March update

In march, I’ve been settling in more. I’ve got propane hooked up now, built a platform for the V-berth, learned how to make soft shackles, and worked some more on the drawers for the galley. I also got a 2 stroke outboard working again.

I inflated a 1987 Avon Rover 3.10 I have to work on and test the 2 stoke Nissan 8hp (NS8B ) that I picked up from my girlfriends dad. I took apart the carb, super clean, and couldn’t get it to run other then if I started it at WOT, and after many tries. Once running it would only keeping working at WOT, and then die if i tried to lower to idle. Turns out that there was a air leak in the fuel line, since the fuel pump is a vacuum operated, this killed the motor. Some new fuel line later and I’ve got a nicely working outboard. The floor slates in Avon, leave some to be desired, as the transom the dinghy, is a little floppy as the floor boards are not fit in correctly. During my bay test, I could get the dinghy to plane at 15.1knts. I’m also working on cleaning the carb for a 6hp Nissan(NSF6A2) I’ve got. This one will take some more work as there appears to oil from the motor leaking out the prop shaft. Further investigation is required. I’ve setup a 2×3 across the cockpit as the work station for the outboards. Seems to work, provided you can keep the outboard from swinging around as they are in fact top heavy.

While back, I built a holder for two 6lb propane tanks. I’ve only one tank at the moment, but it has proven to work quite well hanging off the stern rail. I ran the line through a new hold in the transom and to the galley.  I still need to add a sniffer and remote solenoid. For now I shut off the tank when not in use.


In the V-berth, there was some sagging or a bad construction or something going on with the “flat” surface that is the V-berth. It kind of slept like a hammock, where near my hips it would sink down and unless you were in the middle, you would be pretend sleeping like you were on a slight heel of a couple degrees. I used some 2×3 and a plywood to create a platform to support the mattress and it not have a slope or a dip. It is flat now, but I’ve lost about 2″ of height in the V-berth. The step into the V-berth is now a must.


I also added some drawers to the galley drawer thing. I’d not hire myself to build someone else drawers if they wanted nice straight and good looking drawers. They work for the intended purpose though, so I consider it a win. I still need to add some kind of face to the drawers and a paint them. To fit this, I moved the ladder over a couple of inches, so it is not longer centered. There is minimum clearance between the ladder and the drawer when slide out.


I’ve started to monitor how many days it takes me to use up water from the 17 gallon water tank. It looks to be about 10 days, but this has only been two fill ups since I started to monitor this. So on average it looks like 1.7 gallons a day, but time will tell how much I am using. I thing my major downfall is in washing the dishes, I use alot there.

Lack of refrigeration is proving to not be as horrible as one would think. Cooking for one with no left overs is the hardest, followed by lack of fresh meat. Canned meat has become the new staple. Veggies, are doing well in the dry storage box, it keeps stuff quite cool in there. I’ve added eggs and spam for breakfast on the weekends. I gave some blocked cheddar a go, I failed at that one, but after doing some research, it would appear that keeping it in olive oil, or wiping with vinegar and wrapping in cheese cloth would be better then putting in a zip lock bag. Though that did work for about a week.  I did find some powdered milk to use for cooking, and I’ve since learned about the single serving UHT milks, that if I can find for cheaper then 10 dollars for a 6 pack, I might get some.

Composting head is still working. I’m finding that the urine is the major source of smell if anything. I’ll have to look into that to figure out how to combat that, but overall this has proven to be less smelly then the old head and holding tank combination.

During this month, I learned out to make soft shackles from the rigging guys at the local west marine.


Splicing line and DIY fids

My girlfriend and I stumbled upon some rigging/line splicing classes the the local large West Marine was giving about 7-8 months ago. While there we learned how to splice dyneema (Type 2 12 strand rope) and 3 strand nylon. I bought some cheap plastic fids. I was not a huge fan, but they worked and helped me learn. I read some where that knitting needles might work. I looked into that, and today I made 1/4″, 5/16″ and 3/8″ (6.5mm, 8mm, and 10mm) fids. You can get a 2 pack of the same size for under 3 dollars with a coupon at Jo-Ann’s fabrics.

I used a miter saw to cut a 52 degree cut into a piece of a 2×4. I’d go with 60 degrees if you can manage to get that cut, but my miter saw only went to 52.

I then drilled guides to slide the knitting needles into the jig so that i could cut the ends at the 52 degree cut. I used a vibrating multi-tool with a metal blade. I used the Samson sizes for the lengths of the fids, you can find that online.

Then swapped over the some 80grit sand paper on the multi-tool to make the edges not sharp.

I then marked the short fid length with wire cutters, though you cannot see the marks in the pictures.


Tools used for this project: Miter saw, drill, drill bits, vibrating multi-tool with metal blade and sanding pad and a scrape 2×4.

Sewing projects

A couple of months back, at the swap meet, I found a Pfaff 332 Automatic. It has been mostly sitting.

Couple weeks back, I used my kayak’s for the first time. They have been sitting in the sun, next to the boat. The seats I could tell are starting to see the damage of the UV. I did some research on the Internet about kayak cockpit covers. It seemed almost to easy, and would make for a good project to make use of the sewing machine.

The hardest part, and took me two tries, before i got a good one, was the curve you have to sew around this. Use pins to hold the channel together. That one key part makes the rest of this as easy as it seems.

When doing all this research on using ripstop nylon, a common other project is to make a lightweight gathered end hammock, and stuff sack. Since that seemed easy, just a double folded seam on tall the edges, and a channel at the top and bottom. I gave that a shot, and using left over material made a stuff sack, which can hold the hammock, or a bottle of wine.


Also during this time, I learned how to make a continuous loop with dyneema, for the hammock. The local west marine has been holding some rigging classes on Thursday nights once a month. I’ve learned how to do a Brummel splice, and to splice 3 strand. So that helped when learning the continuous loop.

Think that is about it for random other things