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There is just so much going on!

Faithful readers please know that we have not forgotten our duties to keep the lines of communication open.  We have a lot of projects going on right now and we've been waiting for just one of them to finish before writing our newest installment.  But, as many of you have read here before you can understand that things don't always go as planned.  So we want to check in and let you know what we are doing right now and give you some previews on what you can expect to see in the near (we hope) future.

1.  Major generator work.  Cygnet is a 30 year old boat and her engines and generator are just as old. How many of you have a 30 year old car that starts and runs perfectly every time?  Well Cygnet was having some generator issues toward the end of last season and we decided to have a proper mechanic check it out.  Right now the generator looks like this:

This doesn't look good.
The mechanic (Tony's Marine Service) has taken the cylinder head and exhaust manifold off for testing in his shop.  He's waiting for parts and will hopefully have it back together in the next couple weeks, it has already been nearly a month.  This generator had a major meltdown before we bought Cygnet as noted by the scorched head and surrounding wiring holders and other bits.  We knew that there were chances that it may not last forever, but the previous owner assured us it ran fine, which it did, for a year and a half.  Update to come soon.

2.   While you are in there... Since the generator was getting work done we decided to get the engines tuned.  Our port engine smoked a bit and never seemed to have the power that the starboard engine had.  The mechanic did a complete tune up and found some disturbing things.  We had done a basic tune on both engines when we bought the boat after learning how vital new spark plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor can be to a smoothly running engine with our beloved Two Wrights.  Kevin knows better than to trust the part numbers on anything he replaces, so he did the research online and ordered all the right parts for the Crusader 454 big blocks, which did not match what was there.  Well, according to our mechanic he screwed that up and the engines were running on a wing and a prayer. The spark plugs were not the right ones and were causing some problems.  Even though the engines ran better with the new parts it was not running the way it should and it resulted in the electrical system trying to eat itself.  Take a look at the images below to see what we are talking about.

What a good rotor should look like.

Very bad.  This should not have been running.

So the mechanic, after a long lecture telling Kevin that he is his own worst enemy, got the engines running beautifully.  He also added water separators on all three units, which none had.  Water separators filter water from the fuel system so it doesn't get in your engine and are on every boat we've ever seen, except Cygnet.  They are vital with modern fuels since they contain ethanol which attracts water, and after sitting for a while can cause very large problems in your system.

3.  Our canvas and Eisenglass enclosure on the flybridge is great, but what was there was not in very good shape.  This year the Eisenglass started to break, not just crack but actual chunks would break out.  Eisenglass is the clear vinyl that you can see through, roll up out of the way for air, and keeps the weather out.  It's wonderful stuff but very expensive and only lasts about 10 to 15 years.  Ours was at its end.  The canvass bimini top (roof of the flybridge) was also worse for wear.  It had a bunch of mold grow on the inside during storage prior to our purchasing and looked a bit nasty.  We had sprayed it with mold killer that also helps eliminate the staining but it was still very apparent.  The canvass had also shrunk over the years and was very hard to snap to the boat, leaked when it rains, and the zippers were nearly impossible to move.  This year we knew it was time to get it all completely redone and it's a project underway.  About half has been done by canvas guru Nick and the rest should be done soon.  It looks fantastic, you can actually see out of the Eisenglass, the zippers work, and the new Sunbrella looks clean and nice.  We'll reserve judgement on water tightness for a big storm, but it looks as though it should work out just fine since it fits very well.

4.  New cabinets and storage.  This could really be it's own post, so we won't go into too much detail here.  We have a new bar door, shoe cabinet, lower helm turned into wine rack, and dishwasher install going on with S Squared Cabinetry right now.  The wine rack is in and we have to say their work is excellent.  Much more information to come on this at a later date. 

Here is a teaser of the wine rack being installed.

5.  Clean up and general de-winterization.  All the wrap is off with the exception of a couple thin sheets of clear plastic on the large side windows since the weather still isn't balmy every day yet.  We have our neighbor Jim doing a great job washing, polishing, and waxing everything above the rub rail and we've been concentrating on the interior.  There is a lot of gunk after six months of winter. Thanks to West Marine brand black streak remover, 303 clear vinyl protective cleaner, microfiber cloths, and elbow grease things are coming clean.

There are a lot more small projects coming which we'll talk about soon.  This year we hope to get Cygnet up to the point that we really don't have any major projects left, at least for a little while. Wish us luck.  So, Water We Thinking about our project list?  It's going to be an expensive Spring, but after it's all done we think Cygnet will be in great shape and we'll be able to enjoy her even more than before.


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