Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

After all the preparation there was not much to do but wait, so I took that as an opportunity to knock out a bunch of (inside the boat)  projects.

I had an order from Tactical and  Marine Wholesalers shipped to the marina so my project list included installing all of the alarms recommended by my surveyor and in some cases required by my insurance company. The hardest part was figuring out where to put them, near the ceiling, near the floor away from corners, not near hatches. . . First was the battery powered smoke alarm, since there was no wiring to run this was going to be the easiest of the bunch. Next up was the CO detector, this required a power feed so was a little more complicated. These two ended up on a bulkhead between the navigators station and the starboard pilot berth. The last alarm was the propane detector. Nobody required this one but I'd just read about a fellow who blew himself and his boat up as a result of a propane leak so I added that one for good measure.

This was the hardest one to place, try to find a spot 20" from the floor in the confines of a sailboat that won't get kicked, mashed, or soaked repeatedly. I settled for a tucked in spot under the navigators seat, which is just across from the propane stove in the galley.

 To finish the wiring required a quick trip to West Marine and Radio Shack. By this time the rain was pouring down and wind was in the 30+ knot range so I made a foray out into the storm to check all the lines for chafing and relocate some particularly noisy halyards.

I also made a stop at Walmart to pick up a blanket, I just about froze Saturday night. I know the weather service calls these tropical storms but there is nothing tropical about the temperatures that it brought to Norfolk!

Before moving on to the next project required some major leak remediation, it turns out that my mast boot wasn't as well sealed as I had thought and I had what were starting to look like rivers feeding lakes flowing down the mast and dripping from the adjacent headliner panels. To control the flow I removed one of the panels and the board behind it, this kept the flow concentrated around the mast where I placed a series of bowls and plates to catch the water. The plates were needed because as the boat rocked over 5 degrees in either direction the impact zone kept shifting.

The wind and rain were annoying but, for me and the others in the marina I spoke with, the storm surge was the biggest concern. At the peak high tide we were within three feet of the docks floating off of the pilings, at which point things would get very bad very quickly.

Monday evenings project was the installation of a new Standard Horizon Matrix AIS+ GX2150 VHF radio. I picked this radio because of the integrated AIS function, for those unfamiliar with AIS it provides position and course information for all commercial vessels in the vicinity, particularly useful in low visibility situations. (Like we experienced going into Baltimore Harbor). From an electronic perspective the installation went great,  including setting up the NMEA 0183 connection to the GPS. This part was interesting enough to merit a post of its own later. The appearance side of the project didn't go as we'll. the new VHF was smaller than the one it replaced so I will need to fabricate a bezel to fill the gaps.

Late Monday afternoon the wind switched and it turned even colder, that night I ended up dragging a spinnaker bag into my bunk for added insulation! The wind switch also brought significantly lower water, the levels dropping several feet in just a few hours.

With the latest additions the boat is ready for the next leg of its journey!

No comments: