Broken mirrors and thru-hull valve on last working day

by Glen

Sat 5 Jun, HHN day 53: Last full working day on Cloudy Bay. Painting lockers & boards, buying fridges (!), finalizing hot water tank, and fixing (or rather breaking) new mirrors and a thru-hull valve.

This is my last day focused on boat jobs before the big clean up and packing day tomorrow. I fly back home tomorrow evening. Today is forecast to be hot and same for the following days. Looks like I am leaving right on time. I just don’t do well in this humid heat… unless we are surrounded by turquoise clear water to jump into!

With the day’s temperature in mind I’m up early, painting before the cockpit becomes a Captain roasting-chamber. First, it’s a final coat of white inside the gas locker. Then below the boat, in the shade, painting the boards from the bow locker.
Then outside to tie the boom to stop it falling over. Yesterday, Jeff and Ray had helped me move it to its storage position, sharing the trestles with the mast, so I can free-up 2 of East Coast Marine Rigging’s trestles that I had been using just for the boom. But as I start to tie the boom, it falls on its side and no matter how hard I try to rotate it back to vertical, I don’t have the physical strength.

Once that outhaul piston is inside the boom the whole assemble is bloody heavy!
I have come to realise this boom is a lethal weapon if we ever lose control of it. It would not even flinch if a human got in its way when it swings. I get a shiver down my spine when I think how I had to lasso it last year, when it was wildly swinging after we lost the mainsheet following our accidental gybe.
So I have to call Ray and Jeff back again to help me reposition it. They have been working on Jeff’s boat just down the yard, polishing and dropping the rudder and several other tasks, getting ready to sail it north to New Jersey.

This morning there is boat yard-sale in the marina, so I decide to take a peek. Lots of rubbish as usual, but also quite a few gems. And of course I spot all sorts of things that I recently had to buy new! While there, Bob and his family come up to chat to me. They are apparently follow this blog. It was very nice to meet you Bob, just wish I could have shown you around Cloudy Bay.

One thing that caught my eye in the yard sale were 2 mini fridges (110v, not boat specific). Classic… the day before I leave I find cheap fridges. I’ve been paying $3 per ice block and trundling up the yard with them daily. I could have bought a brand new fridge for the total ice cost!
I decide it’s pointless considering these fridges now. But then, when cycling back to the boat, a pickup drives passed me with the 2 said fridges on the back. I follow it, more out of interest than anything, only to find the pick-up stops 2 boats away from me and Matt, the Arctic explorer, jumps out.

I thought he had bought the fridges, but actually he was the one trying to sell them. He offers them to me, complete with delivery (one boat away!) for ½ what he was asking. I can’t resist. It’s a deal! At least when we come back in the autumn we won’t have to cart ice anymore.
For the next ½ hour I’m chopping wood pieces to install the fridges in the galley. Can’t wait to show Oana. She has always wanted front opening fridges on the boat! And sure enough, she has a very good giggle about it when we speak later.

The rest of my day is inside the boat with the air-conditioner on. I measured 49degC in the cockpit early afternoon. Not sure what that is in degF… I don’t think Fahrenheit scale even goes to that level 😊
First, I am in the engine room, reconnecting the rest of the hoses to the hot water tank, then ty-wrapping them all neat and tidy. Finally, the engine room is back together looking as it should. For a moment there I stand back and allow myself happiness at the neatness of it all. I do love this room – it is probably my favorite place on the boat. Classic for an engineer eh?!

Last job, and one that I’ve really really been wanting to finish before Oana steps on board, is installing the new mirrors in the bathrooms. The old ones had taken in moisture on the edges, and were starting to look horrible. Ray had already mounted the doors, but the end pieces still needed doing.
Sadly, in my rush to get this done, I dropped a screw driver on one and it cracked. I was soooo mad with myself. Then, 5 minutes later, I shut one of the doors and the corner of the mirror simply broke off! Fcuk! (and other such words) were muttered very loudly. It transpires that there had been no glue applied behind that delicate corner, so the latch was putting pressure on the glass. It was only a matter of time. So I got all the mirrors done except one door and one end piece. Not great! Those offending pieces will have to go back for re-work at Mr.Mirror.

Then another disappointment. While foraging in the aft heads cupboard for items that Oana wanted bringing back home, I decided to cycle the thru-hull valves that are situated under that cupboard. The one for the sink cycled just fine, but the deck drain thru-hull valve was jammed. Then the handle broke! Luckily, without lacerating my hand.
I put a new handle on and sprayed WD40 from the outside but still it would not budge. I gave it one last heave-ho and suddenly the handle moved. But it moves too easy and my fears are confirmed. I have broken the valve. And it’s in an impossible place to ever hope to get the valve off the thru-hull, knowing how Hallberg-Rassy glue them on.

So that has just become another big-ticket item on my autumn to-do list: new thru hulls. And while I’m at it, I may as well replace the last 5 original Hallberg-Rassy thru-hull fittings with Groco bronze. All the rest, and the most important ones, I changed to Groco in 2019. Well, at least it’s a job I’m very familiar with now. No messing around trying to unscrew them – just cut them off from the outside and remove and replace the whole lot at once.

So a very busy last day, with some triumphs (finalizing the hot water tank at last), some disappointments and some bad surprises. Frankly, as much as I love this work, I am ready for a break and certainly ready to be reunited with my Bunny Commodore!

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