Bonaire, More Boat Projects

 

Our access stairs (sugar scoops) on the back of Uno Mas’ two hulls leak. A LOT.  (It could stem from us peeling all of the caulking out of the seams, undoing all of the screws and trying to pry the stair treads up, hoping we could turn the stairways into hinged storage areas when we first bought Uno Mas, like we have seen on other Lagoons.)  They have leaked  since 2009.  Angie usually has to peel and recaulk them every 4 months.  We have tried multiple types of caulk.  The UV resistant kind still seems to crack, craze, disintegrate and stain.  It is a constant eye sore, every time we enter and exit the boat.   Mark caulked the sugar scoops the last time, while we were in the Bahamas in March/April.  They are now in need of another round.  Mark’s idea this time, is to peel out all of the old caulk and two part epoxy the seams, making a permanent seal.  Then, if that does not crack with the hull flexing while in passage, we will put a nice layer of white gel coat over the yellow epoxy, and hopefully, be done with this constant thorn in our side.  We have other areas in need of fiberglass and gel coat repair, so this is the start of THAT huge “To Do” list.  Keeping our fingers crossed!

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Mark  has also been experimenting with trying to cool down our refrigerator and freezer components, hoping to make them more efficient, and not run as long.  His initial idea is to add two small fans that blow cabin air into the storage compartment, and then have it exit a louvered vent.  It seems to help.  HOWEVER, the two fans we had (initially for our generator exhaust, but the plastic melted) make a lot of noise.  They were interlocked to run when the components kicked on. They were annoying and quickly removed.  Mark next disconnected the heater-a/c vent at the top of the cavity, thinking heat rises, so will evacuate naturally.  This did help, however, being a mechanical engineer,  things always work better by adding a mechanical component.    Hence, we are now becoming accustomed to receiving Amazon shipments in to Bonaire.  (Sometimes it works great, and other times, not so much.  That is another blog post altogether.)  We now have two more fans that are extremely quiet. You cannot even tell they are running.  They run constantly, and the old heater-a/c duct is still removed from the vent.

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While checking the engines, the starboard side’s fresh water strainer cracked.  It is now two part epoxied together and on our next Amazon shipment wish list, to be delivered sometime in the very distant future, maybe while hauled out in Panama.

We also sprung a new leak at the pressure gauge after replacing the cracked oil separator on our Max Air dive compressor.  Max Air via DHL got us a new gauge. Expedited shipping, of course.

 

 

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We are always going back and forth on whether to install a shut off valve on our engine exhaust lines.  We have loops in the tubing and “air locks” installed already.  However, if we get water from a wave to bypass these, we could lose an engine.  One idea Mark had was to install stainless steel ball valves in line.  However, they could seize up and not function when we needed them.  It could be a pain to have to run downstairs, and go through an access panel in the sugar scoops to have to turn them off or on.  Something that could not happen quickly, if needed in an emergency.  So, Mark is not 100% about installing them.

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Another option that we see is installing exterior flappers on the exhaust ports .  However, a flapper could fail or most likely get ripped off.  Anyways, we bought the stainless steel two inch ball valves, just in case it was a definite “go.”   Well, since they are “stainless steel” we thought we should test them out in a salt water environment before installation.  Mark tied them to a string, and hung them off the back of Uno Mas in the salt water for a week, testing their corrosion factor.  The exterior did great; however, the valve stems, not so much.  We are not going to be installing these.

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Cheap Chinese stainless steel is our constant fight on Uno Mas.  Even our water bottles rusted.  We are always finding new rust spots on our fiberglass from something finally giving up its “stainless” properties.

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Angie had a wonderful “crafty” day with Sarah from Rhapsody and Jeynaba ( a newly relocated Bostonian to Bonaire) at Jeynaba’s condo.  It was good to get out the buried deep beads, jewelry making fun stuff,  work with sea glass and have some “girl” time.  Angie finally has her Bonaire anklet and has enjoyed playing with sea glass mosaics again.  Go figure, turtles seem to always show up in the glass and snowmen turn up whenever there are uncrushed sea urchins!

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