Saturday, February 23, 2013

DIY Head Cleaner

The heads have been woefully neglected, I'll admit.  I have cleaned them but felt that I shouldn't use Comet scrub like I did at home on land for my entire life.  The tub drains flow directly into the water beneath the boat.  I've been using the all purpose cleaner I made but it has left a ring around my tub and was not easy to use.

Back to the Internet I went... where I found this recipe on Martha Stewart's website.:

1 Tsp. Liquid Soap (I used Dawn)
Tea Tree Oil  (a few drops)
1 C. Baking Soda
(1/4 C. Borax optional for tough grime)
Water to make a paste

I may have used more water that was called for but it worked out just great and made using it very easy.

I stirred it every time I needed to add more.  Just dribbled a couple of spoonfuls onto my green scrubber and went to work.  I found it best to wet the intended surface first.

I scrubbed the entire forward head and left it on to soak for about five minutes, then went back and rinsed it all with a quick wipe down.  Next, the aft head where the tub and glass enclosures are.  I was running out of goop by this time and just had enough to do the tub and enclosure but not the area outside the shower stall.

Next time I'll make a double batch, which should do both heads from floor to ceiling very nicely.

I was pleased to see that it easily cleaned the grimy tub ring and the tea tree oil will inhibit the growth of mildew in the cracks.  There was just enough grit to make the job VERY easy.  It also did a surprisingly good job on shining the stainless fixtures and left the enclosure glass free from calcium buildup marks.

Tell me why we aren't given this recipe the FIRST time we clean a bathtub!!!  I'll be using this for life!

Warning! Cruising May Have Side Effects!

Click the pic to see it's origin
Expectations such as a more relaxed lifestyle, freedom, and adventure are common when contemplating the Cruising Life and whether or not it is right for you... However, there can be unexpected "Side Effects" that you may not anticipate.  Although we are still in the Cruisers-In-Waiting (read Liveaboard) stage, we have already begun to experience some of these...

Feeling Disconnected:
I've always felt that I was living in a kind of "Alternate Universe" when it comes to relating with neighbors, co-workers and people in general... but there has been an even wider chasm dividing "us" from "them" since we've moved aboard Dos Libras.  We are no longer traveling in the same direction... we've jumped off the merry-go-round... left the building.  This increasing rift was not expected.  Maybe it is just my way of disengaging so that the parting won't be as difficult when the time comes.

Increased awareness of our Global Impact:
I've never been much of a "Tree Hugger", but now find myself becoming increasingly aware of the environment and our effect upon it.  We live closer to nature and see the direct impact of the excesses we formerly gave no thought.  I search for ways that we can lessen the amount of garbage and reduce our use of harsh chemicals that will be introduced into the waters beneath us.  Everything in the US is so "instant", which is great, but it comes at such a cost.  We are soiling our nest and I'm looking for ways to keep from contributing to it.  I've found enjoyment in creating my own cleaning supplies from more simple and pure ingredients that we all have around our homes.  It just makes me feel better that we aren't leaving a dead zone in our wake.

Less is More:
I've often heard it said, but have never really believed it.  Why NOT have more?... I have spent years collecting all manner of things that I once thought I could not live without.  Since making the decision to cruise, we have given away or sold most of our "stuff" and I've hardly missed it.  In fact, I would be hard pressed to list the things we've left behind, with but a few exceptions.  This MUST be caused by some strange mind numbing Cruising Side Effect!

Becoming more self reliant:
We have always been able to "just throw money at it" when something breaks or we need a new whatsit.  Just order one off of Amazon and it magically appears.  Well, that gets to be EXPENSIVE!  Never a problem before, but when contemplating giving up my income... I've had to think about things a bit more.  I have surprised myself at how Bruce and I have been able to do a little research and then come up with a way to do things ourselves instead of calling the repairman or ordering off the Internet.  Now, don't get me wrong... the UPS man is still my friend!  But I see that lessening and feel pride when I come up with creative ways to DIY.  

These are the first of what I believe will be many unexpected, or even unintended changes that becoming full time Cruisers will bring.  Some will be good and others may be unfortunate... I look forward to realizing them all as we transition to the next phase and I would love to hear your comments.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Jolt of Reality

Origin of pic
Just because it's my choice, doesn't make it easy!  

We hired my replacement at work today.  She starts training with me on Monday.  For the next four months, I'll be teaching her to be me... well hopefully not ME, but to do whatever it is that I do here. 

I'm feeling... I don't know how to even express it.  Past the point of no return, rolling down the cliff, out of the frying pan and into the fire.  My mind is spinning and my chest feels tight.  My heart is racing.  I'm breathless but not having a heart attack.  It's a reality attack. 

I've been mentally planning for our future for months... years!  But I guess I haven't been addressing how I will let go of sixteen years of history in one workplace.  I've been here since before my divorce.  My kids were in grade school when I came here.  I've seen physicians, administrators and employees come and go in an endless procession while I've stayed on.  I think I'm gonna be SICK!

I can't even imagine how I will go about training her.  What things will I tell her and what things will I just let her figure out for herself?  I hope that she will do better than I in many ways, but in other ways... it would be nice if they missed me just a little...  A breath of fresh air, a new attitude, an unbiased eye... will be a good thing for the practice.  I just hope that I can keep it together until time to go!

My mind will now be forced to reconcile how we will live on Bruce's income.  I have earned my own living, or at least pulled my weight... since I was a teen!  I'm tossing away the safety net for myself and my children.  If I were to add up all of the days I've spent jobless in the past 30 years, they would probably be about the equivalent of one year!  It's mind boggling!

Wish me luck as I travel backwards on the "corporate ladder".  The fall will be interesting I think... I've just gotta get past these first few rungs, then I'm sure I'll be back on track to the land of palm trees and sunshine (and dysfunctional heads, diesel engines, seasick cats, etc.).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Icy Decadence

That's a 20 lb. bag of ICE in there!
I can hardly contain my excitement at the good fortune that has befallen us today!  May I have a drum roll please... We have a FREEZER!  Yes, we've hit the big time in Cruiser World!

When we bought Dos Libras, the fridge was in poor working order and the freezer was a no-show.  Before Bruce left Rhode Island to sail her home, we had a new refrigeration unit installed. We figured we could have it done conveniently and economically in RI where there were lots of people who did work on boats....  not so.  We got hosed on the fridge and it has been repaired twice now due to shoddy installation.... be think we have it worked out now.

The freezer compartment was used by the previous owners, and until now... us, as a storage bin.  What will we do with the stuff we've kept in there?  I don't CARE!  We have a freezer!

One of the top items on the list of Things-I-Think-I-Will-Miss when we go cruising, (before we bought a boat with the possibility of a freezer) was ICE!  I'm not so good with warm drinks and I'm not a huge wine drinker.  I just knew life would be one long search for ICE... until today!  Now, we'll be the "Cool-Aid Boat".  That's the boat where everyone hangs out... because we will have lovely ICE!

We can come to happy hour at other boats and bring the ICE!  We can come to pot lucks with the ICE! Get it?  I'm doin' the happy dance about ICE!

So now we can start learning to live WITH a freezer, as we've previously learned to live withOUT one.  Congratulate us for the bounty that we enjoy and wish us many happy years of sundowners with ICE!  We can go ahead and catch that big Tuna and slice her up for the freezer... And may we never need to have that giant BBQ to cook all of our meat up for the neighbors... because of freezer fritz.  Instead, may we have that giant BBQ for our neighbors because we have a freezer full of ICY decadence!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Three Months To Gel

Pic Origin

I've always said that it takes at least three months to go from the "OMG what have I got myself into" stage to the "I think I've got this" stage.  Give it three months to "gel".  At least, that is the advice I've always given to new hires at work.  In the 16 years I've been at my job, I've seen this happen time and time again.  

Of course it can take a little bit longer when moving to a new place, but I think in our case… we weren't really moving to a new place.  We just stopped going back home.  We are a few days short of that three month mark since moving aboard Dos Libras.  Last night, while watching a movie after dinner… I had my first real "at home" thought.  It was just so subtle and effortless but it jarred my senses.  Suddenly, I knew that we are home.  

I no longer think of our townhouse as home and when I say, "lets go home" I mean to the boat.  Today we went our daughter's house (our townhouse) to work on organizing some things for a garage sale we're having next weekend.  She has made it her own in subtle ways and as I walked through the downstairs, I didn't feel "familiar".  Maybe that's the wrong word, but I can't think of another. 

My daughter and I went shopping for living room furniture.  She picked out a nice set and bought it for herself without my help… other than the help I gave her in moving the right coffee table to see if it matched the couches!  I felt pride that she was doing this on her own and making a home.

We left the townhouse and drove back to the boat.  I know you've all felt that warm and fuzzy feeling upon returning home… that's how I felt.  My ducks were there waiting to be fed… Jezabelle had her nose pressed against the companionway door.  We fed the ducks and settled into the cockpit to discuss the day's events.  I feel content.  I'm HOME...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Little Project That Could

Since moving aboard, one of the lurking concerns in both our minds is whether or not the holding tank is full.  Our tanks are aluminum so there is no way to see if they are full or not so we've just kind of had to guestimate and have missed it a couple of times.  I found some relatively inexpensive monitors at (see final update at the end of this post)

Drilling holes so that we could cut out the piece for the panel
Yay, right?  Well, you would think...  We've had them for a while, afraid to start the project that could get, lets just say... MESSY.  Finally we were out of excuses so I took a couple of extra days off work so that we would have plenty of time to dig in to this, and other projects that have been piling up on our list.  We opened the box and read all of the instructions like good little boys and girls.  The first step was to install the monitor panel.  We had planned to put it in the head.  When it came to reality, instead of running the wires from the tank, which lives near the stern underneath our bed, all the way to the bathroom... we decided to make things easy on ourselves and put it behind the bed, just a few feet from the tank.  We were feeling good when we finished that and moved on to the sensor installation.

Cutting the sensor to the 9" depth of our tank.
This is where the wheels fell off...  The instructions were evidently written for people who already have a float monitor with a particular sized access hole.  Unscrew the old one and screw this one in.  Easy!  NOPE.  We were doing a new install from scratch.

After learning just about everything I ever wanted to know about 1" NPT threaded holes... (don't ask)... We decided we needed a plan B.  We went ahead and trimmed the sensor, which is a piece of PVC pipe with copper film lining two sides, connected to the offending NPT threaded gizmo and some tiny wires.

Looks simple, right?
The next couple of days were filled with calls to a plumber friend, visits to the hardware store, visits to the garage to get parts, tools and pieces to mount this simple little stick.

We had highs and lows (mostly due to fatigue), but in the end, we exercised our problem solving skills and came up with a plan.  We needed to make a hole in the tank, insert this stick and secure it in some way so that it would not leak.  The aluminum tank was probably too thin to provide a very secure collar for the monitor so we came up with an idea.  We would make a plate to attach the gizmo, then screw the plate onto the tank...

The noise that made...
We found a machine shop with a nice piece of scrap 3/16" aluminum plate.  The guy seemed thrilled when he asked us for $12 and we gave him a twenty.  We were just so happy to have found it nearby.   Luckily Bruce had the hole saw already and dock steps make a great sawhorse to cut the disks.

We drilled screw holes first in the second disk.
We ended up doing some steps the hard way...  For instance, we should have drilled the screw holes before we cut out the circles, because we had to use c-clamps to hold the disks still so that the holes could be drilled.  The second plate was much easier.

We still had to cut a hole in the middle of each disk so that we could insert the sensor stick.... so we used the c-clamps anyway.  There was just no easier way to do it.

I used a file to finish off the edges and file the screw holes flat so that they would seal.  We decided to use 5200 to keep the little gizmo attached to the aluminum plate.  I gooped some around the top of the PVC piece, then slipped the plate into position.  Then I put the butyl tape around the underside of the plate.  We had to find places to hang the pieces so that the 5200 could dry.  This is where time ran out.  I had to work the rest of the week and resume this project again on Saturday.

We were in good position and spirits when we got back at it late Saturday morning.  We had both been going over the plan on our minds and after a short pow wow, we got started.  It was time to drill the hole in the tank... GULP!  Bruce had  pumped and washed the tank earlier in the morning.  I was still very concerned that we would be inviting the most horrible stink into our bedroom...  It REEALLY wasn't that bad!  I guess our blue powder works!

Blue bag covering the icky bottom 
I had to remove the butyl tape so that I could fit the piece onto the tank and mark the exact spot for each screw hole.  No worries, it went right back on.  Suddenly we had our parts all assembled and it looked like we were actually going to finish this project.

Bruce drilled the holes, I fitted the piece in, we screwed it all down until the butyl tape began to smoosh out the edges... All we had left to do was run the wires and we would be done!

We had all kinds of little connectors but ended up requiring one more trip to the hardware store for some extra electrical wiring.  We wanted to do this right and once!  It took us another hour or more to sort it all out...

But we suddenly found ourselves ready to slip the tiny panel into place and tighten four more screws... DONE!  Nothing left but to restore our bedroom to order (no small task) and oh yes... test the thing!

There was a moment of panic when Bruce flipped the switch and no lights came on.  (we had no idea what to expect here...).  I couldn't get the wall lamp that we had tapped into for 12v power to come on either!  Oh NOOOOO!!!  Bruce came over and gave the light bulb a couple of turns and it lit up!  Gasp!  Power!!!  I pushed the "read" button on the panel and it lit.  WE DID IT!  The little project that could was finally done!  No matter that we get to do it all again on the forward tank, which comes with it's own set of unique challenges... We can do it and another of the projects gets ticked off the list!  But for now... we will bask in the glow of success for the rest of the weekend.

Update:  April 20, 2013

We had some trouble getting the monitor to calibrate properly.  I finally got in touch with Dennis, the guy who makes the board behind the faceplate.  He was VERY nice and truly believes in his product.  He was not going to stop until we were happy.

Our problem seemed that we had intermittent power, but when all parts were tested, they showed to be fine.  This unit takes such a small amount of power, it turned that it needed wire to wire contact instead of contact through one of those shrink wrap connectors that seem (to us) more secure.  Once Bruce changed out all of those for twist-connectors, he got a steady power which enabled him to calibrate it.  We weren't too pleased with the taped wires however, but if this will make it work, we'll try it for a while.

Update to the Update September 9, 2013:

Well, we thought it was working but it was still intermittent.  We have been so busy with other projects, we had little time to devote to this one.  The fact that we had to spend 1-2 weeks between testing (time to empty and refill the tank), caused this process to drag on and on.  Finally in mid-August, we re-established our contact with Dennis.  After a lengthy conversation, it was discovered that our tank is shallow, which caused us to cut the internal rod to about 8 inches in length.  Dennis told us that this type of sensor is not meant for use in tanks less than a foot or so in depth.  This was not mentioned on the website we purchased from.  (But it will be soon...)

Dennis was so very kind as to send us two new rods, pre-cut to our length with a special power amplifier installed and calibrated.  We installed the new rod and NOW... FINALLY... after all these months.... the tank monitor works just great!  I would highly recommend going directly to Dennis' website to purchase your tank monitor.  He will take the time to personally help you until the installation is done and working right.

Oh, and this time, when installing the sensor rod, we used a different type of mounting hardware.  We were able to find this in our local Ace hardware store.

If we had known of this item in the beginning, it would have made this a MUCH shorter blog entry...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Together... Forever... That's All...

Just the other day, another one of my co-workers asked me the question… "Do you think you're going to LIKE being with your husband 24/7?".  My answer was a resounding YES!

My husband was a confirmed bachelor when I snagged him and reeled him in.  He was resigned never to marry and had planned to live out his life alone... but I changed all of that!  This is my second marriage and it's very different from my first.  We've never had a true "fight".  We've never raised our voices to one another.  We've had very few heated disagreements… (I can't even label them arguments).

Of course I'm still working and leave him for long stretches daily, but even after 13 years together, I don't want to stop off at the grocery store on my way home if I know he's waiting for me.  And he always manages to be waiting for me…  Our most happy times are those spent together on our boat.

Bruce marvels at this phenomenon…  His concept of marriage was based upon that of his own parents.  He is one of eleven children and his father worked several jobs.  His parents had very little time alone together (other than that used to produce children it seems…).  So when we began dating and eventually married, my insistence upon doing everything together was foreign to him.  I, on the other hand, grew up with parents who spent all of their time doing things as a family whenever my Father wasn't at work.

The blush of youth is long gone from both of our faces... Bruce has traveled this earthly path long before me, gaining the wisdom that has made him more able to deal with my peri-menopausal hormone attacks, and with far more grace than I deserve.  I have wondered who, if not Bruce, will bear the brunt of my periodic hormonal episodes?  Usually these are reserved for some unwitting customer service rep or an unfortunate employee of mine...  What will I do with that little bit of  "crazy" when we are pent up together alone far from shore.  I welcome the advice of my Cruising Sisters out there (leave comments) and I will certainly be consulting my Doctor in the very near future about how to avert this disaster.

I guess a lot can change when we set out and are forced together with no escape…. but I think we've naturally developed a pretty good way of dealing with disagreements.  Most times we end up laughing at the absurdity of it.  Fortunately for me, Bruce has the patience of a Saint and handles my childish insistence on having my way without strangling me.  I do see him sometimes start towards me with fingers outstretched, just itching to squeeze my neck a little… BUT he always manages to control the urge.

Perhaps we will need to develop a "time out" place... or some other way of finding a personal space.  Communication is key here... When we first moved aboard, I began to develop a complex… it seemed as if every time I went to the aft cabin to use the head, Bruce followed along with me to continue our conversation.  This grew to monumental proportions in my mind and I finally had to tell him that it bothered me to have him follow me to the bathroom.  A bit of privacy in the head is all I'm asking!  Since I've mentioned it, things have smoothed out, but it was a big deal for a short time.  

I'm sure that when we are under way, opportunities for being "alone with my thoughts" will present themselves.  Long hours on night watch are perfect for self reflection.  I sometimes even find myself drifting while doing routine tasks like cleaning the bathtub or running the vacuum.  There will be times when I stay aboard and Bruce dinghies ashore to take care of business of some sort.  But for the most part, just sitting near one another in the cockpit in companionable silence is "alone time" enough for us.

Click on the monkey's fist to read others bloggers on this topic.
The Monkey's Fist

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dinghy Repair - CHECK!

It's so gratifying for me when I can put my hours of reading about all-things-cruising to good use.  It's even more fun when someone else does the research!  It was a happy coincidence that I found this post on ZTC about how they fixed their dinghy, just days before we realized that some rehab would be necessary for our own.

This is only Phase I of the dinghy repair projects we have planned.  We also bought some internal sealant to seek out and destroy any yet-to-be-discovered tiny holes it has, as well as rubber top paint and topcoat.  This weekend we got the patches on the outside done.  I was disconcerted at how easily the old patches came off, let me just tell you.  It's no wonder they leaked!  We cleaned off the old glue and applied a bit of soapy water to reveal the old holes and the new....

We marked the holes and then I cut some new patches while Bruce went work scuffing up the area we would be glueing to ensure that it would stick, and giving it an extra hit with the cleaner.

This time we did one extra step that I learned about in the ZTC article... I cut some tiny patches that just covered the holes and we superglued them on.  That was quite the debacle for a while.  The only thing missing was the clown music!  (Superglue eats rubber gloves FYI).

Once we got everything measured, cut, scuffed with sandpaper and cleaned off with tolulene, it was time to mix up a batch of two part dinghy glue.  If there is one step in this process that we could have messed up, it would be this step... The directions called for a ratio of 1 to 25 and only gave us the volume of one of the ingredients.  We got out every electronic calculator and converter we've got and still only came up with a guestimate.  Cross your fingers!

The mixture was applied painstakingly to the back of each patch and then to the corresponding spot on the dinghy...  Then we let it dry for about 30 minutes and mixed up a second batch.

The whole process was repeated with a second drying time of about five minutes.  Then I carefully stuck the patches to the dinghy so as not to get them crooked.  OH NO!  One of the similarly shaped pieces went onto the wrong spot and there was a bit of extra glue hanging out around it.  Oh well... no biggie.  We're going to rubber paint over it all anyway soon.  I used our pizza cutter to press the patches securely onto the dinghy.  This was a trick we learned with the last repair job... bad glue, good advice.

Here is the finished product.  You can see the small patches underneath the larger ones.  I'm hoping that this process works.  It makes sense that the little patch does all the work supported by the big patch.  Time will tell...

We think this dinghy is about 15 years old.  It has quite a few rub marks and we hope we can buy a few more years with a good rubber paint and topcoat before we have to invest in a new one.  The dinghy is one of the most vital pieces of kit for a cruiser.  It will be our "car".  Maybe if we give it some love it will love us back for a while.  I'm thinking maybe some chaps!

The project took most of the day with a couple of trips to the local Ace.    We are happy with the old girl's new look and the fact that she's still holding AIR!  We're ecstatic that we get to check something else off the to-do list!


Tape stretched across the box solved our problem!

One of our little darlings… I won't say which one in the interest of protecting her reputation… finds it inconvenient to squat when visiting the convenience box.  This periodic lapse causes a nasty mess on the floor outside the box for me to clean up.

Over the years, we've spent countless $$$ buying boxes with increasingly taller and taller sides, with no relief.  We have resorted to using an unlovely plain plastic storage box which seemed to have improved things, but she finally figured it out.  If she backs all the way to the corner, she can lift her tail and manage to whiz over the side.  

This prompted us to purchase a rubber mat with little resevoirs to catch said "spills".  This keeps them contained but still… the familiar scent wafting up to my nostrils plunges me into another unscheduled cleaning frenzy.  What to do? What to DO? 

Feline eradication being out of the question… We had to get creative.  This low tech solution seems to have solved our problem.  We stretched a length of whatever we had on hand at the time, which happened to be duct tape… across the top of the box from side to side a couple of inches from the back.  (We were even nice enough to tape the bottom edge to keep from de-fuzzing the cat when she rubs up against the tape)

Her tail hits the tape which causes her to be unable to clear the top of the box when she backs her bootie into position.  Eureka!  We've outsmarted a FELINE!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Baggie Nazi

Click on the Picture to see it's origin

I remember visiting my Granny's house and seeing plastic zip type storage bags all lined up in her dish drainer.  She came from a different time where things weren't disposable as they are today.  Even disposable plastic bags got reused in her home.  

This grossed me out.  I will admit that I could be considered borderline germ-phobic and the thought of storing my leftovers in a wrinkly, cloudy looking and possibly greasy bag that had been sitting on a dish drainer with all of those germs having a party in that warm wet environment., just sent my mind into a spin. 

I've been the total consumer.  I've used them once and used them thoughtlessly in situations where it might have been more efficient to use a plastic container instead, but I was too lazy to get one out.  I had already decided that I would try to reuse them when we go cruising…

I've chickened out.  Bruce and I have opted to use small plastic containers in place of mass numbers of baggies.   I've become the Baggie Nazi!  Sure we will still take a bunch with us because sometimes, only a bag will do… but it really hasn't been too difficult once our minds were set.  We seem to roll through a small number of containers as long as we are rolling through our leftovers.  And with a fridge as small as ours, that is pretty much a necessity.  

So, we will be doing our small part to economize and to keep a little bit of plastic out of the landfills.  I'm amazed to see all of the small ways this change in lifestyle has changed ME! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Leaking Propane Locker - CHECK!

A few weeks ago we had a torrential downpour that overpowered the drain hole in the bottom of our propane locker.  It's outside on the aft deck Starboard side so why would this concern us you ask?  That would be because the water rose to the level of some unused screw holes and began pouring down the inside of the hull and into my bed!

Now this is a seriously irritating thing, but it could become a deadly thing, as a fellow member of the SSCA pointed out to me later.  If water can get inside the boat, so can propane!  This must be FIXED!

I had done some reading about the wonders of Butyl Tape and placed an order.  I figured this was a good opportunity to see just how easy it is to seal these holes.  Bruce got everything disconnected and I went to work cleaning the areas around the holes so that I could apply sealant to the unused ones.  My original thought was that the holes we used to mount the gauges were the culprits.  Once everything was out, I discovered four other unused holes situated lower than those.  I applied a quick cure polyether multi-purpose calk to all of the holes except for the four mounting holes we are using.

Once that was done, I got to play with my new toy.  I had seen an article that showed the way to use Butyl tape so I was READY!  I had a bit of help in applying the tape to the four new screws (found amongst the pounds and pounds of spares that came with the boat).

Notice the box of spare screws
Jezabelle had to put her two cents in.  Once she gave her stamp of approval and retired back to her sunny spot in the cockpit, I moved on to the next step.
I applied more butyl tape to the base of the mounting bracket.  Maybe this is overkill but you can't be too careful in dealing with propane OR seeping water!  The butyl tape was also great as it held the screws in place making it very easy to hit the holes.  I screwed them all down, then it was Bruce's turn again.

He quickly hooked up both tanks, then he did a "bubble test" with a glass of soapy water to see that there were no leaks once he opened the valves.  No bubbles!  We're done!

Well, that isn't exactly true.  This job led us to investigate the locker on the opposite side of the boat for holes.  We found no holes, but it was full of scuzz which now had to be cleaned out.  Tack on another hour and a half...  But, now we are all clean and safe from death by propane asphyxiation.  And we have that warm fuzzy feeling you get when a job is ticked off the list!  Now, on to the next one...