Getting closer…

It’s been a very long spring, under stay-at-home orders until late May. Michigan has begun slowly opening up, though northern Michigan is ahead of West Michigan where we are again experiencing an increase of positive COVID-19 cases. We have made a couple of overnight trips to Mackinaw City to work on Mossy Paws, but most of our trips have been one day: 4 hour drive to the boatyard, work 3-4 hours, then drive the 4 hours home. It’s getting very old, and we are relieved that we are ready to launch, finally.

Ha! Zola has no idea how tiring it is…

Applying the gloss coat on the teak was a piece of cake. Small areas of the teak deck I had prepared earlier last fall for re-caulking also, in the end, not a big deal. It’s a skill that I like having. (And I love being in winter heated storage, where conditions are always ideal!)

However… the muffler project…

The Eagle 32 trawler is a very loud boat. It has a standpipe, and the engine is LOUD—inside AND outside. After we finished the Trent Severn Waterway last summer, Ron phoned the American Diesel guy and talked to him about what we might do to quiet the engine down a bit. After all, we are sailors at heart. The guy he spoke with understood exactly what we were talking about, told us that installing a muffler—if we had room—would make a huge difference. Ron measured, remeasured, and remeasured again once we were back in our slip at Duncan Bay, thinking we could make a muffler work. Thus, the muffler project began.

There have been fits and starts: we’ve been confident that it would fit, then maybe not. We removed the standpipe last fall (along with its asbestos coverings), but we’ve kept it just-in-case.

And then, a month ago, Ron ended up with a nasty case of cellulitis in his left hand that put us behind the project as the antibiotics battled the infection.

A couple of weeks ago, Ron was ready to give up, took the standpipe back up with us. But then he talked with the diesel mechanic at the Shepler’s boatyard and discovered that there is a silicone BENDABLE exhaust hose that doesn’t collapse (because to get the muffler to fit, the hose needs to bend) and so it was Plan C and back to the internet to order additional parts. So many times this spring I have thought of my dad—the engineer—who was able to tell me how to fit anything in a space. In the end, it was our friend Missy who came to the rescue. With Ron at a low point, unsure how to connect it all, she was the extra pair of strong hands, able to get into the engine compartment, and was able to “see” a way to fit it all together. In a matter of a couple of hours, we were back on course and making connections again. And it fits!

Ron making the final connections.

Will it make a big difference? Will Mossy Paws be a much quieter trawler? Stay tuned. We are scheduled to launch this coming Thursday!

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