Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I've been in Rehoboth Beach Delaware for a few days. It was a little getaway but, it has also kept me away from finishing up the spring outfitting on BIANKA. But, at least it has given me a front row seat watching the Atlantic Ocean. Though tugging at me is the desire to be on it. Still, it's hard not to enjoy it no matter where you are when you get a sunrise like this:

or enjoy a walk down the beach:

If the sand is too soft for an extended walk there is a fine boardwalk:

A main drag filled with all kinds of shops, restaurants etc...

Of course the boardwalk has the ubiquitous Salt Water Taffy emporium:

I'd like to know who is the person who came up with this great idea for the benches that line the boardwalk:

You can move the the backrest so the bench either faces the ocean or the boardwalk so you can people watch. Personally, I'd choose the ocean every time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


People ask me what do you do all day when you are on the boat. I think this short documentary about David Welsford and his 28 foot Herreshoff designed Lizzy Bell really captures the feeling of what being alone cruising on a boat is about. Sure there are some differences between my 30 foot Nonsuch and his wooden boat as well as our lives. We also sail different latitudes and I do have refrigeration and only spend half the year on board at this point. But, his observations about living on a boat and about  living a sunrise to sunset lifestyle are spot on:

Thursday, May 08, 2014

RETHINKING PROPANE: Removing the Paloma Hot Water Heater

After dismantling the Hillerange Stove and adapting it to my new cooking burner. My attention turned to the Paloma on demand hot water heater. It was still in good shape and working but, since I no longer wanted to rely on a 22 year old propane hose snaking below the cabin sole to deliver propane gas to it and the stove. So it was time to remove it.

I had not actually used it for hot water in about two or three years preferring to take Joy showers off the stern or cockpit showers using a solar shower bag. Though it was a reliable provider of hot water when I was working and living on board in New York City back in the mid 1990's to 2001. I'd use it take a shower everyday before heading off to a midnight shift keeping electrons flowing through the wires in midtown Manhattan. Now that I am living on board only in warmer seasons and in more secluded locations I  won't miss the unit.

The Paloma water heater on BIANKA was installed behind a custom built cabinet with some extra joinery to hide the gas supply line, water hoses and also an AC line for a microwave used by a previous owner located in another cubby.

Removing the wood covers showed the various hoses connecting up to the unit:

Two hand screws on the bottom sides of the heater allowed the cover to be removed:

It then was pretty easy to access the water heater connections and remove them:

The gas supply and water hoses came off pretty easy:

Two bolts and nuts held the bottom bracket of the heater to the bulkhead:

A single bolt and nut held a bracket on the upper part of the heater to the bulkhead. This was more difficult to access. So I went around the back and just loosened the screw until the nut fell off. I was then able with a little wriggling to remove the water heater from behind the cabinet:

With the Paloma water heater removed a nice amount of storage space was opened up:

I'm already planning on adding another spice rack below the cabinet. I'll see what else I can fit into the area left by the removal of of the Paloma. Always good to have more storage space on board.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

RETHINKING PROPANE: Dismantling the Hillerange Seaward Stove Part Four

After the finishing clearing out the oven box I returned to the top of the stove where I will use the Coleman Burner Stove for my primary cooking.

 Now that the Hillerange burners and gas valves were removed I need to do a good cleaning of the basin that will contain the burner. I used my one gallon wet/dry vac to remove what I could. But, there was still some greasy and rust spots that needed particular attention:

 I used some white vinegar and baking soda, Simple Green a stainless steel brush and a  DBTech Multi-Purpose Pressurized Steam Cleaner.

The steam clearer really helps to get at the grease and grime that found  it's way into the crevices over two decades of cooking. It also helps to remove rust spots. It also helps to sterilize surfaces. It's a handy thing to have around for a job like this. A small  Stainless Steel Brush also came in handy along with the steam in cleaning some of the stoves rusted metal and stainless steel surface:

I also needed to remove a few things left over on top of the stove. One was the leftover piece of the burner gas manifold bracket that I had to cut using a Dremel tool with a cut off blade:

Using a small vise grip this was easily removed with the screw still firmly attached:

I also used the Dremel Tool with a cutoff blade to cut off the stainless steel feed tubes that previously fed the pilot light and oven burner:

Here is the before view afterI removed the gas manifold, burners and gas valves but, had not yet cleaned things up. You can see some of the  the rust where the iron burner brackets were screwed into the stainless steel surface and the gas feed tubes on the right :

Here is the after photo:

That's much better. I can now put the Coleman burner in it's proper place on top of the cleaned stove top. I'm pretty happy with the transformation. I've created more storage for my pots and pans in the oven box. Plus, I still have a well gimbaled burner with which to cook on :

So one project is out of the way. Next I'll move on to the next project which is  remove the hot water heater as I continue to rethink propane on board and how I use it.