10 Feb 20:
Time for WILLOW to get a bath but first, this is our 1000th blog post. We started the blog 7 years ago, with the hopes of sharing information on small boats, getting them back out into their natural habitat. Along the way we have restored about 30 boats, plus maintained our Armada. We might have added a few boats to our collection, namely ZIP, CHIP, ZSA ZSA, WILLOW, WINNIE, SCOUT, SMEDLEY, SACAGAWEA, CLARK and ST. JACQUES. It has been fun and we enjoy seeing boats go off with new Skippers. We have learned a lot along the way from kindred spirits and look forward to future adventures and collaborations.
Back to business, we had the cover off of WILLOW for several weeks, she went back on the lift after the end of hurricane season and we hoped to run her about. Weather and timing have not cooperated and this time of year the pine pollen is horrendous, so WILLOW was getting hammered with pollen, humid mornings and random rain storms. The pollen turns into mold if we don't remove it, so on the 10th she got a bath. We left her on the lift, grabbed a bucket, some Dawn dishwashing liquid and the garden hose and went to work. She got a freshwater soaping top to bottom, we ran the bilge pump to keep her pumped out. Once she was washed off I used our cordless wet vac to remove the last bits of water. WILLOW has a lot of frames in her bilge, with gaps where the frames pass over the lapstrake planking. And around her passenger compartment she has even more intermediate frames. All of those little gaps collect water and debris, so we spend a bit of time vacuuming out all of those laps and gaps. Then we let the residual moisture air dry.
We picked the 4 stroke Suzuki 25 because it had tilt/trim, we need that in our shallow water and it works great to run a different speeds, and with different loads of 2-4 passengers. The 4 stroke 25s put out the same amount of thrust as the original 2 stroke 35, plus it burns cleaner, uses straight marine gas and is quieter.
The stock 6 gallon gas tank was too big for the boat, so we switched over to two 3 gallon tanks that fit neatly under the aft seat. When not in use or drying the bilge we set them on the stringers, that allows plenty of airflow. When we remember we head out on the tank with the lowest quantity, if we run that dry we should have enough in the other tank to get home. And for weight and balance we put the battery portside aft, that helps balance the driver weight a bit. The bilge pump also has an automatic float switch.
WILLOW's steering was upgraded from cable and drum to push/pull at the suggestion of our Suzuki dealer, much safer. He also wired all of the electrical and put in a USB port.
Ready for Florida Spring.
Once she got dried out we put her cover back, the yellow cloud of pine pollen will be around til mid Spring.
Log of WILLOW.