I want to start this post by wishing all my friends a happy and prosperous new year.
Our weather has been very typical for this time of year. The north wind blows pretty hard 6 days out of seven making wind sailors happy. It hasn't made conditions very nice for fishermen. Morning temperatures have dropped to the low sixties and water temp is down to around 70 degrees.
We have been hard at Jen Wren maintenance but I have gotten fishing reports that the bite is outstanding on the odd day when boats can get out. Dorado, marlin and sailfish are all in the mix off La Ribera. I spoke with one skipper that landed 4 wahoo a couple days ago. Also early mornings walking the beach I'm watching sierra mackerel busting large schools of bait. Pounding surf just hasn't allowed tin boaters to get out after them.
For the last month and a half my crew has been working hard 6 days a week on winter maintenance. I'm hoping to have all of our projects on the boats completed by the end of February. Friends have asked how in the world could you spend so much time completing this work?
I started looking at all the pumps that need to be checked on the boats and was amazed. Just on Jen Wren III each motor has a fresh water cooling pump, raw water cooling pump, diesel lift pump and diesel fuel pump. Times that by 3 (including the 110Volt generator motor) adds up to 12 pumps. Then there is 3 bilge pumps, a salt water wash-down pump, freshwater wash-down pump, A/C raw water pump, fresh water maker pump, macerator pump, toilet vacuum pump, head drain pump, auto pilot hydraulic pump, helm pump, two fish storage macerator pumps, 3 bait pumps and an engine oil changing system pump.
Adding it up this one boat has a mind blowing 30 different pumps. I know it is not a matter of if each pump will fail it is a matter of when. Some are more critical than others for us to stay in operation but in my mind every one is important. That is just the pumps on one boat.
On the motors valves must be calibrated, heat exchangers and after coolers cleaned, belts, hoses, alternators and anti-freeze all checked and replaced as needed. Transmission oil and filters, cutlass bearings, rudder bearings and strut bearings all must be checked. Gremlins show up in the weirdest places and now is the time to find them.
Both cruisers are getting complete hull restoration and Awl Grip paint this winter. This spring they will look like brand new boats. Jen Wren is getting a new auto pilot and depth sounder. Jen Wren III is getting a whole new Simrad electronics package that includes 2 touch screen combination plotters, auto pilot, broad band 4G radar, sounder and satellite weather module.
I haven't even mentioned the work that goes into maintaining our fishing equipment.
Every rod is inspected tip to butt. A little chip in the finish is like a cancer if not repaired. Every roller guide is disassembled to check the bearings and reel seats are lubricated. At the start of our season every rod will look like new and be ready for battle.
This is the first year I decided to let Accurate do all of our reel maintenance. There is just not enough hours in the day for me to do it all. Accurate has an incredible system. Their technicians go through a check list with each reel and I receive a full report that includes any bearings or parts that were replaced. It is interesting that all this info goes in their data base. If they find a certain model reel continually wearing out the same part R&D will figure out why. That is just one of their ingredients to producing the best reels on our planet.
Yes, we have lots to do. One by one projects are getting checked off our list as we prepare for spring.
Inventorying spare pumps we carry on Jen Wren III
Hull restoration on Jen Wren came out awesome. We just put new lettering on the stern and the crew is starting to check the diesel motors
Love my morning walks. We found these little guys a couple days ago.