Thursday, September 17, 2020

April 26-May 2, 2020 St Marys Boat Services and Airbnb in St Marys, GA, week 1

We finally moved our boat to St Marys Boat Services outside of St Marys, Georgia.  We have been planning to do this to replace all of our through hulls since we returned from the Bahamas in June of 2019.  One of our through hulls had a broken nut that was holding it in place in the end of March 2019.  We had the boat hauled in the Bahamas and replaced that through hull.  After inspecting the others, we decided to replace all of them.  Our boat was built in 2007, which is fairly young to have to replace the through hulls.  We had some electrolysis issues that leached the metal.  Since we have done some things to correct that issue, we want to replace all of the through hulls to avoid any surprise leaks in the future.   

For those of you that are not boaters, the ones we replaced let water into or out of the boat with a connection through the hull.  That would be sink, shower, toilet, & engine overboard, and engine, air conditioner and toilet flush water intakes.  That made a total of 14, and we did 13 at this time.

On Sunday, April 26, Dave and Pete left the Marina at 9:30 am and anchored near Cumberland Island, outside of St Marys, GA by 3:45.  I drove Pete’s car to St Mary’s, GA where we rented a little house through Airbnb.  We decided to call this a “workation”.  After working in the heat all day, it was nice to have an air-conditioned house with a full kitchen, nice shower, and living room furniture to relax.

 leaving our slip and in the fairway between the docks


 Monday, April 27- Our boat was hauled out and set on stands in the boatyard at about 1:30.  It had to be done at high tide because the approach is too shallow at other times.  We removed 3 through hulls that day. 

We have to center the boat in the slip. Then they bring in the travel lift and place the straps under the boat to lift it out and avoid hitting the mast.


Always nice to be able to check the hull, prop and rudder
It's a tight squeeze to move boats around the boatyard.  Rocky is an expert at moving the travel lift.  Our boat is now on stands.  Notice the antenna laying down next to the solar panels.  That was the new one Dave placed.  He was glad it had a hinge to lower or else he would have had to remove it for the travel lift to back away from the boat.  

 Tuesday, April 28-we watched JoyBird being hauled out.  George had been at Brunswick Landing Marina before having a leak.  He will be working on his boat here.  Seven through hulls out.  As Pete was sitting on a chair under the hull of the boat, he was joking about how he should be wearing a snorkel and mask just to get a reaction from people walking by.  Yes, he is related to his father. 

JoyBird brought to St Marys Boat Services via a trailer from Brunswick Landing Marina

 JoyBird had to be moved from the trailer to the travel lift to be able to set it on stands in the boatyard


That's George by the ladder.  He has a great view of the sunsets from his spot and a nice breeze off the water beyond the bushes

 Wednesday, April 29-Dave did a search of the hardware stores in St Marys and found a bigger pipe wrench for more torque and a baby Milwaukee Saws All to fit in smaller places.  Great tools!  All of the though hulls were out by 3:00.  There were 14 total.  One was replaced a year ago in the Bahamas, but it needed new fixtures.  Interesting event-as Dave was removing the through hull in the galley, the through hull snapped right between the nut and fitting.  At anytime, we could have hit that while storing things under the sink and would have had water leaking into our boat.  Whew!!

 "Baby SawsAll" Had to have Dave's dirty foot in there to give you a comparison for size

Dave started sawing this to remove it and it snapped.  Another accident waiting to happen
Aft head through hull openings for shower and sink drain, fresh water intake to flush toilet, and an overboard though hull for toilet waste when you are beyond 3 miles offshore.

Pete cleaned each of the through hulls while Dave and I took an inventory of all of the replacement parts.  Of course, we needed to order more parts. 

Thursday, April 30-I drove to Brunswick today to pick up packages at the marina. 
Dave ordered the additional parts that we needed through the the boatyard.  According to Rocky, the owner, the parts would be there the next day.

Since we had to wait for parts to continue with the through hulls, Dave and Pete started on another project, finding an above the waterline leak.  The stern of our boat has a “boot”, rubber bumper rail, along our swim platform which they removed to inspect for leaks and reseal.  It is where the deck and hull meet and forms a big smile on the stern of our boat.  Not many other photos of work today, so I included photos of our Airbnb house in St Marys.


the "boot" runs along the stern from the deck, under the Rapid City, SD and up to the deck on the other side creating a "smile"


Our lazy spot or living room, which we enjoyed morning and night

The dining room table looking towards our bedroom doors

Dining room towards kitchen and bathroom




 We even had a washer and dryer!!  And a deck off the back and side of the house.

Friday, May 1-the through hull parts DID NOT arrive today.  Rocky’s comment “If they aren’t here today, they should be here tomorrow”, became a joke after awhile.  So on to other projects. 

Dave pulled the prop off to replace the cutlass bearing because the lip that prevents the cutlass bearing from going up the shaft tube was almost gone.  Dave places a zinc on the shaft, but it could be damaging the cutlass bearing.  So he probably won't put one there anymore.   He remembered this as being an awful job back in 2016, but it went surprisingly well today.  He also cleaned and lubed the prop before replacing it.  Pete shined it up “purtee”. 


                                                                    the cutlass bearing


Dave removed both macerators because, the Jabsco pumps had impellers that would lock up when not being used at a marina for several months.  There was a fan shaped blade, and when the “shit would hit the fan”, it would chop it up and send it overboard.  Problem-hair (from non boating company) would wind around the blade and stop it from working.  Dave was more than sick of taking that apart to fix it.  And they had paper thin gaskets which would leak with the slightest damage.  Then “poop soup” would run down the sides of the pump. 

Dave replaced the Jabsco pumps with Whale pumps.  After Dave gave me a great demonstration with his hands about the size difference, I will tell you that the Whale pumps were larger and was a new concern.  He had to move an outlet and junction box in the forward head, and one junction box in the aft head. 

While working on the macerator in the forward head, the air conditioning duct to the v berth was exposed.  Dave had an “AHA” moment.  We have been considering replacing the duct work because of the “boat smell” that we have whenever we run the air conditioner.  This looked like a great time to go ahead with this project.  He ordered the duct work from a marine store.  While installing, he found out that he needed section in a bigger size.  He was able to find that at Lowe’s.

Pete cleaned the “smile” on the stern of the boat while I cleaned the 5200 sealant out of the boot.  Great teamwork.

Saturday, May 2- I spent part of the day helping another boater find some parts.  I was heading to the grocery story anyway. 

The parts for the through hulls didn’t arrive today, so on to other projects.

Dave and Pete found a pallet in the boatyard to support our dinghy on the ground.  They lowered it onto the pallet behind our boat. 



Dave didn’t want to do any work in the lazerette today because he was worried about getting leg cramps.  He’s been working in some tight places.  But he ended up in the starboard aft lazerette anyway.  The fittings for our swim ladder were rusty, so he removed them along with the cleats and supports for the davits.  Each one could be contributing to the leak.  So it was a good time to re-bed them.  While in the lazerette, Dave removed the corner of a shelf that always hits him in the ribs.  The simple things that make life easier. 

On to other possible water leaks on the stern.  There is a USELESS well on the stern on the port side.  We see no good reason for it being there.  It fills with sea water and grows a slime that we occasionally clean out.  So we don’t even want to store things in there.  Dave removed the trap door.  He installed a plate as part of the lock for the well.  It was easier to access it with the dinghy on the ground.

Dave put epoxy on the stern smile sealing any obvious holes and cracks.  It has to dry for 24 hours.  We’re thinking this is probably the main source of the leak.

Pete was Dave’s “go-fer” today.  It really helps to have someone hand you tools, etc, when you’re in a lazerette or the tool is back inside the boat.  

We originally thought we would be in and out of the marina in one week.  Luckily, we were able to extend our stay in the Airbnb.  One week down, not sure how long to go.

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