2017-08-27–Much Yet To Learn — Week #7

So for the last 6 weeks working in the engine room the floor boards have made we crazy with these big freaking holes in them. I went to our carpenter showed him and explained I wanted to make some caps to cover the holes. He immediately went over and dropped an empty Rotella Oil Pail….oops….yes the holes are there to hold and secure pails of oil. An oil change for the Main and Generator takes 9 GALLONS so storage is going to be a issue or at least a question. Thank you Ray for not laughing at me!!!


One of the small projects was replacing the fuel tank sight gauges. A couple of .98 cent yard sticks from Home Depot added a better assessment to amount aboard. Each tank hold over 300 gallons!

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Mid week I made a quick trip to Annapolis for Magnolia-S survey. It was an in and out trip but on the way home to Florida. I suggest the lack of smile is simply the hour, 0630 on the plane after a 0330 alarm back on Magnolia. The survey went well so we will hopefully get this deal closed.


In the old days whenever I got an upgrade on the way home I ordered a Baily’s and Coffee for breakfast to celebrate. It seemed to be a tradition worth continuing!


As soon as Annette picked me up at the airport though we were back to it This week is all about getting all the old dead wire out of the boat. There was dead wire in the pilot house, there was dead wire in the engine room……

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Pulling wire is like making sausage, neither process you really want to witness. After going at it with a pair of dikes in hand, the right things seem to still be working.  Next will start on pulling the new wire for the electronics we will be installing.


In my absence, the Admiral continued her sewing and finishing up the duvet for the bed.


One side is dark blue, with a shell pattern


The other side is a coral pattern


These pictures did not come out well, but will give you an idea…..


To finish the week up I got the head finished with the shower apparatus and the shower curtain rod installed. Obviously cleaning the port-light lens has not yet been accomplished!


Hope you all have a good week! Be Safe!

2017-08-20–Busy Busy Week–Week #6

Last weekend we took a break from Magnolia-M to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We arrived in Detroit just in time for a Florida style thunderstorm. Thankfully as in Florida it rolled in and kept on rolling right out!


First stop was a evening of catching up with classmates. We have been friends all through elementary school and one KINDERGARTEN!!! Names have been withheld to protect the innocent!!


My parents was celebrated with a Mass at Church and then a dinner at my sisters house with a lovely view of the pond.


Even the Pope sent a note of congratulations!


Arriving back in Florida our old dock-mates from Pirates Cove days, Marty & John. They happened to be in town looking at boats! It was a brief but fun visit! Thank you guys for making time.


Ok, busted, it was a Twistee Treat week too.


Some how I lost my mind and decided to get a jump on my errands…right in the middle of morning rush-hour. A rude reminder of what we left behind!


In spite of all that was going on, the engine room but a two day cleaning. An amazing transformation from where we were.


Though a small step forward but I did get the head installed and operational.


The Admiral has been hard at work on draperies. She finished the pilothouse set and now moved onto the salon drapes.


Our “arbitrator” and design consultant Robin Antonelli gave us full blessing on fabric choice.


I think its really going to pop, only pop, not blow up!


Back to equipment..the coupling that connects the Lugger Power Take Off (PTO) to the Hydraulic Pump has been a real problem. It became corroded and froze to the pump shaft. We have had the coupling cut off but we are still gathering information and costing out options. In the meantime we we did get the Injection Pump rebuilt and installed. There was discussion of repainting but I insisted on ala-natural. Its a thing of beauty and I am going to polish that baby everyday. 


We finished up the electrical last week but I just got all the lines dressed and prettied up.


With all that we accomplished this week it was time for a fun Saturday afternoon…first Annette and I started with our first Happy Hour aboard Magnolia-M. We hope it is the first of many.


The real reason for the onboard happy hour is we were waiting for my Navy buddy Mike and his family to arrive. We had a nice visit aboard and then headed off for dinner! A lovely evening!


Hope you all have a good week! Be Safe A**2

2017-08-10 — Electric Week – Curtains–Week #5

The electrical system was certainly designed by an engineer..perhaps one who took one too many arcs across the gray matter.  God only knows, and I do mean he is the only one who knows why the configuration was so complicated . The table at the bottom chart below only begins to explain what happens in each switch position. I will only rant one more time, its NUTS!!! (I am done now)


As with Magnolia-S, all these systems are complicated already. Their configuration needs to be simple and easily understood. Things never break on these vessels when you are tied to the dock or on a quiet Sunday afternoon while you are hanging on the hook. Things go bad when a thunderstorm is approaching, when you are trying to get into a challenging inlet and the weather forecast is completely a work of fiction During these times when stress is high the last thing you we need is to try and figure out configurations in the midst of troubleshooting a problem.

With that in mind, I am working with a licensed marine electrician to implement the configuration below. I basically replicated what I did on Magnolia –S. Note there no switches in the below diagram. The configuration is what it is. You will see there is a fuse on the output of all power sources, but NO switches. 


When we we purchased Magnolia-S she had no LED lights. All lighting was energy sucking incandescent lights. The refrigerator/freezer was a 20 year old SubZero. Between replacing light bulbs and an energy efficient refrigerator/freezer we are reducing the battery bank by one Lifeline 8D. An 8D battery has a capacity of 255 ahr and weighs in at a whopping 156lbs. Getting one of those batteries off the boat is not a completely simple task. Once we got it out of the battery box in the engine room and up to the salon, out the salon door and on to the fantail.


We then slid it across a board to shore. All before 7AM!!! Smile


Out work list below:

1) Remove & replace inverter input fuse with JJN fast acting fuse as per inverter manufacturer  recommendation.

2) Check battery charger with load tester for full rated output.

3) Check hull potential and proper operation of Galvanic lsolators (two) when boat moves to saltwater.

4) Reconnect inverter input transformer and run new ground cable to ground buss. (Rather  than bonding buss as currently installed) * Identify connection taps for owner and make  note on drawing.

5) Remove battery desulfator from engine/generator battery.

6) Re-crimp negative connections in navigation panel (on helm). Install fuse holder for  starboard side 12V panel.

7) Re-secure forward shore power breaker box. (Anthony will do)

8) Install 120V fuse holders for 120/240V meters and 12V meters in main distribution panel  and cap off and secure or remove unused 14/3 cable in main panel.

9) Re-label ship shore selector switch to read Aft shore, Forward shore, Off, Generator.

10) Recrimp battery terminal ends.

Anthony Adds
11) Install Xantrex LinkPro Battery Monitor (in hand)

12) Install Xantrex Battery->Battery Charger — House to Engine Start Battery (in hand)

13) Replace/Connect two start batteries instead of existing shared 8D battery

We had a very productive week! In addition to the above we got a number of other items sorted out.  Our refrigerator/freezer is dual voltage, 12vdc/120vac depending on what is available. Normally 12vdc when we are away from the dock and and 120vac at the dock. We have that all installed plus much more. Below our electrician is mounting some new and appropriate fuse blocks.


Below is the finished wiring MINUS the clean up and dressing of the installation. (Flying to Detroit in the morning and ran out of time).


I am very happy with the way things came out. The system is so much simpler and we hope more reliable than where we started. It was a good week and now for an even better weekend in Detroit!

2017-08-05—Short On Pictures–Curtains–Week #4

These weeks in Florida are bringing back memories of summer spent in Pascagoula MS during Navy Days..pleasant early mornings, warm to hot morning followed by a passing shower. These showers alway render a very dramatic sky. 


Big news this week is Annette knocked out sewing the first two curtains for the Pilothouse. We each have opinions about color and fabrics so we retained a local “arbitrator” who helps bring us together on color and fabrics.  We did the same thing on the condo, the sailboat and now the trawler. In this case we retained East Coast Home Staging (http://eastcoasthomestaging.com/). Robin Antonelli  has been great to work with and our marriage appreciates it.


These are the first of many sewing projects Annette has ahead of her. As she has done before, she will make this our home. We are both excited about the color how Magnolia will end up. To that end I was warned there were 50lbs of fabric arriving on Tuesday this week…its going to be be beautiful…if we don’t sink!! Much more to come on this subject and hardy thanks to Robin Antonelli! PS Thats a temp tie back!


If you are looking for pictures of anything interesting you have already seen those…well except maybe our friend “Red” actually this guy is “Yellow” but that dang things are everywhere scampering around ALWAYS! They are always neat, polite and dang if they are eating bugs, I love them even more. Have not seen any bugs since we have been in FL…well except for the wasps that tried to build a nest. Thankfully to my experience with my friend Jack, made short order of that nest…ok now we are done with the interesting pictures…


Like I said, not much to see but I did get the old head (commode) out of the boat and pulled up the base plate (no pictures…intentional). 


After a good cleaning, prime and paint things are looking presentable.


I patched up the existing cutouts and Ray here in the yard put a fresh piece of Formica on the plate. Ordered a new hose and as soon as that arrives will install the new head and get that plumbed up.


In addition we did get the tank monitoring system tested out this week as well.


We obviously are not allowed pump sewage (“black water”) over the side except in the ocean. There are also some bodies of water, such as Lake Champlain that do not allow “gray water”  (sinks/shower) discharge. Most boats are not equipped with a gray water tank so we were lucky M/V Magnolia is all ready set up.


Tested out that system as well.


We have our electrician Steve coming back this week to help me get the Battery Topography right. The existing system very heavy duty but way to complicated. It took me a couple hours jsuts to build the chart below to try and understand all the various configurations.


Below is scaled up version of what I installed on the Magnolia-S. Though we might reuse a switch or two, the below has no switch requirement which makes the system instantly less complicated. We are also adding a little redundancy by providing a separate start battery for each the GenSet and the MainEngine. On top of that, we are actually REDUCING the size of our battery bank from 1785ah to 1475ah. As with Magnolia-S we will make MV Magnolia as comfortable on the “hook” as she is at a dock.


Part of my job this week will to be to remove the ancient battery monitoring system. I started pulling an tracing wires


and look what I found…the last known DB-25 serial connector in use anywhere in the world (Fake News).


In addition to the above Matt the refrigeration man came out and checked all three of our A/C units. Had to replace 1 pump but everything is working perfectly now..particularly in the all important sewing room. Sam & John the mechanics also put the Northern Light Generator back together. She fired right up and running smoothly. The main engine is giving us some trouble…a neglected water pump leaked on to the Power Take Off (PTO) Pump / John Deere-Lugger mating collar. The darn thing rusted together and the machine show is gingerly working to separate.  Hopefully this can be resolved shortly to the Main Engine too can get operational!!

That is pretty much it from here…if you are still driving..PLEASE be careful…its scary out there on those roads!