Thursday, December 12, 2013

Projects: Fabrication and Fixes in La Paz

Besides having the friendly Mexican community and lots of fellow cruisers in town, La Paz might be the best place in Mexico to get boat projects done. Before we left the States in 2012, there was a very long list of things to do for Shindig to be "ready".  The high priority items got done and lower priority or 'nice to have' items were delayed.  Now we know that LaPaz is a great place to tick off that long list of boat projects.

Here are some of the projects that we worked on to get Shindig ready for the season.
  • Service Perkins engine (oil, raw water impeller, heat exchanger zinc)
  • Service Onan generator (serviced injectors, debug full power issue - ongoing....)
  • Replace fuel filters for generator and fuel polishing system
  • Replace #2 alternator voltage regulator (unit failed in the "full on" mode)
  • Install solar panels (make changes to bimini, install MPPT controller)
  • Install AIS transponder and rewire NMEA interface to plotter
  • Upgrade firmware on Raymarine plotter
  • Fix vacuum brake for Onan generator with new type
  • Lube steering system
  • Replace impeller in damage control pump
  • Re-glue forward hatch gaskets
  • Service Tohatsu outboard (zinc, lube, plugs, lower unit oil) 
  • Haul out (bottom paint, replace busted zinc bolt, service propeller and bow thruster, service all thru-hulls)
  • Have custom flopper stopper made 
  • Have dinghy chaps made
  • Wax hull, topsides, mast, clean all standing rigging
  • Varnish cockpit table and trim in aft head
  • Have full boat cover made (end of last season)
The Solar panels on Shindig's bimini add 50Ah/day (24v) on a sunny day.  Hector modified the bimini to accept the panels
Shindig is lifted for the short trip to the water.  Fresh paint, fixed thru-hull and new zincs.
Replacing #2 voltage regulator.  The wire harness was a challenge to extract

Damage control pump impeller has been replaced.  In case of a flooding emergency this engine driven pump can move a lot of water!

Vacuum brake for the generator raw water
For years the vent loop on the generator has dripped water into the engine room.  The salt water corrodes everything it touches and the problem has gotten worse as we use the generator more....  makes sense.  My fix was to have Ernesto the metal fabricator make the fitting  above.  It fits in the cockpit drain hose and vents to the top of the generator raw water loop.

New fitting installed on the left.  Vent loop on the right.

Now when the generator runs it dumps water in the cockpit drain and when the generator is off it vents the loop and does not allow water to get into the exhaust side of the generator.  As a side benefit when the generator is running you can hear water gurgling down the drain.  Not only is it soothing... but a good indicator that you have good cooling water flow to the generator.

Ernesto also made me a flopper stopper.  I gave him the dimensions and design details and a few weeks later it was done.

This device is also sometimes called a roll stabilizer.  It rides in the water, dangling from the boom or the spinnaker pole.  As the boat rolls to one side it folds deeper into the water and as the boat rolls the other way it wings open.  In the open position it provides a lot resistance in the water and slows the roll of the boat.

Last season I borrowed one from our buddy Danny on Cycledes when we were in Punta de Mita.  It really made the motion of the boat more comfortable in a rolly anchorage.

Shindig Flopper Stopper
Jeanne from Eagle/La Paz Cruiser Supply made the webbing bits for the bridle. 
We are in Punta de Mita now and have had it deployed for a several days.  It works great!

Discovered this busted hose clamp on the generator heat exchanger.   Salt water from the dripping vacuum brake slowly ate it away.

Hector in LaPaz used the sunbrella fabric that I brought down to make a nice dinghy cover or "chaps" for our daily driver.  The red stripe was my idea to make is distinguishable from others at a distance. It is also Nancy's favorite color.

Full boat cover helped keep the intense summer sun off Shindig's decks. 

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