Marina Slowly Opening - Naval Station Newport RI Problems getting the boat ready to sail.

The Navy Marina at Naval Station Newport is starting to open up. On June 15th they allowed people to stay on their boats, including summer liveaboard, overnight. They also opened up the head from 08.00 to 17.00. But, there are still restrictions about having work done on the boats and on the station in general like wearing a mask and social distancing.

I lubricated the Furlex and Selden In Mast Furling gears and tried to put the sails on. I managed to get the jib on without to much trouble, but the main was a different story. We stayed overnight on Sunday, technically the 14th, but we figured the 15th started at midnight. I did that because the winds are usually calmest early in the morning. After a couple of attempts, I got the main on, but later in the day when we gave the boat a test run found out that while it was in the mast, it didn't want to unfurl! Took her back into the dock and spent a couple of hours trying to get the sail off. What a mess.

I didn't want to even attempt to put it back on alone so I called a local sail rigger and it took him a couple of hours with my help to get the sail on. It will unfurl, but not easily. I had the sail cleaned and repaired over the winter by Doyle and it lost the shape it had. I hope that after I use it a few times that it will start to furl and unfurl easier.

The other problem I had was the head. Since the marina head is only open for limited hours it is really nice to have a working head on the boat. She has an electric Jabsco Quiet Flush. I had trouble with it since we got the boat and last year I had someone from a company in Newport called HeadSync. They are marine plumbers and managed to solve a lot of problems with the head, hot water, etc.

Last year I had some problems with water in the bilge and ended up buying out one of the pumps for the head. I managed to replace it myself and the HeadSync guy worked on the wiring and we got the head to work. But, this spring it would only pump water into the toilette but not up to the holding tank. I didn't want another big bill (marine plumbers are as expensive if not more than land-based ones) so I wanted to solve the problem myself. I thought it could be the switch, the wires, or the other pump on the head itself. I consulted with HeadSync and sent an email to Jabsco and they both agreed with my solution to use a voltmeter to see if the wires leading to the pump were reading 12 v. If they were, it had to be the pump. If not then it had to be in the wiring. I actually was rooting for the pump to be bad because the wiring looks like spaghetti to me and it would have been hard for me to trace a problem myself.

The first time I tried to make a reading it didn't work. I didn't call anyone right away and decided to try again next time I was on the boat. After watching a ******* on how to read a voltmeter I did try again and got the 12 v reading telling me its probably the pump. Incidentally, I got an email from Defender in Waterford CT that they were having a sale on pumps so I ordered a new one and picked it up on the longer way to Newport from Western Mass via Waterford. I watched the how-to video from Jabsco on the internet and changed the pump and it worked! So now I have two new pumps and wires so unless I manage to flood them both again I should have a working head. (Pumping it out will be a little issue with the restrictions at the Marina, but I think that will work itself out.

So, June is almost over and I still haven't sailed the boat! Hope to take her out tomorrow to see if things work ok. I know the Yanmar diesel starts, the instrumentation works, and so do the thrusters from my last brief attempt to sail. If I can get the mainsail to furl and unfurl than I'll have a working boat and hopes that I'll finally be able to use it.