To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising

More Season Setup

We're limited in what we can do on the weekends. Partly it's the time. Partly it's CA recovering from surgery. She still can't lift much or bend over. Activities must be balanced against rest time.

Smart helps. Sometimes, we're smart. Sometimes not.

We bent on the two head sails. We're getting better at horsing the things around because — well — with only one of us to do the horsing, we have to be more efficient. Lay them out properly, feed them properly: more neatness, less muscle.


We opened the water tanks two weekends ago. We thought we had drained them before winter. We hadn't. We'd let the water run for a while. The pump finally seemed to be sucking air from all three tanks. Turned out that they weren't really empty. They were about ¼ full.

We manually pumped the water out. One gallon at a time. This took several hours.

This was Not Smart. Very, very not smart.

It turns out we have a perfectly good electrical pump we used to transfer fresh water from a bladder in the dinghy into the tanks. Did we use this? Not the first weekend. No.

The next weekend, we busted out the powered water transfer pump. It's high pressure. We can use it spray around inside the tank to do a better job rinsing.



After leaving them open for a week. CA Vacuumed the grit out of the tanks. We used the shopvac running from the inverter. Want to see POWER?

Yes. That's 81.7 Amps at 12.8 Volts.

81 Amps will drain the batteries stone dead in about 5 hours.

A few minutes of vacuuming is an amazing amount of power.


The next issue is sanitizing the tanks. Chlorine Bleach is popular, but it's potentially a bad thing: it interacts with the aluminum parts, leading to pitting and aluminum chloride (AlCl3) crystals.

This article says — in effect — don't worry about one-shot chlorine bleach ruining your tanks: Curing the Tainted Tank. They suggest ¼ cup per gallon: a ratio of 1:64. Call it 1.5 gallons of bleach per tank. A three hour sit. And then pump the tank dry. Rinse until it doesn't smell.

(Incorrectly, the article suggests "use one gallon of solution for each 5 gallons of tank capacity" which doesn't make any sense. One gallon of bleach for 50 gallons of tank makes more sense. A gallon is 128 ounces.)

For 90 gallon or so tanks, this takes a while. A long while. It's 20 minutes to fill. If we use our electric water pump (the one we forgot about on Sunday!) it might make the draining job go a little more quickly.

The issue is that 3 gallons of bleach winds up in the Bay.

The alternative seems to be a 1:20 ratio of vinegar. Let it sit for several days. That's 4.5 gallons of vinegar. Per tank. This seems less destructive. This looks like the next few weekends will be spent putting water (and vinegar) in. Or cleaning. Or rinsing. Or refilling.

We've pickled the starboard-side tank. Next weekend we'll pump the pickle water out and put some dock water in.

The port-side tank is up next. Access is more awkward because the settee is partially in the way.