Seems like so long ago that I made this blog post regarding ordering our Hobie Mirage inflatable kayaks. They have been sitting in the garage at home awaiting sea duty! These are the travel cases they come in. In a post a few days ago you saw me lifting them up to the FB deck with the davit.
I secured them here for the trip over to Liberty Bay. And today is the day we get these in the water for the first time.
Here is the first one partially inflated. It takes 6-8 minutes of pumping to complete the job. Everything is so well engineered on these. The inflation valves are awesome, there's a position where they are one way, i.e. you can push air in but it can't come out.
At the Hampton Rendezvous I asked one of the other owners if he used his davit to lower the kayaks into the water, and he said he carries them down the stairs. Hmmm.
Also you can that in this state it looks more like a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) and indeed that is one of the configurations. It wasn't "too bad" getting it downstairs like this.
For the second one I installed the seat while up on the FB deck and then made a hokey bridle for lowering. This was way better. That hole you see up front is where the pedal assembly is inserted. If you want to use it as a SUP, you leave the seat off and then there's a plastic "plug" for the hole.
Fully rigged and in the water. These are so stable, and the seating position is great for entry & exit off the swim step. We did fine for our first time and I'm sure we'll make the process even more foolproof.
A short video from the seating position. Deb really enjoyed the ride and stability. I didn't show it in the video, but you steer with a hand controlled rudder.,
I used the davit to return them to the boat deck and in the process of moving them around hurt my shoulder a bit (recurring rotator cuff problems). I have been thinking about storing/deployment since then and have a few ideas. We'll play this out in upcoming blog posts.
Now we get to go cruising! And learning more about Mahalo. For our first night out we chose Liberty Bay in Poulsbo WA. This is about an hour and a half from our home dock, at a leisurely pace.
As we were preparing to depart a ferry was leaving, which is great, now we know we won't have any issues with a ferry. We tie up starboard, so once we cast off the lines, driving from the starboard cockpit controls, the other person is on port to assess traffic.
What the.....? There's a ferry there? And not at the passenger dock, much closer to us? Ah, it's an empty ferry coming into the maintenance yard across from our dock. Okay. We set a course that will take us behind the advancing ferry, as does another boat that is quite close to the ferry. All of a sudden the ferry goes into hard reverse and blasts its horn at the other boat. That boat is freaked out and tries to accelerate out of the way.
We of course hold station until we figure out what is up. Now the ferry proceeds again toward the dock and we resume departure. I'm so off my game with all this that I don't get the boat into the channel proper. We are off to the South, with the green buoy on our port! I tell Deb to hold course on the big mark ahead and begin to stow fenders. All of a sudden she's excitedly saying "get in here!"
We are in five feet of water below the keel. We turn hard to port to get to the channel pronto. I put the transmissions in neutral and we coast into the channel. Can't even get out of our own home port without drama.
We have a lovely cruise. The UPS powering the computer hiccups and we lose the PC screens (Maretron and cameras while underway). I know how to fix this and do so (we need a different UPS).
Liberty Bay is not deep - 25 feet or so. We'll have a big plus tide tonight, 9 feet or so. Like the good boaters we are trying to be, as we are approaching we talk through everything we are going to do. Headsets? Check. Wind? Basically none, check. Scope? 4:1, check. Windlass remote? Check?
We choose our spot, I loosen the anchor fastener and hit the button on the remote. Big nothing. Cycle the thing a few times and it says it cannot find the "base." Well, sh*t.
I'll do it the old way with the buttons you step on. But, I have no way of counting, since we haven't marked the chain, as we count on the Maxwell remote that displays the amount of chain out. Okay I'm going to guess. I deploy what I think is about 100 feet. I watch one link as it goes out, from the top of the windlass to the roller. I see this is about 6 feet, so if I just do that like 15 times I should have 90 feet out? I get to about the count of six of this and geez, too much work. I just let out more. I'm having Deb bumping in and out of reverse so we lay the chain out.
Right when I think it's enough, Deb reports over the headset that the Maxwell counter in the PH is showing how much is out! 120 feet. Okay fine, 5:1 is better anyway and there's no one close to us. I'm thinking we are just about there. I put the dog in place on the gypsy and we back down. And we are moving smartly backward. And more backward, and more backward.
How in the heck can our huge anchor not have set in this mud bottom? I think about this a little bit. Even if not set, 176 pounds of anchor and 120 feet of 1/2" chain should keep us good. But there's no way I'll sleep not being sure the anchor is set.
Let's redo this. We do it all correctly, bumps in forward so the chain is straight down, we aren't using the windlass to pull the boat. Deb is reporting the amount of chain remaining out. We get to about 35 feet and the windlass stops. I look and make sure this is not a "chain pile problem" (another thing to fix on the list) and it isn't.
I had tightened the clutch pretty good so I can't really imagine why the windlass can't pull the anchor up? I tighten it some more and tell Deb to hit the "UP" again. The windlass strains and then WHAMMO the anchor starts coming up.
Am I a lucky guy or what? I have managed to snag an old metal cable, it's like 5/8's thick! This was wrapped around the anchor. I guess we just snapped it apart. Score one for the Ultra anchor and Maxwell windlass.
Regroup. This time everything goes the way it should.
Did I mention I love rum? This is the best rum I have ever tasted. The local spirits shop had a rum tasting one day about a year ago. Hideously expensive I decided when the time came for our first cruise I would have a bottle on board anyway. Cheers to Mahalo and screw you old cable!
Let's get on with that crab salad dinner, shall we? Whoops, I have neglected something to crack crab with. Into the tool box we go.
All smiles now as we try to put the day's learning experiences behind us and enjoy our first meal on the hook.
A beautiful night and what a way to enjoy it.
Today we head out for two days & nights. Our first time over night at anchor. We are stocked and stoked!
And it's time to finally load the kayaks. Having a hydraulic davit with a wireless remote is one sweet boy toy. The inflatable kayaks are bulky and that rig weighs about 45 lbs, so I appreciated the lift.
Time to cruise!
Yesterday I kind of took it easy and worked on some basics. One of them was a plastic hanging hook. But when installed it I found the hole was too small on the thing I was hanging. The sharp knife on my Leatherman can cut it, but holding it without getting cut was another matter. Having this machinist's vice on the workbench is wonderful.
Don't know if I have shown the air compressor before? This is inside the engine room, over the air conditioning pump array.
Just what you need when it is time to inflate fenders. This little hose I bought is awesome. 1/4" by 50', Flexzilla brand. Light, small, best air hose I have ever had.
This is a slide out shelf I had designed for a printer (under the TV cabinet). I want to be able to print on board. This is a wireless Canon printer. Got it all set up on the network and can now print from the helm computer and my laptop. Awesome.
When we got to the boat I found a huge mess at one of the outdoor handles. Some bird had landed there and did what birds do (doodoo?). My first thought was "crap, this is going to be like a half hour project by the time I get a hose out, hook it up, clean up, put it away...." and then I remembered my built in hose with high pressure pump! This is under the table in the cockpit.
Flip on the breaker, drag the hose out, rinse, scrub, rinse again and voila, clean boat. Video shows last few feet of retraction.
And, oh yeah, official stickers arrived. We are legal WA boaters now.
We have now had a couple of cycles of bringing the boat home, using her, and going back to Seattle for more work. I think this is working pretty well. I stay on the boat in Seattle and learn, help out etc.
For this first trip back to Shilshoe, fellow Endurance owner (based in FL) Roy helped me out, which was great. I was thinking of single handing, since some Hampton people would be waiting for me, but glad I didn't. We had a couple of glitches and he knew how to solve one of them.
This post will have a bunch of pics and some of them involve NAKED boat images. This isn't the marketing fluff kind.
One of the most important tasks for this trip was to get the padeyes that hold the tender down installed. I think I mentioned in a previous post that through my review with Steve D'Antonio, we found that some previous installations were less than desirable.
I want to stress that this has nothing to do with Hampton. Owners are free to get their tenders wherever they like. Several of us have selected Walker Bay's. The dealer subs out the bunk and padeye install. Turns out this guy just drills holes in the cored deck, squirts in some 5200 and screws in self tapping screws. Eventually water will enter the cored deck and then you live with a mess for whatever time and whenever you go to fix you have an expensive job.
I refused to go that route. We got one quote from a yard for $1,800 and two days at their dock. For three pad eyes? $600 per hole? Talk about a screw job. Luckily, one of the Hampton guys knew a fiberglasser that would come to the boat. The whole job, including another minor repair, was under $700.
Our Yacht Systems guys had drilled the three pilot holes. He then hole sawed up into the core, dug out the core around this hole, and then filled with epoxy.
Greg of Yacht Systems installs the aluminum backing plate and tightens up the nuts. Now we have a solid structure and no possibility of water intrusion.
When we were headed over to Shilshoe, Roy said "Bob, do you have a chamois mop?" "What's that, Roy?" I asked. "It's like a regular mop, but with chamois material, great for getting the dew off the decks." Roy showed me on Fisheries Supply website what I needed (Shur-hold).
So my Hampton super broker Scott Hauck was kind enough to take me to Fisheries, since I don't have a car there. I picked up a few other things I needed. Here's my stuff, $650 worth. And that's with the commercial account discount.
I sent Roy a copy of the last invoice page and said "I thought you were my friend?"
Oh, speaking of shopping for the boat. Our faithful UPS driver, Mark, is really getting sick of our boat purchases.
Seattle Hampton has a new service manager! Yaaay. The manuals for everything on the boat filled up two book boxes. He organized them all into well labeled folders in four plastic boxes. And each box has a table of contents as you can see here. Great work Hampton.
For now these will live in a closet in the lazarette.
Speaking of the lazarette and naked boat pictures.... I wanted to have a recirc pump for the hot water. That's the 40 gallon water heater there (combo Mahalo Maui Ale beer keg), whereas most of the sinks/showers are toward the front of the boat. I really hate wasting water.
We "pre-plumbed" the recirc in Shanghai, but lets say it needed a few corrections. It took a couple of tries to get this right, but after this effort Jeff Owen of Yacht Systems totally nailed it. Instant hot water throughout the boat. And while this looks like a pretty big mess, about 30 minutes later you wouldn't even know they had been there that day.
Included in the contract is canvas for just about everything on the boat that can be covered. One of Seattle Canvas Supply guys making yet another pattern.
We also did a systems check-out/sea trial with David Wright from ABT-Trac. I.e. thrusters and stabilizers. It was great to learn how the totally state of the art thrusters work now. He was very impressed with how the boat ran and handled the waves we could find. Got the latest software too. We are at full speed in this picture (check out the rear view. Note that the twin disc transmission has a "sync" mode allowing you to use just the port throttle and it automatically syncs the engines.
The Garmin shows we are at 20.7 knots (not sure whey they are different on the two displays?). The CAT monitors show we are at 100% load, 2330 RPM, and 50 gals an hour, per engine. Pretty awesome.
We like a clean boat. Many boats in this class have a small whole house vac. We find the hoses to be a pain. You have to store them, haul them, and if you don't put them in a sock they will scratch the hell out of your joinery.
So in this guest closet we spec'd an electrical outlet (out of view at top). And we have Dyson's latest V-10 cordless vac. The motor unit is sitting in it's charging stand. I'll do some velcro to hold the attachments together, but this is a SLICK setup.
The little swim ladder/step on the Walker Bay tender sucks in seawater, and then slowly releases it over several days. Again, this isn't a Hampton thing. They should have maybe filled it with epoxy or something. I will at least remove the plastic caps that aren't doing their job. Maybe WB will provide a remedy under warranty, we will see.
The boat and I enjoyed our evenings on the dock this week.
And when we aren't watching people drill holes and perform plumbing miracles, we are out enjoying and learning Mahalo. Awesome to cruise the Seattle skyline on a nice day in our own boat.