Prism's Blog

Fisheries, LED Lights, Water Heater Madness, and Deck Scrubbing

Friday May 24, 2013
          This last week has been very busy for both Jon and I. On monday I went to the chiropractor to get my back checked out and as it turns out, I had good reason for it to be hurting so much.  It is a week later and after 3 visits to the doc I am almost back to normal (well as normal as i can be), he thinks with a few more visits I will be feeling great just in time for our trip back to california. My friend lisa drew a picture of what my x-rays look like… —————–>>>
                                                       I feel like she is right on. 
      I am far from feeling 100% again, but at least I can walk with out crying and help Jon with some of our boat projects.  I have to keep my spine and neck as straight as possible, the  doc told me to think TALL and BE TALL.
       Jon got back from the east coast on monday afternoon and the projects started the next morning. We woke up and made our way to seattle after my doc appointment. I had read about a second hand marine store up here and I thought it was like a Minney’s which is down in Newport beach which is like heaven for Jon and I, we make it a point to stop by every time we are down south, so you can imagine our excitement on our way to this shop. We had a few things that I did not sell at the swap meet that we were looking to sell there. We were so let down to find out it was a consignment store. Oh well, we will just sell the last items online. We looked around and I was VERY happy to find Galleyware wine glasses for $2.00!!! (for you non boaters.. galleyware is a brand of dishes made for boats, these wine glasses normally sell for about $10.00 each) So i bought the lot of them, and lucky for me they were the green stem glasses which match my plates and coffee mugs! WHOOP WHOOP! It is the little things in life that count, right 🙂 
Jon and the “Suicidal Lighter”
Once we left Second Wave we headed over to the marine mecca store called Fisheries, this place is likeWest Marine on steroids but with the low prices of Defender. Needless to say Jon and I were like 2 kids in a candy store. Our mission was to buy all new LED lights for the inside of Prism and to buy a new water heater cause the propane one that was in the boat already… well it was more or less a JOKE.    While Jon was taking it down he found a lighter with lighter fluid still in it, but it was melted and deformed just about ready to pop and the next person who would have turned on the propane heater, well I am pretty sure it would have a big fire-ie mess.———————->
We picked out our water heater and our lights plus some little things here and there, along with some rubbing compound so we could try and buff the hull.  At the check-out we took bets on how much everything would cost, lets just say I was WAY over and Jon was very close. We did open up an account for “new boat owners” which gave us a healthy discount on every item, without that discount I think my guess would have been right on. (thats what i keep telling myself).  
We left the marine store found a little mexican restaurant had some lunch and headed over to the head quarters of REI to kill some time while we waited for rush hour traffic to die down. We have been looking into getting a pair of folding bikes for the boat, and REI was having a huge sale so we though now would be a good time to get at least one for me to ride around on while Jon is out for work. The price was a little to high so we punted on buying one for now. As we headed for the door we had to walk past all the kayaks, which is also something we have been wanted to buy for the boat because we don’t have a dingy right now and we really enjoy being able to row or paddle thoughout the marina. Plus it will be great while we are in the San Juan’s. Thinking about wether we should get 2 singles or 1 tandem, we decided on the tandem not only for space saving, but cause it was less expensive to buy the one then it was to buy 2 singles. We walked out of REI with a very fun new toy that we could wait to try when we got home. After the water heater install of corse….
When we made it back to the boat, everything that Jon had put away under the rear cabin berth had to come out, along with all the tools to make room for the water heater. Prism was a MESS! 
Before we started on the water heater we tackled the LED lights first. Jon had an ingenues idea for our night vision lights, instead of buying the $$$ already made red lights, we  bought the normal warm white lights and a red sharpie. WORKS GREAT!                 
  For an $11.00  bulb and a $3.00 Sharpie, beats paying $30.00 each. So now Prism is all LED and so must brighter well the inside that is!  The out side lights are next. It cost us about $200.00 and we are saving A LOT of amps! 
As for the water heater install. We decided to remove two of our eight 6v deep cell batteries, they had already been disconnected, they where physically bloating and where literarily dead weight on the stbd side. After doing some mental calculations on how much power we think we will burn at anchor and after designing Tara’s power system we felt with all the lights now being LED and really the only power hungry items we have are the windlass and freezer. Plus Prism is already outfitted with two 85watt solar panels and a Balmar 120amp alternator. Plus Shannon has the want and need for wind generator before we leave on out big trip. so we feel that 750 amp hours (over double of what Tara had) should be more than ample. So with the two bad batteries out we had a little nook under the stbd quarter berth where nothing else can really fit that well. We originally picked one of the cheapest but well made water heaters, pretty much identical to the one on Tara (which has worked faithfully for the last three years.) However once we got the space all cleared up and did some TLC in the rear cabin (random wires hanging everywhere that did not lead to anything) and placed the heater in the spot we were hoping to install it in, it did not fit. Back to the drawing board! 
We spent some time looking through the fisheries catalog and came to the brutal conclusion that we would have to spend way more than just $200 to have hot water on this boat. Which is funny that now it is a necessity cause when we were building Tara Jon said that we did not need hot water, that is was a waste of space and power but I said no way will I live on a boat with no hot water!  I got my way and we had hot water which Jon came to really appreciate, (especially since he did most of the dishes) and said he was happy we did it. So you can imagine how hard it was for him using the VERY COLD water that comes from the tanks low in the water of Prism to wash the dishes for the last 10 days. This pushed the hot water install to a number one priority. 
 While we looked though the catalog we knew that we did not want an Isotherm water heater even though they are known to be one of the best and the most expensive. However we have heard from 2 different boat owners who had less than good luck with them. So we went with a Qucik water heater which is all stainless and has the closed cell foam around the tank like the Isotherm does and has the smallest diameter for the 5.5 gal tank of all the brands. List price is over $800.. a hard pill Jon and I were about to swallow. I called fisheries to make sure they had this tank in stock and asked what the price will be after our “welcome aboard” discount, when she said the price I had to ask her again to make sure I was not hearing things… $550.00!! SCORE!!!! We told her we would be there in an hour and to put the heater in will call.
When we opened the box to the water heater which is made in Italy we saw that we needed to find the fittings that are of the british standard. NOT EASY TO FIND ANYWHERE! Jon went to 6 different plumbing and hardware stores with no luck until the last store who had some adapters made out of stainless and were going to cost over $60.00 and still be a dodgy fit. Jon took the whole water heater out of the box to make sure he could get these fittings on correctly and wouldn’t you know it, there at the bottom of the box…. THE ADAPTOR FITTINGS!  Jon damn near hit the floor at the sight. ALWAYS LOOK IN THE WHOLE BOX is the lesson we learned that day. 
         Back to the boat and on our way to having hot water! After the chaos of the fitting mishap the install went very smooth. We prepped the hull and dynaglassed teak wood feet into place, where the tank mounts would screw into. The nice thing about this water tank is that is can be installed any way, it does not have to be 100% level and it can be horizontal or vertical.  We mounted it into place and connected the hose to make sure it would hold water.  Luckily the hose that went up to the propane water heater were the perfect length to make it to the new water heater.  Now it’s time for the hard part, connecting the power.  It should have been an easy task as Jon and I do know how to work with electrical  systems, for the most part (we did rewire Tara completely). However once we opened the panel to the switch board we were thrown a curve ball that we did not see coming. Who ever did the wiring last on this boat did a great job, looks great and I am sure it made complete sense to them, BUT to someone who was not there while it happened, well there is NO color code or pattern.
 It took us a long time to figure out what was what, and then a lot of trial and error to make sure we did not get reverse polarity. When we figured out the wiring ( for the most part, we will have to really dive deep into the electrical wiring another time to get a full understanding of what is what) we connected the heater and turned it on and waited for the water to heat. Then the water heater breaker popped. DAMN! It would last about 5 minutes and then pop again. It was only a 10amp breaker and we needed a 30amp. We did have one spare 30amp breaker, but we used it for the STBD outlet switch earlier that day. At this time it is now dark and the stores are closed so our hot water would have to wait till morning and after my doc appt. I ran over the west marine which is right down the street and it hurt to pay their full retail price for the breaker switch, but the need for hot water over powered the dent in my wallet. Once the larger breaker was installed we had hot water within Minutes of turning the bad boy on. HOT WATER!
The sun came out to play for a little and it got pretty warm, warm enough to be in shorts and Jon was going shirtless. We were looking at the teak decks and we both knew they needed some love. When we were at the Strictly Sail Boat Show back in April we were given some eco friendly teak cleaner with some instructions for use. We followed the instructions, one ounce of solution to one gallon of water and with a white scotch bright pad we went to work, correction Jon went to work, bending down like that would be very bad for my back and I don’t want to be breaking the doctors orders. 😉 
While Jon was scrubbing, you could see the dirt and grime  rush down the bulwarks making its way to the gunnels. It was just nasty brown muck that we were both very happy to wash away! Cause we were working on the turtle shell we did not wash the teak on top of the dog house or in the cockpit, that will come later. We were very anxious to see what the clean dry teak will look like. So while the sun was out we thought we should test out the new kayak. Right as we were getting in I grabbed my jacket cause there was a little wind, Jon was still rocking the no shirt.  Moving along with the ebb tide was great as we checked out all the boats in the marina noting that we would have the wind to help push us back to Prism. Then we saw the rain coming. We made cover under a huge catamaran, and hoped to just wait it out. Jon very quickly remembered that we left the companionway open and we needed to go back to
the boat ASAP.  We pushed out from under the cat and made a break for it. Just our luck the wind changed direction so now we are fighting a max ebb and a 5-10knt headwind in a torrential down poor. I was sure glad I grabbed my marmot jacket before we left the dock. Jon was not so lucky, it was a very cold and wet ride for him. As we slowly but paddling as fast as we could, made our way back the other boaters were looking at us like we were crazy and were most likely thinking  “they must not be from around here”. Making it back to the boat, Jon headed straight for a hot shower as I closed up the boat and dried up the water that had made its way inside.  
We would just have to wait till it stopped raining  to see what our nice clean teak decks will look like. 
It rained for 2 days. 

One thought on “Fisheries, LED Lights, Water Heater Madness, and Deck Scrubbing

  1. Hello! Looking at these pictures brings on a lot of emotion for me! It is all too familiar! The boat looks great though. What is the name of the teak cleaner you guys used? Looks like it worked really well.

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