This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Monday 8 July 2024

More boat work

 Did I say we were done with the bathroom or wet bath (called the “Head”) in the boat? Well, it turned out there were more tasks we had to do to finally close the door.

Reggy and Elsa enjoying lazing on the deck

After painting the wall (behind it are the electrical hookups etc) opposite of the sink with an oil based paint, the floor looked kind of shabby. Benno sanded it and filled previous holes with epoxy. The previous paint was epoxy based so that was what we had to purchase to apply on top. It needed four coats with a day of drying time in-between coats. There was a wooden corner cover that hides the water hoses to the shower and I had it painted with the oil based paint. Benno thought it might look better with the epoxy paint to match the rest. However, applying the epoxy over oil did not go well and it bubbled up. That turned into another four days of paint coats :-(  Then Benno decided to cut, router and sand strips of teak wood to screw and glue onto the step in the bathroom to avoid slipping on that now shiny painted floor when taking a soapy shower. After all that a few seams got GE Silicone sealer for water proofing. Finally done with that, I hung the shower curtain (temporarily to see how it fits) and Benno hung a full length mirror on the door. But I’m sure we are done now with this part of the boat!!

In the meantime the awkward hanging locker in front of the V-berth (forward bed) got removed and we are working on a new design. Benno installed a shorter bulkhead (wall) and covered it with the panelling we have. Also the side walls of the V-berth are being covered and that takes a while to do as he has to make a template for each section before cutting the odd shapes. He finished the bow (front) part already, including replacing the faulty anchor winch with a new Lewmar Pro Series.  Pictures of the interior forward cabin will be posted when we have more to show. Oh, and before I forget, we got a new anchor, a 15kg Rocna, that will be our main anchor and be mounted on the bow roller.

So my hubby spends most days in or around the boat while I run the house and outside chores. On Saturday before the long weekend I was going to wash a load of laundry when after filling the machine  the door would not close on my Bosch washing machine. Well, it turned out the electrical magnetic lock was busted. I guess after probably a thousand plus times of opening and closing it was time to go on the fritz. Of course it had to happen on a weekend, right. Thanks to YouTube we (Benno) learned how to remove the broken part, find it on the internet and found who sold the original manufactured part for us to get it. It involved a trip, but we had a trip already planned for boat parts etc. the following week, so it was basically on the way. Reinstalling the new door lock turned out to be a bit more complicated I presume than taking it out as I heard some expletives coming from the laundry room while Benno was working on it. All done now and several loads of laundry finished. 

Although it gets pretty hot in our area most days, we are enjoying this summer weather. Of course having central air-conditioning and a Dyson fan running in the boat helps. Hoping you are all well and make the most of this time of year, I thank you for dropping in again. Until next time.

Monday 17 June 2024

June happenings

 So you are wondering what has happened in our lives since I last wrote. I sanded and stained the deck again this year which really needed it. The garden is a constant, but I think the garden soil I had purchased on a special deal is not of a good deal quality and all potted veggies and flowers could do a lot better. The zucchini have not produced and I see only male flowers on them, so no good. We had a couple of frosty nights and some geraniums suffered and shrunk. And to top it off, we had a hail storm that lasted over half an hour where it pelted down on our poor shrubs. The hail pellets stayed on the ground for a few hours afterward would you believe it. And uptown they didn’t even have rain, only we down here got punished.

The hail just kept coming

yes, the plants suffered under this torment

Even the birds looked for shelter wherever they could

Someone has to do it!

Progress on the boat is ongoing, some ceiling panels were installed, bathroom walls were painted, a new bathroom vent that runs on 12V and solar got put in. The shower mixer and shower head were hooked up and the floor is currently being worked on. 

Also Albatross has a hydraulic steering system like most boats. This system was manufactured in Australia and is actually a well known quality brand. However here in Canada and in the USA it is lacking a spare parts supply. In the future we would like to add a hydraulic autopilot that can steer the boat to a GPS waypoint that we pre programmed. But, to our dismay, our hydraulic system had a pressure leak which spilled some hydraulic fluid at a non accessible location. Using his flashlight Benno located the leak on a coupling between two hydraulic Nylon high pressure tubing pieces from the steering pump to the rudder cylinder. To fix that we had to pull out the hydraulic tubing line but after inspection we decided to replace both lines und use fitting and tubing from the American Seastar Steering System that is widely available throughout North America. That will simplify the installation of the Autopilot as well.

a bit cramped access under the cockpit

The leaking culprit: A coupling

If you look at the width of the compression rings:
top=small, middle=bigger, bottom= nice large size
top: is the leaking hardware store unit
middle: the Australian Hydrive original which is okay
bottom: the new American SeaStar unit

Once we had pulled out the old hydraulic tubing and Benno found the culprit of a leaking coupling, he noticed that the compression rings were not Australian or American types, but probably came from a hardware store that supplies airlines for compressors and it could not handle the steering fluid pressure. When the new hydraulic tubing and associated fittings from Seastar arrived, I gave Benno a hand to feed the new lines in, which was a finicky job.

feeding the stiff and coiled hydraulic lines
This is the tool to cut the hydraulic Nylon tubing

Last Saturday we participated in the town-wide Yard Sale. We had quite a pile of accumulated stuff. Most people sold from their yards and garages, but we are more remote located and likely would have not too many people come out. We asked to set up on a vacant land in town where the Mennonites had set up several tables and they also had hot dogs on a grill for sale. Turned out we made a good choice and are happy that almost everything we had was sold.

We are supposed to have some hot weather coming our way, so boat related work will have to be done in the early morning hours before the heat in the boat starts baking us. 

Hoping everyone is having a great summer. Thanks for dropping in again.

Friday 24 May 2024

No need for a snowblower right now

Well, this month has been great so far and we have been super busy. My complaint about the rain must have been heard, because we have been blessed with sunshine and really nice temperatures thereafter. Of course the pesky small fish or May flies came out, but other than leaving a tiny green smudge wherever they landed, they are harmless, don’t sting and die off a couple of days later. We don’t have black flies down here in southern Ontario and I have not seen many mosquitoes, so we can sit out on our deck in the afternoons enjoying the weather.

Poppies starting to bloom

The lawn cutting kept me occupied more than I wanted, but the grass has slowed down growing this last week. While cutting I came across a bunch of dried clippings piled on the lawn. Upon investigation and a peak underneath, I saw it was a rabbit nest doug out into a slope just as I suspected. Only two little bunnies were snuggled inside. I left it alone and cut around it. Late at night we saw mama Rabbit come to the nest to nurse her offspring.

Rabbit Nest

A couple of little bunnies

I checked daily to make sure they were tended to. One morning about three weeks later the nest was empty but, huddled underneath my (Veronica Whitewater flowering bush) sat one little frightened bunny. It was also there the next morning. Since then there have been no sightings of any rabbits.

I am too frightened to come out

Again as in previous years I have planted a few veggies into pots and placed them along the back wall of the garage. They get full sun there and are a bit protected from rain. Hopefully they will produce a good harvest. As to the perennials, I have to wait a bit longer for them to show their flowers, but annuals are doing fine.

A gift from my sis

On Mother’s Day my sister thought it would be a good idea to spend it together so she and her husband came for a visit. We both baked cakes that you cannot purchase anywhere here to share and I got gifted a handmade stepping stone that my sister made with inlayed stained glass in the form of a turtle. She is so talented and you should see her other creations!

Plum butter twist coffee cake from my sis

Haselnut Marzipan Torte

Salmon Wellington dinner

And finally, Benno has been busy too. He fixed the damage on our travel trailer that we received when the tire exploded. I made him take my John Deere lawnmower apart to have the blades sharpened and to adjust the steering. Of course he is busy with the boat also but for all those projects he has going I will add them to another blog post as they need explaining. 

Not an easy fix, but he did it

Can't see a diddle thing now

Wishing everyone a nice and relaxing weekend. Thanks for dropping in.

Sunday 5 May 2024

Small accomplishment

Another week flew by before we knew it. Thankfully it did not rain as much as predicted but enough to make the ground very soggy. Every step towards Benno’s shed and the boat was squishy squashy and I had to wear my rubber boots all week to keep my socks dry. Benno almost had to wear his diving gear to get to the boat. HaHa! I wasn’t sure if and when I could cut the grass again as it grew like crazy. Yesterday, Saturday, I trimmed the worst and longest and then finally cut with the John Deere. Benno helped and pushed the Husqvarna but got stuck a few times even with the blade raised. Well, I show you the two bags of cuttings I raked up afterwards. They weigh a ton!

We made a trip to Home Depot in Windsor to purchase another set of LED shop lights for the garage. The additional lighting sure helps when Benno has to do the lumber cutting inside. He cut the mahogany wood to make a cabinet door frame with a slot to hold an insert to blend in with the bathroom paneling. We had decided to use the same material for the insert as the wall panels and glue two pieces together so the inside of the door looks like the outside. 

The drying time for the epoxy glue used in the frame is a day, then the insert goes in and another day of drying for the top part. Also the varnishing for each side took a day between drying. We realized we should have looked for the hinges, door knob and locking mechanism while we were in Windsor, so had to make another trip, this time to Lee Valley Tools where we found what we needed.

After installing the door Benno cut another small piece of wood for the angled gap above the door. (There are so many angles and odd shapes in the boat, but he has to work with what we have.) In the end, I think it looks pretty good and is functional and much better than what it was when we got the boat. So now he can concentrate on other areas in the boat while we are waiting for some parts from Amazon.

My garden is waking up and it’s exciting to see what has survived our last winter with the yo-yo temperatures. My two Purpleleaf Sand Cherry trees at the corner berms are in full bloom. They seem to be happy about all that rain.

So that is it for my little update for today. Thanks for dropping in.

Sunday 28 April 2024

I wish it would not be raining so much

After some very nice warm and sunny days at the beginning of April I was hopeful to get lots accomplished on our property. Well, some got done, but then we slid into wintery temps again and so much rainfall that put a stop to my outdoor activities. The grass grew nevertheless and I took the weed trimmer out to pre cut some of the grass as it was already so high and too wet for the mowers. Then when we had a few days of dry and sunny conditions I cut it all down with the John Deere tractor and the Husqvarna push-mower. However, in a matter of a few days it’s regrown already! Oh, the fun of garden maintenance.

Yes, the cats have been in it again ;-(

So enough lamenting about the wet conditions. I’m happy that the spring flowers are all in full bloom and seem to survive despite the neighbour cats using my flowerbeds as their preferred litter boxes. And finally, the Orioles have arrived! Now I’m waiting for the Hummingbirds as they should also be on their way. Benno and I love to watch the birds on our feeders while we are sitting at the table eating our meals. As I grew up, I had no patience for birds, but my grandmother used to sit by the window for hours with binoculars watching the birds in her garden. Funny how our interests change as we grow wiser and older.

Took the photo through the rainy window

This Northern Flicker kept pecking at our lawn. Had to use my tele through the window.

Benno is also waiting for the weather to improve. He spent some time to adhere labels to most of the electrical wires in the boat so it will be easy to identify where they are connected to. We have three different kinds of label makers in our household to do jobs incl. a wire label printer and it had been a bit tedious to do but so worth it in the long run when you have a electrical problem you will be able to identify the right wire. 

A closeup of the lettering on the electrical wires

More labeling inside the electrical panel

This label maker is for the wire lettering

The new sink and faucet had arrived and installing it was no easy task as they sit above the holding tank for the toilet and there is not much room to work with. That is done now and a mirror cabinet got installed above. The cupboard type cabinet in the odd shaped crevice adjacent to the counter is next to get finished. 

The sink and faucet installed

The mirror cabinet installed above

The plumbing for underneath, notice the two round inspection holes in back

That is how the drain of the sink and hot and cold water for the faucet are installed underneath
as seen through the round inspection port

That is how Benno had to work through the inspection ports to hook up the plumbing

After rethinking the navigation arrangement in this boat and all the rewiring Benno is doing, he decided to depart with the Raymarine Radar with Navionics Charts, Plotter and GPS units that are probably now 15+ years old. We sold them quickly on Marketplace and ordered new equipment. 

A photo of our ad for the old equipment

The new Furuno GPS Chart  Plotter- Fishfinder Combo on the dashboard will be coupled to a new Furuno Radar DRS4W that is wireless except for the actual power cable. The Radar display can be called up on the Plotter, iPhone or iPad. How convenient! So no new extra holes have to be drilled into the cabin roof. Bonus! 

The new Furuno GPS-Chart-Plotter-Radar-Fishfinder Combo

All hooked up and ready to display

For all the woodwork jobs requiring the saws etc. Benno wants to do them outside to avoid all that dust inside the garage, so weather depending. In the meantime he also is problem solving of how to modify the existing steering for a future autopilot. The boat came with a hydraulic wheel steering system made in Australia to which we cannot get easily parts locally. Yes, building or rebuilding a boat involves a lot of problem solving, but my hubby is pretty good at that. So I’m hopeful at the outcome.

The hydraulic steering pump apart in Benno's shop

That’s all for my little update for now so you don’t think I have abandoned my blog. See you hopefully soon again with more details.

Thanks for dropping in.