Seven Year Report: the Boat

Furthur hit her eleven-year birthday marking 8049 hours on the amazing Cummins QSL engine, again trouble free. With only 649 hours in the last twelve months. Now that is more than most American boats do in any year, it is a long trip to Alaska or a trip down to Mexico from Seattle. It is our least number of hours in seven years! This birthdate found us in the remote reaches of Indonesia, Raja Amput. This trip was a bit grueling weather and distance wise but Furthur trucked along flawlessly. The only glitch was when I broke one of my Cardinal rules. If one side wears out fix them both! I had done a rebuild of the starboard side stabilizer but not the port. Sure enough the ram seals gave out and we lost hydraulic oil. The local folks really tried to help us and I foolishly let them, a motorbike mechanic has no idea what a stabilizer is nor how to fix it, but they tried. We got the ram rebuilt with motorbike parts and some long traveling to a town by our new friend but it simply did not hold. I eventually did what I should have the first day, disabled the port side by looping the hydraulic hose and off we went. I was amazed how effective just one of the seven square foot fins were, smooth sailing. With worries of pirates on our minds the last two days into Davao were intense. We were all a bit jumpy for sure so when there became a loud howling grinding sound from the engine room smack dab in the middle of the dangerous waters we all jumped a bit. I had bundled a group of hydraulic and other hoses with ties to tidy up the area, mistakenly Including the small hose that provides cooling to the dripless shaftlog, pinching off the water supply. I found the problem fast and fixed it, no more “tomb of the zombie” like noises but a bit of concern about the damage it might have done. This is no place to break down! We made it to the marina safely and began a few projects. Furthur came with exquisite leather upholstery which over time and tropical stress had given out in some well used areas. The two pilot seats in the bridge and the bench in the pilot house for sure needed help. We found a great upholstery guy who replaced them with Nagahide leather look alike for an amazingly little bit of money! I also had a few other cushions done, should have done them all.

new stainless steel exhaust hose
We hauled out to see about the shaft log and do bottom paint. There had been an increasing leak in the main engine exhaust which I repaired ala Mickey Mouse meets Rube Goldberg, time for a new one. My trusty boat guy found a section of 3 16 stainless pipe about twice what I needed, but cheap. The guys in the yard replaced the shaft log, which required pulling the shaft. They were impressed with the hole in the rudder winhich allows the shaft to be removed without removing the rudder, wow they said. They did an incredible job of fabricating the new exhaust hose and installing it. I also had the bottom paint done while I was at it. Now I have spent half my life around boat yards, seen many a bill that brought tears to my eyes, but I have never, I mean never gotten a bill from a ship yard and laughed!!! The yard charged 500 pesos a day—A DAY labor rates (ten bucks) and these were top guys. The haul out was $400. Aside from that whole—risk your life and being kidnapped in your sleep thing—there is no place I have seen better to get yard work done than Davao. Furthur all happy and us glad to get out of the now gloomy Ocean View Marina, we headed north just before Christmas in the tail of a typhoon. Actually, by plan, as there is always calm seas and no wind a week after a low comes through. We reached Subic Bay at the end of the season. By now the good folks at Wesmar had sent me total rebuild and spare stabilizer parts so the last work was done by our favorite technician, Kua Boggs. When we returned for the longest marina time in seven years I set up a list of projects. None were repair, all maintenance items, mostly preventative maintenance. There are two systems on the boat that all happiness depends, the anchor system and the dinghy. Both had performed flawlessly for years, many years so I decided to rebuild both systems.

pictures sent to get the right size gypsy
I found a guy who could get Muir parts at a great price, so I ordered an entire new motor/gear unit. When I reassembled the system I found the shaft would not go into the motor. I took it to a machine shop and they determined it was twisted beyond repair. I had always noticed a wobble in the gypsy but thought nothing of it. The Muir guy sent a new shaft and as the gypsy was worn replaced it as well. Meanwhile the machine shop guy made me another one for spare. Hard to tell them apart but the custom made one was half the price. So I now have a complete spare motor/shaft/gypsy. Before I left Seattle, seven long years ago, I heard Rule was discontinuing their 24v winch motors so I bought two spares. Again the old ones were working fine but time to change. I rebuilt the old ones as I did the anchor windlass motor. I am fit on spares for these systems.

trusty Muir motor now being replaced
On the addition front; we love the solar panels and the reduction in generator time they provide. We did sit in ten to fifteen knots of wind of about a month once and saw all the happy wind generators whirling about grabbing amps from thin air. So we got one, just installed, now with the power of sun and wind Furthur is greener than ever. Back again to the “all happiness depends on the dinghy” concept, my AB inflatable has had a tough life. Tropical sun has taken its toll as had hours and hours of use and multitudes of dive trips. The hull and tubes constantly leaked, with me, with the aid of my constant repair sidekicks Mickey and Rube, had done some ghastly looking repairs with epoxy and 5200 adhesive to no avail. I looked at a spendy custom made Cadillac dinghy made here, wow! But prudence put me back in a Chevrolet. My friend Peter now owns the local Chandlery and is very high on a budget RIB. The tubes are made of PVC with a special Mylar coating, giving them the same life span as them much more spendy Hypalon. I decided to give it a try, time will tell. The cool thing is I am getting a special made tank rack for the dive tanks also a Sumbrella tube cover. So we hope for years of good service from the new Grateful Diver! We head into the 2017 cruising season with sparkling new dinghy, the power of the wind and Furthur fit and ready for the new adventure! Make Your Dream Your Story Capt. Brian Calvert M/Y Furthur

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