2005 Maintenance Log

I will use this page to cover some of the general maintenance and small projects I do on the boat that are too small to justify their own pages on the site.   Most of these items are either small upgrades or routine maintenance.   Where a project requires more description and detail, you'll find a link leading to that project page.

To read the log sequentially, click here to go to the bottom.  To read archived  logs, choose one of these links:  | 2003 | 2004 |


Maintenance/Projects Underway (and, sometimes, general musings)


On a pleasant, calm morning, I spent a few hours setting up my new lazy jacks.  I made a few adjustments to the lower line length (which I had expected), shortening the lines somewhat, but for now I bundled up the extra line and left it in place, in case I needed to make any more adjustments in the near future.

I like to carry a portable battery booster pack on board when cruising, just in case something weird happens and the starting battery runs down.  Since the booster has to be stored upright, I was having trouble finding a good spot where it truly fit.  Since I was trying, once again, to optimize onboard storage, I eventually realized that I could hang the booster from the lazarette curbing, over to one side.  I installed two lag screws from which I could hang the booster, and then installed a small cleat for a simple line to secure it.  The location had the added benefit of forming a sort of partition between the side of the lazarette used for storage, and the port side, which contains the stern anchor rode.


With the new boom, I needed to make some changes to my outhaul arrangement.  The new extrusion featured provisions for an internal line, and I had thought it was to be delivered with an internal outhaul tackle; none was fitted, and I never got around to working anything out.

After launching, I set to work on the new outhaul.  I had some blocks left over from my old arrangement, but I couldn't use them in the same place or same way, since there wasn't room enough forward of the outhaul exit on the boom.  I ended up installing a cheek block on the base of the mast, with a movable block with becket above, secured to the bitter end of the new outhaul line.  With the remaining line, I rove the outhaul through the new tackle and then aft to the cockpit, as before.  This arrangement seemed to work quite well, actually.

I also installed a block on the mainsail clew, so that I could run the outhaul through the block and back to an eye strap on the boom, adding additional purchase to the system.


It was time for an engine spa day, as happens every year around this time.  Today, I worked on recommissioning the engine, including changing all three fuel filters and giving the whole engine a good inspection to make sure all was well.

I decided to treat the raw water pump to a brand new impeller, relegating the  3 season-old impeller to the spare parts box.  Even though the old impeller was generally sound, it was starting to show its age.  The new impeller is identical--a Globe blue nitrile impeller.  Once I had the new impeller installed, I reinstalled the raw water pump.

With the new filters installed and the system bled, and the water pump reinstalled, I set up my bucket for an engine test run.  As usual, the faithful Yanmar cranked over immediately with no fuss and no muss.  I love this engine.  I ran the engine for 10 or 15 minutes to check all the systems and allow it to warm to operating temperature, then shut down.  Interestingly, the camera froze the belts and alternator vanes in this photo, but you can tell the engine is running because of the circular vibrations visible in the water bucket.

I discovered, to my annoyance, that the el-cheapo (in construction, not cost) Attwood sump pump for my galley sink had decided to give up over the winter; of course I discovered this only after I poured the remains of the water from my engine-running bucket into the sink to test the sump.  I added pump replacement to my short list.


Just a nice picture in the early morning light, with the first sun after several days of heavy rain.


Varnishing is underway!  I sanded and revarnished the coamings (in the shop), and then, to get them out of the way, installed them on a warm, sunny afternoon.  I was really pleased with the way the coamings came out this year.

I also varnished some other smaller pieces, like the tiller, boathook, and lazarette hatch, while they were off the boat and in the shop.

All of the non-removable mahogany on the boat requires varnishing as well.  For now, I concentrated on the toerails, which have to be done with the boat out of the water.  There were a few places where the old varnish had lifted (this happens every winter when the boat is outside), so I scraped off the old stuff and sanded it clean in these areas.  Next time the boat is indoors, I plan a full-scale toerail redux, but for now, and every year, this works fine. 

When the scraping was done, I sanded the toerails and rubrails with 220.  It was late in the day--too late to varnish--but I applied a thin coat of sealer varnish to the bare areas to prepare for subsequent work.


I painted the bottom; I always like to get this done early, so that there's nothing standing in the way of launch if we get weeks of rainy weather.  This year, I decided to try a new product:  Vivid green from Pettit.  I have never minded the old green, but I thought a brighter color--as Vivid colors are touted to be--would be nice.  Vivid is an ablative paint, like the Micron CSC I used in the past.

I rolled on a coat of the new green and was pleased with the initial color--very bright and cheery, and an excellent offset to the blue hull.  Time will tell how the color survives in the water (they all tend to change color when submerged), and how effective the paint is.

One of the first things I try to do each spring is deal with the bronze ports.  In a perhaps-uninspired decision years ago, I decided to coat the cleaned-up antique bronze in clear lacquer to help retain the pleasing appearance.  The lacquer works well over the course of a sailing season, but the cold weather during the winter always caused the lacquer to fail and flake off--perhaps because of contraction of the metal in the cold.  Who knows.

IN any event, this means that each spring I need to clean up and relacquer the ports.  No, I won't let them go natural:  I like the lacqured appearance, despite its annoyances.  The day I chose to do the job this year was warm and beautiful, and I didn't even mind the process at all.

Refinishing is quite a simple process, but takes a long time because of the amazing amount of masking and protection required so that I can spray the lacquer.  For each port, I must tape both inside and outside, and then apply paper around the outside edges to allow me to spray without any overspray concerns.  It's the taping that makes the project extend into several hours.

After taping, but before papering, I sanded each port frame as needed with 100 grit paper, then 220 grit to remove the coarser scratches.  This removed any loose material, as well as older, still-adhered lacquer.  After vacuuming up the dust and cleaning with paint thinner, I applied the newspaper a round the ports.  Then, in about 2 seconds, I spray-applied 4 or 5 coats of clear spray lacquer to each port, waiting 10-15 minutes (or less) between coats

I think they look good, and this 2-3 hour process each year really isn't that bad...at least not when it's all behind me!


Uncovered!  With nice weather forecast for the weekend, and a free afternoon, I happily removed the winter cover, revealing the boat for the first time since October 5.  I hoped to knock off a number of the small pre-season projects over the weekend.

She looked pretty good despite a long winter.  First on the list:  re-lacquer the ports and get to work on the varnish.


Launching Date Set:  Wednesday, May 18


  • Finish/repair the Awlgrip paint job on the mast begun in the fall
  • Transfer reefing and other hardware to the new boom
  • Install Strong mainsail track system on the mast
  • Install new Harken Hexratchet mainsheet system
  • Maintenance:  Revarnish exterior wood trim
  • Maintenance:  Relacquer bronze port frames
  • Maintenance:  Paint bottom
  • Reload boat gear, commission engine, etc.

All in all, this is a very minor project list, though taking care of the mast painting in a timely manner will be a challenge.  Since Awlgrip requires 3 weeks at "ideal" temperatures (mid-70s) to fully cure, I anticipate needing 4 weeks of time after application of the paint to ensure a hard, fully-cured finish.  Therefore, I must paint by the middle of April.  The mast is buried now under snow, and access to its storage area is virtually nil thanks to the huge snowpiles you can see in the photo above.

I'll get it done.  But it won't be for a little while yet.

I anticipate launch date to be on or around May 15.  I expect to book the date this week.

With the Daysailor project coming to a head, and since I feel under the gun to complete the boat for a launching sometime in early summer, it will be more difficult than usual to ensure that I complete all of Glissando's needed maintenance in time.  The time frame is further compressed since we have travel plans in the beginning of May.

With two feet or so of snowpack on the ground, and temperatures that remain in January range, spring and launching seem a long way off.  But it's only just over two months.  With luck, the weather will turn more springlike sooner than later, but with a real Maine winter on our hands, finally, it seems more likely that March will remain a snowy, wintery month...and who knows what April might bring.


Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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