw sights that made us feel right at home: Home Depot and Costco. At Home Depot Mike purchased new outlets and wiring, primer for the aluminum oil pan, and tiny paint rollers and pans for the day we actually get to paint that engine room. At Costco we purchased a new coffee maker for the boat because it looks like we’ll want one of these for all the time we are spending at the dock. We can’t spend all our time at Three Cups or we won’t get anything done, although after my first day doing the cleaning in the engine room that idea was starting to sound pretty good.
Yes, that’s right. Mike and I thought we’d mix it up a bit this weekend and divide the pink/blue jobs differently. I got to work in the engine room. Ok, so it’s true I was cleaning. Don’t burst my bubble. I got to touch the room! I got to BE in the room! All. Day. Long. And I didn’t fall into the bilge even once. (Because, hello! That would be completely disgusting!)
After trying a number of cleaners, Krud Cutter saved the day and did the best job. Good thing I have a gallon of the stuff. One day in the engine room completely ruined all the scrub brushes I bought, and I will need to go to the restaurant supply to buy the ‘fun pack’ of green scrubbies for next time. On my wish list is a cleaner that I can spray on the deep walls of the bilge where I can’t reach. It would dissolve the grease and I could rinse it off and remove it with the shop vac. Know anything like that? Or how about some of that bacteria they use to help control oil spills. Can’t consumers buy some of that somewhere?
Still, I made a ton of progress and can sort of see the end of the project of cleaning, sanding, and painting. Today Mike couldn’t stand watching me in the engine room for one more minute, so he took off for Englund’s Marine Supply, right down the street, and bought a gallon of Bilgecoat. I think that should do it.
We got to check off two systems on the list this weekend, making us feel like we are slowly becoming knowledgeable about this boat. The propane system is up and running so we fired up the Force 10 and boiled our first pot of water. Luxury! We’re going to love this stove. It needs some maintenance: Only one of the automatic lighters works, and one of the knobs broke when Mike tried to turn it, but we think these are easy fixes and overall it’s in great condition and very clean inside and out.
While Mike fiddled with the on switch for the propane, he discovered what turned out to be a great vent fan for the galley, just to the left of the stove. That thing could suck up a dishtowel, as Mike demonstrated by holding a dishtowel up to the thing. Apart from the occasional lost finger, due to the spinning metal thingy inside, this is going to be dead useful. We also have a hatch over the stove, which I think is a grand idea to keep heat and steam from staying on the boat.
As we had a bit of a storm on Saturday night (read: wind literally howling, boat trying its best to sail away from the dock), the boat was getting cold so Mike checked out the diesel furnace. It works brilliantly! The boat was toasty warm. It’s like having a little fireplace on the boat, only better because I don’t get along with wood smoke. We are so glad this stove works perfectly. I know our readers in more southern climes can’t relate, but believe me when I say that this kind of heat makes the difference between a cozy boat and bone chilling cold and wet.
Here’s what engine room progress looks like:
And, for easy comparison:
It’s hard to work around all the systems still in place, and next time Mike will get in there and remove more hoses. We want to be careful about removing things at this stage, as we still are learning what does what and why. The good news is that I determined that most of the engine room insulation is actually in pretty good condition, even if unsightly. The stuff that was disintegrating was a layer of foam insulation that had been added most recently, and only here and there. It literally turned to powder when I touched it so I was able to use the shop vac to remove it. Mike is researching what else to put in, and we’ll likely find a product that is lightweight and flexible to go over the older stuff, just to make everything look brighter.
Since my forays into the man cave will take a few more trips, Mike is free to do things like work on a long range Wifi antennae for the boat. Once that is hooked up and working, three and four day weekends can’t be too far off. Then you’ll really see some progress!