Working shower pump; a tour of the topsides

I fixed the shower sump pump!  Okay, actually I didn’t “fix” anything, because it wasn’t really broken.  There is an extra, sort of mysterious switch inside the cabinet, above the pressure switch which I thought was the only thing breaking the circuit for the pump.  I didn’t notice it before since I hadn’t managed to crane my head the right way yet; this time, I inferred its existence while looking at a connector nearby.  Switch on, and voila!  So, I put up the shower curtains I found lying in a cupboard and took a shower.

Verdict: passable.  So that’s good.

In the hottest part of the afternoon (between 96-100F here in Langkawi) I am finding it’s kind of nice to hunker down in the air conditioning and process some photos, as any kind of manual labor leaves me drenched in sweat and completely overheated, no matter how much water I drink.  So, here is a tour of the topsides of the boat.  This time I’ll put the descriptions after the photos.

First up is the cockpit, looking at the companionway and my new nemesis now that the shower pump has been defeated, the hard dodger.  It’s at just the right height for me to smash into it whenever I’m not paying close attention.  At the bottom right is the steering pedestal.  The wheel is removed to make it easier to move around; inside the dome on top is the main compass.  Just out of sight, there’s a nice little fold-out table on the front of the pedestal.  Near the top left there’s a radar reflector I found and reassembled; I’ll figure out how to mount it later.  There’s some padding for the cockpit benches, but I can’t say I really like it all that much.  Might as well hang onto it for now, though.

Here’s a view forward of the port side of the boat, from just outside the cockpit.  The shore power connection is plugged in near the bottom of the photo.  There’s a tarp covering the bow; before I leave I’ll put up a couple more to cover the rest of the deck (to protect it from the sun).

Here’s a sort-of view aft of the cockpit.  I like the targa (the rod assembly) quite a bit.  On top of it are three solar panels, which seem to be working very well.  During the daytime, I’ve been leaving the battery charger unplugged because the solar panels generate enough electricity to keep up with whatever DC current I’m using.  Of course, I haven’t tried things like the fridge yet, and anything AC (like my laptop) is using shore power.  On the top right is a GPS antenna (I think, haven’t traced the leads yet); there are others on the starboard side.  The life ring needs replacement; there’s a larger spare currently tucked away in the cabin which might be suitable.  Just beneath that you can see the stem of yet another anchor, and on the right the 3HP outboard motor for the dinghy.  Under the lighter blue cover on the deck is the life raft, which is long, long overdue for an inspection.

Here’s the foredeck, where the main features are the windlass (the anchor winch) and the anchors.

My air conditioning setup is just a window air conditioner mounted on a rig that includes a sort of funnel into the big hatch for the V-berth cabin.  This seems to work pretty well, actually, although not too much cool air makes it all the way back to the galley.  At night I’ve found I don’t really need the air conditioner at all, and I’ve been pretty chilly with just a fan or two circulating air.  I haven’t yet got any idea where I’ll put the air conditioner while sailing.  There’s a space under the head of the V-berth that’s open and maybe big enough.

The gooseneck (where the boom is attached to the mast) is kind of ugly, mainly because of the roller furling setup.  I’m beginning to strongly dislike the roller furling mainsail.  While it’s certainly easy and makes sailing shorthanded simpler, there’s a big loss of performance and it adds a whole tangle of line which makes walking on the starboard side of the boat a nuisance.  I expect I’ll definitely want to switch back to a traditional setup soonish.

The main mast has steps, which might reduce performance a little bit but are otherwise pretty nice, and it’s not like this is a racing boat anyway.  Obviously, you still can’t climb up the mast without a harness.  The furled mainsail is external to the mast because it was jury-rigged from a traditional setup, which I’m hoping means I’ll be able to transition back without springing for a new mast.  That’s a Malaysian courtesy flag flying, not an American flag; the boat is currently still flagged out of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.  Once the Langkawi registration process finishes, the Malaysian flag will fly from the stern.

Here’s the little hard fiberglass dinghy, sitting on the dock.  It’s certainly cute, but is awfully small so it may be a target for replacement.  We’ll see, I’ll take it for a spin next time I’m here.  The covered assembly on the stern is a rack with two LPG (propane) tanks for the stove.  You can just see the top of a red container in the cockpit, which I found in one of the lockers, that has a bunch of safety flares expired in 1996.  Still trying to figure out how best to dispose of those.

And last but certainly not least, here is a view of the boat from the dock.  Obviously, she’s still got her old identification decals.  I’m beginning to consider redoing these myself with new vinyl decals instead of paying someone to paint, as I’m reasonably impressed with how the current decals look.  (In the photo, the white blotch around the name is just sun reflected by the water.)  I’ve got to say, while she’s certainly not as pretty as First Mate Charchar ( :) ), she’s a lovely boat!

4 Comments

Filed under general, maintenance, photos, plumbing

4 Responses to Working shower pump; a tour of the topsides

  1. Doug

    Alright, pictures! :)

    That AC unit is awesome. I guess I hadn’t thought about the practical issues of living on a boat in 95º+ weather. It looks like one of those huge two-man
    jobs from the photo, but I’m guessing that’s just the angle it was taken at.

    I can’t quite tell from the photo – do you also have two furling headsails? That dude sure liked furling. What kind of shape are the sails in? I’d guess there’s something like a 130 from the forestay and a 90 on the inner?

    An external furling main just seems to be asking for trouble. I’ve seen a couple people with add-on boom furling setups which seem good enough I guess. At least then you can keep some battons to increase sail area. I’d still be a bit weary of the whole thing jamming in 25 kts.

  2. Kris

    Yeah it’s not actually all that huge of an AC unit; the body of the actual AC ends just around where the cover is lying, and beneath the cover is a plywood funnel rig that directs the air into the hatch.

    Only one furling headsail, a working jib currently. Not sure about the sail area. I think in the last photo the forward sail you see is actually on the boat next door. I think I recall seeing a foredeck base for a solent stay if I want one, need to check that out next time.

    The furling main as it is just doesn’t make me very happy at all. Even more than the performance and/or high wind aspects, at least right now, is just the annoyance of all the extra lines it adds leading from the boom aft, and the complication of many extra fittings on the boom. I guess I didn’t get any good photos of it, but the starboard deck is pretty hazardous, whereas with a normal sail the only necessary line there would be the mainsheet. So, when I start to get some time I will begin going over what needs to be done to revert to a standard sail.

    I have one unmodified, normal mainsail in decent condition, which is good. The working jib is passable but not great; there’s a 150% genoa in slightly better condition which I might prefer to use instead. There’s also a storm jib and a storm trisail, both in quite good condition (I don’t think the trisail has ever been used). A spinnaker too, though not in great shape. All in all, it’ll definitely be time for some new sails within a year or two but things are passable for now.

  3. James Stalker

    Hi Mate,

    Just stumbled upon your blog while considering what it would be like to something similar, so I googled it of course. I’m an Aussie living in Taiwan at the moment

    Really impressed by the detail of your blog. I know its generally a rude question to ask but I will ask anyway. I was curious as to the purchase price of your boat? I’m wanting to figure out a ball park I will need to save to buy outright.

    I will keep following your adventures, hopefully this current typhoon over the Philippines doesn’t affect you too much.

    • Kris

      Hi James! Glad you find the blog useful, it’s a lot of fun to write and it really helps in keeping track of everything. I’m not so sure about the situation in Taiwan these days but I’d say in SE Asia (mainly Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore) you can probably find a boat in the US$60-100k range that is similar to what I’ve got. Prices are probably starting to rise a little bit now; and you may start to find sellers asking for EUR or some other currency because the USD is tanking. Remember though that you’ll be spending lots more money after you buy the boat. I originally was thinking it’d be cheaper than living in an apartment in Singapore. Not so much (although not really more expensive either — just about the same). Best of luck and feel free to ask me any questions that come to mind.

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