Posts Tagged ‘Lavac’

Headless

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Yep, I’m headless. Well, to be more accurate I’m half headless. Our aft Lavac head is totally out and we’ve been working to get it all  back together. I thought I would have this completed in a weeks time or less. It’s now been almost 10 days and the head is back together. But; not perfect. I ran some fresh water through there yesterday and 4 little screws that hold a

Almost Plugged

Almost Plugged

valve on the pump for the Lavac Head leaked. I used the rebuild kit on the pump and she “should” be like new. I’ve never been really successful at rebuilding that pump. Because the pump is 99% plastic I’m always warry of over tightening the  bolts.  This is the 3rd  time in 2 years.  So I’m trying a “cheap” fix. I pulled the offending screws out, put a little 5200 quick set on each one and put them back in. I’m really, I mean, really hoping that works. Otherwise I have to pull the pump which means disconnecting two hoses (and with PVC sanitation  hose it is almost impossible to install ), remove the pump, fix the leaking screws – I figure to get some new longer ones and screw them into the hose end that leaks. The screws hold the rubber check valve in place. Then check the pump and reinstall it.  To complete the project I pulled all the plumbing out from the head to the the anti-siphon loop (See pic for 1/2 clogged fitting). Also we had to pull the base off the head as the plastic base had cracked. Another Lavac problem area. I JB Welded (essential stuff for a boat IMHO) the area after enlarging the crack and put it all back together again.  Finally, finally,we have our aft head functioning again.

Then onto our new Victron battery charger install. While I install this charger I will also put in the new Uniden VHF radio. For some weird reason our currently installed Uniden will send fine but will not receive.  I purchased a spare emergency antenna to diagnose the problem and ended up with the same results.  I’ll send the radio back to Uniden for repair and get it back somewhere down the line.  I hope the new one actually lasts longer. we’re replacing it with the newer version of the next model with the same footprint. This allows (dare I say it) an easy switch out. We also stayed with the same radio as we have two wireless mics that connect to that radio and I would hate to throw them out as well if we would switch radios. The wireless mics are nice to have in the cockpit when we’re traveling!

But; don’t fret. It’s not all work here in Paradise!

We’ve gone on one hike, went to a Pan Concert, told lies with other cruisers, availed ourselves of the local transportation, gone to Port O’ Spain, and been shopping several times.

Starlift Concert

Starlift Concert

The Pan Concert IMHO wasn’t a good value for the dollar or time well spent. But we both enjoy Pan music and enjoyed spending some time with the other cruisers and locals.  The concert was on  Trinidad’s  Independence day (The country is now 42 years old) at the Starlift Armory (they don’t call the place an Armory in Trinidad but that’s the best description).  The Starlift Pan Band played a couple of songs and by then it was time for us to go. We had arrived about 3 hours early and due to other activities,  scheduling transportation, our having been there already 5 hours and being tired:  we left early. Oh well. There will be more Pan bands in our future.

Last week we went on a hike up to an abandoned Tracking Station. The trail is called the

Abandonded Tracking Station

Abandoned Tracking Station

Bamboo Cathedral (with the worlds tallest grass-Bamboo)  and the hike on a paved road with a gentle incline  providing  a relatively  easy walk. The stand of Bamboo is about 150 years old. We (the men) followed the women to the top. They were our motivator. 🙂  We passed through an amazing  forest of Bamboo. The

Bamboo Cathedral

Bamboo Cathedral

grass was so thick that when quiet we could hear individuals topple over. At the top of the trail we came upon the abandoned station (scroll down the linked page for a little for the description – don’t let the page fool ya), two large buildings and then a HUGE radar antenna (48 feet across); one we could imagine fit for a Hollywood movie set. Catch some perspective in the pic on the right by checking out W/ and Julie with the antenna in the background.  We climbed the steps on the warehouse building to hoping to have a better view. While the view was interesting it just wasn’t what we had hoped. There is so much growth in the Jungle here we barely saw the shore and any vista that we had hoped for. The

W Directing

W Directing

excitement was in going up and down the un railed staircase. (See the pic of W/ directing Julie down). From there we began to explore a couple more buildings till the descent on the same road.

After the climb down we navigated by foot to a park on the N. Coast of Trinidad. There we found a little shade in a gorgeous cove overlooking the boundary between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Lunch, Lies, and Laughter was dutifully consumed till our walk back to the rendezvous point.  Jesse from Members Only Taxi had arranged for our transport and there we had a pleasant trip back home; to the boat, to collapse and dream about a grand day.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

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Workin In Trini

Friday, August 20th, 2010

We’re here in Trinidad and we’re starting to work on items from our list. First and foremost was getting all our ducks in a row.  We’ve been running around ordering supplies, and making commitments to pay local contractors. We’ve hired Shawn at Cruise Inn for a few days. He cleaned and polished the Stainless Steel for us and did an awesome job so we’ve hired him for two more days to sand / prep all the teak for us to varnish. We use Signature Honey Teak Varnish and it lasts for a good year in the tropics, a year before we need to re-coat.  Thank you Don and Terri on Salty Dog (they’ve since sold the boat) for pushing us so hard to use Honey Teak.

We’ve ordered a new battery charger (Victron 80 amp) to replace the damn lousy Prosine 2.0 we have. The inverter still works on the Prosine so we’ll keep that in place  till it craps out too.  I was always leery of having two critical units (inverter and charger) stuffed into one package but ended up being talked into it at the Miami Boat Show by the now defunct Jack Rabbit Marine out of Annapolis.  I guess live and learn is what I need to say but I don’t seem to be learning fast enough to outlive all my mistakes. 🙂

We ordered a new larger holding plate for our freezer. Here too I had gone to a local refrigeration company to discuss with them the refrigeration / freezer setup we were interested in installing. (That company too isn’t in business anymore but Seafrost the company that manufactures the parts still is).  They (both Seafrost and the local company)  talked me into two plates in the freezer which was a good thing; but, the second plate is just too small. We don’t have near enough holdover in our freezer. So we’ve ordered another larger plate,  twice the small size that I’ll be able to “drop” in (meaning very little plumbing work).  Of course I’ll need to recharge both systems (the DC side and the engine driven side)  but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

We’ve ordered a new WiFi setup. Can’t seem to have too many of those as options no matter where we’re are it seems like one setup works better then the other. What this new one will do is allow W/ and I to be online at the same time easily, and we’ll be able to connect our iTouch and iPhone to the internet too. We’ll see if my dreams equal reality.

I bought a torque wrench. When I redo the gasket on the generator I need to accurately torque the bolts down properly. I bought new stronger then SS bolts for the job. I bought some new gasket material so I won’t be using the cork.

Bad Place

Bad Place

W/ and I redid the exhaust / cooling plumbing for the generator. If you’re an active reader of our blog you may  remember the water pump  was dripping on the electrical connections for the regulator and the temp sensor. The salt water would short out the temp sensor and I would get a “hot” idiot light lit.  I shot the engine with the infrared sensor we keep on board and the engine was running at the correct temperature so we  continued to use it, but I hate, Hate, HATE, when things aren’t working right. So the sensors are moved and in the process we’ve moved the heat exchanger higher  so hopefully no air can be trapped in the cooling chamber of the engine. I’m not real fond of plumbing and electrical work yet  it seems that to cruise I’m just going to have to accept that curse!

Not sure if I mentioned this; but the wooden cutting boards we had installed as tops on the freezer and refrigerator began to warp! In Antigua we had removed and re-glued the freezer top and about a month later it began to bow upward. DAMN!  So we’ve contracted with Same Crew a woodworking company that does Meganite work and they’ll be making two new tops for us as well as repairing the damage the cruise ship caused us in the US and the damage we had from the trip to Trinidad. I would have done most of the woodwork myself but on a boat one just doesn’t have all the tools needed. It is one of the extra costs of cruising.

Port Of Spain

Port Of Spain

We’ve also contacted and contracted with Alpha Canvas products to make another set of interior cushion covers, to make new covers for our cockpit cushions, to make a new forward awning and to do some repairs to our main awning.  Yesterday we went with Julie from Sea Otter to the Port of Spain to look for fabric for the interior cushions.  In the past we’ve been in fabric stores

Rolls N Rolls

Rolls N Rolls

and they’ve  had 1,000’s of samples to choose from and always said “We can get it”.  Here in Trinidad  they didn’t have the samples, they had the bolts of fabric, there wasn’t any “We can get it”, it was, “We have it” and if that’s not enough I’m sure we have more upstairs.” What a delight; what a pain! A delight that indeed they we wouldn’t have to wait; a pain in that there are TOO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM. Fortunately we had Julie and believe it or not I tried ( I swear I did), I tried to stay out of the decision as much as possible. We’ve chosen a bold (bold to us) floral pattern for the new covers inside

10 Percent of Store

10 Percent of Store

and possible a third set of with a party favors pattern. The party favors pattern may or may not get made here; we’ll see what any extra cost is. The new forward awning is going to set higher giving us better use of the foredeck and hopefully reducing the sail effect of any wind catching it. The new covers on the cockpit cushions will be out of a close weave Textilene. This fabric is PVC coated and will breath so we won’t have to always move and dry the cushions as it rains. And it still is raining quite a bit. It will be I believe a Moss Green; similar to our interior cushions that you never see! 🙂

We’ve ordered another March Pump. I’ll use the pump as replacement parts. I don’t remember if I mentioned a screw that came out of one. It’s I believe Al and I can’t get a replacement here. The screw slowly worked its way out and actually ended up wearing on the ends and looks like it’s tapered!

We’ve ordered spares for our Obendorfer waterpump that’s on the generator. It’s where I was so frustrated in Rodney Bay having to rebuild it there. It still leaks some so now I’ll have all the “correct” parts and be able to stop the water entering the boat! I don’t like water in the boat. I don’t like water in the boat. I don’t like water in the boat!  I’m saying that 3 times like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz hoping my dream of no water in the boat will come true. 🙂

We hope this weekend to begin some of the varnishing. W/ and I’ll do that. Then we’d like to be finished varnishing  by next week.

Next week I get to see about having some bronze bases made for the Lavac Heads. We’ve cracked both ours (guess I’m a little too heavy)? I’ve fixed them with JB Weld (a great boat product) and they seem to be holding fine but I would like a permanent fix. Then I need to begin re-plumbing the aft head and making a shorter hose run from the head to the pump and overboard.  Remember in Antigua one day it stopped pumping and when I finally found the clog it was all the calcite from the urine saltwater mixture that had created a solid; well almost, blockage in the lowest part of the hose.

I’m expecting to have the boat hauled for a couple of weeks and during the time of drying out any  moisture that made it to  the laminate from the nick we put somewhere around Antigua, we’re looking forward to doing some of the Trinidad tourist stuff.

Anyway; talking to Julie we too discovered that the main VHF on the boat isn’t functioning as it should. We can send and people seem to hear us, but we don’t hear their reply. The AIS is working fine, power to that unit is good and I’m getting information from the antenna, but I’m not getting any voice to the VHF unit. I’m now adding that to our “need to do now” list. I’ve gone and ordered a piece of  VHF coax to see if taking the AIS out of the loop doesn’t solve it. Then I’ll try an emergency antenna to make sure the unit works fine.  Oh well!  As they so often say and I’m doing my best to not believe it: Cruising is simply working on your boat in exotic places!

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

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