Punch List, Maintenance, Bernie and MORE!

February 19, 2021

Beautiful sunset as seen from the entrance to our marina. Large boat blocking the view however. Still nice, right?

With boats there is always maintenance, especially boats like Whisky Business who have seen their 25th birthday. Having said that, Debbie and I visited our great friends Deb and John Neal on Saltaire in Fort Myers yesterday and lo and behold, their slip neighbor is a 40+ foot Bristol. What is unique about Northern Star is she has seen her 50th birthday! Early 70’s vintage when fiberglass use in boat building was in it’s infancy. Dave and Cindy Wood are the proud owners of this spectacular vessel. Having been in the boat building business his whole life Dave has literally thousands of man hours labor in the boat and it shows.

Interesting aside to the name of this fine vessel. While chatting with the owner I asked about the origin of the Name “Northern Star” Something he and his wife came up with Dave told me. It reminded me of a great movie based on the book The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kippling. Dave knew the movie well and it was one of his favorites as well. In the movie Rudyard Kippling is the manager of a newspaper in India at the turn of the 19th century by the name of…The Northern Star! Okokok, well I found it amusing.

In my never ending quest to keep WB young by the time we got to our Florida home with her we had quite a punch list of maintenance items that needed my attention.

Fuel Filters. WB has 2 fuel filters for each engine including the generator. Some of these filters are even easy to get to. Some, not so much.

These are the Racor filters. Very easy to change. Just turn off the fuel flow, twist off the top, pull out the old filter and replace. Yeah there are a couple of gaskets that must be replaced as well but no big deal at all.
And then there are these filters. They are well hidden behind the after coolers and quite the pain to access with a filter wrench. They require the removal of the very large air filters to get to. Heck, I didn’t even know they were there and never changed them in almost 900 hours of operation during our first 7500 mile Loop. Did not notice them until I removed the after coolers during last years maintenance.

For the longest time I have had water in my bilge. If it is just a little water that doesn’t even kick on the bilge pumps it’s no big deal. But it has always aggravated the heck out of me. After quite a bit of sleuthing, I found the sources.
This is one of two rudder packing devices. The large vertical shaft is the rudder shaft. The 2 screws with the 2 nuts on them tighten the packing around the rudder shaft which keeps water from entering the boat. One side of the packing nuts was loose, allowing water to seep in.
Wish I had pre-teenage children that I could stick down in these skinny places to do maintenance. This is the inside of the transom, the back of the boat where the rudder shafts are located.

Had to squeeze in there and tighten the packing by feel. The nuts that must be tightened are beneath the large bracket seen here. All work must be done by feel. Ugh!

The other sources of water intrusion were 2 fittings on the hot water heater. Healthy dose of pipe dope and teflon/plumbers tape cured that, and now…

This, faithful readers, is a DRY BILGE!!!
It’s a proud day on board Whisky Business!

Raw water impellers. These are the devices inside the water pump that draw in the cooling water for the engines. Pretty easy task on the starboard engine, even though access is a bit limited.

Not a lot of room between the top of the engine and the floor above.

On the Port side I have to lay on top of the engine and squeeze my head and arm in to get to the water pump.

One issue that has been a bit of an eyesore on WB was a crack in the fiberglass on the aft deck hardtop supports. These cracks were present when Debbie and I purchased the boat but the surveyor said no big deal. So I never addressed it. Add to the fact that I know absolutely NOTHING about fiberglass repairs. Until now. You may recall the crew of Carried Away, a wonderful couple from Michigan that we met on the east coast in ‘19. Carrie worked for Trojan Yachts and actually did the layout schedule for that brand of boats. He knows fiberglass.

This is what I started with.

Close up, it’s pretty ugly.
Using a Dremel tool I cut out the affected area.
Filled the cutout area with a mix of fiberglass resin, tiger hair (chopped strands of fiberglass) and thickener. I had to add a thickener as this is a vertical strut and the resin would simply run out of the repair area.
After the resin and tiger hair mixture cured.
Ta da! Finished! Good thing these are low resolution photos.

A couple of weeks ago our friends John and Deb Neal splashed Saltaire in Port Charlotte. We met them just off the island of Cayo Costa and anchored out for a few days.

Whisky Business and Saltaire rafted up on one anchor.

And Now…Bernie!!!

Gotta improve security in our marina…
Took a nap on the boat and when I woke up…
Went to check on our friends boat and found this squater…
He even showed up on Carried Away when we were on the Erie Canal last year…
Showed up for Domino’s…
And in the end…

3 thoughts on “Punch List, Maintenance, Bernie and MORE!”

  1. love the updates Jerry….it’s been frigid here at Captain’s Quarters Marina in Louisville on the Ohio River with about 10 days will highs never getting above freezing and 15+ inches of snow/ice this month….way more than our annual average……..starting today the cold spell is over…..expecting high 40’s


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