Friday, August 31, 2018


We attended to our physicals in Chapel Hill then loaded up for the trip back to the boat. 

Set out right away for Ocracoke - the winds were great and we wanted to beat the crowd to the dock for the Labor Day weekend.

Must be shrimp season because the fishing boats were out in force!  The seas were a little "lumpy" with a good bit of side-to-side motion, but the winds were great and we made record time.

But we got a very late start and the sun set before we got to the dock.

But we're familiar with the area, so it was no big deal.   And strangely, there was only one other boat at the dock when we arrived!  It will be difficult at times to get a dock here now - the NPS has closed over half of the dock locations to make room for a new passenger ferry.  A real bummer.

Sharon and Buddy arrive tomorrow - so let the Ocracoke fun begin!

Little video snippet of the sail over....

Monday, August 27, 2018

Bag for the new sewing machine

I plan on taking the (very heavy) sewing machine to the boat.  I will soon make the "sling seat" and just want the machine on the boat in general for repairs while underway this fall.

I don't think I posted about this, but Duane used my Mom's old Kenmore machine as a pattern to make a stand/box for my new machine.  They are almost identical in size.  (I used this old machine all thru college, it's a great old machine but only does a straight stitch.  At some point in my 20's I bought a zig zag machine and this old machine has been toted around to all the places we've lived since them as a bit of nostalgia.)

Here's what he made.

It's hinged and allows you to get to the underside for oiling.

But I needed a way to carry and store the heavy machine.  This is what Mom's machine looks like with the enclosure on.  It's pretty bulky - so I didn't think I wanted that on the boat.  Just no place available to store it.

 So, I decided to make a canvas bag instead.

Just made a standard "box".  The canvas had a tendency to ravel, so I zig-zag stitched every edge to minimize that.  

 All done with a couple of pockets for the foot pedal, thread, etc.

All finished!  This will fit in my cabinet on the boat easier than a hard shell would.

The sucker is still heavy though!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Replacing the enclosure clear vinyl

We're back home for a little while - we both have dentist appointments and our annual physicals over the next week.

I brought all the panels from our enclosure that we had made in Texas home with me.  The basement was sparkling clean when we left the end of July.  In a matter of minutes, it was trashed with sewing "bits"....the replacement panels are looking good and the sewing machine is doing great thru 6-8 layers of Sunbrella and 30 gauge vinyl!

And we arrived home with the zinnia's in full bloom.  So pretty and easy and free.  I simply pluck off the dried blooms/seedpods every fall and put them in a big baggie.  Then I sow them in the spring. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

In the water again!!

Finally time for the schedule "launch" at Jarrett Bay.

The big 200 ton Travel-lift approaching.

The crew getting the straps ready to go under Sojourn.  They wrap them in plastic for each haul to keep the yucky mucky mud off the boat.

Lifted and ready to make the trek to the water!

Down she goes!

We hop on with Dustin from Western Branch Diesel for our sea-trial of the new engines.

Everything was great with the new engines, just one small oil leak, easily fixed.  We dropped Dustin back at the dock and headed back "home" to Oriental.

The usual traffic on the Intercoastal Waterway.

And fishing boats out in the Neuse River.

But before we could get back to our dock, a bad storm was approaching.  So, we dropped the anchor in about 30 knots of wind and waited it out just at the entrance to Broad Creek.

Lightning and thunder all around but 10 minutes later it had passed us.

And we're back!!   We were making 8.2 knots (boat speed) at 2400 RPM - really good comparing to our previous engine/saildrive/prop setup so we're really pleased!

And one last ferry ride to pick up our van down at Jarrett Bay - won't really miss that daily chore!  Good to be back in the water.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Engine install complete!

The engines are all hooked up and ready to test!

The engine hours are set back to zero!  Hopefully we'll have many years of service out of these new engines.

We met up with some other Manta folks on Lila Jane (named after their granddaughter).

Had pizza at the Silos and went back to their boat for a fun game of "Five Crowns" which is a gin-rummy game with a double set of cards and 5 suits!  All good fun.

The boat yard will put us back in the water for testing on Friday morning.  Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Second engine arrives

The second engine finally was put in place today.....the mechanics are super busy and I guess we were low priority.

We'll see how much longer it takes to get us back in the water.  Hopefully just a day or two!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Checked back at the boat after a few days at Topsail Beach

We spent a few relaxing days with my sis and her family at Topsail Beach.

Meanwhile, back at the boat....the workers had been a bit busy in our absence!

The aluminum welder did a fabulous job welding the frame for my "sling seat".

Aren't those weld joints lovely?

Welding aluminum - a skilled worker did this!

Here's a photo from the Bahamas when we were visiting with other Mantas.

Duane and Ed sitting on the sling seat on Now and Zen.  Best seat in the house and I knew I had to have one installed on Sojourn!

Anyway, this is what the seat will look like once I get some foam/material to make the actual seat.

Thanks to a great FB page for Mantas, I've got lots of  photos of similar boats with their seats installed.   I'll be making mine in white mesh to match our cockpit cushions.  I'll have to get my exact design mapped out soon.

And ONE of our engines is in the engine room....but the mechanics haven't finished installing it yet.  We'll see on Monday how they progress!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

New prop blades!!

I know this is not terribly exciting, but our new prop blades finally arrived from Denmark.

This time, UPS handled all the customs and import  so shipping was simple, thank goodness!!


 I know, they don't look any different than our old ones....the old ones were 17" and were correct for our old engine/saildrive setup.  But the new setup requires 16" props for optimal operation.

And here they are folded for less drag when we're sailing!  

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A couple of new cleats

When we come to the boat with the dinghy, there's no where to tie off and hold the dinghy in place.   We have to jump onto the steps and climb up to the deck to tie off.    Later models of the Mantas came with extra cleats on the stern....but ours didn't have them. 

Our friends that we met in the Bahamas, Ed and Cathy on sistership "What If", sent me a photo of new cleats that they installed on the stern..

Here's one of their new cleats.

I told Duane that we had to copy them!!!

12" stainless cleats and more of the 3/8" fiberglass board as a stabilizer.

More holes drilled in the boat!  (If you notice the water on the's been raining here for what seems like forever....)

Luckily, there is a vent hole nearby - I was able to stick my hand thru the hole to do the attachment.  We "buttered" the fiberglass board with more 3M 5200 adhesive, stuck it inside the hull,  then installed the cleat  using stainless bolts, washers and lock nuts.

Port hull finished.

Starboard side finished.   Now we'll have plenty of places to tie up ourselves and any visitors!  (You can see the vent hole I used for access in this photo).

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Holes in the boat!! Installing thru-hulls

The saildrives are designed to suck water through the openings for engine cooling.  But this is where a lot of the corrosion is introduced and the openings get clogged with shells and debris.   Lots of folks by-pass this mechanism.  Simply put a hole in the boat and let the engine suck the water directly from the sea.

So, that's what we're doing.

The parts finally arrived and we made short work of it.

Here is the actual part.  It's called a "thru-hull" or a seacock.    (We have two of these, of course, one for each engine).

For those of you interested, it's Forespar  p/n 931133 and elbow p/n 901001.

First, Duane marked the area where he wants to install it.  The greenish object is a 3/8" thick piece of fiberglass that will be the backing plate to stabilize the installation.

1 1/8" hole cut in the fiberglass.

1 1/8" hole cut in the boat!!!

Hole from the outside of the boat.

We sanded the area around the hole to assure that the adhesive would have a good surface for bonding.  Certainly don't want any leaks!!

Sanded outside.

Next we did a "dry fit".  I marked the spot where Duane (on the other side of the hull) said was the perfect alignment.

The shaft needed to be shortened, so a hacksaw  was used (we didn't have any power tools although several times "wish I had my .......from home" was uttered.

 Next we applied 3M 5200 adhesive to all of the parts.  If you're not familiar with the product, let's just say that it's very "sticky".  It's the go-to sealant/adhesive for underwater projects.

All sealed up from the outside.

And all sealed up from the inside.

Then we applied some epoxy paint to the sanded area on the outside.

And painted the inside too where the sanding exposed fiberglass.  Duane ran a new hose and we're ready for the new engines now!!!  (And remember, the was X2, one for each engine.)

Last thing we did today was to apply a couple of coats of bottom paint to the area.  Tomorrow we'll install a strainer and we'll call it finished!