Saturday, December 27, 2014

Titusville, FL Back in the Warm!

     We're finally back in the warm weather, relatively speaking anyway. It's supposed to be in the 80's here for the next few days. Right now we are at 81 degrees. Not to bad for the end of December. We arrived here in Titusville a couple days ago with no more problems with the boat for the past few weeks. I think we may have all the bugs worked out finally. We'll be spending a few weeks here and then hope to head a little farther south. We don't know exactly where yet because we usually just play that by ear and end up where ever when we get there. Titusville has a nice city marina and the folks here are really friendly. It's a nice stop for a day, week, or longer. We'll have to visit the Space Center while we're here. We had a great time at Frostproof for Christmas dinner and had a chance to visit with a lot of our friends. A special thanks to all of them. Take care and stay warm if you're still up the north.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Stuck Again!

     Well, we finally got under way from Sailcraft with a new alternator and my electrical problems solved. Our first night we anchored and found that our anchor windless was broken again. I couldn't retrieve the anchor so I had to pull it up by hand the next morning to get under way. We headed south again and I called for another new gear for my anchor which we received at Harbor Village Marina, NC. I installed it and we were under way again. We anchored at Wrightsville Beach, NC and the windless worked good. Heading south again we anchored at South Harbor Cove, near Southport. Under way again I noticed my starboard engine wouldn't run above 2,000 rpm. We also noticed that the engine was smoking thick black smoke. We put in at Barefoot Landing and started looking for a mechanic to take a look at my engine. We found a nice marina to lay over at in Myrtle Beach called Osprey marina. A real nice place and the rates are great. We limped down there on one engine and found a mechanic. He said he thought it was the injectors so he removed them from the engine and sure enough two of them were wet like the cylinders weren't firing. He later came back a pulled the injectors from the port engine to send in and have them checked as well. I thought as long as I'm stuck, I might as well check all of them. So, here we sit, stuck again, waiting for my injectors to come back. Hope it won't be too long a wait. While we waited, we rented a car and went up to St. Pauls, NC to visit some long lost friends we hadn't see in over ten years for Thanksgiving. Had a great time and a great dinner. Many thanks to Terry and Aaron, it was really great to see you guys again!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Getting Close to Getting Underway

     Here we sit, still waiting for my alternator. It was supposed to be done today but now they say maybe tomorrow. We can't even get very good TV reception here in this little town of Oriental, NC it's really out in the sticks I guess. We have at least had time to finish up a few odds and ends on the boat. I thought about my VHF radio being only a few months old so I called West Marine where I bought it and they said bring it in and they would exchange it. So, I got a new radio and have it all installed. I also removed my fuel transfer pump because it wasn't working and have another one on order which should be here tomorrow. So, I should be able to get that fixed before we leave. Then, if my alternator does in fact arrive tomorrow we just might be underway by Wednesday. That would of course depend on the weather. It's supposed to be Cold and rough for the next few days so we may just have to sit out the weather before we can get underway. Anyway, we are getting close to getting underway. It's going on two weeks and I'm really ready to go!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Repairs in Oriental, NC

     We've been here at Sailcraft Services in Oriental, NC since Friday, getting some things fixed. We got here late Friday, so the yard didn't get anything done before the weekend. On Monday the electrician came aboard and after doing some trouble shooting, determined my problems stemmed from a failed regulator on the port alternator. He removed it and sent it to the repair shop. I had my new anchor spliced onto the anchor rode I had left so that's taken care of. I also had a tech fix the water leak in my new generator. Hopefully now I won't get my bilges filled with water anymore. This is Tuesday, and we are still waiting for my alternator, and I'm also having some problems with my new VHF radio. The speaker keeps cutting out so they tell me there must be a loose connection inside the radio. That will have to be removed and sent to the repair shop as well. I sure hope we can get underway before the end of the week, as it's supposed to really turn cold here. Lows in the 20's by next weekend. The yard said they couldn't find anyone locally that would be able to fix my leaking steering system so I will have to wait until we get farther south to a larger city or something to try to get that repaired. The hoses I had made in Frostproof are leaking at the cylinder and the swivel fittings on the ends of the hoses have to be replaced.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Underway Once Again

     Our stay at the Wormley Creek Marina in Yorktown, VA was great. We got to see all our kids and almost all our grandkids. We got underway on the 31st of October and headed south. It really turned cold by Saturday evening when  we arrived at out anchorage in the north river just south of Coinjock, NC. The winds were really kicking up and we were swinging hard on the anchor. We were getting gusts to around 50 knots and the anchor was holding when as a result of the bow swinging back and forth, we parted our anchor rode and started to drift around 5:00 in the morning. We headed back north to Coinjock and tied up at the Midway Marina there. We stayed there until Tuesday morning waiting for the seas to calm down before attempting to cross Albemarle Sound. The crossing was a little rough, but not bad at all. We lost the AC from  our inverter about a fourth of the way across and I had to start our generator to finished our run to Alligator Creek Marina. I got someone to trouble shoot the problem and he couldn't figure it out so we are waiting here until he gets in touch with the manufacturer to see if there is anything he can do to fix the problem. I'm probably going to have to replace the inverter and that isn't going to be an inexpensive fix. I have a marine service yard in Oriental, NC standing by to splice a new anchor onto what's left of my line so I had to call them and tell them we wouldn't be arriving when I had anticipated we would. Now it's just a waiting game until we can get underway again. Otherwise, we are having a great time and are looking forward to our arrival in the nice warm waters of Florida.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

New Props

     Still in Yorktown, VA at least for another couple weeks. I decided to put new props on the Molly B because the ones we had were way over pitched. I could only get 1900 RPM out of the engines and then they would start overheating. Now I get 2650 RPM and they don't overheat at all. As far as speed is concerned the new props only added a few knots over the ground but now the engines aren't working so hard so I think I might gain a little fuel economy. It's amazing how much better the boat handles now with the different props. She's much more forgiving and really quite easy to put into the slip now.

   We had to haul the boat to change the props so I decided to raise the waterline while she was out of the water. I think we have too much "Stuff" in the boat because we were riding just a bit into the boot top which collected a few barnacles since we put her in the water. Now I have a couple inches of bottom paint above the water line so that should solve that problem. Next we're going to put a bimini top on the fly bridge and then we'll be heading south again.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Beautiful Place to Spend the Summer.

     We've really found a great little marina to spend the summer at. It's on the York River in Wormley Creek. It's quiet, secluded and not very busy at all. We have a great slip with plenty of room and a great view of the Colmen Bridge over the York River. We've been able to visit most of our kids, grand-kids, and also our little great grand daughter.
     Linda says it's getting cold here and it's about time to head south again. It has only been down to the mid 60's overnight and warms to the upper 70's and low 80's during the day. I told her we would have to stay a little longer because it's still too hot down south, but fall is in the air so it probably won't be too much longer before we are underway again.

This is a picture of the Colmen bridge from out boat deck.

Sunset on the York

Monday, August 25, 2014

We Finally Made It!

     Here we are, we finally made it to Virginia after traveling 1,142 miles. Kind of a long trip but it was interesting to say the least. We had some problems along the way and it took us a lot longer than I thought it would, but I guess that was to be expected since this was our "Shake Down" cruise. I think we have most everything working as it should now with the exception of a few minor things that need attention. I think I'm turning too much pitch in my props so I'm thinking about having them re-pitched. I'm turning 19-20's right now, and my engines will turn a little over 3,000 RPM in neutral but I can only get 1900 RPM out of them with the screws turning. I just have to find someone that can figure out what the pitch should be for this hull and horsepower. 
     We found a really nice little marina on Wormley Creek just off the York river near Yorktown, VA. This is our old stomping grounds so we are familiar with this area although it's been a long time since we've been here and things have changed a bit. We're planning to stay here for a month or so before heading back to Florida for the winter. I guess you could call us "Snowbirds" now that we're on the move again after living in Florida for 15 years. It feels good to be "Free" again. We're both used to moving around rather than sitting in one place for very long. This living aboard the Molly B is really a different lifestyle but we are adjusting and I think it's growing on both Linda and I. Linda seems to be doing great with respect to the sea sickness worry. She gets sick in the back seat of a car so we were worried about her on the boat. We had some pretty rough water several times on the way up here and she really did well with little or no problems. I still can't sell her on the idea of running outside in the ocean instead of in the ditch though.
     Drop us a note when you can, we would love to hear from you.

"What a Life"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

On the Road Again!

     My parts finally came and I got my windless repaired. It's working fine now or maybe I should say "for the time being?" Anyway, we are back on the water heading north. We have just crossed the N. Carolina boarder so the miles are ticking off a few everyday. I just hope we can keep going without anymore problems. Everything ran good all day today, except that I noticed an unusually high oil pressure on my port transmission. I hope that's not going to be my next problem. Drop us a note when you get a chance and I will do my best to answer whenever I can get on line.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Still Waiting for Parts

     Well, we're still here! My parts were supposed to be here today but they sent them to Florida instead of South Carolina. So, I guess they won't be here now until tomorrow. I don't know when tomorrow so I don't know if we will be able to get underway tomorrow or not. It just might be another day if they don't get here until late in the afternoon. Typical I guess. At least they're going to refund what I paid for overnight shipping but I still have to pay for another night in the marina which will cost more than the refund. Such is life on the water. You have to depend on other people to make things happen and they don't always come through for you. Other than that, things are going pretty well. I've managed to get a few things done while we're sitting here so that's a plus. It's really turned hot again so it's hard to work outside and that's where I need to get a few more things done. I guess I'll have to wait until later in the evening when it cools down a bit. Hope it's a little cooler up north in Virginia.
     By the way, Volume IV of my journal is on the street in case anyone is interested. It took long enough but I finally got it published.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Charleston, SC

     We've traveled a little over 600 miles so far and are probably less than half way to Virginia. It takes a long time traveling along at around 7 knots. It's only around 800 miles by road but when you are traveling east and west on the water as much as you are north it adds a lot of miles to the trip. Right now we are sitting in a marina on St Johns Island just a few miles south of Charleston, SC waiting for our mail, and some parts for my anchor windless. I managed to strip out the threads on the slider gear so I had to order some parts to fix it with. I'm thinking now that I should have put a little heaver duty windless on the boat. The one I have is working ok, but I sure don't think I should be having problems with it after using it only a half a dozen or so times. We need to be able to spend more time on the hook because these marinas are just too expensive. My parts should be here tomorrow and hopefully we can be underway again as soon as I get them installed. I don't like sitting in a marina but I guess you have to once in awhile. We need to take on water, fuel, and get our holding tanks pumped out as well as pick up a few things at the grocery store so you  need to tie up and sit long enough to accomplish all that kind of stuff. This marina has a courtesy car that they let us use so we didn't have to call a cab or ride the bus which is a real plus, and the slip fees are reasonable so it's a good place to hold up for a couple days. This is St. Johns Yacht Harbor and I would highly recommend it. It's very clean, well maintained and the staff is very courteous and helpful. Linda and I will check in again the next time we have an internet connection. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

A New Generator

      The guys that are going to replace my generator finally got my new one in on Wednesday the 23rd and on Thursday the 24th they came out to the marina and started taking the old one out. They got it all disconnected in the morning and started removing it in the afternoon. They got the old one out, and the new one in but they didn't get started hooking the new one up before it was 5 o'clock so I thought they would be back today, the 25th to finish the installation but they didn't show up. One guy stopped by this morning and said they were waiting for some parts and if they came in they would be back to finish the installation this afternoon. Well of course they didn't show up so I called the office and they said they would be out first thing Monday morning to finish. I asked why they couldn't at least come out and hook everything up today so when the parts did come in that would be all they would have left to do. They didn't really give me a answer but said again that they would be here first thing Monday. So, here we sit for another weekend. I need to be north of the Georgia boarder by the 1st of August which is at least a two day run from here so I was going to leave here Saturday or early Sunday morning at the latest. I told them I hope they could finish the installation in one day or less, because I had to leave here Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning at the latest and hope I could make the boarder by the 1st.
The old generator is coming out.
The new generator is going in.
     It wasn't an easy task, but these two guys worked hard to get the old one out and the new one set in the boat. It only took them about 2 - 1/2 hours to do it. Now I just have to get the new one all hooked up and running so I can get underway. Hope all goes well on Monday.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Our first major setback!

     It's been awhile since I've updated our blog so I thought I had better do that while I have a wifi connection. We made good progress the past few days and were sitting in Fernandina Beach, FL just south of the Georgia boarder ready to continue north. I had been working on my generator for the past few days and I managed to get it running but it seemed to have a governor problem because it just wouldn't run at the right RPM and it was backfiring a lot with a real bad exhaust leak problem. I called a tech to come take a look at it and the news wasn't good. We have to replace it because fixing it is not a long term solution, much less cost effictive it seemed. So, we have headed back south again to a little town on the St. Johns river about 40 miles south of Jacksonville to get the generator replaced. So, here we sit in Green Cove Springs, FL waiting for our new generator to arrive so it can be installed. It looks like we will be here at least a week, maybe a little longer depending on when the generator arrives. Getting the old one out and the new one in is going to require some major disassembly of the salon to access the hatch over the generator to remove and replace it. Hindsight says I should have made the hatch accessible without having to remove the flooring first. Well, hopefully we will get this all done and be on our way again soon. Most everything else seems to be running pretty well. These little Perkins engines just purr along and don't drink a lot of fuel which is nice. I do have a small oil leak on the port engine which the tech is going to fix for me while he is here but otherwise, not a problem one with the engines. (So Far!) I have also found a small fuel leak in my day tank which is more a nuisance than a problem but I would like to get that fixed as well. I will have to see if I can find someone that can repair an aluminum tank in the boat because I don't think you can get that tank out to get it repaired.
     So far, life on the Molly B has been good. We are learning a lot about this pleasure boat living and we are beginning to realize how to conserve on the cruising budget. You can really spend a lot of money doing this, but there are many ways to do it a lot less expensively. The trouble is we are learning these lessons the hard way, and that's always the expensive way of learning anything. Sure hope we can get these costs under control once we get everything working properly and learn a little more about how to do it.
       Until next time,
Fair winds and Following seas
         The Molly B

Thursday, July 10, 2014

We're Underway!

     We got underway the morning of the 8th of July. Sure was a good feeling to be moving after sitting for almost a month in Vero. The first day we made 75 miles but that was a 10 hour day. Much too long a day for this old skipper. We spent the night in a marina at Titusville, FL. The second day we decided we would reduce the millage a bit and just try to make around 50 miles. That was a good day, and we anchored at Daytona Beach, FL for the night. Today we started out sort of on the wrong foot. When trying to raise the anchor I got a backlash in my anchor windless and had to raise the anchor by hand. Then we got about a mile and a half up the ICW and noticed my engines weren't charging my house bank and they were down to 11 volts and dropping. We decided to turn around and go back to Daytona and see if we could find an electrician to find the problem. We docked at the Halifax marina and managed to get ahold of an electrician and he came right over and checked things out. It turned out that the circuit breakers on the battery isolators were going out and that caused the engine driven alternators to not charge the house batteries. He replaced the breakers and we ran the engines up and everything checked out ok. I sure hope that was the problem so we won't have to worry about that situation again. We will be leaving here in the morning and heading north again. So far, life on the water has been good. Linda even likes it! We should make Virginia in about 10 days or so at the rate we are traveling. We're not in a big hurry, so we are only running around 7 knots to try to conserve on the fuel.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Still Stuck in Vero

     Yes, we're still here in Vero Beach. I did get my survey completed and the report back so I sent that to the insurance guy for a quote. I also got my paperwork I needed to register my dingy so I got that done. Now we are waiting for the numbers for the dingy, and some parts for my generator to arrive and we will be ready to head north. I sure hope we can get everything completed early next week so we can get underway.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Stuck in Vero Beach

     We are in the water and we have almost everything operating normally on the boat however we can't seem to get out of Vero Beach. I need to get my survey completed and get my dingy registered before we can get underway. I need the dingy so we can anchor out and still get to shore and without it we are restricted to marina slips which are way too expensive. My surveyor is supposed to be here Thursday morning to finish that up and I hope I can get my dingy registered by then as well. We are really ready to head north!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Crusing with the Molly B

     This post marks the end of the building part of the life of the Molly B and the beginning of a new life on the water. Linda and I are looking forward to living in our new home and seeing all the wonderful country accessible by water. We will try our best to keep you informed as to what, when, and where we are. Hope to hear from you from time to time.

We're in the water!

     The day of the launch is here and the start of a new chapter in our lives aboard our new home. It's been a long time coming, but I think it is all worth the effort. The launch didn't go without some problems but we got some of them fixed and headed north from Ft. Pierce to Vero Beach FL. Once here I had to tear the fly bridge apart again to fix a hydraulic leak in a quick disconnect. You can see the disassembled boat deck in the bottom picture.

 Going in the water

Heading out the channel to the ICW

At the Dock in Vero Beach

Mast down for repairs

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Building is coming down.

     The building is coming down piece by piece. We started about four days ago but have had a hard time making progress because of the rainy weather. Yesterday was a good day and we got a lot done. Just one wall left to drop and then load everything into the container for disposal.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Getting ready for the move.

     We finished our tool sale yesterday, and we sold just about everything. I spent today working on getting the building ready to be torn down. I got the front workbench, plywood rack, and the lumber rack all torn down so now I'm ready to start on the roof. I have some help coming Monday night to start on removing the vinyl and then we can get started on the rafters. I only have a little over three weeks to get the building down and the boat loaded with our personal effects before the mover comes to get the boat. It won't be long now!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Time to launch the Molly B

      The time has come! After almost 11 1/2 years of work, I'm ready to move the Molly B to the water. I have scheduled a yacht transport company to pick her up around the first week of June. Now I have to tear down my pole building and clear off the top deck so she will be ready for the crane crew to remove the top of the bridge and the fly bridge so she will be low enough to transport over the road, and load her onto the trailer. I'm taking her to the Cracker Boys Boat Works in Ft. Pierce, FL on the east coast. I will have to put her on the hard stand for a few days to put everything back together before I can launch her.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Ladders are Done!

     I've been working on building the railings for my two ladders going up to the boat deck. I have them finished and installed finally. Here are a couple pictures of the two laders. To the left is a view of the forward ladder railing and to the right is a view of the aft ladder railing.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Window Treatments

     I've spent the past few days working on the valances and blinds in the salon and galley. Another one of those jobs that I thought would take a day or two, actually took a little over a week.

       I think they turned out pretty well but they sure were a lot of work. The salon is finally all done except for the two recliners we have ordered. They should be here in a couple more weeks I think.

     Now I'm working on getting my AIS transceiver installed, pulling antenna cables down from the mast to the black box in the bridge. I just have two more cables to pull and that will be done. Then I have to get back up on the boat deck and finish my hand rails and the railings for the aft and forward latters. It won't be long now!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Getting closer to the launch date every day!

     I have the Molly B built, and now I'm checking out systems getting her ready for the water. I have run into several problems but that's why I'm checking them now rather than when I get her in the water. Today I ran the engines which hadn't been run since I put them in the boat around seven years ago. The starboard engine started right off, just as soon as the lift pump picked up the fuel she took off. The port engine was another story. I couldn't seem to get it to behave. First I got nothing when I hit the start switch, not even a click of the solenoid. I found a wire disconnected on the switch. Then I couldn't get it to turn over, so I had to charge the battery. Then it just wouldn't start. I checked everything, all the fuel lines, the filter, the lift pump, but it just wouldn't pick up the fuel. There was no fuel getting to the injectors. I was about to change out the lift pump thinking that might be the culprit, when I decided to swap out the fuel solenoid on the injector pump. I knew the one on the starboard engine worked, because that engine started and ran great so I took that one and installed it on the port engine. after some priming, she started and ran great as well. So I have both engines up and running. It just took a little doing, just like everything else I have been checking. It seems I've found at least one problem with every system I've checked. But, I guess that's the idea, find the problems now, not later.