April 28, 2015
This is the first of several posts about the maintenance we’ve been doing over the last several months. Please feel free to skip these updates if you are not interested in details! BUT, for those not interested in maintenance, we do have UPDATED BOOK REVIEWS so check them out. I’m currently downloading more audiobooks and iBooks, so if you have any recommendations, please let me know! Many of these reviews are the result of recommendations from our friends!
And we did take time for some fun – we attended another wonderful Gilpin Family (Offshore Marine Electronics) oyster roast including some good southern cornbread!
Now on to the maintenance list.
We took Shear Madness out of the water in early January 2015, with a long list of maintenance items and upgrades. Over the next few posts we will share with you what was on our schedule and how things turned out – these blogs will be jointly authored by Bradley and Kathy. One has to also keep in mind Murphy’s Boat Repair rule. For every job you start at least 2 to 4 other tasks are found.
Once the boat was out of the water, we also elected to fully unload the boat of everything, all food, provisions, clothes, most of our spare parts, and all cleaning provisions. They only thing we left on board was tools and paper towels – LOL.
Shear Madness is now 11 years old and while we have worked hard since purchasing her to ensure she is kept in mint condition and does not break down while in cruising mode, boats require substantial annual maintenance. We are very strong believers in aggressive preventive maintenance. So we design our maintenance schedule to take advantage of the experts available to us here at Moore’s Marine and the Jarrett Bay complex, rather than in remote ports where we do not know the quality Techs. Most of the people who work on Shear Madness here know the boat and have been working with us since 2011.
In this post, we will detail some of the General Repair items. Later posts will cover engine maintenance, electrical systems, and interior upgrades. Our last post covered replacing the house batteries.
General Repair Items:
- Find and repair leaks in chilled loop (heating/AC) system – We first started on this at Deltaville, where we found and repaired several leaks in valves and fittings. We thought we had the system repaired, but once we pressurized the system a new leak developed in the heat exchanger from the Kabola heater to the chilled loop. This required we remove a substantial amount of equipment from the lazarette to access the heat exchanger for repairs and pressure testing. As we were back in the space we decided to replace all of the hoses we had access to:
- All hoses on Kabola system.
- Deck Drain
- Generator water and air exhaust hoses.
- Bonding strip connections with terminal strip.
- All 2.5” and 3” raw water hoses (these bring sea water into the boat to cool the main engines) from engines to Dual Groco Strainers and through dual through-hull connectors. This included all raw water hoses on the exhaust system. Of course in the process we discovered the Groco Strainer needed a full service.
- Replace two hose bibs. Of course access to the back of one required we disassemble one of our 50 amp power cord systems. While back in that space, we found many hose clamps that needed to be tightened including two on a deck drain that have clearly never been tightened. We also added some insulating tape to the chilled loop system.
- Change Oil in Vacuum (toilet) pump – last year we did a full service on our Vacuum pump system, replacing all duck bill valves, seals and fixing other issues. The one thing left to do this time was to replace the Oil in the primary vacuum pump.
- Complete Water Maker hose replacement – while working in the engine room, we noted that several of the clamps were showing signs of rust and wear. Upon closer examination we also found that many of the hoses were weakened. We ended up having to replace all the hoses on the water maker system. It was great timing, as upon inspection of the old hoses, we could have expected a failure any moment!
- Sea Chest – We had two valves on the sea chest that were becoming impossible to close, so we replaced them. In the process we found the A/C raw hoses were deteriorating, so we replaced the A/C raw water hoses from sea chest to both pumps and beyond. This led to needing to do some work on the pump selection switch wiring. We also cleaned and painted the actual pumps to stop some rust that had started.
- Fuel Tanks – We had wanted to upgrade the values on our engine room fuel tank sight glasses along with the actual sight glasses. While the sight glass replacement went well, including those on the oil tanks, we had to give up on valve replacement. While our manual valves still work, we wanted to upgrade to self-closing types, but did not want to risk creating more issues, when the existing valves did not want to come out. We also discovered a cracked bowl on our Racor (fuel filter system) and replaced it. We also noted some leaks around connections on fuel lines that had to be resealed. (For items 1-7 we worked with Mayda of Mayda Marine, a truly miraculous marine plumber)
- Servicing Windlass (anchor winch) – While at Deltaville, we serviced the rollers on the bow, but did not have a weather window to disassemble and grease the windlasses. This was accomplished in a busy afternoon.
- Microwave Repair. We got very lucky here, as our model of microwave convention oven is no longer made and all of the new models are too big (depth) to fit into the existing slot. There is/was a local repair tech, who we have used in the past. When I called his office to schedule a service, we found out he was winding down the business to retire. However, after we explained the problem, he agreed to look at our Microwave if we would bring it to his shop. We got very lucky as it was fairly easy to remove – it came out with only 4 screws. He looked at it and we hit pay dirt; he had a similar unit in the shop for sale and was going to toss it. So he was able to cannibalize the parts required for repair. We would have liked to just purchase the new unit, but it was the wrong color and the face plate was not interchangeable.
- We have been progressively replacing all of the caulking on the decks. This process continued with removal of old caulking from the tender deck, flybridge, and roof and application of new caulking. Sergio from Moore’s Marine, is a real artist with 3M Marine Sealant, which can create a huge mess in the hands of an amateur!
- We had to replace a “winglet” on our starboard stabilizer that had sustained some minor damage.
- Bottom paint. The bottom was sanded and new bottom paint applied. Bow and stern thruster props were removed, sanded and painted.
- New zincs. All zinc anodes were replaced.
- Teak decks. Over time teak decks wear down, resulting in the caulking between teak strips rising above the wood. The caulking periodically needs to be shave down to bring it back to even with the teak. We have teak decks in our aft cockpit, in the flybridge, and along the starboard side of the boat. Shaving the caulking is a manual process, followed by a light sanding of the teak. We do not treat our teak decks with any kind of product – we leave it natural as this increases its life.
- Several miscellaneous repairs.
Please let us know if you have any questions!
#1 by Bri Cianelli on April 30, 2015 - 7:12 am
How do I post a suggested book to read? I recently read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and it was excellent.
#2 by Anonymous on April 29, 2015 - 10:36 am
Book recommendations: The Devil In The White City by Erik Larson as well as Issac’s Storm. The Rivers of Babylon by Nelson DeMille. As a friend of Richards I am looking forward to your updates and hope to see Sheer Madness when it is here in Charleston. Sandra Troy
#3 by Anonymous on April 29, 2015 - 9:48 am
Amazing the amount of preventive maintenance you all are doing to keep Shear Madness ship-shape. So many practice the “drive to fail” which is never good, especially with the long distance cruising you do.
Fair winds and following Seas!
#4 by jeff Marcon on April 29, 2015 - 6:13 am
Wow I did not know SM was 11 years old… She looked nearly new when I first saw her Solomons a while back.. You guys are taking great care of her… I have a question about all the hose replacements. Do you have to buy specific pieces that have molded bends and such ( like in automotive applications) or do you buy bulk specific sized ( ID/OD ) hose stock and simply cut to length?
#5 by Anonymous on April 29, 2015 - 12:05 am
Shear Madness must be like new again. Did you make any electronic upgrades? You never mentioned anything about the pilot house. Thanks for the update. I love to follow you two and stories about your ship.
#6 by Kathy Clark on July 4, 2015 - 8:33 am
Just some software upgrades and fixing some wiring on the VHF radio in the flybridge.
#7 by Carl Pugh from IGC on April 28, 2015 - 11:39 pm
All these books are a must-read!
#8 by Allen Kowarski on April 28, 2015 - 8:36 pm
Tell Bradley I said Happy birthday to the old nan!
Sent from my iPhone
#9 by Pat Thompson on April 28, 2015 - 7:18 pm
Bradley & Kathy, The black caulking looks amazing guys, wonderful job. I’m glad I’m not the only person to have a messy salon & wheel house while performing annual maintenance. I’m jealous you have a yard of qualified techs at your disposal although I did pretty good establishing relationships here in Newfoundland during the winter. Looking forward to a wonderful summer aboard our Nordhavn. Pat & Joanne
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#10 by Anonymous on April 28, 2015 - 7:02 pm
Kathy!! You read my mind! Here I am trolling the net looking for recommendations on cleaning products and your article pops up! Very synchronistic!
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