Written by Jen Finn
April 22, 2009
I put the Sunlight III in the water on June 16, which was as soon as it was ready for its test run, because I wanted to see if that piece of junk the engine guy created would actually pull a load. When we dropped it in the water the hull hardly leaked a drop after the Coastal Heritage guys worked their magic on my old wood boat. But my old wood boat now rides way down in the bow because of all the weight I added with the new power plant, clutch, hydraulic pump, brackets, mounts, etc.
When I took it out for a test run, everything seemed to work right. The engine was a bit slow on the pick-up, but I figured that was some sort of adjustment (thankfully, this turned out to be a quick fix). I was happy to see that I gained about 2 knots of speed, according to my new handheld GPS, which I grabbed from the room right before I went for the test run. But this speed increase didn't make sense because I had the same propeller and it was turning the same RPM as before.
I solved this mystery when I ran with my other GPS units alongside my new one, which read a faster speed than the others. At this point I realized my newly acquired GPS was set to statute miles instead of nautical miles, so the number it was putting out was reading about 10 percent faster than the others.
One of the last boat projects was finishing the "carpentry" work in the foc's'le that covers the engine where it intrudes into our living space. I basically made a funky upside-down L, with a U-shaped cutout for the clutch, then another smaller box to cover the shaft of the hydraulic pump. I just left the pump out in the open. It is kind of a shin-banger, but having it exposed really freed up a lot of precious space in that cramped foc's'le.
At the same time I was slapping together the engine covers, I had a team of guys up working on the nets for both the Sunlight III and the Claude M Bristol. We were way behind on the net schedule and with the season already upon us, something had to be done so we had enough nets to make it through the season. I called all hands available from both boats down to the net locker and assigned them to net duty. Dave, Anthony, Conor, and Edward were the main staff, with Kyle and Ryan filling in the cracks. They had three hanging benches going, with Conor and Edward lacing on the breast lines and bagging them up. It was a 36-hour net-o-rama, and when it was all over we had just enough for the season, and wound up with zero bagged nets left over at the end.
By the time I finally went fishing on June 19 I was frazzled and never happier to slap that net out and start fishing.
TO BE CONTINUED...
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