There was a slipholders' party yesterday, so that kept us from heading out because we wanted to continue to get to know our neighbors. So I took the time to do some needed upgrades/repairs. I took apart my Navpod for the first time and found sufficient space inside to install the transmitter for my wireless autopilot remote. It may come in handy this fall if we have chilly/wet weather and want to hunker down under the dodger. I brought this device over from Take Five
, where I had ended up using it a lot
more than I ever expected.
I've had some problems getting the motor to shift into forward. It takes up to a second for the transmission to engage from neutral to forward. Reverse is fine. It appeared that it's caused by the fact that the shift lever bangs into the binnacle tube, which prevents the lever from going fully forward. I downloaded the service manual, which described this very symptom, and said it could be caused by insufficient travel of the shift lever on the transmission. The lever should go 1 3/8" in either direction to engage properly, and moving it further is strongly recommended. When I measured it, the lever only goes 1" for forward, and up to 2" for reverse. So that's the smoking gun. I need to move the mounting bracket by 1/2" to make it symmetric and above spec in both directions. This required some tools that I don't have at the boat, so I had to leave it disassembled and bring the parts home. But it will be fixed by next week. It's nice to have a well-defined problem with a clear-cut fix. Of course, having no problems would be even better, but this is a boat after all!
I also got much more familiar with the other things under the aft berth (raw water strainer, Racor, muffler bleed valve, shaft log, packing gland). There's a huge wood cover for all this that requires emptying out the whole aft berth and both cushions. Definitely too time consuming, especially if in an emergency situation. Since everything that matters is in the front half of that compartment, I'm going to cut the cover in half right where the two cushions meet. Then I only need to push all the stuff into the back half and remove the front cushion. The cover came home with me so I can do this.
Since grilling is not allowed in the slip, we tested out the microwave, stove, and oven this time. Everything worked great. Dinner was simple: beef tacos on soft corn tortillas, made exactly the way my college girlfriend's mother taught me. Fitting, since my college girlfriend's father is the one who taught me to sail.
I'm very glad we bought a boat comfortable enough to be a "dock queen" on those weekends when we can't get out. My wife loves the boat so much that she's always willing to come along even if I'm just going to be working - and the extra pair of hands often comes in handy when my body is contorted in confined areas.