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Time to Buckle Down

After my last outing with my brother and dad, I decided it was time to get to some serious work on Lorilee.   The three hour drive to and from the boat has to end, so I’m going to move her closer.  A few things need to happen first though –

  • Remount the Plath windlass and secure anchor
  • Engine maintenance
  • Install AirHead composting toilet
  • Replace cranking battery and install a house battery
  • Install temporary lifelines.  Using either 3/16″ 7×19 wire with crimped ferrules and turnbuckle, or new 3-strand braided rope with turnbuckles.
  • Climb the rig and inspect all standing rigging terminals and tangs.
  • Rig sheet-to-tiller self steering
  • Repair small tears in mainsail.  Inspect and lubricate slides

So early in March, I had LASIK eye surgery.  And whilst it was somewhat more expensive than other practices, I went with a local clinic that has an extremely good reputation.  I’m now seeing 20/10!    After recovering, the first order of business was to get that beast of a windlass back on the boat.

As I mentioned in previous blogs, I’ve had the Plath No. 1 windlass off of the boat since October.  It was pretty bound up, did not free-spool, and it needed just some general TLC.  I brought the 100lb monster home, and my dad and I pulled it apart for lubrication and repainting. In short, I fabricated a new mounting platform, drilled some holes, and we got the windlass back aboard.  Here’s a little video explaining my method for through-deck fittings.

As shown above, I’ve been doing some wood refinishing on deck as well.  All of the teak on deck has weather and grayed to the point of being too brittle for my liking.  Heck, if you look at it wrong it chips and cracks.  So, I’m slowly refinishing all of it.  The latest project has been the “turtle” for the main sliding hatch.  My re-finishing process goes as follows:


  • Scrape with a sharp paint scraper to remove raised grain (cabinet scraper would work better)
  • Light planing with a hand plane
  • Sand with random orbital 80 grit, then 120 to get light wood color
  • Hand sand with 220 to remove “orbital” scars.
  • Wet sand with 400 then 600
  • After dried, oil with raw linseed oil.  3 or more coats until the wood stops “drinking”
  • 3-5 coats of Le Tonkinois varnish.

Last weekend, I spent an entire day doing engine maintenance.  Clearly not thinking ahead, I bought a handy-dandy oil transfer pump, which is designed to extract oil directly from the dipstick tube.  Of course, the hoses that came with pump don’t fit the tube, and there is no way to access the oil pan with said hoses.   So option B, find and remove the drain plug, and pump the oil out of the bottom of the engine room.  After an hour of acrobatic contortion, I managed to get the plug out and drain the oil.  WHAT A F****ING MESS.  I have a Universal M40 (5432) 32HP engine, and it holds nearly 11 quarts of oil.  That’s nearly three gallons of years-old, very used motor oil. And it was everywhere….

IMG_5195I got it pumped out, and  cleaned the engine room pan as thoroughly as possible with oil-absorbent towels.  Afterwards, I changed the Racor filter, secondary fuel filter, transmission fluid, and heat-exchanger zinc all within the course of an hour.  It was definitely a learning experience.

With the Move List in mind, I finally ordered my AirHead composting toilet.  It should be here this week sometime, and I’ll blog the installation process.  I was on the fence for a while about what to do with the head situation.  For a long time I was considering an ElectroSan unit, but I learned that to be USCG compliant, the system still needs a holding tank with Y-Valve arrangement.  Lorilee doesn’t have a holding tank, and I have no intention of installing one.   By going with the AirHead, it not only simplifies equipment and maintenance, but it uses almost no electricity, and I can also seal up two through-hulls.  That’s a win-win in my book!

The coming weeks will be very busy getting Lorilee ready for the 190nm move to Galveston, so hopefully I’ll be diligent with writing, photos, and video along the way.


happy sailing!

– Ryan


Published in Ryan Bradfield
Updated: March 29, 2016 — 14:17


  1. Hi Ryan!

    So cool you’ll be closer to her soon! Yeah, it definitely sounds like the way to go, but make sure you don’t postpone moving onto the boat soon, it’s such an amazing thing, and boats are usually never ready…

    You know it’s funny you are thinking of buying a composting head we’re just about to do the same for Eleanor’s forward bathroom :)

    I’ve sent you a couple messages but it seems you don’t receive them have you changed your phone number? Let me know in a private message, nothing urgent though. I’m going back to Panama in a couple days and then I’ll post a blog with all the news, we’ve started shooting and it looks so cool!!! I’m really excited!

    Thanks for keeping us updated!! Talk to you soon, enjoy!!!


  2. BTW I just watched the video you posted, wow that boat is looking lovely!!!! Great job Ryan! That windlass looks amazing too!! ;)

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