Big Delay


Star Gazer on the hard across the Pamlico river from Washington, NC

It’s a long time since I last wrote anything. Star Gazer remains in Washington, NC and needs serious work. We missed stuff on our original work, so when we finally hauled the boat and looked carefully a couple of things showed up. First, as I had expected, some water had gotten back inside the double hull. Much of this probably from holes incorrectly drilled for depth sounding sensors or perhaps the ones for the large swim platform braces. We’ve had time to drain things properly. A new depth sensor is being installed, but all the old ones have to be reinstalled properly as well.

The second big issue was galvanic corrosion. On a boat improperly grounded metal objects exposed to seawater can slowly dissolve. The struts that hold the very long propeller shafts under the boat are victims of slow corrosion for maybe 20 years or more. They were eaten away from the inside so the damage was not apparent unless you really looked. If a strut failed the 30 inch prop with 375 hp driving it could go all over the place and cause significant damage. The boat is 27 years old so we can’t just go out and buy new struts, they have to be fabricated from stainless steel, which takes some time. Maybe we should have looked further earlier. Last year when we first visited Greg in Washington he said the voltages on our grounding system were not quite right, but we did not have time to check it out completely then.

It appears Star Gazer may not be back in the water until the first week of June. We did start early, but nearly two months of delay will get us on the late end of things. The loop still looks possible this year, and I think we will continue. It’s possible we could run out of time, with the weather getting too cold, while we are up in the north. If that happens we’ll find some dry storage for the boat and come back in about 6 or 7 months and resume the trip.

An alternative may be to go no further than the Hudson river and turn back to the south. This would allow us to be out in the Bahamas and Exumas this coming winter as we had been planning. Not sure what we will do yet. With boating we try not to plan more than a week or two ahead.


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