One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

Mike got the good news this week that our prop shaft and new propeller will be in tomorrow. This was news we were pretty excited to hear, especially when Shawn the Mechanic said he could go down to Andromeda sometime this week to start the installation process and, equally important, the repair to that nasty hole in the fiberglass. This news means things are progressing, and that lit a fire under our hind ends to hightail it down to Astoria this weekend and finish up some projects. And start others.

These weekends are now so seamless that it’s actually hard to remember all the things we get done. One job just seems to flow into another and pretty soon the day is shot and we’re crawling into bed too pooped to keep our eyes open for long. The drive home on Sunday seems much longer than the drive down on Saturday morning. We drink coffee late into the day.

This weekend I had a new ‘toy’ I got at the boat show: a cleaner for all kinds of materials called Flitz.  The display showed how it rejuvenated the plastic headlight cover on an old headlight. I was intrigued because we have a couple of hatch lenses and ports that are cloudy looking and this might help. When the sales lady cleaned up my ring and it looked like new, I was sold. We bought a tube and I tried it on the cloudy port lens in the aft head. Take a look:

The ‘Before’ shot, taken after using plain water to take off surface dirt.

After cleaning both sides with Flitz. Nice!

This stuff is not cheap at $24.00 a tube, but it will save me from having to replace the lexan skylight in the cockpit, so it’s basically already paid for itself twice over.

We changed out some drains that were leaking. There are very few things about this boat that I would put in the ‘dislike’ category. The deck drainage is one of them. I noticed this when we looked at the boat, but we loved the boat too much to care about these drains. The drains go through the deck and out through a thru-hull, which means more opportunity for water to get into the boat. This makes little sense to me, except from a purely aesthetic point of view. Also, the drains are not particularly beefy. Unlike most other things on this boat, these give us pause. They are held in place with what amounts to a piece of plastic and whatever bedding material is used to keep the thing in place.

Plastic? Really?

See that white piece of plastic? That’s all the stands between a drain that leaks and a drain that doesn’t. If you look closely you can see a small crack in the center of that white piece. This little crack appears to have compromised the integrity of this drain. We removed another drain, known to leak, and found the same thing. These are not big leaks, but they are irritating leaks and they cause damage over time. I will be replacing the shelving in the cabinet in the aft head due to the leak from this drain.

So I repaired two drains using epoxy, but this is a temporary fix at best. Eventually, when we’re in some place where boat work is less expensive,  we’ll probably want to take these out altogether and find a way to get the water to drain directly over the side. Not in the boat. Meanwhile we’re searching for a decent fix. Mike found a cheap drain that almost fits, and an expensive drain that didn’t fit at all. We need something that is about the same size as the countersunk area where the drain is installed so that the drain will sit flush to the hull. Two of our drains were replaced in the past, probably due to this bad original design, and they replaced them with drains that sit too high against the hull, so basically they are just a waste of space because the water just goes around them. File this in the “what were they thinking?” category.

Mike finished installing the Sound Down insulation and it looks great! He mounted the raw water strainer and the fuel pump.  Things are starting to come together in that engine room. With the white walls, there is plenty of light, and we’re discussing ways we can modify the floor of the cockpit (ceiling of the engine room) so that it will clamp down securely without the use of billions of bolts (all with little holes that can let water into that boat!) .

A little more progress in here. Mike is in his usual position, crouched low over some kind of tubing.

Mike had tasked me with pulling out one of the thru-hulls in the forward part of the boat. We figure doing one or two of these at a time will eventually find them all done. Unfortunately, locating this one was a bit of a challenge as it required major contortions, not to mention arms like a monkey, and working with the sense of touch alone as there was no way to get both an eyeball and an arm into that space. Situated up under the sole of the forward head, a location that man has not seen in 35 years, this thru-hull was long overdue for new grease. When I finally got one of the nuts loosened the cone shaped part literally fell out into my hand. It was then I realized that the nuts were actually on the bolts in the wrong place and not even holding the pieces together.  So you KNOW that thing was leaking. Mike had to come install it because his arms are longer and his eyeballs are smaller.

In the on-going saga of Andromeda’s storage compartments, let’s just say the the archaeological expedition continues. I can’t say for sure what led me to lift up the cushions to the dinette and look inside the cubbies there, but lift them up I did and I discovered that all of them were filled with, get this: More Canvas! Dear Lord! How much canvas can one boat carry? And why? Recall that we already brought home what appears to be an entire cockpit enclosure in really good shape, along with what we believe to be an entire canvas boat cover (which we’ll probably never use). All of that was stored in the forward berth and under the starboard settee. I thought I had looked in all of the cabinets. Apparently I had not. We are still discovering things.

A screen enclosure. This would be very nice in the tropics.

I experienced a rather extensive mixture of emotions as I pulled out yards and yards of canvas with little sandbags attached. Then rolled canvas with snaps and steel supports in special pockets. Then miles of plastic screen that turned out to be another cockpit enclosure, complete with a huge piece that apparently goes around the front of the hard dodger. Amazement, confusion, concern, excitement, alarm… they all sort of swam in and out of my conscious awareness as I pulled on item after another out of the bottomless cabinet. Mary Poppins, come on out! I know you’re hiding in there somewhere!  Sorting these things and matching them up was actually fun, like doing a puzzle without a picture to go by. Because, of course, almost none of it was labeled in any way.

But what will we do with all this stuff? Do we need it? It’s not that I’m not glad to have these things, I think. It’s that if we have to carry all this canvas on board until we get to an anchorage somewhere, we’ll have no place to stow other things. Like food and supplies. We are talking a LOT of canvas here. Our garage is now full of it as it takes its place alongside all the other things we have out there that are not being used but are ‘too good to get rid of’. Oy.

Andromeda wearing her party dress. I have to admit these look really cool. But they take up a LOT of room. Still, shades of Flying Gull! (Yes, I do still dream about that boat, but don’t tell Andromeda. She’s a much better boat for us.)

One absolute prize I found was a set of these hatch covers that double as wind scoops. The mystery of the metal supports was solved:

We are very glad to have these wind scoop/hatch covers.

So more canvas came home to be cleaned, sorted, and stored. So many of the storage spaces on Andromeda are filled with supplies that were on the boat when we bought it. After we added all of our supplies for the current projects, the boat was looking very messy inside and not at all like the peaceful place we intended. Sure, we’re working on a lot of projects but this is a big boat. There should be room for projects and also for relaxing and unwinding. We decided we better get this stuff organized: sorted, labeled, and stored so that we’ll know what we have. There are engine parts, nuts, bolts, screws of all kinds and sizes, every kind of fastener you could imagine, along with spare parts for every system on the boat. Some are spare parts for systems that were replaced long ago. We brought it all home as a task for those long winter evenings.

The photo doesn’t actually capture the sheer volume of ‘stuff’ we brought home to deal with.

I’m excited because I love organizing things. Please do not believe for one minute that I am an organized person. I just like getting a lot of little things to fit together like a puzzle. And also shopping. I will get to shop for an organizing system after we determine what we need. Yay! Something I’m good at! No monkey arms required!  Mike is excited because he gets to use his label maker. Guess which one is his, and which one we found on the boat:

Hint: our labels will be black and white.

If I do a really good job on this task, maybe Mike will let me help organize his workbench. We haven’t even touched all that stuff yet.






12 thoughts on “One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

    • Yeah, but I don’t know if we need both enclosures. I’m not complaining, mind you, but the screen enclosure is plastic and has seen better days. Also, I had trouble getting it to snap but that might have been because it was pretty cold when I was working with it, and windy. We’ll give it a try when the weather warms up, and maybe I can repair the front piece using sail tape.

  1. Love that Flitz. I bought a quart about 20 years ago and I’ve been using it since then on all kinds of metal, bare and finished, and it works incredibly well at polishing and removing rust without affecting the finish. Like you, I spoke to the Flitz rep at the boat show last weekend and she recommended it on plastic, so I gave it a shot on a cloudy hatch and it helped considerably. It didn’t work miracles (mine looked pretty much like yours before and after) but it only took 5 minutes. BTW, I’ve still got half a quart of the stuff left despite having used it regularly all these years. It may be expensive but the cost per use is good so, as they say, it only hurts once.

    While we’re talking polishing, I can also recommend a product called “Micromesh”. It’s a fabric backing coated with latex in which are embedded different and extremely fine grits of abrasive. It starts at about 800 grit and goes up to 12,000 grit. Working your way through the series on a project is relatively fast because so little material is being removed and by the time you’re done, your piece will be polished to a mirror shine. At that point, a little Flitz will put the finishing touch on it and will leave a protective wax on the piece to keep it that way.

    No commercial interest in either product…

    • I have missed out on all kinds of things by staying home from boat shows and the Puyallup Fair! I will take a look for that Micromesh. Thanks for the info! That sounds like it would have any number of uses.

      • I didn’t see anyone selling Micromesh at the boat show but you can get it from Amazon or Rockler. Both sell a Micromesh “woodworking” kit of 9 grits for about $27. Pay no attention to the “woodworking” moniker, they work on everything that can be polished.

        • I didn’t see it at the show, but I will check out those other sources. Sounds like something that would be a good thing to have on hand. I like things that make other things shiny and smooth. 🙂

  2. I saw that Flitz stuff at the Boat Show yesterday…. rub it in with the heel of your hand… right? I think I also saw the Micro Mesh at the same booth… I think I may invest in some after reading this… I have been neck deep in the boat show for 3 days, and have 2 more to go on fri and sat. Have learned a lot there.. and here! Oh… and if you have extra canvas on your hands, I will gladly take it! I have many projects on my list that could use it! LOL… Can’t wait to see this beauty! Keep calm and refit on!

    • Wow, you are spending multiple days there? I would be completely worn out after spending even one full day. We did learn a lot, and Mike found someone who might take our old Ford engine parts off his hands and out of our garage, so that was worth the price of admission alone. Keep calm, indeed! What is life without a few projects in the mix? Right?

  3. Sounds like an expedition into the outer reaches of Andromeda is in your future. Who knows what you may find?
    Or as someone else says: Don’t turn it on -Take it apart!

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