Our 2002 Hylas 46

Monday, October 17, 2016

Annapolis Boat Show and or Fixing Boats Far From Home!

After our seminars with Seven Seas Cruising Association we moved from Rhodes River to Back Creek, which is south of Annapolis near Eastport. 

Rhode River

A little estate on Rhode River
Rhode River
Crabin' on the Chesapeake

We are a short dinghy ride and walk to downtown Annapolis.
We picked up a mooring ball for a bunch of days close to a huge boatyard Burt Jabin’s Yacht Yard. They have a different business model than the marinas on Lake Champlain – the yard owns a ton of land and a fleet of 5 Travel lifts to launch and pull boats from the water. The yard itself does no work but charges the businesses and contractors a fee for all work that they do in the Jabin’s yard. Needless to say there are a ton of very specialized folks here. 

Port Annapolis Marina - Back Creek
More of Back Creek
It was fun watching the new boats get prepared for the show – polishing and buffing up. Many left the yard for the show carrying sofas, potted plants and assorted show furniture. 

Some very special friends joined us on board for the boat show weekend. The Saturday show visit was accompanied with torrential rain – the remnants of hurricane Matthew. It kept the crowds at bay but it sure was a soggy experience. We did get to see a number of spectacular sailboats. The big item on the "surprise to buy" list was a Sailrite sewing machine for Maryse to be able to repair sails, make sun covers and other assorted stuff. She wants to use old sails to make me shorts ….. JUST SAY NO TO CHAFE!!!

Once the show finished, we started work on a number of projects that needed the attention of people far more skilled than me.

First on the list was to find a solution to why the new Garmin autopilot would not talk nicely with the autopilot. The technician started by dismantling the entire NEMA 2000 network that connects all the various instruments.  He replaced wiring, network connections and assorted other items. Then one by one reconnected each instrument trying to isolate the root cause. After 3 days of testing he was able to isolate an intermittent issue with a chart plotter that created issues for the autopilot and the primary chart plotter. Now we are waiting for a warranty replacement chart plotter from Garmin but they will not cover any of the $1000’s I have spent on certified Garmin technicians to install and debug their equipment. At least the problem is resolved and will not cause issues at sea.
Oh Boy!!! Some re-assembly required

Everything in pieces!

At the helm - pieces also!

Next on the list was to get the rig inspected and retuned and correctly tensioned. Since we have owned Ambition this has never been done – It was paid to be done in Tampa but clearly since we were not there at the time I suspect real work was not performed. Anyway the inspection has turned up a few must change items like converting our 4 wire / rope halyards to rope only. Wire / rope is very old school and a high wear item so out they go. Re-bedding and caulking the 6 chain plates to avoid water infiltration will be done while the rig is tuned. These and a few maintenance items that will be taken care of in a few days.

I have given up trying to send and receive emails via the SSB (like a HAM radio). This technology is archaic and painful even if it is free. This is as close as I have come to beating equipment to death with a hammer ….. FRUSTRATIONS GALORE!!!!
I moved into the digital age solutions and purchased an Iridium Go satellite connection for voice as well as data / emails. As I write this we had tried for hours to download the required applications on the boat but the internet connection was way too weak so after a 1 hour walk, we are sitting in a McDonald’s using their free wifi to get what we need. This turned out to be a fiasco after 2 ½ hours downloading – it failed again! Luckily a friend is coming over tonight and it took him all of 2 minutes to download at his home – ahhhh the cruising lifestyle is wonderful! Now the iPad is updated, as is the iPhone and the Mac.

Lastly the aft toilet has become haunted – ghosts show up in the middle of the night and flush the vacuum head. This takes special Ghostbuster skills that I have determined I do not even WANT to have. Ripping it out and replacing it with a bucket did not pass the approval process from all crewmembers.

Well the “must do” list is getting shorter and the credit card limper which must indicate that we are almost ready to participate in the ARC 1500 Rally. 

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