2017-05 Front Street Shipyard

May 26, 2017

Our next blog will contain details of our upcoming trip north to the Artic for the summer. For now, we have taken Shear Madness off the market and will decide later this year whether we want to return to land soon, or continue to cruise for a couple more years. Stay tuned!

Warning – most of this blog is about maintenance projects. Not recommended for those who only want the fun side of the cruising life! Although we’ve remained focused on the maintenance tasks, we have had the chance to enjoy the town of Belfast. Our friend Gretchen came for a visit and we enjoyed some of the local shops and restaurants, including (of course!) Maine Lobsters! And we are enjoying a lovely (albeit sometimes chilly and rainy) spring!

We also chatted with a local reporter who writes about activity on the Befast waterfront for. See his story here (page down to second half of story).

Gretchen phones home to tell about her lobster


We are working all-out on a list of maintenance projects at Front Street Shipyard (FSSY) in Belfast, Maine. This yard was recommended by several people we highly respect and so far have lived up to our expectations.

First, we were hauled out using their 440-ton lift! It sure makes Shear Madness look small! We’re now working long days, making good progress, but on a tight schedule.  The good news/bad news is that everything we had on our list to service has turned out to really need that service or in some cases, complete replacement.  Many items were at or arriving at end of life this season.

Coming out of the water in the huge lift!

Among the things we are doing:

  1. ABT Stabilizer and bow/stern thruster system – Complete servicing, which involves removing stabilizer fins and shafts. The Stabilizers are indeed showing some wear, but did not show any signs of sea water intrusion. Although we had ordered anticipated parts back in October, we have had to order several more as we’ve progressed. We also had to have some special tools shipped to us on loan in order to remove the shafts. The Bow Thrusters showed very early stages of water intrusion but we had suspected and ordered the parts as part of original order.  ABT has been OUTSTANDING to deal with.  The level of technical support from their team and parts support from Steve are outstanding.  Thank You!
  2. Shafts and Props removed. Props sent for re-balancing. Shafts sent for testing. They passed dye test (to determine any cracks/structural problems), but require a little work.  Replacing Cutlass bearings. Working with FSSY, Bradley and their tech developed a new way to remove Cutlass Bearings, cutting the time in half!
  3. Raw Water exhaust for main engines – all 10” hose aft of water separators is being replaced.  It is original – 12+ years old, was leaking in cold water and was showing signs of wear at the ends.
  4. New 140 Amp engine alternators are being added to main engines.  The old alternators, 100 amp, were original and the starboard one was making some noises (bearings).  We were even concerned it would fail on trip north. The new ones will give us additional power to charge batteries while running main engine, so will no longer need to run either generator or hydraulic Alternators, except for very high loads, like full boat A/C
  5. Crane service – Will be discussed in separate blog.
  6. Replacing some hydraulic struts leaking oil, on our hatches.
  7. Servicing hydraulic Alternator mounts and replacing rubber collar from hydraulic motor to Alternator. Also, some testing, as issues spotted by sharp eyed FSSY Tech.
  8. Some touch up wood work.
  9. Replacing Grey water pump that is 12 years old.  Our project manager is amazed it is still working. Will carry old one as a spare.
  10. Servicing Vacuum pump on head sytem.
  11. Servicing all safety equipment. Life raft sent for testing/service. Fire extinguishers checked and serviced as needed. New flares ordered to replace expired ones. Ditch bag (abandon ship bag) reviewed/updated. EPIRB (emergency rescue beacon) tested and battery replaced.
  12. Large tender – full service on outboard motors (twin Yamaha 60HP). Fix to bimini mounting system top and bottom upgraded. Removal of old Navnet system and installation of holder for new iPad based nav system. Also removed and sand blasted tender chalks and leaving them raw aluminum – no more peeling paint!
  13. Small tender – inflate/test spare tender and service 15 HP outboard.
  14. Anchor chain – we inspected and decided to replace our starboard anchor chain (the one we use most frequently). We are also increasing length to 125 meters and will use new soft shackle to attach end of chain to boat and second one to attach extra 100 meters of anchor line to last link.
  15. Replacing one A/C air handler – Unit replaced under warranty due to a leaking coil, but we must absorb labor.
  16. Updated all charts and software.
  17. Several other projects we will discuss in subsequent blog.

As we start to complete some of these projects, we’ll turn our attention to planning our summer excursion north – hopefully taking us back to the Arctic to Nunavut and Baffin Island.


  1. #1 by yRQ8TTmJr36CtuMIueOezDjYeFB3P0g54zz+Rl0WNPc= on May 27, 2017 - 3:28 pm

    Kathy incredible documentation! Love reading this stuff. Enjoy and hugs to you and Bradley. PerkHugs


  2. #2 by Bruce Schwanda on May 27, 2017 - 10:43 am


    A mini overhaul. Whoever eventually gets your boat will be getting a gem!

    Best wishes for fair winds and following seas on your journey North.

    Stay away from Polar Bears!


    Bruce & Anne



  3. #3 by Meg Clohan on May 26, 2017 - 10:06 am

    Ahhh the life and times! I guess it doesn’t get much better than this🥂




  4. #4 by shirleybuford on May 26, 2017 - 7:47 am

    Kathy and Bradley, Enjoyed the update from start to finish. What an undertaking. Always good to hear from you. Warmest regards, Shirley

    Sent from my iPhone



  5. #5 by mikeandfay on May 26, 2017 - 7:37 am

    Wowsers!!! That’s a big refit for sure!!
    How long will you be in Belfast for?
    When do you expect to cross the Gulf of Maine and sail into our friendly Canadian waters??

    I have just returned from Europe, and readying the SEAQUEL for launch next week.




  6. #6 by Jeff Marcon on May 26, 2017 - 7:12 am

    Wow so much work!! But the pay off is the level of confidence you will have on your up coming voyage. Thank you for sharing your nautical life. Cheers and safe travels!


  7. #7 by Caroleerx@aol.com on May 26, 2017 - 6:59 am

    I just caught your pix at 5 A.M. Wot a pleasure!


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