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Monday, July 17, 2017

The Admiral want's a shower

   Well in order to do longer more remote trips on Wind Wager, the admiral (my wife) requires the ability to shower.  So I set out to at least have a sit down shower in the head.
   First thing was to figure out how to drain the water.  Many boats will allow the shower water to enter the bilge and then  pump out.  However the Macgregor bilge is in multiple pockets.  So I decided to add a through floor drain into a pan and pump out from there.

Surprise!! Wood core in head floor.  Will need to seal that.
 Now to start making holes in the boat  😬
Plan was to use this all in one unit as the shower sump but the inlet was higher than the head floor so the water would not drain completely.

Using this would put drain hose nearly on bottom of boat bilge.

Plan B:  use a swallow storage box and cut to fit under head floor.  Then mount a bilge pump inside the box.  (Found this idea on MacGregor sailors site.)

Could not find a 1" y-pipe to tap into the sink drain and the bilge pump had a 3/4 output.  So more holes 😬


 I bought a propane powered water heater and plan to install on inside of head door and use a 1 lb propane bottle.  The Idea is to open door during use and allow heat to exit through the companionway opening.  We would use a shower curtain to contain water inside of the head.  Will show you next posting when I finish.
Boat always becomes a mess when mods are done.

Fair Winds,
Wind Wager  

Thursday, April 6, 2017

1st Sail 2017

Let the fun begin!

   The time had come.   Although there are plenty of things I could continue to work on or modify you need to just stop and go!  
  March 29, 2017 I connected Wind Wager to the truck and headed to Wrightsville beach Wildlife ramp.  I decided not to put the mast up on this 1st night and spent that 1st day motoring to Rich's inlet and back to give this newer motor a test.  Motor would not turn over at 1st and after tinkering and rechecking connections I stumbled on the problem.   It appears that the neutral safety switch was stuck and would not allow starter to engage.
Dredge in ICW by Masons inlet
Rich's Inlet

Nice trip for 1st time out this year.  It was a little breezy and as the sun went down so did the temperature on the water.  I moved over to Banks channel and begin looking for an anchor spot.  A Macgregor power-sailor swings different on anchor than either a standard sailboat or a powerboat so we need to leave more distance from other boats.   I ended up going into a secondary channel in front of Blockade runner and Seapath towers.  I found 8 feet of water between sand bars and thought with the storm coming tonight it would be safer to drag on a bar than into an expensive yacht.

1st Sunset on Wind Wager 2017

The next day March 31th a storm was due in that evening.   I decided to put out 2 anchors since they were expecting 20-30 knts with 35 knot gust.  It would be nice to stay in 8 foot of water and not 1 foot.. :)  I also rigged the boat putting up the mast and sails.  This is one of the nice things about a trailer sailor boat.  I also needed to repair the VHF radio antenna connection since it had pulled apart.
1st sunrise on Wind Wager 2017

2 anchor set

It started raining about 8:15 pm and had sustained 20 knot winds with higher gust.
No sunset tonight

But this will do
March 31, 2017 
    It was a rainy night and day with lots of wind.   I have an app called drag queen that will sound an alarm if the boats moves more than a distance you can set.  I slept well that night.   This morning during the monsoon rains I found several cabin leaks that need to be fixed. Don't know about you but I like dry sleeping bedding.  About 1 pm the rain subsided and I decided to move to a more open area so the boat could swing.  Besides I didn't want to get stuck waiting on a high tide to get out. First I moved over to the Bay next to Seapath marina but with the wind direction it was rough.   So I started back to Banks channel.  During these movements squalls continued to come through and I was drenched.   I ended up in Banks channel in front of the Blockade runner with another Macgregor 26x anchored (Marin).
The wind died down and the skies cleared and it was a beautiful sunset.
April 1, 2017
    Today Pat will Join me and we will head to Bald Head Island.  After some Uber app issues Pat gets a Taxi to the town dock where I am waiting.
Its a cool (53 deg) but beautiful morning with WNW 5 knt winds at most.   We headed down the ICW and through Snows Cut into the Cape Fear river.  Once we are in the river we unfurled the headsail for our 1st sail of 2017.

Carolina Beach

1st Sail 2017
Bye Snows Cut

We sailed to Southport and pulled the sail in.   The river was choppy as we crossed over to Bald Head island as the wind had picked up.  We followed the ferry into the marina since I wasn't sure of the entrance.   I was glad to get inside the breakwater.  We let the wind blow us into the T-head dock we were assigned for an easy docking.  This is our 1st time at Bald Head and it is nice but a different feel from Southport.  Most of the island buildings look new and nice where as Southport has a quaint feel to it.  
Bald Head Marina slip T14
We got in about 1pm and after signing in we ate lunch, rented bikes and began exploring the island.   1st stop was Old Baldy.  They were working on the lighthouse but we were able to get up to the 4th landing.  Pat has a fear of heights but she was a trooper and pushed through.
Old Baldy

a Little workout

Brick Press

View from window

After Old Baldy we stopped at the little chapel next door.
Then we rode through the Maritime forest to East beach to see Frying Pan Shoals.
Frying Pan Shoals,  Beautiful beautiful beach

     We followed the beach road back to town and MAN... What flatlanders we have become.   We should have come out this way.  It was uphill the entire time.  
     We went back to the boat to chill for awhile before we eat dinner at Mojo's and watch the Final Four games.
     The food was good ( a little pricey) and the place was a little loud with a birthday party.  They would not turn the sound on the game so at halftime of the UNC game we went back to the boat and watched the 2nd half  on our Ipad.
April 2, 2017
    We wake up about 7am with plans to head back up the river.  The wind is blowing 17 knts out of the NNE and the tide is rising  creating a terrible water condition.  We push off and clear the breakwater into 3-4 foot seas with an occasional 5-6 breaking over the bow of Wind Wager.  After about an hour we decide to turn back to Southport and wait out the tide change.  We may be fighting the tide but at least the waves should be further apart.  
We dock at Fishy Fishy at 10:30 and walk into town to do some shopping for a microfiber beach towel sold there.   Afterwards we head back to Fishy Fishy and eat some lunch.  High tide is 1:16 here.  Pat goes on a mission after I find we have no sound device.  She eventually finds a whistle at Southport Marina.  Well time to go and as expected the waves are still pretty big but further apart.

Picture does no justice to condition

Pat hunkers down in rain gear.  wet ride coming

Pelican are following there lunch

Once we get past Sunnypoint the waters calm some and was a pleasant ride from there to Wrightsville Beach.  When we get through Snows cut into the ICW we are able to put out the headsail and sail all the way to the Wrightsville drawbridge.   We get to the ramp at 5:10 and put Wind Wager back on the trailer and home by 7pm.   It was a good not great first trip and look forward to next time.

Take Care
Wind Wager

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Work Continues - Composting Toilet

Work is progressing nicely on the composting toilet. WAIT!!

 Perhaps I should discuss Why a composting toilet.  My future plans would have me staying on Wind Wager for extended periods of time.  A portable camp toilet really begins to smell quickly, even if emptied daily.  So, after much research I decided  a urine diverted composting toilet would be the way to go...Pun intended..  Now when I began looking at cost on manufactured toilets I was in sticker shock.  Ranging from $550 to $1300 to do your business seems a little crazy to me.  Plan B is to make my own, so here we go..
Make a cardboard mockup
Need 2 holding devices
I decided on a C-Head type shape and built the base and top portion out of 3/4" plywood.

I ripped some 2 by 6 in half to use to support the 4 points.
The measurements was to find center of the bucket because I will need that later.
I cut the top plywood to gain access to holding devices leaving a 1" rim.

I had to carve out clearance to remove bucket.

Fancy diverter eh!!

Ok,  so now I start working the mount for the poop stirrer...  details sorry.
Cut plywood section to cover back half of bucket and hinged to back 1" section of top

Mounted a PVC endcap to bottom on bucket
Made adapter to fit bottom of mud stirrer

Mounted mud stirrer with copper strap to hold on center

Seat is mounted to hinged plywood section

Now to cover the sides and so forth.  I used 3/16"" plywood  for coverings and nailed and glued to frame

Front drop down is there to fit Wind Wager's space

I stained at first with a Mahogany stain but painted white to help keep the small insides of the head appear little bigger
Made crank handle from Mahogany and a 3/8 socket driver.  Fits through hole onto stirrer.

I spent 5 days on Wind Wager this week and gave it a good test..  I LOVE IT?  No smell!  I do need to make a couple of changes.
  1. Make front panel hinged to remove urine container.  A 1 gallon jug last 2 days.
  2. Crank handle failed.  Develop a better mounting of 3/8 nut drive to wood.  The wood stripped out on 3rd use.

Well that's it for the DIY.  I will post on the 1st trip 2017 next.

Take Care,
Wind Wager