|Updated Port Side Fly Bridge Seating|
The first of these projects involved updating the vinyl cushions for Ghost Rider's fly bridge seating areas. We had the helm seat rebuilt and recovered two years ago, but now all the other seat cushions were looking pretty ratty, too. And lately they had been absorbing and retaining more rain water than their covers were repelling. We bought the new foam filling and marine vinyl from our own sources – with the material and color matching what was used for the helm seat do-over (Sea Oyster vinyl) – and then engaged Cape Canvas & Cushion (LINK) in nearby Cape Coral for the handiwork.
|The Updated Fly Bridge Cushions Now Match the Helm Chair|
They aren’t particularly fancy, but they are functional, much more water resistant than the old ones, and no longer pockmarked by mildew stains. We treated with 303 Aerospace Protectant which should help with long term survivability.
|Four Sliding Shelves Make The Pantry|
Area Much More Accessible
The solution was to install some slide-out shelves. Having seen Rick’s carpentry skills before – essentially he has none – Chelle hired Dave Purcell for the job, who is something of a maritime handyman with good credentials in this area (as well as a USCG 500 GT licensed delivery captain.) She ordered the shelving units from Slide-a-Shelf (LINK) who custom built them to our measurements. (Note that discounts are sometimes available by ordering through Costco or Amazon.) And then Dave went to work on fitment, finishing and installation. He is a bit of a perfectionist so he even crafted a fascia for each sliding shelf and stained them to match the boat’s interior teak woodwork. They look good and definitely improve accessibility.
|With the Stainless Steel Button Latches|
Added to Prevent Movement When Underway
On the lowest shelf in the bottom cabinet we chose to forgo the sliding shelf option and instead went with a false bottom on furniture sliders; that preserved the deeper storage area at the base for larger items.
AND SOME ROUTINE MAINTENANCE
Amidst these boat projects we also had to tend to some routine maintenance activities. The first of those was refreshing a few Racor fuel filters. While we had not reached an engine hour trigger, there is always some concern about filter effectiveness with the passage of time. Does a filter element not being used much but still soaking in diesel fuel eventually undergo a change in filtering properties? At some point the answer is likely yes, but exactly when can really only be determined when the vacuum gauge rises above seven inches HG. Rick would rather not deal with that while underway, so we change ours after a year if we haven’t yet hit the magic 500 hour mark. That’s overly conservative, but at $10 apiece it’s cheap insurance and peace of mind. So both main engine Racor 900 filters got changed as did the Racor 500 for the genset.
|The Dual Racor 900 Units for the Main Engine. After Installing the New Filter Elements We Label Them with Both Date|
and Engine Hours. Same Goes for the Smaller Racor 500's on the Generator and Wing Engine.
Next up was the six month windlass service. Our hydraulically powered Maxwell 3500 will probably outlive us, but the above-deck components still require periodic attention – basically dismantling down to the lower clutch cone and crank collar, liberally lubing all accessible parts with a good lithium grease, and then shooting a grease gun into the main bearing’s zerk fitting. Upon disassembly we found the unit clean and still well lubricated, not too surprising given its limited use and exposure this year. But we know its ready to go and hoping for some use in the next couple of months. After reassembly and checking for leftover parts (none, yay!) we exercised the unit to confirm smooth operation.
|Disassembling the Windlass Deck Components....Not a Difficult Task But It's a Messy, Greasy One When Rick Does It|
Next up: We'll be heading inland up to Missouri and Illinois for a much anticipated visit with family and friends, plus our favorite annual charity event. Packing will be interesting as it much cooler there - it's still damned hot here in southern Florida. But it will still be great fun in the Midwest. When we return we hope to get Ghost Rider underway again and head down to the Keys for a spell. More on that later.
|Looking Behind the DC Electrical Panel....Lots of Wire Attachments|
That Require Integrity Checks Once a Year.
|Looking Inside the AC Electrical Panel....More Attachment Points to Check,|
and Most of Them Pack Quite a Punch. It's No Fun to Become a Human Fuse,
So Disconnecting Power is Highly Recommended.
|When We Returned from Our Short Sortie to Take on Fuel, We Parked Ghost Rider Nose In at the Request of Our|
Fiberglass Repair Tech. That Gives Him Easier Access to Patch the Scratches on the Starboard Bow Section.