B Dock

As the Boat Turns on B Dock

No Comments 17 January 2010

B-DockI’m on the boat today at the marina undercover. No, that’s not quite right. My boat is under cover in our covered moorage slip on B Dock and I’m on the boat. The skies are gray with slices of blue peeking through occasionally. The wind has picked up and is gusting mildly. The boat is swaying back and forth in its slip. A heron landed on the roof, rolled some kind of shell around, broke it, ate the critter inside, and then flew off. She’ll be back when she finds another shell.

Adrian, our live-aboard guy on B Dock just walked by with Cooper, his yellow lab. That dog loves the liver cookies we bring for him. When he sees the bag of cookies his chin quivers and he shakes all over. Wouldn’t it be nice if it only took liver cookies to make you quiver and shake all over? For me to have that reaction takes either really good chocolate or a homemade pumpkin pie.

Our friend who will remain anonymous stopped by and he’s distraught. We’re going to go to his house this evening and have steak and potatoes to cheer him up. No, that’s not right. We are going over to cheer him up and we will also be eating steak and potatoes while at his home. It’s one of those days. My mind is dull but my potential is sharp as a tack. The gal our friend is distraught over is going to miss out on a great dinner tonight. So many things going on with people.

Adrian and Cooper are getting married. No, that’s not accurate. Adrian, who owns Cooper, the lab, is getting married to Mary this coming summer. Adrian plans on selling his lovely old wooden boat and getting a place on land. Will Adrian really give up his wooden boat for Mary? Will Cooper adjust to living on land without our liver cookies? Will our distraught friend reconcile with his lady love or will she run off to California permanently?

On a less people oriented but very distressing note nonetheless, we just received an estimate to redo the epoxy and bottom paint on our boat. We asked for an estimate to fill in the chines on the hull too. I thought maybe both projects would come to $8-10,000 but no – it’s a boat. So, TRIPLE the estimate. Filling in the chines will supposedly help the boat not rock so dramatically from side to side when we find ourselves in rough waters. After looking at the estimate, I figure a little side to side rocking will do me good. I’ll think of it as a new type of exercise and therapy package all rolled into one. Exercise for balance and strength when trying to remain standing when the boat is rocking so violently, and therapeutic because I will have saved thousands of dollars. Always a silver lining…

Stay tuned for more episodes of As the Boat Turns on B Dock. Upcoming episodes: Will the Remedy’s holding tank hold? Will we ever see the Sere’s on B Dock again?


Christmas is a New Beginning

No Comments 12 January 2010



Merry Christmas to all wanderers, however near or far away.  December 25 is an excellent time to look at a project or two that are rapidly closing up and to look forward to the adventures just beginning. 

“Velkommen’s” VHF antennas were mounted near the top of the radar arch.  That maximizes the height but it places the ratchet mounting in a very difficult to reach location.  Of course, the antennas are too high to go under the roof of the covered moorage and must be raised or lowered each time we come or go.



The new antenna mounting location is on the side of the flying bridge.  Not quite as high, but they fit under the roof  and the Shakespeare Ratchet Mount #5187 is easy to reach if any adjustment is necessary.  The new antennas are both Shakespeare Galaxy #5225-XT.  The antennas and ratchets were purchased from Dave’s Marine Electronics.  Good prices, good service.

Cutting holes in a boat is a bit unnerving, even well above the waterline.  But it had to happen if I was going to add stout backing to the ratchet mount.

050---Antenna-backing_tn 038---Ratchet-Mount_tn 007-Cable_tn
009-Trim_tn 010-Closed_tn 034---Velkommen-Interior_tn

I used a Beckson 6″ deckplate in beige with plywood backing similar to the ratchet mount. The flange of the deckplate hides the backing in the pics. The backing is 9/16″ plywood sheathing, urethaned and primered followed by 3/16″ aluminum plate. All bedded in 3M 4200. The blue masking tape is to keep the shoe of the saber saw from marking the gelcoat. For the cable penetration I used the Sea Dog 1/4″ Cable outlet. Even though all screws were going into plywood backing, I wanted to use the proper size so they would grip the fiberglass, too. The guidelines I found were an 1/8″ pilot hole for a #6 screw, 9/16″ for #8 and 5/32″ for a #10.

Great product

Great product

I have to mention what a treat it was to work with the Shakespeare Centerpin Connector. Why can’t everything work this well? They are reuseable, no soldering, no stress, no problems. Working with coax has always been a pain for me because I don’t do it that often. Ten bucks well spent. Sweet.

So here’s looking forward to the 2010 boating season…..and a few more little projects. Well……it’s a boat…..the projects never end.  In fact, it’s probably a really bad sign when there are no more little projects on a boat….


Stateroom Heater Installation

No Comments 05 January 2010

When it’s cold and damp outside, which might touch on about a third of the year in the Pacific Northwest, the boat feels alot more inviting with a little heat in the cabin.  Usually we just run a small West Marine heater on a medium setting in the salon and a couple of ‘flying saucers’, one in the head and one in the stateroom, just for some air movement.  When the temps dropped well below freezing late this Fall, the salon was comfortable but the stateroom felt cold, damp and uninviting……tough to get enthusiastic about spending the night aboard.  I could turn on the diesel heat and move a little portable electric heater into the stateroom, but it seemed like it would take some time to get rid of the chill and dampness.  A permanently mounted electric heater that could be left on a low setting would be superior to the ‘flying saucer’ and probably keep the small area nice and cozy.  Maybe enough heat would transfer up the companionway that the West Marine heater would not be needed.  There is some unused and awkward storage space under the hanging locker, so the question of where to install the heater is settled.  King Electric makes a nice stainless steel marine unit (DAW1215-SS) right here in Seattle; combine that with a 2-pole stainess thermostat (PT-2-SS) and I should be set. 

The heater is designed so the grill mounts on the bulkhead;  the face of the grill sticks out maybe 1/2″, then the heater control knobs stick out another 1/2″.  That makes the knobs too easy to get bumped and broken, so I set about recessing the heater about 1-1/2″ and I thought a little LED courtesy light would be a nice touch.  Here are three thumbnails of what I have so far….
(Click on the thumbnails to seee more detail.)

001-Teak_Frame-tn The rectangle in the background is 1″ x 2″ teak, glued and screwed together. It will allow the heater to be inset on the plywood bulkhead beneath the hanging locker. An opening at the upper left allows for an LED courtesy light. The teak rectangle in the foreground functions as a trim ring, covering the raw edge of the plywood and roughtly matching the dimensions of other teak trim in the stateroom.
005-Innards-tn The King heater is nicely made from 304 stainless steel. With a cast iron motor and squirrel cage fan, I expect years of quiet trouble-free operation. The heating element is a non-glowing design and the wall can is allowed to have zero clearance to combustibles. Excellent points for marine usage. The thermostat mounts on the lower left bracket.
010-Grill_LED-tn Here is what the finished assembly looks like. Much of the nice teak is hidden except for the trim molding; the stainless steel grill gives a further nautical touch. The two-pole thermostat controls the on/off function and the heat settings (between 45° and 80°). The Dial-A-Watt selector switch is at the upper left. There are 6 different wattage levels available 250, 500, 750, 1000, 1200 and 1500.

When ‘Velkommen’ is using shore power, only 30 amps are available, and there are a number of smaller marinas with only a 15 amp hookup.  It’s nice to be able to manage the power so all the various electrical “essentials” can be used.

Heater-cutout_tn Trim-installed_tn Time to cut another hole in the boat. Measure twice, cut once. The trim rectangle fits tightly and can be glued in since the opening is large enough to allow the heater grill to pass through.


The end result.

The end result.

It’s always nice to have a project come to a close.  Especially when you are happy with the results.  I still have a nice bit of storage room under the hanging locker floor.  This heater is only 4 inches deep so it does not take up much room, even when recesssed to protect the knobs.  The courtesy light is perfect, just enought light to illuminate the controls and the stateroom floor.  It’s not easy to get good pictures in a very confined space but I think you can get the general idea.  With a toasty warm stateroom, I should probably take a nap.


Essential Marigold Bouillon

No Comments 01 January 2010

Marigold Bouillon Powder

Marigold Bouillon Powder

I was recently introduced to Marigold Bouillon Powder. What a find !!! This is not at all like the ‘too salty’ and ‘too strong’ little cubes that I come to mind when I think of bouillon. This is a great tasting powdered product that can be used as a seasoning, all by itself…..or used to make stock or used as a hot drink. Just one teaspoon in a cup of hot water makes a delightful beverage with only 17 calories per cup.
None of the local stores seem to carry the Marigold brand, perhaps because it’s an English company with products made in Switzerland. I finally tracked it down on Amazon. Amazon shows both a standard and a ‘reduced salt’ vegetable bouillon available. I chose the reduced salt variety. It came in a 6 pack with each little container being 150 grams or 5.29 ounces. Translated: each container is about 2/3 of a soda pop can in size. So the price tag for six of these was $33.23 plus shipping.
So, the next time you do some shopping at Amazon, be sure to add some of this marvelous bouillon to your shopping cart. It has all of the nautical attributes: easy storage, multiple uses, all natural/no preservatives, flavorful and lo-cal. How can a nice hot mug of this stuff be only 17 calories? I thought everything really good was high-calorie…….I guess there are exceptions to every rule.

Avast. Just try it…..you’ll like it…….guaranteed.

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