“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain


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The “To-Do” List Just Got Bigger

Yesterday Jason, a friend of Tom and a very good diesel mechanic, came to the boat to give Smitty’s engine a once over.  There has been a lot of discussion on the C310 forum about damper plates, motor mounts and replacing transmissions.  Jason was coming up to check out Tom’s engine after he replaced his motor mounts, stuffing box and re-aligned his engine.  Piggy backing on Jason’s trip north from Rhode Island was a no brainer.

Here is what he found:

  1. When I did my work this winter I mixed the red antifreeze with the green antifreeze.  This is a big no-no as it can cause sludge deposits in the system.  I thought I had gotten all of the green out but most not have gotten it all from the hot water heater.  I will correct this mistake this weekend.
  2. The hose from my stuffing box to my shaft log is near the end of its life.  This I knew and it was on my list for this coming winter already.  I plan to go to a dripless type system.  Jason is not a big fan of the PSS system and instead recommended the Tides Marine system.  More research is needed.
  3. When doing the above replacement, he said I should go to a stainless steel shaft instead of the bronze shaft that is currently on the boat.  I was planning this already too.  I noticed some wear when I repacked the stuffing box last year.  Jason also said that I would be better off finding an old Monel shaft than buying a new one. I guess they are made better.
  4. My motor mounts need to be replaced.  According to Jason, motor mounts are typically good for about 10 years.  My are original.  The interesting thing about the motor mounts on my boat is that these get stiffer as they fail instead of getting looser.
  5. The damper plate is getting ready to fail and needs to be replaced.  I had suspected this and this was the main thing I wanted him to check out my engine.

As I said, most of these were already on the list but it will still be a fairly busy off-season.  In addition, I need to replace the cutlass bearing, sand off the bottom paint to the barrier coat and reapply bottom paint.

It also has me rethinking some of the live aboard plans.  We are definitely behind in cleaning out the house and getting it ready for sale.  I have a feeling this is going to mean we keep the house through next winter and sell it in the spring of 2014.  But with as good as my Bride is doing at selling things on eBay, Craigslist, etc. we are likely to end up in the same spot kitty wise when we are ready to leave in 2015.


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Paying It Forward Pays Dividends

When I first started getting back into sailing and into cruising I learned about the “Pay It Forward” philosophy.  For those that don’t know what paying it forward is about, it is doing a good deed for someone and asking them to repay the good deed to someone else down the road.  In the sailing/cruising community you see it in helping others with engine troubles or sail rigging or mechanical systems where you might have some knowledge to help and in return all you ask is they help fellow sailors when given the opportunity and knowledge.

One of the areas this happens to me the most is when new owners are trying to bend on their sails and rig the boat.  Instead of just walking by at the dock, I will stop and help correct problems and get the boat set up to sail.  Often people will offer a couple of bucks for the help but the only thing I ever take is a cold beer.  I tell them just to help the next guy they see in need of some assistance.  Pay it forward.

This year we have a new boat on the dock.  A Catalina 30 (1987 MK II) with a nice couple on it.  They are getting back into sailing after some years away from it to raise their kids.  We saw them fighting to get the sails on and my friend Chris and I went down to help them.  Chris has a 1989 Catalina 30 so we are very familiar with the sails on this boat.  After getting the headsail up, I noticed that the top swivel was sticking and that the pendent was too short resulting in the jib halyard wrapping around the top of the forestay/foil.  So down the sail came.  Back to my boat for my spare can of McLube (love that stuff) and a quick trip to the hardware store and we had a new pendant.  Sails up and working correctly.  They thanked us for the help, offered us some money that we refused and were very happy to be able to get out sailing the next day.

This weekend I was working on a couple of little boat projects and the guy who owned the Catalina comes walking up with a dock cart.  He leaves a case of beer on my boat.

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It turns out he is a craft beer distributor.   This case came from his personal collection of beer he likes.  I put a couple in the refer Sunday morning and we cracked them while sailing.  Great stuff.  Perfect beer on a humid afternoon sail.

So the pay it forward philosophy paid a nice little dividend by making friends with a guy with good beer connections.  Just the type of friends I like having.