Tropical Storm “Irene” passes through

“The worst hurricane to hit the eastern seaboard in many decades”

So, all the hype about this monstrous hurricane prompted us to prep for a storm, always prudent to prepare for the worst. Our slip neighbors across the pier had arrangements made to pull their boat anyway, so we occupied their slip, the same one we’ve occupied in past summers while staying here. The slip is very wide with one side on a floating pier, but not particularly long, so we opted to extend lines from the pilings across the fairway, about 60 ft or so, and other lines to various points around the boat. When we were finished, we had Maerin suspended in a web of 3/4″ nylon. With the storm in our locale rated at tropical storm force, we had a relatively quiet night, with a few wakeups to check lines and general status.

With the winds out of the N-NW, there was no surge, in fact we experienced blowout conditions, where the constant wind blew the water out of the bay, so we had unusually low water conditions, generally preferable to a surge. At the lowest, we had a foot of water beneath the keel where we typically see 5 or 6 ft. Winds were at about 20-30 kts. most of the night, with gusts as high as 52 according to our PB150 weather instrument just installed in July.

As the storm cranked up late in the afternoon, our boat neighbor Frank passed some time fishing, and hooked a large catfish- the one that got away. Photographic evidence proves his claim to fishing during the “hurricane”. We made a few final checks and took the dogs up to shore as the rains came, then adjusted the lines to center Maerin in the slip to ride out the storm.  A few minor adjustments were in order as the lines stretched and the water dropped, but the passage of the storm was for all intents, a non-event.  Just the way we prefer our hurricanes.  We kept up with the TV hype about how horrible the storm was going to be, and as time progressed, concluded that the doom & gloom prognostications were more about grabbing viewers than informing.  A sad commentary on the state of the media today. As one report on one of the internet weather sites reported, Irene made landfall in NC with winds of up to 35 kts. “The worst hurricane to hit the eastern seaboard in many decades”….blah, blah, blah.

The storm passed with a bit of bluster, but no damage to Maerin or any of the other boats in the marina. We managed to get through this ‘tough slog’. Always happy to be underwhelmed by the power of a hurricane!

Project work is ongoing. Half of the hull is buffed and waxed, new graphics were produced and installed, and a new exhaust mixer ell is in the process of being fabricated. Ongoing minor problems with higher than desired temperatures in the exhaust hose, particularly at lower RPM speeds we prefer to run – prompted me to remove the ell with intentions of modifying the spray holes. Upon removal, I discovered perforation of the stainless “tank” where seawater is injected into the exhaust stream, and discussions with the manufacturer in Ft. Lauderdale led to fabrication of a new assembly. Some details led me to believe that the OEM assembly may have been modified, and review of the drawings provided by the manufacturer confirmed as much, leading to a re-design of the OEM piece to fit Maerin’s engine room configuration, plus modifications that the manufacturer assures me will correct the over temperature conditions we encounter at lower RPM cruise. It will be a painful expense, but well worth being pro-active, since failure of the mixing ell can result in very serious turbo damage, and in a worst-case scenario could lead to catastrophic engine failure. As luck had it, I opted to rely on my field measuring skills from a former life rather than ship the old piece to Florida. Lucky, since it would have rendered Maerin dead in the water during the passage of a significant storm. Not the best of situations! The revised drawings have been approved, the new piece will be in production around the time of this posting and should be shipped within two weeks. Another maintenance problem nipped in the bud!

One Response to “Tropical Storm “Irene” passes through”

  1. Shawn on 30 Aug 2011 at 12:39 PM #

    Barb & Steve,
    Good to here that the Maerin and you weathered the storm! I hope those measuring skills work out for you, but as the old saying goes your aren’t a tin -knocker if you can’t make up an inch, at least that what I remeber. Be well!