Saturday, February 20, 2016


After a heavy rain had melted much of the snow left from the recent snow storms. I thought I would make another trip to the boatyard and check up on things again. I got to the boatyard and started chatting with the usual crowd that was hanging out in the warm boatyard office. I continued the gam with another boater outside who was heading to the British Virgin Islands the following week to charter a Catamaran. Something I had done for most of January. After that was finished I noticed how cold it was and thought maybe I should come back on the weekend when it would be noticeably warmer than the lower forty degree Fahrenheit day it was. The breeze did not help make it any warmer. I got in the car to warm up and decide what to do. I then thought well I was already here might as well drag out the folding ladder from back of the car and do a quick check. I'm glad I did. Things had taken a turn for the worse since the previous check I had done the week before. The first and most critical thing I noticed even before I climbed on to the boat. One of the frame struts for the solar bimini was no longer connected to the deck hinge:

 This no doubt happened during the 30 to 50 MPH winds during the recent rains. The winds vibrated the frame enough to loosen the screw that held the end cap to the deck hinge. Luckily the screw fell inside the cockpit and was easily found and the frame secured.

The next thing I noticed is that the piece of Lexan that bridged the gap between the two 75 watt solar panels on the solar bimini was gone:

I mean really gone. I could not find it anywhere The same winds that loosened the bimini hardware no doubt sent this piece of plastic flying. This will have to be replaced later during spring outfitting. I have some new ideas for this area anyway.

The last thing I noticed is that the Hydrofarm 5-Gallon Black Bucket had split open:

No doubt from the water accumulating and freezing in it. The bucket had done a great job of providing solar heated rinse water after swims off of BIANKA. But, apparently was not durable enough as some other buckets that have survived the winters unscathed. A replacement will be ordered and stored down below next winter.

On the bright side the small cube ceramic heater I mentioned in the previous post had decided to start working again and provided some much needed heat as I wrestled with the cold stainless steel tubing of the bimini frame. I was glad I decided to do that quick check of the boat instead of heading back home. Things can change dramatically on board in a week even with the weather warming up.

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