Thursday, September 22, 2011

Renegade is in her new slip, so let the work begin

While the work on Renegade continued, Dirk and I had made plans to visit his family in Germany. One final trip to the yard in Palmetto to take a few more items off, check on the progress of work, and to make sure she would be ready for us to pick up once we returned. We were anxious to get her upon our return but we didn’t want to rush the work. After ten relaxing days in Hamburg, we returned home and had a nice Labor Day weekend with my sister and her family. On Tuesday we called the yard and found they were still working on Renegade, but the bow Sprit and bob stay were done, the thru hulls were done, and the only thing left was to put new zincs on and finish the engine alignment. When we purchased Renegade there was a practically new engine onboard but who ever installed it tried to use the old engine mounts. The end result was that during the sea trial when Dirk checked the engine out it was hopping all over the place. Now the engine is mounted correctly and there is no fear of it vibrating loose. We headed down on Friday to do the final paperwork, pay, and touch base with the yard foreman. Renegade was in a slip after the final run was made to check out the engine. Boy did she look great; they did an incredible job with everything and even left the interior cleaner than when they started. The bow sprit was painted white as were the stringers underneath and it glistened so nice.

We had brought several totes down filled with cleaning supplies, tools, and other items we knew we would need in the first couple days to begin work. We put them on the boat and left to get a hotel for the night as we wanted a good night’s sleep before Saturdays move and cleanup. Saturday morning we awoke to clear skies and very warm temperatures. My brother in law Chuck had expressed interest in helping us move Renegade to her new home at the Seafood Shack Marina, so he and my niece Amanda arrived the next morning. We were glad to have the help as this would be the first time Dirk would be at the helm. Yikes, this was a very tight boatyard to maneuver out of but with Chuck on the Stern and me on the bow being lookouts Dirk drove her out of the slip and into the Manatee River with no problems. Unfortunately Mother Nature decided that we couldn’t possibly have too good of a day so she threw some thunderstorm action in there for fun. We actually got lucky and just caught the tail end of the storm getting just a bit of a soaking as we were leaving the river and entered Tampa Bay. It wasn’t so bad and it made the temps drop so we didn’t sweat near as much. This is where the ICW picked up and we recalled from two years ago when we came through here with Tybee Time that this was a very narrow stretch. We got through with no problems and after a short trip arrived at the Marina. Lucky for us there were three people to help grab lines and get us in. Docking is always a nail biter for me, but docking a boat that you have never docked before is something new. Dirk again did a great job considering we had some wind and current working against us. That and the fact that having never docked this boat he had no clue how she would react with prop walk and such. After securing her nicely we bid brother in law and niece farewell and they headed back home as we set to work trying to clean the vee berth up enough that we could sleep in it. Don’t know if I mentioned this or not but Renegade has no air-conditioning what so ever on her. First order of business was getting one. We already had it ordered and waiting for us back at the house. But for tonight we pulled out the small window unit the previous owner had stowed in the dock box and put it in the hatch, rigged a tarp around it and set it to full blast. We finally called it quits about 11:30 that evening hit the showers and crawled into a nice clean, cool bed to sleep.

The Vee Berth where we have been sleeping while working in the rest of the boat. Dirk decided he wanted the top bunk and gave me the entire bottom, sweet....
The following day we headed back to the apartment so we could pick up the new air conditioning unit we had ordered along with whatever else we could cram in the car. Had a nice evening and headed the hour and a half back to the marina the following morning. As soon as we returned we set about the task of measuring the footprint of the unit to make sure it would fit in the desired location. We ordered the Mermaid 16,000 BTU unit with reverse cycle heat. That should be good enough to cool the main salon along with the front cabin and head. The overflow would feed into the galley and workroom. We are planning on running a smaller second unit in the aft cabin that will cool the aft head and fill in the work room and galley from that end. We selected a space under the starboard settee as it has a pull out berth here and thus is a pain to get under without taking many things apart.
The Starboard Settee with A/C complete

There was also a chart holder that had access under the navigation table in this spot that we decided to remove as we felt it was wasted space. Once we removed the chart box we found about 7 packs of Roman Noodles that had expired 10 years ago. Scary as they probably have a shelf life of at least 5 years. We also found an old TV remote that I’m sure someone spent several hours searching for before finally giving up.
The chart box that we removed and below the treasures we found lurking below

The A/C unit fit perfectly under here and the thru hull that had been installed for the water intake was just a few feet away, perfect. Everything installed nicely and the only thing we were hesitant about was drilling that hole in the side of the boat one must do in order for your discharge water to exit. It says to drill from the outside of the boat and I’m sure this is so you know where you are in regards to the water line. Although this is a great theory, unless you know where you are on the outside, you really don’t know where your hole will be on the inside. So after doing repeated measuring using the port hole as a reference we found the spot where we should be exiting the boat from the inside. As Dirk started drilling we held our breath till we saw daylight streaming into the boat rather than water pouring in. Aaaahhh, breath as it landed exactly where we wanted it. Wow, this was turning out to be a good day. Very seldom can a boater do a project without dealing with 5 other projects and 10 trips to the local hardware and West Marine Store in the process.
The shot of the unit from above before the excess air duct hose was removed

Dirk got the vents run and the intake installed. The only thing left to do is to do final mounting of the temperature control box and zip tying the vent hoses up and out of the way so we can have a bit of storage underneath them if needed. Which on this boat we aren’t having any problems finding at this point. We fired the A/C up and after a bit of trouble shooting here and there she began cooling like a champ although it did take Dirk about 20 hours to do everything from start to finish. Poor guy didn’t get finished till about 3 am. So now that the A/C was installed and we could work in the boat in semi coolness, the aft A/C was gonna have to wait. It had not been ordered but we decided we could take the window unit and put it in the aft hatch once we started to occupy that cabin. Right now I was calling that the scary room as there were several problem areas that needed attention and soon. That was our next project to tackle, the chain plates. Apparently they had been leaking for some time and when we first looked at the boat we noted wet wood in the aft head, most of it centered in the closet. So for now we will get back to work and hopefully have an update sooner than later on our progress. The internet in this marina is nonexistent, so that and the fact that my intentions to write are there but finding the time to do so is hard. Once we finish working, put a bit of food in our bodies, drag ourselves to the shower and stop for a minute we are sleeping. Hopefully I will get into the groove and make it a point to post our progress as we go along. Don’t hold your breath, I’m just hoping…….