September 2005
s/v Blue Sky is a 45' Down East Ketch rigged sailboat. Blue Sky has a draft of 7' and gross tonnage of 36,000 pounds.  We replaced the original Perkins 4.236 engine with a third generation Perkins M92.  It has Harken roller furling for the Genoa, Stays'l, Main & Mizzen sail.  Electronics include: Raytheon ST7001+ Autopilot, Raytheon 42 mile Radar, dual depth meters with one that is forward seeking sonar.  Wind & knot meters.  ICOM VHF with commandmic in cockpit.  ICOM ham/single side band radio.  Garmin GPS. The comforts include engine and 110 volt Thermtronics refrigeration for the reefer and icebox.  Force 10 engine and 110 volt hot water heater.  Force 10 propane gimballed galley range.  Presurized fresh water from two 150 gallon tanks.  Mermaid 110 volt airconditioning.

Baja Naval in Ensenada, Mexico we had new anti-fouling applied.  All thru-holes serviced or replaced.  Exterior teak stripped of varnish, bleached and oiled.  The feathering Max Prop was removed and shipped back to PYI in Seattle for a complete re-build/re-finish.  Replaced the cutlass and shaft mid-bearing  We attached a zinc plate to the exterior of the hull in order to properly bond the entire boat.  I added a guest galvanic isolator to the shore power receptical.  Removed the small side lights and patched the holes on the hull.  I replaced the side navigation lights with a aqua signal series 40 bicolor that I had a stainless steel plate welded on to the bow pulpit.  There are so many other jobs that were acomplished at Baja Naval that I would need to start a seperate web site to list them all. 

The picture on the left is a view looking forward.  At the bottom of the picture is the fresh water pump and secondary electric bilge pump.  I will locate those vertically in front of the dual racor fuel filters at the bottom of the picture on the port side.  The 8 Trojan T-125 brown batteries that are lined up 4 on each side are being replaced with 6 absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries for the "house bank".  I will also add two group 24 starter batteries that will be dedicated to the Perkins engine and the second dedicated to the Kohler generator.  The Kohler generator is at the top of the picture.  In the center is the Force 10 water heater.
Ensenada, Mexico
N 31.51.532

The Crew


s/v Blue Sky


Friends of s/v Blue Sky
I am currently having RJ's Marine Repairs re-wiring the entire boat.  I think the two pictures above, right will give you some indication why.  We will also re-wire the mizzen and main masts.  All interior lighting and exterior anchor light is being replaced with new fixtures and led bulbs.

We also installed a back-up battery charger to suplement the existing
Link 2000, Xantrex inverter/charger.  The back-up is a PT-14 three stage 12 volt from NewMar.

I bought some starboard from South Bay Plastics.  That is the stuff that industrial kitchens use for cutting board material.  Starboard is great on a boat becauce it does not rust, chip or flake.  You can cut, drill and tap it just like wood without any of the problems of wood.  I am using it for two projects.  I am sealing off the floor of the machine room.  The machine room is directly aft of the engine so the prop shaft runs right through it.  Leaving it exposed is not safest idea..  Some time previously someone removed a section of the engine room bulkhead that seperated the engine from the machine room.  I will use the starboard to re-construct that bulkhead.  This will dramatically reduce the engine noise into the rest of the boat.  It will also provide a safe/sturdy platform to stand/work on in the machine room.  The second project is to mount the fresh water pump, accumulator tank & seconday electric bilge pump on a piece of the starboard and hang that vertically near the hot water heater.  This will free up much needed space forward of the engine.

There are only a few major projects left.  One is a stainless steel combination dingy davit & mizzen boom traveler.  The second is having a new main sail with vertical battens replaced and one of the main mast standing rigging needs to be replaced.  I will need to out-source all three jobs, but I will manage their progress.    
We have just installed the new AC/DC electrical panels.  The top panel is the DC and below that is the AC.  I'm in the process of removing the old chain driven autopilot motor and installing the new Raymarine.  We removed all the instruments in the cockpit as they were attached to the boat with painted plywood.  I am cutting out the plywood and re-fiberglassing the entire area.  I will then drill new holes replace the wind/depth/speed displays  and add the STY7001+ autopilot display.
The photo on the right (from left to right) is the new windlass circuit breaker, house battreries, generator starter battery & engine starter battery selector switch.  The photo on the left is the newly installed Raymarine chain driven motor auto pilot.  Emma say's no one cares about these photos but then she didn't have to install them.
Sept. 16th:  Today is moving day.  We will re-locate Blue Sky from her home port of Redondo Beach to Los Angeles Harbor.  There we will have better access to the marine suppliers, fabricators and craftsmen.  We will remain in the harbor until the last few remaining projects are completed.  I finally installed the remote instrument panel for the Kohler generator.  Previously it was just a toggle switch mounted on the main electrical panel.  The new, seperate panel includes illuminated oil pressure and water temperature gages.  It also has a start/stop toggle.  I mounted this up high next to the HAM radio.  This way little hands are unlikely to ever have an "accident".    
Here is the new home port stenciled on the stearn and a good view of our third mate.  I trust the Monitor wind vane will be good hand.
The quick passage south from Redondo Beach, around the Palos Verdes Peninsula into Los Angeles Harbor.
Los Angeles Harbor entrance.  Angels Gate Lighthouse.  San Pedro is in the background.
To the right is a picture of a section of engine exhaust hose.  The exhaust hose carries

1. hot seawater from the engine heat exchanger
2. hot diesel hydrocarbon exhaust.

Yes, you are seeing galvanized metal.  (Galvanized can't survive long in these enviorments. enlarge the picture and check out the corrosion that is on the "y" hose connector.  Duane discovered this while re-wiring the boat.  This was behind the aft starboard hanging locker.  There was a teak panel that we needed to remove at the back of the hanging locker in order to run the new triplex wire.  Duane said, "Jim I think you need to see this..." 
I was thinking, "when" the galvanized pipe failed, would the carbon monoxide kill us first or would the engine pump in enough seawater to sink the boat.  I especially like the cedar plug in the "y" hose connector.  Up to this point I thought I had seen every inch of the boat from atop both the mizzen & main mast to crawling through the bilge below the generator/waterheater.  I think I might need to re-trace all the systems to make certain I have not missed any other gems.
To the right, Emma is removing the old 3M 5200 that was cracking & causing leaks.  We' replaced it with the 3M Fast Cure 4000 UV. 
Our new marina has interesting neighbors.  The Henry Thomas draw bridge complete with 24 hour trucks (green bridge)  and railroad. (grey bridge)  Across the channel is the DOW Chemical Company Marine Terminal.  (I feel right at home) and a scrap metal yard with a magnetic crane.
I'm removing the dead windlass.  The new one is 1/2 the weight The bow is going to raise 1"!
Sept. 30th:  Finally removed all eight Trojan batteries from the boat.  Phoebe's Godfather Jack helped to lug the things off the boat, off the dock, up the gangway and out to the truck.  Emma had to use a box of baking soda to nutralize all the green/brown battery acid.  She then cleaned each battery well and the "wet battery" disaster is over.  Then we installed the eight new AGM's.  (my back hurts)    

Below is a picture of Dave at the Nav Station and Duane down below (inside) the electrical cabinet.
Take a good look at the wire.  Now scroll back up to the picture of what it previously looked like.  This is how boat wire should look!  Dave and Duane are doing an amazing job of converting chaos to a professional work of "electrical art"  Each wire is coded at both it's ends.  Each terminal block is coded and labeled.  Each label has clear heat shrink tubing around it so it will always be there.  The wire is color coded and red actually is (+).  I don't have purple 14 gage wire, hooked to green 8 gage wire, butt spliced to red 12 gage wire going to a terminal ground on the engine.

We are almost ready to announce that the primary wiring of Blue Sky is complete.  I can't wait! 
Sept. 19th- 24th:  Grandpa flew down from Reno to give a lending hand on Blue Sky.  We re-bed the lifeline stantions and caulked the toe rails.  We worked from coffee to cabernet every day.  (the wine cellar lost a few friends)  I think dad's most memorable event was my dive into and through the bilge.  I could only think of the movie, Shawshank Redemtion.  The bilge is a foul place. Dad and I removed two dead diesel hoses that should have left the boat years ago.  When I emerged from below,  every bit of clothing went into a garbage bag and into the dumpster with the decomposing diesel hoses.  When I drove dad back to LAX he said that the next time he visits the boat it better be near palm trees and margaritas.  I promised him that I would make that happen.  The photo to the right is Grandpa, master Drake and me.

Sept. 27th:  My baby sister Kara's Birthday.  Today we added some more starboard to the boat.  I got rid of tired & moldy sub-floor boards.  I also added a
Xantrex battery combiner.  It isolates the battery banks but lets them go into series when there is a charging source.  This is an "automatic" protection for our starting batteries.  If I somehow let the house batteries run down, I'll still be able to start either the engine or generator to charge them back up.  I ordered the new fiberglass conectors for the exhaust hose and stainless steel all thread to attach the windlass.  Like most marine items they are not stocked so I'll have to wait a week or two before I can finish those projects. 

Check out this link to
Perkins-Sabre.  We were asked to provide the Perkins communication department with our repower story.  They wrote up a press release and published it in their internal newsletter and on their website.  When you click the link you will need to redirect to the "clients news"  then click on Perkins-Sabre.  From there you can select "latest press release" and you should see the picture of Blue Sky where you can read their press release.