After couple of super chilled weeks in Holbox in Mexico I came back to the reality in Rio Dulce in Guatemala to finish all the projects on Magico. I didn’t want to wake up but if you want to spend the next couple of months cruising around Carribean you need a boat in a good shape, at least. So this time I’m going to write about some ‘boring’ boat stuff. ‘Everything is going to be alright’ is the song I’m listing to now in a loop. It is a very good remake actually!
The first thing was to install the new Perkins engine I bought in December. I had to remodel the engine bed from fiberglas which included sanding in thick stainless steel plates with bolts on which sits the engine mounts and the engine. Obviously, as a biochemist I have never done it before so it took me ‘a little while’ to figure out how to do it. I had to visit many many times local welding shop! Being said this, next time I will do it faster and foremost better, though I belive it is good enough. Also, I had to change the shaft coupling which seemed to be a quite challange as I didn’t have the right tools. Fortunately, Tim from Pamela Ann borrowed me the puller so the job was done in a couple of hours. The next thing was aligning the shaft with engine transmission which took me couple of days! If you thing aligning of sequences of DNA or proteins is difficult I can assure NO it’s not!
Anyway, the time to crank up the engine finaly came and it started up flawlessly. Actually, the engine was running so good so I could not stop it! The stop lever didn’t work and had to be fixed. That’s funny because I was worried whether the engine runs but never if it stops! A day or two I spent debugging the new electrical systems and I had to replace couple of it’s components. Alternator was also not working so I had to fix that too. I installed also new vented loop between raw water pump and inner cooling system to prevent the engine from flooding.
I run the engine hard with the boat tight up well at the dock to see if it works good and I though I’m ready to leave finally. Well, not really as the raw water pump developed a leak. Not serious one but based on my past experience I decided to fix it here, rather then out there. The trouble was that it was impossible to get here the right sealing ring so I had to order it from the states and thus got delayed by about a week and missed good weather window for sailing up north. While I’m waiting for the seal I write this blog post and it should come supposedly in a few days. So keep your fingers crossed as this is ‘the last think’ I need to fix I think.
Another story is the new main sail that Tim recut for me. Well, it was still to big so he had to recut it again and now it seems to be alright. I had also to adjust the fitting on the boom for the new positions of reefing lines. Gooseneck was fixed already in December and is much stronger now.
Meanwhile I have finished some ‘little projects’ such as the installation of the wind generator I bought a year ago and inverter. Yes, I have 230V on board now – the next think I need is toaster :). Dodger got new windows and autopilot got hooked up with remote control so I can sit on the foredeck, watch dolphins and steer the boat. I also fixed leaking dinghy and acquired small outboard motor that of course had also to be fixed first. I still have couple of days left before I get the seal so I want to reseal two leaking stanchions, install the table in the main cabin so we can play UNO comfortably, clean the bilge and hook up the grill so we can have some lobsters for dinner in Cuba.
The only thing I couldn’t finish now is the head (toilet) as I would need to take the boat out of water for a day or two to install throug hulls and I don’t have any money left for this project. So a bucket must be still good enough :).
It has been really crazy time the last three weeks here because I wanted to depart for Belize and Mexico as soon as possible. Although I was working hard all those things simply needed some time to finish, especially when you work alone. But I’m almost done here so now I can plan some cruisng in Belize, Cuba and Jamaica. Two friends come to visit us in Cuba so it could be really good trip, worth the work, time and money spent I believe. Magico is a good boat now I’m confident. So let him proove it soon. The time of watching sunsents on the seas and white beaches is comig!