Tag Archives: Marine Consignment

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year and a long post!


It is now 2017.  So time for an M/V Autumn Dream Update.  As Beth mentioned previously, we are staying in Somerset and have repurchased M/V Autumn Dream.  This did not break my heart having to buy back such a great boat.  You may remember from a previous blog that when we sold the boat to Dr. Andy he had an extensive survey (physical) performed on the boat to make sure she was as healthy as I was telling him she was.  You may also remember that the surveyor gave this 43+ year old boat a clean bill of health.  So buying her back was a no brainer.  We loved this boat but it was not the right boat for our place in FLA.  Getting her back we are now doing a few upgrades that we were planning to do before we sold her.  Some of the upgrades include the new Pilothouse headliner which Beth has already blogged about.  Before physically re-installing the headliner panels in the overhead we had decided that we wanted to insulate the overhead (pilothouse ceiling) area that the headliner covers up.  Want to insulate to make the Pilothouse a bit cooler and maybe a little bit quieter as the insulation will absorb reflected sound.  The insulation part is a quick and relatively easy job.  However being a boat ……..   So the quick and easy job gets a bit longer.

OK so not as a result of the headliner job but this is a good time to do it since the headliner is removed.  I’ve always wanted a second multi-function display (MFD) in the pilot house for redundancy, and also so I could run the radar on one MFD and the GPS on the other MFD when navigating in crap weather.  Currently we do a split screen on the MFD with both the radar scan and the GPS chart displayed.  Not a big deal in good weather when you can look outside and see what is around you in addition to looking at the MFD screen.  i.e. other boats, rocks, islands, big ships.

Our existing electronics (radar, GPS, VHF Radio etc.) are from the stone age (pre-digital).   Also with consideration that I had recently replaced the radar array the boat came with, (a pre-stone age vacuum tube display) a more current stone age array to match up with our existing stone age MFD.   I figured that due to all the new digital navigation equipment now being sold, I should be able to purchase a second stone age MFD for short money.  So it was now time to go out to the world to look for a second Raymarine C-series  MFD.  Well there’s tons of Raymarine C-series MFD for sale as everyone is upgrading.  However because there are many others like me (read cheep bastard) who wish to save a few $$$$ the second hand market is showing strong prices for MFD that are in less than optimal condition.   Well after a protracted search, I managed to find a Raymarine C-80 MFD in Salem MA.  For a fair price and in reasonably good condition.  Only issue no power cable.  So to the internet to look for a cable.  New replacement cables from Raymarine are about $50.00.  Found a used cable for about $19.00 including shipping!  The internet is a great place some times.

As an unexpected bonus the “new” MFD came with a local area chart card.  These electronic chart cards are about $200.00 for a specific region.  So since this was an unexpected bonus (I was only going to run the radar through this MFD and not the GPS).  However since I have the card I can now also use this as a back-up GPS to the other GPS.   However to utilize the GPS chart card you need a GPS antenna.  That means you have to feed the MFD GPS data and the data comes from the add-on items like GPS antenna.  In the event of a failure I could use my existing GPS antenna and move the cable from one unit to the other, but no wait!  That’s not all hmm…..   I could get a used GPS antenna!  Redundancy Redundancy!

With this requirement to use the new toy to the fullest…  Well now off to look for a used Raymarine GPS antenna.  A new Raymarine GPS antenna that will work with this MFD will set you back about $400.00.  So M/V Autumn Dream being a boat you can see that BOAT actually is an acronym for = Break Out Another Thousand.  Back to the internet revealed many used GPS antennas that “may” work starting cost at about $75.00 up to $300.00 used.  You may also remember that we love Marine Consignment in Fall River.  Before going on internet for any of these used items Beth and I spent several hours picking through the racks of equipment and stuff and talked to Bill!  Well unfortunately no MFD or cable, but wait he did have a Raymarine GPS antenna but he did not know the status of the battery in the antenna.  So for the very reasonable cost of $25.00 USD we had a GPS antenna.  I did have to take it apart and check the battery and I found it was dead.  This particular unit does not have a replaceable battery but once again through the wonders of the internet I learned how to replace the battery and test the unit.  Long story short, all is well and I now have a $30.00 functioning second Raymarine GPS antenna. (antenna + battery, and of course a $15.00 mount for the antenna, because this new mount looks cooler than just surface mounting the GPS to the roof of the Pilothouse)

OK where was I going with this?  Oh Yea!  So as a result to do the electronics updates and insulate the Pilothouse overhead and replace the headliner I need to move the radar cable and run a new cable for the GPS antenna.  Oh also in the process of doing the cable and insulation work I decided to replace the VHF radio remote speaker which also goes in the overhead!  So as of January 1, 2017.  The new MDF and GPS antenna is purchased and tested to be good.  All the cabling is completed except installing the GPS antenna and running the wire to the MFD location.  The GPS antenna requires some fiberglass work on the Pilot House roof so that will wait till spring.

Current project status:  All insulation is installed.  New VHF remote speaker is installed and wired back to the location of the VHF radio.  To accommodate the new MFD I had to run a new electrical circuit and re-work the helm console.  All this is done and when spring arrives a few hours of work will see two MDF’s, a new headliner, new GPS antenna and VHF speaker in the pilothouse!    Some photos of the work.



Pilothouse with old headliner


Old radar and MFD installed in console.  Old radar removed a few years ago and location of MFD was moved to where the old radar was in this picture.


Pilothouse overhead with headliner removed


Starting to remove cabling and the old remote VHF speaker


Who ordered a boat taco?   M/V Autumn Dream all bundled up for a cold New England winter!


Insulation installed and cabling well underway.


Who ordered the spaghetti?  Actually this is a reasonable well organized control console, I am running the new power cable for the new MFD which will eventually fill the open hole on the left in this picture.  


Blurry phone photo of completed (mostly) insulation and cabling reinstalled for radar etc. 

Finally owning a boat is no fun without a way to get to the boat on when you keep it on a mooring.  To get to the boat on a mooring you either swim or take another boat to your boat.  In our case we have a small boat called dinghy.  In our case it is an old Dyer that I have been in the process of continual maintenance.  The dinghy is really a work horse and she takes a ton of abuse as your big boats tender.   We use her to move – us, food, water, fuel, luggage, wine etc.  So she occasionally needs love.  As you can see in the following photos she is back in my shop getting some much needed love.  She will get some minor fiberglass work and paint this winter.  Also Dr. Andy bought some perimeter gunnel guard to put on the dinghy to help protect the mother ship from scrapes.  This too will be applied once the painting is completed.  Some photos of the work in progress for your amusement!


Sanding paint to raw fiberglass to prep for some new fiberglass


Close-up of sanded area almost ready for a filet prior to fiberglass tape.  Filet is to reduce the curvature that the fiberglass has to make.  Fiberglass does not like to make a 90 degree turn.  Likes a radius better!


Filet done and curing.  Next step will be a strip of fiberglass or 3 or 5 to complete this step.  Then sand, sand, sand.  Then finally paint!   More to come!


Peace, Joy and Happiness be yours in 2017 wherever your world takes you.


on-going adventures in the engine room!

As promised here is the next installment on the ongoing quest to keep MV Autumn Dream running reliably and as new.  The photo below shows the front end of our Palmer Diesel Engine and offending water pump still in place.  Actually this could be the original FWECP from the factory, if it is, it lived a long and useful life.  Off the top of my head this 1973 vintage diesel has about 3600 hours on her, if this is the original FWECP she done good.  Now her life is over as the bearing/seal  in the pump is gone and she is leaking water and wobbly.  So off with the old one.  The next photo shows the hole where the pump once resided.

Raw Water Pump removed

Old FWECP is the black pulley and the pump housing in green behind the pulley 


Front of Engine with FWECP removed.

Below you can actually get an idea of what the water pump looks like removed.  Two FWECP’s on the bench, old one (green) and the new one (rusty from storage).  The rusty one came with Autumn Dream as one of several spare parts and this was a good spare to have as I don’t know if the old one can be repaired or not or if I could find a replacement?  Also on the bench you can see several other parts I removed from the front of the engine to be able to get access to the FWECP.  Going from left to right is the alternator, old FWECP, the coolant  reservoir (black and yellow part), the “new” replacement FWECP and in the upper right hand corner looking sort of black is the RWP (raw water pump) which had a surprise in store for me also.


Half the engine in my shop.

So once everything was disassembled it is time for next steps.   First clean the rust off the new FWECP and prime with white metal primer paint!   Oh and since I have to paint this I decided that I would paint a whole bunch of other parts!   Once the primer was dry for 48 hours it received a coat of high temp gloss white engine paint.  As I decided to expand my painting I have also de-greased the front of the engine and that is now painted white.  I’ll get some photos of that a bit latter, when I reinstall the FWECP once the weather warms up (more on weather later).


Primed “new” FWECP

You may remember that before all the water pump stuff started I had to replace the damper gear in the transmission.  First step was to remove the starter as that was in the way and all the assorted wiring.  This starter must weigh about 60 pounds and it was hell to remove from the boat!  Fortunately my friend Dave was willing to help get it off the boat and home to the shop where it too will get a paint job.  More photos to come of that job!


Palmer Diesel Starter Motor

The RWP also had a surprise in store for me.  The pulley had a chunk out of it and I was concerned that it could actually throw the belt off of the pulley as a result of this gap.  I did not get a photo of the gap but I did find a place that could repair the missing chunk and the work is done and gap is closed!   Once again it was my friendly Marine Consignment store  that suggested that I may be able to get it repaired!   So $40.00 later all is well!  To replace this pulley would have taken several days of research to see if anyone had one and if yes I would guess at least $100.00 for the part.  If I could not get the pulley and had to replace the whole RWP that could cost me $400.00!  So $40.00 vs $400   that is a deal!

Weather  hmm  ———-   I mentioned earlier in the blog  that once the weather warms up I’ll re-install the FWECP.  If you look at the photos below you can see little white specs on the deck.   Yes this is snow!   First now of the year was last Sunday the 18th of October 2015!  Not much but you can see the sky and if you enlarge the deck photo below (by clicking on it) you can see we did indeed get some snow!  Not enough to shovel, but it does signal the winter is coming, so unless a get a few warm days the FWECP will not go back into Autumn Dream till spring 2016!




Snow Sky

A great way to spend a Sunday

Two weeks ago (4 October) we decided we needed a “play day”.  That is when we just get in the car and go off somewhere without specific plans.

After an early lunch we headed over to the Marine Consignment store in Fall River to look for a few items for Autumn Dream.  Boats always need bits!  Bill’s diving and mooring maintenance business is doing well, and he gave us some promotional coozies:

Diver for Hire, RI Coozies

Diver for Hire, RI Coozies

Next stop was the Gold Medal Bakery outlet in Fall River to pick up gourmet English muffins and their “bakery hot dog buns”.  This place is incredible as the bread is fresher than when you buy it from Stop & Shop, and they sell it at 1/4 of the price.

After picking up some bread we headed into 4 corners in Tiverton to wander around some of the shops.  We like going into “The Cottage“.  This used to be a Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams store, but it now has a different name.  Still sells their furniture, and lots of home furnishings.  Fun to look, but we usually don’t buy.  It is fascinating to see people spend $350 on a factory made linen tote bag.  We actually were looking for some proper Scotch tasting glasses so we can enjoy the bottle of Dalwhinnie 15 year single malt Scotch that Kevin received as a gift, but they didn’t have any.

After wandering around 4 Corners we did our usual drive around the area, stopping in Westport to watch the ocean for a while.  It was a beautiful day considering that Hurricane Joaquin was out there and making a mess in the Carolinas.  While there we saw a cruise ship pass by after completing their transit of the Cape Cod Canal.  I looked it up on the Marine Traffic web site but forgot… I think it was a Seaborne or Silversea ship on its way to New York.

We eventually made our way to New Bedford, where we had decided to try out the Black Whale restaurant.  I had a $100 gift card (thanks to Xfinity- got paid to watch Game of Thrones on my PC, LOL…), a “Dine Out” coupon for $20 off one entrée, and we had read really good reviews about the restaurant, so decided to give it a try.

WOW.  This is a very casual restaurant, with REALLY GOOD food.  Prices are reasonable, and the seafood was great.  We went for an early dinner (around 4:30-5pm) and the bar was FULL – people all enjoying good food and watching football.

They have a raw bar when you walk in… nothing like seeing shrimp and oysters on display…  We started with a jumbo Shrimp platter and a 1/2 bottle of prosecco.  The shrimp were crispy and really fresh, tasted like they should, and they really were JUMBO.  It’s been a long time since we had good shrimp like this.  Worth every penny.

Then because we both are sometimes a bit boring we both had the same thing for dinner:  pan seared yellowfin tuna (RARE) with a side of spinach-parmesian risotto and grilled asparagus.  The tuna was fork tender – like “buttah”.  It was amazingly good.  My mouth is watering as I write this.  We had a wonderful, enjoyable meal and can’t wait to go back and try something else!

Below is a picture of their “giant” chair – you can’t tell the scale without someone in or near it, but it sits about 10 feet tall.  Also below is a shot of the pier- with the fishing fleet in and tied up 3 deep to be safe from the storm.

New Bedford Fishing fleet

New Bedford Fishing fleet

Black Whale

Black Whale

Beatiful day, Calamari…..

Yes, We’re back! I’ll try to post part 2 of the bottom job by the end of the week – now having to catch up on WORK.
Yesterday (Sunday) was a beautiful early winter/late autumn day. We have both had colds but wanted to get out of the house and get some fresh air, so first we went to our favorite Chandlery- Marine Consignment of Fall River – to pick up a few things. Turns out our old horn had been sold (and installed on a truck!), so the total $$ spent was much less than expected. Nice Surprise! Bought 2 remnants of Sunbrella to make the windlass cover.

Next, we had lunch on our minds. We tried to go to one restaurant (Family Ties) because it was recommended, but after we were ignored for 5 minutes while standing at the “please wait to be seated” sign we left. Next we tried our ‘usual place’ the 4 corners grill – at 1:30 they had about a 20 minute wait, so again we left.

We were HUNGRY. I used TripAdvisor and found the “Atlantic Sports Pub”. Normally we wouldn’t go to a generic sports bar, but the reviews said it was not your typical sports pub. Wow. The dining room was isolated from the bar so we didn’t have to listen to the Patriots game and all the noise (Bar was very crowded).
Yes, there were TV’s everywhere, but no sound.
The menu was a surprise – mostly Portuguese items. We both decided on the Caesar salad with calamari – and selected Asian Style. Wow. Did I say Wow? The squid was incredibly fresh and tender, with only a very thin coating of batter. The sauce was definitely Thai, as described, and had a nice bite without being icky-sweet. Portions were HUGE and I had 1/2 left for lunch today. Still good after reheating (not the salad of course!) in the microwave. YES. We will go back again and try some other menu items.

After that very happy surprise, we drove to the Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Reserve Auduban sanctuary for a nice walk. What a great spot.

Then, back home for a cup of coffee! Life is good.
Kevin says- we live here! We get to live here! It really is great here on the south coast.

Really West Marine?

No discount for members!

No discount for members!

We don’t really love West Marine stores- they are very expensive and don’t carry many of the basic items we need.

We are boat US members, and therefore also West Marine members.  Imagine our surprise when we saw this very strange assortment of different discounts being offered by mail!

We received the flyer with NO COUPON at our home.  It was addressed to us as Boat US/West Marine members.

Two days later we received the flyer with the $15.00 off coupon at our home, addressed to someone who last lived there approximately 12 years ago, and two owners ago.

My Mother In Law, who has never shopped at west marine in her life, received the flyer with the $10.00 off coupon.

Therefore, it seems that if you are a Boat US/West Marine “Member” they Do NOT want to give you any coupons or discounts?  Really?  We will continue to shop any where else whenever possible – primarily at Marine Consignment & Supply on Ferry St. in Fall River, instead of taking our money to West Marine.