Archive | Family RSS feed for this section

Starter? I Hardly Knew Her.

24 Oct

 

From Andy,

Since the day we bought Tango we have always had a nagging problem with our ignition system. The two Yanmar diesel engines have both displayed the same crazy frustrating behavior. Turning the key an pushing the starter button always yielded varying degrees of success. Generally one would have to push the starter button around 15-20 times to finally hear the reassuring sound of the solenoid engaging the starter followed by the even more reassuring sound of the engines roaring to life. That nagging problem ended today. Well, on the starboard engine anyway.

Before we left Maryland we had a diesel mechanic come aboard and check out the engines. We told him about the issue and he kind of hmm’d and hawed, but couldn’t figure out what the problem was. We should have been persistent, but, I think at the time we just thought we could live with it. For the years that we have cruised on Tango, we have done just that. Lived with it. However, living with it has always kept me up at night. What if we are drifting towards a bridge or trying to get out of the way of an oncoming cruise ship? Pressing the starter button in the hopes that it would kick over is, ultimately, not a satisfactory answer when lives are at stake.

So, scouring the internet for many days, I finally came across a possible solution. Apparently there are two wires that run from the key switch and the starter button that tend to degrade quite badly over time. This degradation increases the resistance and when that happens, there are not enough amps to kick over the starter motor. Solution? Replace the two wires with some shiny new wires and a new 30 amp fuse.

Since running wires on Tango is a major pain in the arse, I started the experimental fix on the starboard engine first. (Why do they make some boats so hard to work on?) The run between the key switch and the starter is only a few feet on the starboard side and, within a few minutes I had the wires running from the source to destination.

Long story short, I just ran the wires along the pathway for the existing wires, cable tying as I went along. A few splices and connections later, the time came to test the system out. First press of the starter was a success. Could be a fluke, though. Second time? Success! Third, fourth and fifth time? Great success! The fix was remarkably easy and I feel stupid that I let self doubt of my abilities get in the way of fixing something important.

Bad Andy.

 

If you happen to have the same issue, here is a link to the original article that I used for this fix.

 

Now, on to the port engine. This one will be much trickier as there is quite a long and convoluted run from the ignition switch to the starter. Onward and upward, as they say.

A different kind of adventure

24 Jan

We rented a house! Now we are true landlubbers.

There are lots of reasons we decided to move off Tango (for now), but a main one is that Tango needs some major TLC that’s tough to do while living aboard. Things like rebuilding the diesel engines (starboard is under Madi’s room). Other things include cleaning out every hold and removing the hidden piles of stuff we accumulated over the years that we don’t use anymore. One thing I’ve always loved about Fountaine Pajot design is the storage. Seems like we’ve filled up this house, and we haven’t started cleaning out the deep holds yet.

We expect this to take a few years (doing it slowly on our own), and since we aren’t leaving Portland any time soon a house seems like a good solution. Most of our family and friends felt like this was a good and logical thing to do, but it feels very revolutionary to us!

wp-1485288604103.jpg

The last few weeks we’ve been walking around the house talking about how decadent things feel with unlimited running water, an oven, a flushing toilet, a bathtub, a furnace, a normal address (no more “what is a slip?”), and high speed internet. One of the girls commented that she’s glad to have a foundation in our Tango life, because she appreciates things that others might take for granted.

Someday the cruising adventures will continue, but for now we look forward to land-based ones. Here’s to adventure!

Didn’t beat the first cold snap

9 Dec

Winter  arrived a bit early in Portland and I didn’t finish the enclosure. In fact, the last rolls of vinyl windscreen just arrived a day ago.

Oh, well! Perhaps it will warm up enough soon to make patterning outside a more enjoyable venture.

Happy ThanksgivingĀ 

25 Nov

The Tango crew wishes you all a very happy Thanksgiving from the Oregon coast.

Sixth Halloween aboard

31 Oct

As we float here in Portland dockland, we are feeling a bit of nostalgia…hope you all enjoy another Halloween!

2011: Our first Tango Halloween

2012: Sandy and journey prep

2013: Goodbye hurricane hole

2014: A very Harry Potter day

2015: Zombies in the food bank

 

Happy boaty October

11 Oct

Boo! Fall has definitely arrived, with temperatures getting cooler.

Image

You know it’s time to cast off the dock lines when…

16 May

image

Sundance Fire

12 Mar

Two weeks ago a large marina warehouse burned to the ground, destroying 350 boats, about a 1/4 mile away from Tango. Today, after weeks of continued rain the smell is still noxious and probably contains pockets of smoldering heat. Tango, and many other boats in the rows near us, were covered with a gritty, petroleum soot.

Glad that we hadn’t done any spring cleaning yet, and thankful we didn’t catch on fire, we spent the weekend trying to scrub off the worst of it.

image

View of warehouse debris from Tango

After much scrubbing, we got to a point that was less gritty and smudgy. Once the rain stops (haha), we’ll have to get on our hands and knees and detail her thoroughly, but isn’t that’s a part of spring cleaning anyway? Time to buy a few boxes of magic eraser!

image

Before and after – took three passes. 1) gel, 2) on and off, and then 3) magic eraser…which really is magic

Another year

29 Dec

It’s been quite a year for the Beck crew, as we have adapting to a larger land life with our first full year back in Portland. These including things like selling the adventure bus, buying an electric car, modifying our home situation to help out an aging family member, moving to a long-term home marina (which is much trickier in this area than the east coast!), making new Portland friends, selling our Maryland house, saying goodbye to an old doggy friend, gaining two new rescue doggy daughters, visiting London, and changing a job. Perhaps we did need a stationary year to find time to breath and center…although we are still sailing nomads at heart.

We look ahead to the joys a new year brings, hopefully with more boating adventures in the Northwest (for now). We want to wish you all a lovely New Year as well!

12366010_10206646432751188_5850157386325768920_o

A man and his crew

29 Nov

Happy frigid, early winter day from Portland, where it is in the mid-30s. Brrr!

image

Thankfully this isn’t the start of a Maryland winter where the water would have already been shut off.