A ship with a rudder

Well here’s an update from the boatyard.  Yes the boat is still out of the water having her bottom peeled to ensure the strength and integrity of her hull for the rest of her life.  A very costly repair but necessary for our peace of mind when out voyaging the world’s oceans.

So why the rudder reference in this post?  Well whenever the boat is hauled out of the water it’s more cost effective to attack as many of the upgrades and maintenance tasks as possible because hauling the boat is expensive and unpleasant to say the least.  So to extend the period between haul-outs, it’s best to get as many below the waterline maintenance tasks completed as possible when hauled out..

So while we are waiting for the hull to be repaired it makes sense to attempt to install the new feathering propeller I purchased a while back (almost two years ago) and haven’t installed yet.  The challenge is that the new propeller doesn’t fit because the space for it to operate is restricted by the rudder.  As a result, the rudder needs to be removed and modified to accommodate the new propeller.  You may say, why don’t you just return the prop and purchase one that fits (Duh)?  Well that makes perfect sense in the everyday world, but in the world of boats, the one that fits won’t provide the benefits/features the new one will.

This feathering propeller has three important features/benefits.

  1. It has four blades instead of three which will give us more power at lower rpm’s and enable us to push the boat through certain unpleasant sea conditions faster to get to a safe harbor.
  2. The feathering feature will allow us to sail faster because the blades will feather while sailing and eliminate the drag experience when using a fixed blade prop.
  3. More control in reverse by enabling us to stop the boat more quickly and reducing the “prop-walk”.

Removing the rudder is quite a chore and it took me most of the day just to get it removed.  After removing it I had to cut it open and remove some of the outer fiberglass covering.  The good news is that Cheoy Lee built this rudder like a tank and the bad news is that because of the stout construction it’s going to need a custom metal fabricator to modify it properly for the new prop.  As is always the case, boat projects have a life of their own and usually take four times longer than anticipated.

Hopefully I’ll be able to find a custom metal fabricator in the area that can make the rudder modifications for us quickly so we don’t have to spend more time in the yard than originally anticipated.

Hopefully my next post will be about sailing instead of these huge maintenance projects.

Till next time.

Captain Mike.


Here are some pictures that can give you an idea of what’s happening.

Here’s a picture of the rudder after being removed and cut open to reveal the inner structure (“yes it would be green” reference for all those Spinal Tap fans).



This shot shows the stout inner structure.  It’s stainless steel and more than 3/16 of an inch thick.


Here’s a close-up picture of a (ship without a rudder).  Fortunately it’s on dry land at the moment.


Picture with the rudder still intact and the bottom completely peeled.


Picture waiting to be hauled out before the peeling of the hull.

Adagio DMB yard waiting

The Dog Days of Boatyard Delays

Don’t they say that good things come to those who wait?  Well hopefully we’ll get to cash in on that sometime as we continue to wait to be hauled out to have some work done on Adagio’s bottom.

Adagio has been side tied next to the pens that the Driscoll Mission Bay boat yard uses to haul and launch boats for almost two weeks.  Two weeks of delays that we really can’t afford given the large list of preparation tasks still to be accomplished before we cast off sometime in January of 2016.

Adagio DMB yard waiting

In the meantime, I have been able to accomplish a few things while we’ve been waiting.

  • Replaced the fuel pump that I use to prime the fuel system after changing the spin-on fuel filter on our Yanmar 4JH5E four cylinder diesel engine.  The old one failed for some reason and I had only used it three or four times.
  • Wired the new cockpit speakers so we have music in the cockpit again woot woot.
  • Cut the hole in the foredeck where our new windlass will be mounted.  Determined that we need to make a base for it to raise it up off the deck enough to keep the chain from jumping off the gypsy.
  • Had the backing plate for the new windlass modified.
  • Removed all of the old auto pilot hardware, electronics and wiring.
  • Re-connected the power to our chart plotter that I inadvertently disconnected while removing the old auto pilot wiring.
  • Researched interfacing AIS data to our chartplotter to warn us of approaching ships.  Wouldn’t want to be run down by one of those mammoth container ships.
  • Daily keeping the yard grime off of our newly painted decks.

So I have been able to keep myself busy waiting for the eventual haul out of the boat.  Also keeping up with my paying work by utilizing the free WiFi at the local Starbucks.

Why the haul out you say?

Well during the recent previous haul out to paint the topsides (area of the hull above the waterline) we found out that we have a minor blister problem.  Blisters occur when sea water is able to permeate the outer layer of fiberglass and as a result draw in more water until a blister forms on the hull.  These needed attention and we opted for the more permanent (aka more expensive) long term fix and that is why we are in Mission Bay waiting to be hauled out.  This more permanent fix involves peeling the outer layer of fiberglass (about 1/8 inch) off of the entire hull and then re-glassing the hull with new fiberglass using a vinylester resin instead of the original polyester resin.  Probably more than you wanted to know but there it is.

I’d tell the story of what has been causing the enormous delay but I’m sure your attention span has already been stretched enough with this dry post about yard woes.  The good news is that it looks as though our waiting will come to an end tomorrow and the boat will finally be hauled out so the work can begin.

I’ll post a list of the tasks we hope to finish before we take off another time and update it as we complete each one.  In case you’re really interested in that kind of thing.  Probably more for my benefit in the future looking back on all we went through to get ready for this adventure.

Till next time.

Captain Mike.

Hello world!

Ok… so, I’m just trying to get a handle on this website/blogging thing.  My intention is to have this website updated for friends and family to follow our journey as we travel around the world in Adagio, our 1979 Cheoy Lee Offshore 41 sailboat.

We are planning to depart Newport Beach at the end of January 2016.  So, we have a few more months to get the boat ready to go.  This year has flown by, and now it is crunch time to get everything ready to go.  Our goal is to make the boat as safe as possible, but also as comfortable as possible.  After all, this is going to be our home!

Right now Adagio is down in San Diego getting ready to be hauled out.  We hauled out in Newport Beach to have the bottom painted and discovered that we have some blisters on the bottom of the boat.  We could do a temporary fix that would last us a few years, but we decided we wanted a more permanent solution.  We found a guy in San Diego who invented a technique to get rid of blisters permanently on older boats.  (I’ll save you the description of what exactly blisters are on boats and why they occur.)  Essentially the bottom of the boat will be stripped down to the fiberglass with a new layer of glass with a different type of epoxy will be applied that is supposed to keep this from happening again.

So, we’re down here in San Diego waiting to be pulled out of the water.  It is going to be about a 3 week process before we can be back in the water and sail back north to Newport Beach.  This is a delay we weren’t initially expecting, but we are going to make do.  In the meantime, the galley is still torn up as we are putting in a new stove, sink, fridge box and countertops. (I mentioned being more comfortable, right?)

I am so looking forward to the projects being done so that we can take off on the voyage.  I know Mike is too…especially because this has basically been a full time job for him for at least the last six months!