Labor Day

Instead of taking a break to honor the Labor Movement, we worked.

Some of it was wildly successful. CA washed down the entire deck. It’s amazing how much grime accumulates when you’re not actively using the boat. CA uses ammonia once each year to gently wash the teak toe-rails. We’ve heard vinegar recommended, also, and may switch to that.

We’re going to start using “Teak Oil” (one of those specialized Tung oil preparations) on the grab-rails and whatnot. It’s very easy to apply and seems to help the wood. It’s a quick sand-paper and sponge-brush operation. Not half as demanding as Epifanes or other urethane preparations. Much nicer-looking than the old Cetol that we peeled off because we didn’t like the look.

I replaced part of the outboard bracket.

It’s not easy to see, but there are shiny, new metal parts in and among the old rusty parts and the flaking blue-paint of the original parts.

At the bottom of the picture, there’s a horizontal bar with a rusty hole in the middle and two Phillips-head screws. 

The metal is slick with penetrating oil.

I used a dental pick to scrape around the screws to make some avenues for the oil to work it’s way into the metal bits.

And still, the screws were immovable.

A wrench and a lot of downward pressure and I managed to rounded out the slots until no screwdriver will stay in them.

The “bolt extractor” drill bits — https://www.richtoolsystems.com/25-Pc-Screw-and-Bolt-Extractor-Drill-Guide-Set_p_594.html — didn’t help. At this point, the left screw has half of a broken bolt extractor jammed down deep inside it. I can’t get another smaller extractor into the original extractor, and I can’t get a screwdriver into the original bold, either.

Sigh.

I think I can use a Dremel to cut parts of the bracket away, then cut a slot across the top of the bolt, and try a big slotted drag link socket —https://www.amazon.com/Craftsman-9-34299-Drag-Socket-4-Piece/dp/B007KHDBLG — to see if I can move it. Sadly, the Dremel is not on the boat. So. Sigh. Maybe next weekend.

It’s time to replace the on-deck solar panels. The 7-year-old panels have started to look shabby. I’m pretty sure they’re still working, but I haven’t checked. Semi-flexible panels are only good for about five years.

I’m looking at the GoPower! 55W panels. At 11″ × 42″, they between coaming and dorade box comfortably. Replacing the panels seems to be part and parcel of fixing the sketchy wiring job I did. Simplifying the three foredeck panels to two and expanding the output from 63W to 110W is a huge victory.  

ty  © Steven Lott 2020