Sunday, January 12, 2014

I've got gas

Diesel, that is. I mean, we've always had it, we just had no idea how much.

When we purchased Gimme Shelter, the fuel gauge showed 3/4 of a tank. After a trip to Galveston, it still showed 3/4 of a tank. We'd add five gallons of diesel, 3/4 of a tank. 

I finally crawled down in the lazarette and ground the positive cable on the fuel level sender. Hey, guess what? The fuel gauge moved. I immediately put a new fuel level sender unit on my Christmas list.

Thanks to my parents, one showed up in my stocking, and we finally set aside a work weekend.

Swapping a sending unit is a piece of cake. It's five screws and two wires. The hard part is getting to the tank. Luckily our rusted out hot water heater had been removed before we bought the boat creating easy access, which I don't think the previous owner ever had.

The old sender had some serious nastiness on the float, and it was almost too swollen to get it out of the tank.

When we turned the key, the gauge no longer showed 3/4 full. In fact, it showed less than 1/4. We then poured in a few gallons of diesel out of a jerry can just to make sure it would move. We turned the key back on, and sure enough ...

It felt good to tick a repair off our list. 

But then I took apart the refrigerator lid. It was rotting and growing fuzzy mold. I decided there was no salvaging it, so I had to bring it home to measure and build a new one this week.  There was just no way we could put something that was already molding back into the boat.  

We also thought we had found a newer more modern mid-ship hatch at the Boater's Resale shop, but after measuring about six times we decided it was just a little too small for the cutout, so we resolved ourselves to ordering more acrylic and Dow Corning 791 to attempt lens replacement for the third time and finally stop our leaking. After repairing the hatch twice already and still having leaks, I just can't take any chances that this time will not fix it.  

Then we tried to talk ourselves into buying a 16,500 BTU marine air conditioner, but after even more measuring and calculations, we decided that a unit that big pulling 20 amps might trip the breakers in Gimme Shelter if we were running the AC and any other electric device at the same time.  Not to mention that it wouldn't fit anywhere except in the closet. Even though our closet is not usable right now anyway, I had hoped to use it in the future. Especially when we have so much room under the settees.  

THEN I took the alcohol stove apart to survey the galley and decide if we really wanted to install the propane oven or not. There's enough space, but still no decision on whether it's worth it.  I'm so scared to cut up my kitchen! 

The to-do list and opportunities to spend money never end. However, as my dog was standing on my chest insisting on going outside at 4:30 a.m., I stepped outside and was reminded why we mess around with boats.