The End is Near
It all happened at once. The end of winter works. Spring showing its warmer rays. A look ahead at future cruising.
On a bright Monday, both Pacific Marine Center and S3 called to come on board and get started on their respective repairs.
Pacific Marine Center (PMC) would change the engine mounts, while S3 would install the newly received air conditioning unit.
We agreed to a logical time table and the next day set off to PMC's dock, since we'd decided it would be easier for all if the boat was there during the engine mount changes.
Meanwhile S3 worked on installing the new AC unit. It ended up fitting perfectly in place of the old one, and the technician was even able to use the standard communication cable to the main cabin's thermostat and controls.
Not to say there weren't some last minute troubles: Upon firing it up we realized the compressor was never switching on. A quick fault finding session showed the main control board was a dud: A new urgent one was dispatched overnight.
We all breathed a sigh of relief when upon installation the unit fired up completely normally.
One last setup tweak and we've been running it hard the last days to make sure it works fine. So far, so good: We treated ourselves to a really nice "Made in America" unit, with a titanium condenser that should last us a very long time. It has a softer start than the old one, and should be more efficient too.
The AC had been our main reason to winter in Anacortes, as we were waiting for the logistics chain to catch up: That wait is now over, and it's looking good that we'll be cruising soon again.
The engine mount swap was a lot faster and easier than I expected. Alex at PMC had done his research well, and everything went in fast and smoothly.
The tech had to disconnect the exhaust, support and raise the back of the engine to have full access to remove the old mounts and squeeze in the new ones. With new ones in place, he realigned everything up, reconnected the exhaust and we were on our way for a sea trial.
I was rather brutal during the sea trial, as I had full confidence in the repairs. We went full speed ahead to full astern, and did a number of tight maneuvers: All confirmed everything was fine down in the engine room, main engine and transmission.
That was the end of that important job.
Back at our dock, with signs of early spring, I set about to detail the boat and concentrate on the outdoors jobs.
Enfin was due for a full polish and wax job. It's a huge endeavor and that's when we realize how big a 40 footer really is!
The last time we had it done we had a professional team: They spent a whole week detailing the boat, so I figure it'll take me quite a while on my own!
But I've got time, and it will help me regain my strength and endurance, so working a few hours every sunny day I'll eventually get the whole boat done.
I'll be polishing and waxing. The gelcoat is already looking good, a testament to the great quality materials Nordhavn use.
On colder days, I kept tackling the few minor items left: In particular the furnace cycling pump that had been dying. It is the pump that circulates the heated water around the boat to keep things nice and toasty in the cabins and salon.
It runs whenever there is a demand from one of the 3 heating zone, whether the heat comes from the furnace or from the engine's waste heat.
It's a rather important little pump for our daily comfort, so I decided to order a full pump assembly as well as a motor replacement.
Only the motor had died, from the sound of it of a failed ball bearing, so we now have a full pump in spare should we ever need it.
Another task to strike off the list was to arrange for increased navigation range with our insurance. As it'd been 5 years since our last survey, our underwriters wanted a new one done. I was fine with that, but managed to convince them we had taken the boat out recently enough and we didn't need to incur extra costs of hauling the boat out again.
The survey went well. The Anacortes Nordhavn office, as useful as ever, had given us the name of a surveyor. He was available at short notice: After spending a relaxed 3 hours on the boat, he left us with a list of 5 minor recommendations. One didn't apply as the rule he quoted is for vessels over 40 feet. Enfin is officially documented at 39 feet 9 inches.
I took care of the remaining recommendations immediately, confirming the schedule to underwriters.
This meant replacing our white masthead running light. It had been temperamental for a while and I already had a spare on board so the surveyor's recommendation wasn't a surprise to me.
A couple of climbs up the mast and about 1 hour of work and we now have a brand new modern all LED running light. Fingers crossed but these new LEDs should never need changing.
List dealt with, we now have a great navigation range from Alaska to Acapulco with logical seasonal exemptions, in particular during hurricane season.
With Enfin in full working order and looking spiffy, we're feeling ready to go and explore our large new navigation limits.
First we will do a local shake down cruise in the local islands, just as a last check before we venture further away.
It feels great to see the end of winter, the end of the big maintenance and upgrade jobs. It feels even better to see our horizons expand South, and we're looking forward to starting our new adventures.