Pre-launch and 2005 Commissioning Activities


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March, April and May have been very active months on the boat.  Although we have not been living on Discovery it sometimes seems like we have.  We have undertaken some significant projects in preparation for our trip.  Pictures of the projects.


Project 1 involved replacing one of the existing fuel tanks with a new larger fuel tank.  Sometimes, projects grow as we found out.  When we removed the old tank, we discovered that the aluminum tank had been in contact with some copper ribbon that is part of the radio grounding system.  The dissimilar metals had started to corroded a hole in the tank and the tank was just about to start leaking.  Installation of the new tank was a challenge because of the tight spaces but it did fit.   Because one tank had been in contact with copper, we decided to check the other fuel tank and the head holding tank.  This additional checking involved removing and then reinstalling all the tanks after we determined there were not any additional problems.


Project 2 was the biggest project and started the second week of May with the arrival of 1316 pounds of lead that we added to our keel.  Discovery tended to be a bit tender under sail when the winds picked up.  To add some stability we added the additional weight to the bottom of the keel.


Project 3,  To accommodate the additional keel weight ,we had to raise the water line on Discovery.  Painting a strip around a boat may not seem like much of project but believe me, it was a challenge in part due some errors on our methods and an attempt to shortcut the process.


Project 4,  We decided to modify/redesign the radar mount so that we could leave the radar dome in place when the mast is down.  We will now have radar capabilities while moving  the boat though canals on our trip.  A friend is helping with the machining and welding necessary for this project.  We will also be able to attach a wind generator to the radar mast in the future with the new modification.


Project 5,  During the fuel tank project we discovered significant space below the floor boards.   I cut access holes with removable floor sections so we could take advantage of the potential storage space.  Because of the access I have to the Pentwater Artisan Center I was able to accomplish this project in a short period of time.


Project 6,  Then there is the normal washing and waxing of a forty three foot boat.   Marilyn undertook this project and after three days the boat really looked good after sitting outside all winter.   We launched Discovery  on May 27, 2005.


Project 7,  I (cwt) have many tools, parts, pieces and supplies that have now been organized and stored.  In past years I have managed to spread out things throughout the boat and it really feels good to have these things organized and stored in the new found space mentioned above.


Project 8, The design of the fixed ports (non-opening windows) on Saga Yachts leave a bit to be desired when it comes to being leak proof over a long period of time.  The ports on Discovery are no exception.  With the help of another Saga owner we redesigned the attachment of the port,  changed the type of caulking and added stainless steel frames of my design.  The project involved removing the old ports, cleaning the openings, having frames fabricated, re-caulking, reinstalling and clean up.  The final outcome has worked out very well and we think the ports will be leak proof for the long haul.


Project 9,  Clean, wax and inspect the mast and reconnect all 12 electrical and instrumentation conductors. associated with the 63’-10”mast.


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