Monday, 14 December 2009

newbie grease monkey

Here, I'm pumping the old oil out

Yes, I must admit that until yesterday, I had never done an oil change on our boat's engine. Perhaps we can blame it on the fact that my partner in crime works as a marine mechanic (among his many other duties and talents) and the care of the engine has been his responsibility. That is, until now.

I have a desire to keep learning more about the systems on our boat, and don't like being ignorant about something as important as our engine. After all, who knows if one day I'm out on my own and something happens... right? Something always happens. So a simple engine oil change was Sunday's lesson (including replacing a filter and checking the raw water pump, etc, etc.

I'm removing the filter. The goal is to be as quick as possible, or the clean-up is that much more!

Presenting the new oil. And the Yanmar Engine Manual.
(Yes, we read instructions)

Left: I'm lubricating the O-ring on the new 
filter with some oil, so it can seal well. 
Right: I'm the giver of new oil.

Left: I'm removing the Raw Water Pump 

Right: I'm opening it up to check the impeller

Pumping out more oil,this time from the transmission... 

god that stuff is nasty.

Now that, wasn't so scary...Thank goodness for a great teacher!
And a very very smart student...

Thursday, 17 September 2009

seriously yellow

Rick writes: 

It has been some time since I wrote an entry for our blog. As the summer tapers off into fall, we are racing the rain to complete a number of boat tasks. We are putting the final touches on the deck paint. The coach roof was matched to the pale grey on the topsides and Kyra talked me into painting the deck yellow.

She spent weeks trying to convince me that yellow decks would look great; that the warmth of the yellow would compliment the richness of the freshly varnished mahogany. Well, the colour is on and she was right.

There is a fair variety of colours available for boats. However, when you head in a particular direction, yellow, for example, the selection narrows quickly. We couldn’t find a bold and warm yellow in our usual brand of paint, so we looked at another brand.

And there it was, Easypoxy Sunflower Yellow. It is a nice yellow, but it is not a subtle yellow. Right after we opened the can, Kyra had second thoughts. “It’s too bright!” “I don’t know, I think it’s too bright.” After all that selling me on the idea, Kyra got cold feet at the last minute.

I suggested that we paint the deck with the full strength yellow and see what we thought. Wow, what a difference from the decaying beige that was there before. You know, Kyra was right. The yellow really does look good with the brightwork. I like it. It really isn’t like every other boat out there. I think it helps set our boat apart, shows off her personality.

Of course, like every other job we get done, we can’t wait to see the next job done.

[Editor's note: The likelihood of keeping this vibrant colour when we go offshore is slim - we are planning on a lighter colour in the the tropical sun.]

Photos Courtesy of Julie Crouzat

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

and time flies by...

Well, well, well. It's now August 18! (This happens to be Kyra's 18 year anniversary living in B.C.) The Summer has flown by: We have worked on the boat, sailed the boat, worked on the boat, sailed and worked on the... You get the gist.

Life on Nyon is good, sometimes our projects become overwhelming so we pretend they don't exist for a while, until a new burst of motivation takes us forward... Refinishing all the wood is still going on, as is fixing the cabin top - readying for paint, and fixing the cracks in the deck (fiberglassing, a new skill for Kyra)... and so it goes.


Rick, hanging out with Rico the dog.
He's a frequent visitor who lives at our dock.

We took our friends Kate and Dana along for a weekend sail.

Kate perfected the art of
lounging in the hammock.

Lunch on the foredeck.

Rick sailing our Dinghy, P.S.

The Rabble-rousers


My friend Leah came along to Beecher Bay.

Here is Beecher Bay

We were anchored
right next to Alyard Farm.

One end of my favourite
coastal hike (East Sooke Park)

This makes me think of my friend
beautiful Kelp paintings.

Leah was loving our Gennaker

The admired Gennaker


This month, so far, has been a whirlwind of sailing and boat projects.

Sunsets, Islands...

Fog, Wind, Anchorages

Bees - we love our friends, work parties are the norm. This was our turn.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

the joys of wood

Indeed, the work continues - what I enjoy about doing brightwork, is that the improvements are quickly evident; that gives me a sense of accomplishment and keeps me going!

Sealing the wood with Epoxy.
First of three layers.

Mended corner.

Yes, that round hole is
supposed to be there.
It's for the Speed Log Gauge.
(Speed of the boat over water.)

Cause for celebration:
No More Leak in the Corner!!
That should make our
overnight guests happy!

Epoxy Stage is done.
(For the cabin sides that is.)

Next: Varnish

We did make time for play too, and headed to the BCA May Rendez-Vous on Pender Island, on the May Long Weekend. What happens when you get a bunch of sailors together? Well, pirates show up, a scavenger hunt ensues, drinks in the cockpit, shared meals and stories, lots of good stories. The sail home was great fun. Yep, good times.

Light winds on the way
to Pender Island.
We flew our Gennaker.
Isn't it pretty?

This pirate didn't look too

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

busy bodies

Most sailors have a long list of "boat jobs". At the first sign of spring, our marina becomes a little beehive of activity. Many jobs rely on sunny days and warmer weather. Everyone has some project on the go and the air is filled with excitement.

This sometimes makes it hard to get any work done, because boaters love to check out what the other "guy" is working on. Usually, lengthy and passionate discussions ensue. Everyone has an opinion about the particular job you're tackling, and you muddle your way through to your own opinion, after having weighed 20 different options. In spite of all this, the work does get done, as long as the weather cooperates. It did for a couple of days last week, and now we're holding our breaths for more sunshine predicted this coming weekend.

So what is our next job? It includes the following: fixing cracks on deck and painting said deck. Doing repairs on the cabin sides (we have issues with rot/damage in three corners.) And last but not least, brightwork, brightwork, brightwork!! (Toe rail, cabin sides, cockpit, tiller, etc etc) That in particular, is my pet project. Rick is the king of "scarfing". We have our work cut out for us.

Here, Rick is prepping this cabin corner in order to scarf a new piece of wood where there was rot. I have begun scraping and sanding the cabin sides. Note the warm reddish tones that are reappearing. I can't wait to see the new shiny brightwork... But I'll have to. Once finished sanding, I will need to apply many layers of epoxy (with special UV protection). That will be followed by a minimum of 3 layers of varnish.

Check twice, cut once. Not having a proper woodworking shop is challenging at times. Rick is a good sport about it.

What a mess! We had to remove the dodger; the tarp is to try and keep some of the rain off while we work on the cabin sides,(as it finds all sorts of ways into the cabin!

A forced break from sanding and scraping.Bailer decided it was time for a cuddle.

Chipping away at a "can of worms". Lots of rot in this corner, but once fixed, no more leak!! (Theoretically).

Here I'm using a laminate trimmer to sand old varnish out of tricky areas. So that's what is at the top of our list right now. Did I mention the list is 5 pages long?

One baby step at a time.

the cabin: before and after

Before I write about the projects we are working on now... I am including pictures as a reminder of the work we've done in the cabin over the past two years, (among other big projects). It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the work involved in the refit of a 50 year old boat, let alone the maintenance. These two photos cheer me up when I feel like the mountain of work is too much.

This is a photo that Rick took
when he went to check out Nyon
for the first time.

You can see the condensation overhead, as the boat had sat neglected for close to a year. The original bronze portlights were painted, the whole cabin needed a fresh coat of paint. Starboard, you can see the old counter, with the old single sink. There was no oven. There were hand pumps in the galley and head, which we switched to foot pumps. The wiring was completely redone. (Read about it here). And the list goes on. And on.

When Rick took me to see the boat for the first time, (to see if I felt it was the boat for us), I wondered just how much work it would take to turn this boat into our home. (Little did we know.) But the feeling of excitement was predominant. We both just knew this was going to be "our" boat.

The cabin today.

Monday, 20 April 2009

spring has sprung

Left: Happy to be on the water, while prayingto the wind gods that a nice wind may grace us.
Right: Enjoying the unexpected sunshine

Keeping warm at anchor

We are thrilled that Spring has finally arrived. This winter was a little harder to get through than usual. We did less winter sailing than last year. But we're ready to make up for it and leave the dock as often as possible this spring! We sailed to Pender Island on Easter weekend. It's like camping in your own backyard, but a getaway nonetheless. It was time to leave Downtown Victoria and
let Nyon do what she does best...

Left: The gods answered, we enjoyed sailing to homeport
Right: Happy Sailors


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