Many of my readers will not enjoy this entry because it contains mechanical and maintenance issues while others will like it for that reason So be forewarned.

We have been back for more than a week and left a dirty boat with a broken generator at the dock. This I cannot abide for long. But other issues needed my attention so I spent 3 days getting the yard back in shape. It had been cut every week by an able 13 year old named Thomas, but it needed edging, bushes trimmed etc. My robin had finally hatched her four eggs in the pyracanthia bush on the side of the house. In order not to disturb her I had not trimmed that bush in weeks and weeks. Now they have flown away and it was a major job. As a child I fell into one of these and found out they are poisenous. I nearly passed out and my friend’s mother saved me. Anyway, all this and more had to be done. Additionally we are sending two grandsons to airsoft camp this summer and Lucas was first so he came to stay with us and is still here. He loves it. Alex goes in Mid July. I am a believer that boys who are raised with an outlet for naturally violent tendencies will benefit from going to a camp where they go out in the woods everyday with automatic weapons and shoot one another. These kids will never end up going into a movie theater and shooting the place up. I know others disagree but Lucas understands what it is like to be shot at and he knows the damage a real gun can do if a plastic BB hurts this much. They wear full protective gear but every once and a while one sneaks under and stings you. He learns tactics and teamwork and leadership. I sometimes wish I was agile enough to go with him.

Cbay back in B-5.

On Monday I took Lucas to the first day of camp and then headed for LGYC. Arriving midday, I saw that Cbay and Little Funhouse were in their slips and Steve’s boat was getting the navy blue hull waxed. Those things are gorgeous but you must take better care of them than a white one because the sun’s UV Rays will fade them if you don’t.

I am sorry I cannot turn these iphone pictures for this blog. But if you strain you neck you can see how the sky os reflected in the water and then onto Little Funhouse’s navy blue hull. Now that is a deep shine. 

Tomorrow they come back to wax Cbay and it is getting the full treatment top to waterline. Meanwhile I am here to repair the generator and clean the bilges. I had ordered a used freshwater pump for the generator off ebay. It arrived and seemed in great shape. I also ordered some impellers for it with gaskets. The pump had no gasket and the old one was shot. I had seen my Daddy make a gasket with nothing but a piece of gasket paper and a ballpeen hammer. The man could do anything and I worshipped him. So I bought gasket paper at NAPA and went to work on Sunday.

Pump, gasket paper and tools.

Finished product just like the factory!

The paper is much better quality than that my father had to work with and it has adhesive backing so it is also easier to use. First you put the paper on a flat surface and trace around the pump face. Then cut the outline with scissors. Next peel off the adhesive backing and stick it to the pump facing. Now it gets delicate. Using a sharp razor knife and looking at the old pump for a pattern, you start cutting out the open center parts including the bolt holes. You decide but I believe Mr. Westerbeke himself could not have made a better gasket.

Photo 1 is before I started. Belt shroud off and pump and belt missing. You can see the old brittle overflow tubing. Photo 2 is the hole where the pump goes. Photo 3 is pump installed with new belt. Photo 4 is the finished job with shroud in place and new overflow tubing. Ready to go.

Prep work is everything and just getting the boat ready and cleared to work on is a task. I put on work clothes and kneepads and laid out the tools. Installing the water pump was a piece of cake. Took less than 15 minutes. But putting the new fan belt on was a bear because it was so much tighter than the old worn one and there seemed not to be enough adjustment in the alternator to slip it on. I cussed and fought and twice it went on but twisted. SO I had to pry it off and try again. Finally it went on. Then I was ready to fill the engine and overflow tank with Prestone 50/50 antifreeze and discovered the old tubing was brittle and cracked from the heat. So a trip to Lowe’s was necessary to buy 10 feet of tubing.

Back to the boat and made a new overflow line. Then I fired it up to see if I had leaks. None on the waterpump but a slight one on the impeller housing because when I changed it on the trip I had no new gasket. But I have several now and quickly changed that too. Now no leaks. Then I reinstalled the protective shroud that keeps one from catching themself in the spinning belt and pulleys. Job well done I think. Steve was across the fairway on his boat and heard it start so he knew I was back in business. Then we got ready for dinner at Top of the River. Best catfish around.

That night I mixed 12 gallons of my secret bilge cleaning recipe. One cup of Pine Sol Lemon Scent because the pine is just too overpowering in that enclosed space, one cup of floral scented Clorox to bleach the stains and 3 gallons of water. Then after each batch I would climb into the appropriate location and pour the batch into the bilges. Four times I did this and then a second shower and off to bed. The waxers will be here early or so they say.

On Tuesday I was up at 0700 EST so it was 0600 in Guntersville. I wanted to get my work done before it got too hot. This included wet vacuuming all that cleaning solution out which took a couple of hours.

Chris is my boat washer. Washes it once a week. Jan and I did this ourselves until late 2015. We would arrive at the boat and spend 2 hours washing and be worn out. So I relented and hired the pros. This year Chris told me he was branching out into waxing and I knew he had once worked on another waxing crew I used. So I decided to encourage him. A crew of three arrived at 0845. I told them this did not bode well when I had been working for nearly three hours. I love to pick at them. Anyway this is a major job and takes 3 men all day to do. First they strip everything off and put it on the dock. Then they wash, then they dry, then they deep clean with special stain remover. This includes getting on a styrofoam raft and going all the way to the waterline. Then they use buffing wheels to apply a cleaning and wax compound and then they buff. Finally they have to reassemble everything. I was satisfied that Cbay looked as good as she could for her age.

Cbay looks pretty good for 16 years on the water and over 1400 hours of work.

Meanwhile during the day I had worked also. I found a faulty float swith for a bilge pump and went and found the only one like it in Guntersville and replaced it. Then I found a burned out bilge pump which had likely sucked up some of that oil spill and clogged. Lucky there are seven others to take up the slack as I had to order one of those. They are 1250 gallon per hour pumps and you will not find that around here. I have one comimg this week.

Once I paid Chris it was time to load the car and head for home. I wrote this more for my own record than anything else but maybe someone found it interesting. Until the next time I remain respectfully your friend and servant.