A Port Townsend Recap

Well, we’ve finally moved on from our extended stay in Port Townsend and find ourselves in the San Juan islands. Since it’s been several weeks since we’ve posted an update, let me try to bring all you faithful readers up to speed on what we’ve been up to.

If you’re as fond of the inner workings of boat projects as we are, start here. If you could care less, just scroll down.

All the Boat Stuff We did in Port Townsend

The Big Stuff

Most of our stay revolved around our need to get our drivetrain in order. As with any boat project, you open a small Pandora’s box that will entail a couple other while-we’re-in-there-it-makes-sense-to-get-it-done-now jobs.

For us, this entailed:

  • A completely rebuilt Velvet Drive and Walter V-drive unit.
  • A new dampening plate for the transmission.
  • A new set of R&D engine mounts to replace the Westerbeke originals.
  • A few important fasteners that were past their prime.
  • A new crankshaft pulley.

We found out about the pulley when we were doing the final alignment checks after the drivetrain was installed. Luckily, we found another parts source for our engine (cough … cough … other than the Westerbeke network) and were able to get something priority shipped and not have to wait longer than a day for our mechanic. Whew.

We took a day to test run everything in the bay after bringing the drivetrain up to temperature. Now everything purrs like it’s supposed to and the temps are nowhere near what we saw coming up the coast.

We also re-installed our Hyrdovane drive shaft with the XL shaft I had picked up in Vancouver, and got the drive unit and rudder fitted in place. Carrie and I spun the boat around like we knew what we were doing and this only took a few hours one day.

Geez, I almost forgot that we re-wired the Electroscan (our toilet treatment unit) to resolve the low voltage errors from the control panel. The previous wiring was only 10 gauge and I re-ran 6AWG per the manual.

All the Other Stuff

The boat came with a defunct VHF radio mounted in the cockpit. I bought a new one and got that installed. We replaced the Outhaul line as it was sunfaded and looked awful. The block on the outhaul car got an upgrade too.

Carrie made several sets of canvas covers – one for one of our hatches, another for our transom flag, and the last for our autopilot control head. She also managed to patch up a few of the gelcoat spots on the coach roof.

All the Non-Boat Stuff We did in Port Townsend

We got to see the Seventy 48 race complete and watch the start of the Race to Alaska. We met up with Alan Bergen on S/V Thirsty and shared some fish & chips with him, then later sent him off on his summer cruise. Crews from S/V Junovia & S/V Jubilee came in (and came back) and we got to share the dock with them both times. We had a nice coffee meetup with the always delightful Mr. Ian Weedman.

We had the nicest dock neighbor in Greg, of F/V Arminta, who always took time to chat with us on a daily basis, even sharing some fresh fish from his hold.

We flew our drone for the first time. We took long walks into and across town and counted the deer in Uptown. A little known trivia fact is that the cinematic classic An Officer and Gentlemen was filmed in Port Townsend and nearby Fort Worden (I tried my best to re-enact the scene where Richard Gere Kung Fu kicks is way into Debra Winger’s heart in his dress whites, but we dispute the exact location.)

We did take a day trip over to Fort Flagler. I learned the hard way to always make reservations on the Coupeville ferry.

Departing Port Townsend for San Juan Island

We left Port Townend on a sunny Tuesday morning and had a really uneventful crossing northward up the eastern end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This can be a busy area with the inbound and outbound commercial traffic headed for Seattle or Vancouver BC. There also tends to be a series of small craft to Gale warnings here as pressure gradient builds, resulting in the sporty to gusty winds, so we picked a really mellow day to get ourselves moved.

More on that in our next post.

Thanks for reading!


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