Monthly Archives: August 2009

Puppies, pickups & powerboats…

Please phrase your answer in the form of a question.
Uh, yeah… what’s three things that all leak?

I’m way behind on my blog, but for all you lurkers (I know you’re out there) I figured I should throw in an update. This has been a busy summer, hectic for the most part, most currently with three things to blame.

First off, Loki. I will be posting some pictures as soon as I have a chance, but for those wondering, Loki is doing fabulous. His manners are wonderful, and aside from one paperback book in his first days, he fully understands the difference between toys and ‘not’ toys. The crate door hasn’t closed in weeks, there’s been no need. Puppy leaks are minor, and occur only in moments of nervous uncertainty. (He could care less about the vacuum, but sneezes scare him silly.) He and Rex, our younger boy, are fantastic playmates, perfectly matched and wonderfully agreeable with each other. And to our delight, he and Moxy, our dominant senior girl, snuggle together constantly, and Moxy’s normally serious disposition has turned sunny. Loki is such a fast learner, and he’s chosen Moxy as his mentor, looking to her and following her lead. The only down-side to that is seniority has given Moxy certain privileges, and over the years we’ve slightly spoiled Moxy, while Rex’s manners are much better. These days Moxy’s finding she has to clean up her act, while Rex is reveling in the whole “I’m the GOOD dog” status. And now that Loki figured out he has to sit first before meals or treats, he seems to have it in his mind if he sits whenever, he’ll be rewarded with a treat. He’ll look at us, sitting so perfectly, then glancing at the pantry. “Look. I’m sitting. Now you give me food. That’s how it works, right?”

Second. The old Dodge is OLD. I seriously believe Frank would’ve shipped the Dakota off to the glue factory a dozen times over if not for the fact that he knows how fond I am of the beast. I’d rather drive that 17 year old POS than the very beautiful, very tricked out, head-turning Mustang Convertible. I know that whole ‘cash for clunkers’ carrot tested his resolve, but these days there’s nothing out there we’d want to replace it with. This week’s leak involves a minor amount of power steering fluid. Hmmm.

Finally, I suppose I shouldn’t include Annabel Lee on the leak list, as it seems (knock on wood) that’s the one thing she isn’t doing, at the moment at least. All is dry and sound aboard, though we’re still perplexed by that sticking point on the steering. The suspect bolt was, indeed, binding, but not enough to cause that one spot to hang up as it does. There are a number of possibilities, from the simple to the ‘I don’t want to think about it’. This will call for further investigation, involving dissembling things further, which will wait till winter haul-out.

I knew it was possible…

…to repack the stuffing box WITHOUT sinking, despite Frank’s dire predictions.  In fact, I didn’t see it as nearly as dramatic as he did, then again, I suppose critical is in the eye of the beholder. Yes, we had repacked it earlier this spring, and it seems I was right, it was a bit too snug the first time, warmed up more than I liked, and the choice was made to switch from flax to synthetic with teflon. I was convince we could do this without short-hauling, and only a small bucket of water came through in the process. The bilge pump could have easily kept up, no sweat.

And now both rebuilt helm pumps and the ram have been swapped out for their new replacements, and all the hydraulics work perfectly, BUT the rudder still seems to hang up at one point, which, we suspect, is that bolt where the rudder sets into the skeg binding up.  At the time of the Great Keel Ordeal, nowhere around here had the correct style bolt for the purpose, and Frank voiced concern that the one we did use could cause problems. Only one way to be sure… high tide tomorrow we short haul.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed that’s all it is, because if it isn’t we have no idea what it could be, and we won’t be moving much for the rest of the summer.  Ironically, had we realized we’d be short-hauling, we could have repacked the stuffing box then, and spared Frank some anxiety.