Cleaning the bilges.

Finally got around to visiting the boat for the first time since our trip. 20130513-164641.jpg

She was sitting in the slip just as we left her. Ding on the foredeck bow in at the slip.

Lori hopped on first and opened the companionway. She commented that she got hit by a blast of hot and super humid air as she opened the hatch.

Looking down at the cabin sole we could see the bilge cover was just under a small layer of water. Meaning we had 5 inches of standing water in the bilge.

Obviously the automatic bilge pump had not been working. The last 3 weeks heavy rains had filled the cockpit floor as dog hair had clogged the scuppers. The cockpit floor has some small perforations that allow water into the cabin. Lot of water.

I took the opportunity to try out the manual bilge pump. It moves a small amount of water but obviously needs a rebuild.

I went to work on electric pump. Turns out that a past owner had used non waterproof connectors wrapped in electrical tape. 20130513-165737.jpg
You can see the marks were they were crimped with household pliers. To waterproof them the connections were wrapped in common electrical tape. Less than optimal.

I replaced them with proper crimped and heat shrunk waterproof connectors. I made a temporary spacer from a foam plate. I will bring out a better piece of foam to keep them off the bottom of the bilge but its better than it was.

Two weeks off and it is a beautiful day.

Time off

Well after our trip we went back to work. Plans were to go back out to the Clew last weekend but the weather made us stay home. High winds and rain last week left us both in a bit of a funk, resulting in a weekend on the couch watching the idiot box, reading and surfing the net. Sometimes a break is a good thing.


The weather is perfect at the moment.

Future Plans

After our 2 week expedition Lori and I are just as, if not more so, committed to becoming full time cruisers in the future. We learned a lot of thing about our boat and ourselves and will be using the knowledge to adjust our plans.

The rough short term plan.
We hope to take three or four weeks to sail down to the Keys and the Dry Tortugas in next year. For that to happen we want to fix a few things on the boat that I will list.

Intermediate term plan
A longer boat is in the offing. Our little 27 just will not cut it for a number of reasons. Here are a few.

Outboard motor- noisy and eats fuel, marine gas cost more than diesel.
No proper shower- shower in a bag, works but.
Tankage- both potable and black water are too small
Deck space- we need room to stow the dinghy on deck for passages
Berthing- 2 people are fine on board, add a 3rd and possibly a 4th and that changes quick. Little people may work but only for a limited time. Adults, not a chance.

We have discussed the next boat being 5 years out, we may move that in depending on other variables. If life gets to busy for regular sailing for the next year or so that actually works against keeping the Clew. Now that we have a good functioning ding we can move the boat out to a mooring ball and save $50 a month. Unlike our current slip Mooring balls are not billed by length so a 37 would cost the same as a 27.

To Do List

I lost my notes and measurements when the iPhone 4 died so we will be taking new ones this weekend. Here are things we will be doing to the Clew in the next few days and months.

Mini blinds on the larger windows.
Rebedding the windows as they leak.
Fixing a leak were the mast wiring passes through the deck. 5200 to the rescue.
Installing the bow roller (it currently is sitting in the starboard side locker).
Install a single mid deck cleat on the foredeck for the anchor rode and 2 cleats on the cockpit forward bulkhead to allow better halyard stowage and installation of a jack line if needed.
Replace the +dc terminal bus as the large main lugs appear to be stripped and there is a voltage drop happening, this will also entail some minor wire work on the DC side.
Fix the icebox leak so it will hold water (cold water is better than air).
Make another set of dock lines. After using the nice ones I made up as transient lines the mixed set we have at the slip really bother me.
Oil the topside teak. I took the time to scrub the boat when we were on vacation and that team looks great. Just needs a little oil.

I am listing the ding separately as that will be staying with us even after the clew is off to its next owner.

I ordered new Achilles oars and a new valve in addition to some valve repair part for it. We still need to take it home and repair the slow leak and put permanent registration numbers on. Once done it will be at 100%.

Things I have done in the last week concerning the master plan

We purchased a second boat hook on Amazon so that we will each have one if needed. The new one is not as nice as our old but for the price I hope it works.

We now have a dry bag to use when traveling in the dink. Now we will have less worries about shipping water and spray damaging our goods.

We looked at Catamarans online. The living space is incredible but I worry about how sea kindly they are. I know the clew is too light for real ocean travel as it rolls and bobs like a cork even in 3 foot swells. With our next boat I hope for something a bit more stable. Another negative of concern with a cat is cost. They drive up the budget.

So there are my thoughts for now. Feel free, as always, to comment. Feedback and questions are welcome.

This post was done on an iPhone so please pay no mind to the niceties of grammar. 😉