When we were out on the water with Kenutu, we discovered that her wenches were a little arthritic. They functioned okay, but they didn't feel like they were happy functioning. We decided to take them apart and lube them up.
We've never serviced a wench before, but why not pretend we know what we're doing and go for it?
We tried to get the first cap off and got schooled. We tried to use a couple of deck plate keys (aka a little metal sheet with a bunch of weird prominences that you use to open various tanks and stuff) to unscrew it, but it failed. Then we tried some screwdrivers, but that failed. Then we drilled some holes into a spare piece of wood we had and shoved the screwdrivers and upside down drill bits through the holes to make a tool, but that started to fail. Finally, we drilled some holes in a metal bracket that we took off of a cockpit table we were modifing and voila, easy as pie.
Pie ain't easy.
Once we lifted the cap off, it became very apparent that we needed to keep very close track of where everything went so we could put it back together. We laid down a towel and made a train of the pieces as we took them off, thinking that when it came time to reconstruct it, we'd just go backwards. That mostly worked, but we had to put little spaces between some parts that were subunits of other subunits. Just pay attention and it'll be fine.
As Mack took the pieces apart, I cleaned them with WD-40, rags, and a toothbrush. I was sloppier than I should have been. I got weirdly into cleaning those little greasy pieces. It was so gratifying to see them go from so filthy to shiny and smooth. So gratifying I didn't even notice I was getting myself and the boat filthy. Good decision to wear white shorts.
After I got them cleaned, Mack started gooping them up with fresh marine grease. Making things messy is his specialty. Luckily, his specialty is also not stopping until he gets things figured out. We couldn't do this boating thing if he gave up as easily as I do when uncertainty gets in the way.
He managed to get the wench together again without any confusion really. It went together logically enough, we got it bolted back down, and just before Mack put the cap on, I took a look at our handiwork. Daaaaammmmmnnnn, that is a beautiful wench.
We took Kenutu out this weekend. It was probably the first time the girl left the safety of the breakwater and showed her sails to the ocean in a decade.
It was a beautiful day, sunny and windy, and we took her into the Pacific and watched her settle into the waves like a cradled baby. We threw the main sail up, killed the engine, and went a whopping 3 knots.
We didn't buy a 8-ton boat to win any races. We wanted a lazy, steady, reliable tank.
We were only out for about an hour, long enough to get the engine warm and shoot the stuffing box with the thermometer gun to discover it was set perfectly! The waves started to get a little choppy and the wind was whipping up a bit, so we had the girl safely in her slip by 3pm. On our way in, a fellow with a gorgeous, huge sailboat named Viking complimented Kenutu's looks with, "That's a beautiful boat." He gave us a, "Bless your hearts." To hear someone sing her praises when we're in the throes of MUST FIX and UGH THESE WINDOWS reminded us just how lucky we are to even have Kenutu.
Here's to many more dates with this beautiful girl.
Well, we Netflixed and Chilled with Kenutu this weekend. Like, we literally climbed up in this cozy Pullman berth and watched movies. It was amazing.
Now all I want to do on this boat is nap.
Oh wait, you didn't get to see how uninviting and gross this area was before. So bad only tools wanted to lay there. Well, tools and crackheads.
We're slowly but surely making our mark on Kenutu by adding a few personal touches. We've put out some fake succulents (I kill things) and started bringing in some handy books and card games. I have big intentions to paint the inside of the storage cabinets but since the paint stinks and takes days to cure, I'm trying to contain my settling in until I summon that motivation. That being said, I had to put out my favorite sailing picture, which I like to think is Mack and I in a previous life.
If you can't find us and wonder where we are, check the Pullman berth.
Our floating trailer park is officially evicting its tenants, which meant we had to move. THANK GOD.
This morning, we untied the lines and motored on over to Holiday Harbor in San Pedro, where we will be treated to fresh air, green grass, a clubhouse, secure gates, wi-fi, close parking, and calm waters.
Oh, and full moon rises.
The move couldn't have come at a better time. All the crazy winds we've been having from El Nino and the big wakes from the container ships had caused the bowlines to rub a groove in the wood on the toe rail. Now Kenutu is even more seductive.
Round One of epic sewing extravaganza is complete! And just behold how beautiful Kenutu's settee is now.
In case you're like, ew, that middle cushion is squishy looking and someone is clearly not a professional upholsterer, lemme just remind you of this.
In all, we used 6 yards of fabric for the six square settee cushions. I seam ripped the old cushions apart for a loose pattern and hoped for the best. If I'd bought new cushions for the insides, they'd probably have a better shape, but honestly, who cares. Here's a little glimpse at the madness that was Phase 1 of this project. I did make a "blueprint" of the measurements in case I ever need to go crazy and redo them, but I'm hoping to put it in the Boat File and never look at it again.
Ohhhh, Kenutu. You and your hot little box.
When we had Kenutu on the hard to get her bottom painted, we also had her stuffing box replaced. The stuffing box is like a hug for the bar that turns the propeller. It lets a little bit of water into the bilge when the engine is running so that the bar doesn't get too hot and lock everything up. There's another solution that doesn't involve direct ocean access, but since Mack did all the reading related to stuffing boxes and alternatives, he became the decider of what to do about keeping Kenutu's shaft cool.
The only outing Kenutu has been on since having this stuffing box replaced has been the drive home from the boat yard... and she was very drippy after that. When the engine is going it's supposed to drip once per second, and when the engine is off, all drips stop. Kenutu kept dripping even after the engine was off. All week, Mack has been revving the engine in the slip and adjusting the drip rate. This is the position he assumes for this act. (I'm sorry, but I find some of the ridiculous positions we get into on Kenutu hilarious.)
In between adjustments, we'd freak out on the inside that Kenutu might sink if the stuffing box is too loose. After a few gradual tightenings, the stuffing box looked dialed in... it wasn't dripping when the engine was off... so we attempted to take Kenutu for a spin this weekend. Nope.
We barely got out of the slip and into the main channel when Mack decided to give the stuffing box a little pat to see how hot it was. It's supposed to be warm to the touch, but it was blazing. We headed back in, made an adjustment, and went back out. Repeat. And fail.
Even after all that reading, the stuffing box still wasn't dialed in correctly. Kenutu went back into her slip for more work, and Mack went back to the internet to learn more about what has to be one of the most boring topics in the world.
A couple days of learning and tweaking and one thermometer gun later, it looks like Kenutu's stuffing box is juuuuust right.
The breaker on Kenutu has an adorable little switch labeled courtesy lights. When it's on, lights come on along the hallway and under the cabinets, letting you walk safely around in the mostly dark. Most of the courtesy lights were hanging from their wiring just over the floor, and probably a third of them were burnt out. We feel like courtesy is important, so Mack got to work. In his business clothes.
We've discovered that most boat specific equipment costs 10 times more than a similar non-boat specific thing. Rather than shell out $15 a light, we got crafty and ordered lights meant to illuminate license plates... for $5 each. They're admittedly not as craftsman as the originals, but since you have to assume the above position to see them, that doesn't matter. Plus, they are LED and will use less power.
We changed out a total of 7 lights so far and put an extra one we had in the engine compartment so that wouldn't be such a dark abyss. There was one light under the Pullman berth that we have no idea how to access. Which means we're pretending it's not there.
This small little switch made a big difference in the safety and coziness of Kenutu. Just look how courteous she is now.
Two people dumb enough to think anything is possible and smart enough to bumble their way into discoveries.