Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Pelican is all white, with 3 coats of Awl-Grip primer on the sides.  The new boot stripe will be Flag Blue to match the canvas, and the sides will be a white that matches the deck paint.

Engine and Genset are in the boat

We have a long way to go, but the Beta 60 and the Northern Lights Genset are in the boat.  The Genset has a new pan and mounts and has been tested and tuned up.  The Beta now awaits a new shaft.  The J-Prop is in and its beautiful.  Can't wait for it all to come together and get back out on the water.

The new J-Prop has arrived, but right now there is a wooden shaft sticking out of Pelican.  I dropped by Yacht Power and had a look at it.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Shiny Red Engine

Visited the project today.  The genset is all cleaned up, with a new lower pan built and a soft cover nearly complete.  Both the genset and Beta should have been installed later in the afternoon.

We did finally get to see the engine up close and personal.

Upon inspection, our shaft may need to be replaced.  Installed in 2009 it has two big pits in it.  It is being inspected, and likely to be replaced.  kaching.  It keeps adding up.

Ah, what the heck.  We stopped at Advanced Sails on the way out of the yard and got a quote for a new main sail...

Friday, March 07, 2014

Imagine the Swim Platform

Very preliminary mock-up of the swim platform.

J-Prop on order...

I went ahead and ordered a 19" feathering J-Prop today for the new engine install.

The exhaust hose also had signs of delamination at several points, so that has been completely replaced.

When they pulled the engine and genset they noticed that the through hull for the air conditioner seawater pump was in awful shape, so they snapped it off to make sure we replaced it.

The good news is we keep meeting people who rave about the Beta Marine engine, or have other compliments on working with Kubota diesel engines in non-marine applications.  All claim they are quiet, more efficient, and long lasting.  We shall see.

Just for extra fun, the Coast Guard called to inform us our EPIRB is reporting the boat sunk.  After assuring them the boat is hard aground we retrieved the EPIRB and pulled the plug on its battery.  It is several years past due for a battery replacement.  That is $250, a brand new one with GPS technology is $500.  Add it to the list...

Meanwhile, the exterior preparation continues.  The engine is scheduled to go in Monday or Tuesday next week, then the 3 coats of primer and 3 coats of Awlgrip begin to be applied.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cleaned Up Engine Room

The engine room repairs are complete with new fiberglass on the tested and approved engine stringers.  All the wood rot has been cleaned out, a new marine plywood deck for the genset installed, and copious amounts of bilgecoat painted on.

Bottom Peel

The old coats of hard paint were no longer sticking to the gel coat / barrier coat.  We determined it was time to remove all the old paint and start over.  There was a debate between sand blasting or peeling.  Sand blasting works, but is indiscriminate.  So we chose the 25% more expensive peeling.  The results look promising.

Now the boat sits on the hard and dries out.  There are no actual blisters on the boat, but a dozen or so beginnings of blistering where the resin is delaminating.  The boat will probably sit for six to eight weeks before getting a new barrier coat then a paint job.

In addition, the sides, boot stripe, and water line are being restored with Awl-Grip.  Work is moving ahead there.  We are also resealing most of our portlights.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Bottom Job

Pelican had a barrier coat about 14 years ago, and the hull seems to be holding up great.  There are little or no blisters.  However, the paint is pretty much falling off the hull and will all have to be removed.

So we are going to peel the paint off to the gelcoat or below, fill and fair it, add 3 new coats to the barrier coating, then a bottom job.  About triple the price we expected, but it was about time.

30 Years of Bilge Gunk

The old Perkins is pulled out.  And the Northern Lights Genset as well, off to get a new paintjob and inspection.  The good news on the genset is they did a precautionary compression test and it passed with flying colors.

The bad news is the exhaust hose id delaminated and should be replaced.  That will be costly.

The metal pan under the genset is toast.  Full of rusted out holes.  The mounts are badly rusted as well.  Yacht Power Products is getting a new pan built, and will install new mounts as well.

While the engine room is empy I crawled in and thought I would clean it up.  Ha!  It's a huge job.  Too much grease, wood rot, and trash.  I spent four+ hours and it looks like it is now ready for cleaning.  The engine mount stringers are suspect with fiberglass delamination.  The marine plywood under the genset is soft and the support below the platform is rotted.

You can't paint on top of rot.  So we are contracting to have someone come in and repair the stringers and platform, then paint.  Hopefully my afternoon of shoveling the filth out of the engine room will save me a few bucks.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

2014 Projects

Forget new years resolutions, we have the new year boat projects list.

Last year's list concentrated on fixing up the Perkins and hoping to get another 4 or 5 years out of it.  Alas, a series of unfortunate events led to its demise.  The engine died in July and due to a lot of non-sailing activities it is still not replaced.  That will change in early 2014.  The new engine is bought and paid for, its custom footings are being manufactured in England this very week and is due to be put on a jet and shipped to the U.S. around the end of the year.

So here is the new list of things to attack:

  1. Install a new Beta Marine 60 diesel engine with new TMC 260 2:1 transmission, 120 Amp Balmar alternator and serpentine belt system.
  2. New Propeller  Doing online calculations it looks like I need around a 19" x 14" pitch.
  3. A bottom job while the boat is out of the water getting its engine and prop.
  4. Have the Northern Lights genset pulled and painted, new pan installed, and a soft sound cover fashioned and installed to reduce sound while it is running at anchor.  (must run the coffee pot in the morning!  actually we switched to a small Keurig single cup this year which we really like.)
  5.  Replace the TrueCharge 40+ battery charger with a TrueCharge2 60 Amp system plus new remote.
  6. Inspect and repair / replace all thru-hulls -- Pelican has been sitting in the water for over 31 years now and its time to seriously consider new through-hulls.
  7. Awl-Grip the hull sides.  Again, 31 years of gel coat exposed to the elements.  Time for a refresh.
  8. Paint the whale stripe.
  9. New gaskets in the drinking water pressure pump.  It leaks when running.  (oh if all the tasks on the list were so affordable!)
  10. Replace all the hoses associated with the aft head.
  11. start painting the interior
  12. scrape and re-caulk the toe rail
  13. Build shelves for boat dishes in port locker
  14. Fashion springs onto broken salon hatches.
  15. Pick one or two of the following large investments:
    1. New Sails?
    2. Bow Thruster
    3. New jib winches
    4. AB Rib with engine
    5. New hatches
  16. Sell our beautiful Cape Dory 10 hardshell sailing/rowing dinghy  -- it's on Craigslist!
  17. Sail to the Tortugas and Keys in early April.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

He Called My Boat a Barge

Forgot to post this one:  article from Wavetrain about the venerable Morgan 41 Out Island.  They used an unattributed photo of my Pelican under sail.  Worse not a single mention of Sally Morgan and her influence on the boat.


So I'll give Sally's response, which I blogged on in 2004:

Comments on tacking the Morgan 41 
My usual first sarcastic remarks to someone questioning the sailing characteristics of the Out Islanders is 'how much sailing experience have you had?' If you don't know how to sail a boat to weather anyway, it really doesn't matter does it?
Best we can determine, the idea that the Out Island 41's do not sail well evolved from a story Bill Robinson of Yachting Magazine wrote right after the first boats were out, and his comment was it didn't sail to weather like an ocean racer. It wasn't designed to.
I'll be interested in what comments you get to your note. I love the way they sail - they're fast reaching, extremely stable (don't round up in puffs), and fun to sail. 
Just had to get my 2 cents in. 
Sally Morgan

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2013 Projects List

  1. Still need an Autohelm
  2. New Sails?
  3. Install Battery Watering system from Flow-Rite Controls to 4 T-105 house batteries -- provides a single watering point.
  4. Build shelves for boat dishes in port locker
  5. Turn companionway dish locker into a dehumidifier closet, pipe dehumidifier into cockpit drain system.
  6. Repair / maintain engine coolant system.  Replace all old hoses.  Replace all clamps.  Inspect / replace fresh water and salt water pumps.  (sigh)
  7. Remove rust from engine using elbow grease and Ospho.  Paint engine.
  8. Install LED light above stove
  9. Replace old plastic vent covers for engine room blowers with new stainless vent covers
  10. Fashion springs onto broken salon hatches.
  11. Replace Cape Dory dinghy with a 10.5' RIB and 15 HP motor
  12. Bottom Job?
As they say, the list never gets shorter.

Monday, February 11, 2013

How Not to End a Weekend Cruise...

We had a great time with Eric and three of his friends from college spending a weekend on the boat.  Unfortunately on the way home we had a few troubles.  First a clamp failed on the starboard side of the engine and all our freshwater coolant drained out.  Shut the engine down, kept sailing towards home.  New clamp, refilled reservoir.  Started engine again and the belt to the alternator / seawater pump broke.  Went to replace the belt and bolts were missing on the alternator.

One bad (poor) maintenance thing after another.  At least I've kept up with paying my unlimited towing from BOAT/US.

Friday, February 08, 2013

2012 Project Revisited

We did accomplish a lot last year, making the boat a great place to spend weekends on.

JSI built us new cushions for the salon.  We replaced our running lights with new LED lights and added an LED spotlight over the dinghy to make those return trips at night easier when bringing the dog into shore.

We replaced the roll up doors on the port salon lockers with beautiful teak doors.  Same with the galley doors.  We finally installed the microwave in the galley for convenience.  And best of all, we installed a liquor cabinet over the table.

Other projects that are not shown include changing the analog thermostat in the galley fridge to an electronic unit.  The old thermostat would freeze everything over night, now we can comfortably use the fridge for weeks at a time without worrying about the temperature.

The new cockpit cushions (from JSI) were long overdue and look great.  The bimini and dodger are great.  The Eisenglass windows in the dodger are crystal clear and we invested in covers that will hopefully keep them in good shape for years to come.

All of our new electronics are great.  But we still miss having a an autohelm.  It's in the budget for this year.

And the kid's college is still getting paid for and he made the Dean's List his first semester.  Not too bad of a year.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Afternoon Cruise in the Gulf

Our current autohelm is a dog.
 Eric and friend Megan

Monday, June 18, 2012

2012 Projects

It's been a great year working on the boat.  I have been joking that we bought a project boat in 2004, fixed it up, and now its a project boat again.  But we love Pelican.

Current Projects underway:

  1. New Bimini and Dodger with cover being built.  Slight redesign to eliminate a support pole from blocking the mainsail block.
  2. New cockpit cushions -- light color sunbrella with a navy piping to match our canvas.
  3. New interior salon cushions -- can't wait to see these installed.  This will be a huge upgrade.
  4. repairs to the spreader bars.
  5. Tune the rigging.
  6. sails removed, repaired and cleaned.  the jib sacrificial is being replaced.
  7. New electronic thermostat and fan added to refrigeration.
  8. Anemometer head unit and cable being replaced.  
  9. Autohelm installed
  10. minor repairs to davits
  11. Looking for a used AB 10.5' inflatable boat
  12. Send son to college with whatever funds are left over.

2012 projects competed:

  1. New air conditioners.  We never had an aft air conditioner working, and the forward air bearing burnt out this Spring.  Our poor lab Hoover was alone on the boat when it happened.  We returned to a smoky cabin and a distraught Black Lab.  They have now been replaced with two Marine Air units.
  2. New Standard Horizon GX2150 radio with AIS and DSC.  Also added RAM mic in cockpit which is very convenient.
  3. Garmin 740S chart plotter.  The radio ties into the chart plotter and shows the location of AIS broadcasting ships on the display.
  4. Moved the boat to PYCC which is a beautiful place to keep the boat.  Replaced all the docklines.
  5. Replaced circuit breaker for windlass
  6. replaced sump pump switch in aft cabin
  7. replaced Perkins salt water pump
  8. Replaced all original running lights with new LED lights.
  9. Added a dinghy spotlight on the davits.  Will help make it easier to find the boat for those after dark trips to shore with the dog.  These lights are also LED.
  10. New 22" flat screen HDTV in salon
  11. New throw rugs throughout the boat
  12. Sent ships clock to Weems & Plath for refurbishing
  13. Added "bird-proofing" to mizzen mast.  We had an Osprey using our mizzen as a perch and it sure pooped a hell of a lot.  We had plastic spikes added to the top of the mast to eliminate his perch.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Morgan Invasion 2012


Pelican and Sleeper during the race

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Oceanair – blinds, screens, and soft furnishings for boats, yachts, superyachts, road vehicles, and the home

Oceanair – blinds, screens, and soft furnishings for boats, yachts, superyachts, road vehicles, and the home:

Add-on hatch surface mount roller blackout / screens.

'via Blog this'

The Frugal Mariner: Home Page

The Frugal Mariner: Home Page: is a great website featuring a 1977 Morgan 41 Out Island.

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Save the Date May 18-20, 2012

27th Annual Morgan Invasion & Catalina Rendezvous 2012 - Sailing for Hospice at The Club Treasure Island:

Propane Outboards

We went to the Miami Boat Show / Strictly Sail last weekend in search of new ways to spend even more money on the boat.  We went to research a variety of boat projects and wound up becoming the first customer of Lehr's new 2.5 HP propane powered outboard motor.

They are selling green technology, but there was quite a bit more of interest to us than "saving the planet."

This motor will run on either a standard propane tank via a hose connection, or use the little 1 pound propane bottles sold in Wal-Mart etc. to run lanterns and stoves.

  1. Our old Nissan 3 HP motor was 2-stroke and it's a pain to mix gas plus states are starting to ban 2-strokes on inland lakes due to motor oil pollution.
  2. The new motor is a 4 stroke, much more environmentally friendly and is allowed on any lake that allows motors.
  3. Ethanol in gasoline can easily gum up engines. Propane does not.
  4. I hate having gasoline aboard my sailboat. Storing gasoline is dangerous in those red plastic containers with their leaky tops. Propane is still dangerous, but is stored in much more durable containers.
  5. I'm terrible at top filling a gasoline outboard. I always seem to spill. Propane tanks screw on the motor. No mess or fuss.

Boat Projects

Nothing like a trip to the Miami Boat show to put together a list or projects for an old Morgan.

Navigation & Electronics
  1. New Autohelm
  2. VHF Radio - test / repair
  3. LED running lights
  4. troubleshoot anemometer
  5. replace circuit breaker for windlass
Below Decks
  1. New air conditioner units
  2. replace icebox with freezer
  3. replace refrigeration unit
  4. Corian countertops
  1. troubleshoot alternator
  1. new shore power cables
  2. replace running rigging

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Christmas 2009

Eric & Spencer leaving Gulfport Marina

Christmas 2009 Cruise

We moved the boat from Burnt Store Marina to its new home at Gulfport over Christmas break.  Here is Hannah at the wheel with Hoover standing watch.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

New Stainless Ports

We replaced all of our old plastic portlights with stainless portslights over Thanksgiving weekend.

The results look great but it was a lot of work. The whole family participated.