ROUGH LOG OF UPKEEP ON THIS BOAT NAMED THE SARAPHEN AFTER MY GRANDCHILDREN SARAH AND STEPHEN


Sarah, Stephen and Nicholas:
Saraphenik has been selected as a new name including all three but, it took me 2/3 years to get the first name made and mounted! Maybe I could add another piece of board with ik (for Nik)?

BOAT LOG 93 SEASON

October 7, 1993 Day of buying the boat. Thursday took a beautiful day off from work and went to the Marina to meet the salesman Cary at eleven. He showed about half an hour late admitting he had taken so much medication for his broken root canal tooth that he "slept in" this morning. He seemed to be feeling fine now and we took the boat out on the bay for handling lessons. After returning he did the paperwork, counted the money and then took the boat to slip #225 along side the dock. He talked about the boat nearby which he sold to a DC policeman named Tim who showed up a few minutes later. As an example of the friendly and helpful character you often find in boating Tim ended up fixing my marine radio which had a dead keyboard. The internal multi-conductor cable had slipped off the keyboard connector. The radio in the cabin also didn't work. Discovered on my own that it was connected to the boat power bus circuit with the wrong polarity! Swapped leads all OK. After several minutes of discussion about the best way to tie up the boat, spring lines etc. (NOTE/1) Tim left and we went home after five hours away from the dogs and cats.

After something to eat we went back to the boat and started cleaning. Also picked up the radio station papers to fill out and send in. Got some good screws in the loose bow hatch hinges but still have a broken inside screw latch. Tried putting up the new fire extinguisher but the plastic part for mounting didn't work so placed it in the toilet bowl for now!! The old one by the engine hatch seems to have gained some life from being removed and shaken up so maybe will remount. Started up the new generator (Coleman portable,1500 watts, $400) after mounting it on the port side of the bilge and running an exhaust pipe through the transom. Then started to vacuum inside the cabin (lots of spider webs and stuff in there!). Checked running lights etc., everything seems to be working fine except the horn and engine room blower. Finally back home at dark and ready to crash.

Back to the job on Friday (Fed Gov) and out on the boat Saturday. Beautiful day compared to Sunday which rained all morning but due to clear this afternoon. Yesterday we anchored in Occuquan Bay in lee of the land and lunched before running the vacuum etc. First stop after was Leesylvania Park for gas. Got into the gas pump real fine and put in about 43 gal's for 65 dollars. Then pulled out just as the Marine police were pulling in!! (i.e. didn't feel quite ready for inspection yet!) Anchored later for additional cleaning then cruised over to the Occuquan river channel and went up to the route #1 bridge before turning back for the marina. "Ken" on the nearby houseboat watched our "landing" after telling him across the water this was my first try. Its always a challenge as Rosalie, my wife and 1st mate, doesn't "do bows". She will only walk around on the stern. Ken thought we got in fine and his dog "Sister" jumped aboard and "inspected" our boat. It started pouring in the late afternoon. We finally got back home and "saved" our dogs taking them out in the evening for shopping and boat check. Bought a carpet remnant to cover the cabin center aisle. Guess we'll glue it today and go back to the boat after the 1:00pm Redskins/Giant game. We sure need a win, haven't had one since beating the Cowboys in the first season game. Ripen is back and hopefully the team has it's "heart" set for playing 60 minutes of hard hitting football. FYI: List of things to do as of today: 10 Oct

  1. Take photo's of all boat parts such as engine wiring etc.
  2. Measure all over including height of bridge
  3. Take stapler for bridge seat repair
  4. Hardware screws for railing and ladder repairs
  5. Fix the bilge blower circuits. Tested port blower yesterday with switch by-passed and worked fine. With switch connected acted like a short circuit!!
  6. Find Starter location. Couple "clicks" while starting up yesterday would indicate starter armature probably needs maintenance or replacement. (For auto's have often filed down the starter commutator insulation between the conducting bars for additional years of operation)
  7. Take thread and needles for seat repair.
  8. Take downstairs pillows from home to go with large and small pillows bought for bunks in the bow.
  9. Bring back 50' ruler w/level and calculator built in for measurements
  10. Bring needle nose pliers to get the water tank fill cover off. Plier points fit in cap dimples then turn upright pliers to open cap.
  11. Take and track log engine hours.
  12. Fiberglass the deck fixture backing plates which leaking into cabin
  13. Fix shower and bail out pump under cabin step (pump for shower water not working)
  14. Check bridge search light also not working
  15. Buy Velcro for closing bridge apron pocket and other places
  16. Check toilet operation
  17. Check fresh water system
  18. Clean outside thoroughly and inside cabin roof etc.
  19. Put RainX on windshield until wiper fixed
  20. Get more river maps as ours probably destroyed on bridge in rain

10 Oct 1993 checked engine hours today and reading 694 hrs. Need to get a boat log to keep track of captain hrs. (Note/2) Washed outside of boat for first time which just about did me in. The REDSKINS also lost big to the GIANTS! Figured out the canvas needed to replace the bridge apron which covers a rats nest of wires under the bridge dash panel. Near noon a very bad rainy front crossed right over us with sunshine on one side and rain on the other side like a knife edge! Guy came in from the bay fighting waves all the way. Now on his way home and sky is clearing. Still pretty cold even with the sun out. You have to keep a sharp lookout on the Chesapeake as these storms can arrive on very short notice. Rosalie has her pillows all set up in the bow and they look fine. Other boaters came by to see who bought the Fiberform craft and some commented on what a fine boat it was for the deal ($5,000). As mentioned above looked up under the bridge cowling and found a rats nest of wires hanging all over which may explain why the horns and a few other items don't work. Will try to take a look in there tomorrow. Just not strong enough today for anymore boat work!!

11 Oct 1993: Took a ride down to bell 41 south of Possum Point today. That was fair wind and on the return had a fairly strong chop which the boat seemed to handle very well. Engine hours on return were 696.9 so put 4/5 hours on boat since purchase. Put carpet down in the aisle and fixed the cabin marine radio which was tied into the power bus with reverse voltage polarity!! This radio has double digit numbers for marine channels and about 6/8 single digit channels which support marine weather and other things. Also notice another power bus run off a house rocker switch in the dash so will have to track down the several circuits originating out of this bus. Rosalie also discovered the fm/am radio network has an amplifier along side the dash which may be switched in for greater volume!! Noted the cabin tachometer runs almost 1,000 behind the bridge rpm so cruise about 4,000 on bridge and 3,000 in the cabin. The gas tank size indicates a total capacity of about 75 gallons.

` Very foggy this morning so took the dogs out shopping instead of directly on the boat. Rosalie got two cute French hats, couple more pillows, and other stuff such as paper plates, forks etc. Later at the boat she did cleaning and I did repairs. Regards the blowers discovered and Tim later confirmed these boats use one set of hoses w/blower (port side here) and the other side has additional hoses but these operate on the passing air rush from the boat air scoops. Therefore, I spent half an hour in that corner trying to find another blower motor for nothing!! Anyway turned out the port side had two motors and once I cut the old rusty one out of the circuit everything worked fine! Another example of the poor electrical service from the past such as the cabin radio being hooked up backwards. Engine hours today while out were 697.5 so 700 will soon be coming up!

16 Oct 93 Engine is at 700 hrs after a small ride in the bay this afternoon. Raised the lower unit out of the water and now cannot get it back down!! Not very happy. Couple came by who almost bought our boat but decided on something he could handle alone so got smaller cruiser down on right from our slip.

19 Oct ,Got the lower unit to go down again after adding oil to the hydraulic pump mounted inside on the transom. Also seems oil is leaking from the lower unit power pistons when trying to tilt the unit up/down in the water. Of course if oil can leak out water can also get in! Did suspect the very first problem with this boat would be the lower unit. Its just a giant complex transmission "hanging" in the water. Many swap these I/O's layouts for an inboard with propeller shaft due to the high level of maintenance required to keep the lower unit transmission in good working order.

Between tdy's did get another trip in before hauling out. On a sunny day in mid November put a few more hours on the engine to 708 hrs. The next effort to go any where's ended with the dreaded click, click, click, problem. Was checking the boat over for a Thanksgiving trip with relatives coming up shortly so what to do? After some voltage checks decided it was the solenoid and bought an auto replacement unit for $12 at PEP BOYS along with a remote starter. After bypassing all the old circuits from the engine solenoid everything worked fine. That solenoid is still in there after a couple years of use but should really get the engine solenoid replaced for next season.

Now its time to wait a thousand years for the next season to begin!! But that's a page to be done during some future time.



Notes for above:
The normal docking procedure is to back into a slip with finger piers on each side. Then when departing you just drive out. I have the dock extended from the shore on one side and a finger pier on the other. I prefer to drive into the slip with the starboard side available along the length of the pier. This side has a step aboard and the ladder to the bridge. The problem comes when departing. I have to go down a narrow waterway with finger piers and boats projecting out on each side. I started backing out all the way which can be pretty exciting depending on wind (flying bridge makes a nice sail!), current, and steering wheel management which is not my strong suit! I have done everything from going all the way backwards w/out a problem to spinning around (i.e. lost control) right in the middle of the waterway. Eventually a long boat in the slip behind me was replaced by a smaller one and I could back directly out of the slip with a spring line set to turn the bow towards the waterway. That sounds easy but, again getting away from the dock as a function of wind and current is pretty scary at times. I still haven't settled on the best way to depart?(RETURN)

I have spent many years at sea as a commercial fisherman for scallops/North Atlantic and shrimp/Gulf of Mexico. I would have difficulty trying to document those years today. One of the boats is still on the ocean bottom after being rammed at sea. But, that's another story! If I went for a Captains license (probably not) I wanted credit for at least the pleasure boat time. Believe you need to show a years experience of boat operation to obtain a Captains license. (RETURN)

E-mail:skent99@comcast.net


TO 1994 BOAT MAINTENANCE LOGS Might someday add additional logs but already have a lot of reading.