Wednesday, July 31, 2013


SeaClearly is back in the water! And, we are now able to spin her around in circles at the push of a button. Well, OK, not quite.

Wet bottom again.
The bow thruster work finished up on Monday. Bayliss Boatyard did a marvelous installation. I won't say inexpensive but it is beautiful, finished work. This was a complex upgrade to SeaClearly that involved cutting through her hull, mounting the thrusters, adding batteries and chargers, running controls to the helm, etc. Even after all my years in manufacturing and software, it still amazes me when complicated things actually work as planned.

We were also chasing down a hot stuffing box/vibration/alignment issue. We got the propeller balanced, the shaft checked for trueness and run-out, a new coupling (re-faced to guarantee run-out), a new key, re-packed the stuffing box. That wrapped up on Monday as well.

The last of the minor damage repairs wrapped up today with the installation of a new piece of stainless steel around the stern caprail.

So, today was re-launch and sea-trial day. Our list of requirements for a successful day was:

  • No engine wobble in gear at any speed
  • Cool running stuffing box after running at high rpm's ( 3200- 3400 in our case)
  • Bow thruster action that allowed us to back, unaided, into a slip

Check, check and check!!

The thrusters were tested briefly while we were still hanging in the slings. They pushed a LOT of water even constrained in the lift. We did the normal checks for leaks and then the additional checks for new leaks from new stuff. Started up the engine and dropped her in gear. Smooth as silk.

Zack, one of the Bayliss mechanics (technicians?) went with us for the sea trial. Cool running, no vibration, wonderful. Then, the big re-entry. We already had our slip picked out. They made sure that they put us WAY far away from the year-old, 80 ft Bayliss 'Dream Time'. Just as well. I don't think our liability insurance would cover even a small dent on a $10 million boat.

Pointed South and ready to go!
Our first attempt at backing in was my first chance at coordinating the bow thruster ballet. I got straight but over a bit too far. So, as I have learned, you just have to start again. The second pass was gorgeous. Reverse a little, thrust a little, reverse some more, thrust a little - suddenly we are backed in, three feet away from the dock and parallel. Woo Hoo!

Everybody was pretty impressed with the performance of the thrusters. They really exceeded expectations. Junie is very happy. Sorry I didn't get any videos (of the thrusters or Junie being ecstatic) but it was a little hectic.

So, we are in a slip until the weekend and then we are headed out. As two retired people sailing away.

We will keep you posted!


  1. I've really enjoyed reading about your project. I wish you better luck this time on your departure. Congratulations!

  2. please know that you take all of our love with you!

  3. Thanks for all the support! Let's hope we get some smooth sailing...
    Duane and June