By Ron Breeden

Monday, August 17, 2015

Grampian  Repair List 

On Saturday August 15 around 1600 -- after tossing in my gear-- climbed into my Amigo Mikes big Club ford and headed out for Blue Springs Marina near Kingston to do some work on our big Grampian 34 Ketch project boat. 

We arrived at the marina around 1730 and with the help of a little marina push cart quickly got everything on the boat. On board, The first thing I did was to walked forward into the v-birth to inspect the instillation job on a couple of new opening ports that the marina did for us and everything looked great! The old ports were leaking and fixed and the new ports will make the boat much dryer and will improve insulation greatly. We had a list of items to address but priority one was to get the AC going so we would be comfortable camping and working on the boat in the mid August Tennessee heat .

 We had purchased a new water pump for the air and Mike quickly began the installation. The pump install is basically a one man job so While he was doing that I grabbed a piece of sand paper and went on deck to sand some teak. 

Soon Mike announced he had the little AC system humming and when I went below the cool air felt good on a hot August day. With the boat cooling down I wrestled some cushion covers back on to the foamed that I had taken home for cleaning. They are still a little rough but after a cycle through Karen's Whirlpool washer they look and smell much better. With the AC humming and the cushion covers installed and the old clock hands climbing into bigger numbers we decided to top the day off with a cold Sweet Water IPA and then Mike crashed in the main cabin and I headed through the cockpit for the stern cabin for some sleep. 

Sunday August 16

Morning is always a special time on the boat. The yacht was gently rocking as I slowly let the awake state creep into my brain. Water was barely audible as it lapped against her hull. There was very little wind, I could hear people walking on the dock and soon decided to join the awake world and found my way back into the main cabin and hit the button on the coffee maker for some Columbian. 

Mike was already awake so when the coffee was finished I handed him a cup and we sat around for a while sipping coffee and planning our day... 

One of the items on our repair list is the instillation of a new head in the forward cabin but before the install we painted the area. 

While we were waiting for the paint to dry we decided to hike out to the Crows Nest for some breakfast. We both chose the breakfast bar and that was a great decision. I had scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits gravy and coffee and everything was very good. While we were at the restaurant our good friend Gary from Kingston arrived bearing some esoteric electronic instruments to assess some of the electrical systems on the boat. He sat down at the table with us for a few minutes sipping coffee then we all walked back around to the boat. Gary is an old and dear friend of mine . We both grew up on Wallens Creek in Pigeon Forge TN and share many memories of our misguided youth that we love to rehash when we're together. 

One of these stories involve a race from Gatlinburg to the first tunnel in the direction of Pigeon Forge between Garies SS 396 1966 Chevell and a 65 GTO that belonged to his cousin.  They got off the line together but the SS slowly surged ahead. After a high speed chase careening around some very dangerous curves In hot pursuit, the cousin in the GTO saw tail light disappear into the tunnel then suddenly he was seeing head lights coming out. Inside the tunnel Gary lost control of the Chevell and did a 180. Miraculously the SS swapped ends with out a scratch. Even more miraculously Gary somehow managed to avoid a head on collision with the GTO which was in hot pursuit. 

With all the lies told and After all the highway songs were sung, Ha Ha, we got busy working on our repair list again. To test the AC's efficiency Gary brought out a tool that measures temperature and after watching the numbers quickly dropping determined that the air escaping from the system was 54 degrees. 

The next thing on our repair list we tackled was some measurements we needed to order new Harken Sail covers for the main and mizzen. We first had to reinstall the sails then with tape in hand in the hot sun we began the measurements. While we were busy doing this one of our boat neighbors Dennis dropped by for a visit . I told him he was welcome to take a look inside the boat and this he did. . He seemed to like what he saw. Then we turned our attention back to the work sheet. To make new sail covers Harkin needs several numbers. Length of boom from front of mast length of boom from back of mast, circumference of mast and boom etc.

We were working in the hot sun to get the numbers for our worksheet that we needed. After we got the main back in place and measured, we took a short break inside for water and cooling down some then we got back out side and finished filling out the worksheet with the measurements for the mizzen. At this point Gary said he needed to head home so we said our good bys and shortly after Mike and I started packing up and shutting down for the trip back home also. On the way down I 40 we listened to some righteous tunes on Mikes MP3, Tangled Up In Blue, While my Guitar Gently Weeps, some other Beatles etc and were soon back on home tirf. When we arrived at my house we gave Karen an overview of our progress and also discussed the fact that she had recently passed the test for her Brokers Listens.

Before Mike shoved off I took him into my little home recording studio where I played him a couple tunes on my master recorder that I have just mixed that will be on our next CD, Working title, "BLUES CRUISE". The tunes were Magnolia and Alberta. I think he liked the sound. . . We hope the CD will be finished sometime next year.  We did not get all the items on the work list done but we knocked a big dent in it and thanks to the Gods we had another fun, safe and productive visit to the boat. On our next trip down, hope to do some sailing . 

Repair Lis

1. Install AC pump for air, 

2. Measure sails for new Harken sail covers,

3. Paint wood in head area and install new head, 

4. Remove Plexiglas windows in main cabin, 

5. Replace TWRA numbers on boat hull, 

6. Sand and oil exterior teak, 

7. General Cleaning,

Monday, August 24, 2015 

The Sun Is Out! 

Saturday August 22 

Arrived at Blue Springs Marina around 1930 and quickly tossed our stuff in a cart and hiked out the dock to our project Grampian 34 . Our planned was to camp over night and try to get some repairs done and hopefully do a little sailing on Sunday.

 We first cracked open a couple of Sweet Water IPA's then I drug the shop vac forward and vacuumed out the forward head so we could paint the area where Mike planned to install our new v-birth head. With that done and the paint applied , we decided to call it a day. Mike elected to sleep in the main cabin and I grabbed my sleeping bag and headed through the cockpit for the stern .

Sunday, Aug 23

With the boat gently rocking woke up around 0700  and walked over to the main cabin where I hit the button on the coffee maker. Mike was already awake and when the coffee was done I pored us a mug. As we enjoyed our morning coffee we discussed our plans for the day and after a couple of cups we were ready for breakfast so we hiked out to the dock restaurant--The Crows Nest-- for their breakfast bar . We had scrambled eggs, sausage , bacon, biscuits coffee etc and outside on the covered pavilion in the fresh morning lake air everything tasted great.

There was a AWESOME 100 ft power yacht at the gas dock "SHOALED SURVIVOR"and the occupants came in for some breakfast also. They may have sailed up from the Gulf. As we returned to the boat a light rain began to fall so it was clear we needed to do inside projects . we got busy installing the new head. There are three basic steps in installing/replacing a head. First bolt the head to the desired area, next attach the 1 1/2 in outlet, and three attach the 3/4 intake hose. To rout the 1 1/2 in hose over to the through hull with out the pipe having a kink, We had to enlarge an opening in a bulk head . We did this with a hole saw so now we have two working heads on our Grampian.

With the rain getting heavier we were able to find all the leaks in the old boat. There are leaks in the main cabin windows, leaks in one of the stern cabin windows and also we found a leak in a bolt and determined it was one of the bolts that attach the traveler to the hull. We plan to replace the three leaky Plexiglas windows by tossing the frames and gluing the Plexiglas directly to the hull and we will remove the traveler bolt and coat with silicone and hope that stops that leak.

There are also some leaks in the companion way doors and boards. We are addressing this problem by replacing all with some Trek 12 inch boards color peaky torch. We have already ordered the wood and my good friend Gary of Kingston has kindly consented to cut them out in his wood shop.

There will be four boards in each companion way opening. The trek boards are a deck board, they look good, will never need paint and are guaranteed to last for 25 years.

Around 1400 I looked out the companion then yelled back in the cabin, " The Sun Is Out"!

Mike walked out into the cockpit and with a smile said, "Lets take her out".  "Sure I responded". The boat had not been started in almost a year. The little diesel seemed not to want to fire but after Mike located the intake and sprayed in starter fuel she fired right up like a champ. We then unhooked the electric, threw off dock lines and we were on the move. We eased out passed the no wake sign then Mike put the petal to the metal... We did a couple of donuts and some figure eights and the little three cyl 18 hp Yanmar really push the boat along. Suddenly we discovered there was wind and why not do some sailing ? Eager to put some sail in the wind I dove into the stern cabin and brought out the mizzen and with the boat drifting with a lot of sea room to leeward we installed and deployed the sail then with Mike tending the wheel I went forward and ran up the big north main. With the wind out of the South Mike let the sweet little Ketch fall off to a west heading on port tack and under a beautiful East Tenn. late summer sky in a 10-15 wind, she really took off. Our rolling furling jib is frozen--another project for another time-- but under the main and mizzen only she was sailing along at around five mph and there were smiles all around. We sailed for a while on a reach then we hardened up for a beat and the little Grampian seemed to love it. After a while we let the boat fall off on a run. We did not try a wing and wing but with both sails out to port she moved very nicely as we ran back in the direction of the dock.

Near the dock I started dropping sails while Mike attempted to start the engine but when he turned the key the little diesel was barely turning over. Our first thought was that the batteries were dead but after looking around , we discovered lights and instruments were on all over the boat. We turned everything off and tried the engine again and this time she fired right up. With the sails down and the engine running we motored over to the pump station and with that done we headed for our slip. Our parking spot is all the way inside two rows of boats . Mike motored up to the open end of the rectangle then turned the boat so we could back in. On the Grampian 34 ketch The stern cabin is lower than the main so visibility is good and the boat is also fairly easy to steer in reverse. Mike just backed down the 80 ft corridor and manoeuvred into our slip like a Pro. As we were attaching dock lines we discovered a family of cute little otters living on top of a foamed float under the dock adjacent to our boat. We could hear them chatting together. We believe it to be a good omen.

With the boat safely tied up and the sails furled we started packing up for the trip home. As wee worked around the boat preparing to leave I noticed the bilge pump occasionally spitting water. I brought this to Mikes attention and he looked around to find the leak. We checked all the through hulls and found them to be okay then he crawled up behind the engine and discovered water slowly dripping in around the prop shaft. We believe the bilge pump will easily take care of the slow leak. We must have shuck something loose running the engine.

With the boat locked down and With everything in our cart we said good by to our little Grampian until another day and hiked out to the truck and home. Our thanks to the gods for another fun, safe and productive weekend on the boat.

Monday morning contacted the marina and they are looking into our prop shaft leak.