Monday, May 19, 2014

Less than two weeks until Southbound!

This weekend, I took my final trip up to Alameda to finish the gargantuan laundry-list of things to do on Terrapin before we bring her down the coast.  The plan is to leave Alameda early on the 31st of May at slack tide and sail straight through to Santa Barbara.  This first leg of the trip will be just me and my friend and fellow sailor, Dave.  I made the decision not to have Aimee and the girls on this leg since the weather has the potential to be nasty along this part of the coast especially around Point Conception.  Once we get to Santa Barbara, Aimee and the girls will join us on to San Diego by way of the Channel Islands and Catalina Island.

Needless to say, the to-do list for the boat is huge.  In fact, I have had to triage this list to identify the "must-do" items that are absolutely necessary before the big trip down the coast.  

The largest (in both scope and price) of these problems has most certainly been "Eddie" the autopilot. I am not too hip on the idea of hand-steering a 45 foot boat for 54 hours straight, so this one was right at the top of the list.   Now, even though the previous owner had assured us that the non-functioning autopilot simply needed to be "reconfigured", I had a feeling that it was going to be a bit more complicated.  As with most things boat-related, it was waaaaay more complicated.  Turns out, not only was the hydraulic pump rusted beyond function, we had an array of leaky lines and broken valves that needed to be replaced.  This repair was well beyond my skill and pay level so I called Star Marine in Oakland and the owner, Ian did a beautiful job of rebuilding the system.  

Unfortunately, he only finished it today, so I couldn't shake it down while I was up there.  So when I get in on the 30th, Ian is coming with me for a sea-trial to make sure that it all works the way it should (fingers crossed).

Next up, was the freshwater system.  On my last visit, I filled the 125 gallon water tanks,  but the water was not draining to the day tank and the pressure water system.  As you can see below, this is the mess that I had to make sense of.

 Turns out, there is a little vent hose on the side the day tank which was actually full of water.  When I pulled off the hose, water started flowing through the system like magic!  One of those rare occasions on a boat when the fix is actually easier than anticipated.

The rest of the weekend was spent changing out batteries, replacing gauges, fixing up the rigging, marking 350 feet of anchor chain and doing a full inventory of equipment and getting rid of all the crap on board that we don't need.  

New 1000 Amp starting battery

New block and tackle for the backstay.

New BBQ grill mounted.

350 feet of anchor chain marked for depth.

The gigantic pile of crap that I hauled off the boat.

So, that's it.  That was my last trip up until I fly up on the 30th to bring her down, so she is as ready as she will be.  Now, I'm just hoping that this crazy west coast weather settles down in the next couple of weeks.

Sitting pretty and ready to go!


  1. We are interested in the charger and radar are they shot or just added weight?

    1. The charger is blown, I actually have no idea if the radar works. The cable was cut, so I did not test it. I do still have the radar