Our Boat Looks Like an Easter Egg

Groundhog Day has come and gone, but in our lives we’re still living it every day.

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Our lives are still revolving around working on our bottom. Add faring compound, sand smooth, re-prime where we’ve sanded through, to bare metal, and repeat. With all the extra colors being added to our round white bottom, we’re actually starting to look like an Easter Egg!

We were able to take one day off to celebrate a very special occasion for ourselves, our Half-life-iversary! Now that our 17 year dating anniversary has come around it means we’ve spent half our lives together as a couple. Too bad the day didn’t want to agree with us for having a good time.

Lastly, we finish up the hard dodger with the remaining coats of paint and get it up in place. It will be awhile before we start the fabric enclosure though, as until we get the mast up, we’re still not 100% sure the boom will clear the top, lol.

Cheers from the work yard!

Thank you SO MUCH to our Patrons. These charitable souls help keep us in the work yard, our camera equipment up to date, and the videos coming. To join the Patreon ranks, please visit http://www.patreon.com/mjsailing

Thank you!,
Matt & Jessica


Music:
00:01 – Spoiled Kids – Daniel Kadawatha
00:56 – Surely – Ovasoul7
07:44 – Love’s a Game – Tantu Beats
12:56 – I’m a Volcano – Martin Hall
Camera equipment used:
- Sony NEX 5T – http://amzn.to/2glc9zG
- Apple iPhone 5S – http://amzn.to/2iHRu7G

Editing software: Windows Movie Maker

Website:

http://www.mjsailing.com

Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/mjsailing

Instagram:

http://www.instagram.com/mattandjessicasailing

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Bare Bottomed No More

Dive in with us as we tackle A LOT of boat work in this episode.

Subscribe if you’d like to keep following our adventures, and if you enjoyed this episode, give us a thumbs up!

Wow, we are all over the place in this one, or at least it seems that way on camera. But really?; it’s a pretty typical week for us. We had a surprise visit from our welder to complete the last of what we needed there….which means we were free to start on the bottom!
Sanding and grinding down to bare aluminum, priming, and then adding a barrier coat, we had an exhaustive week. It didn’t end there though. On top of the barrier coat, Matt added a faring compound to smooth out a few of the seams which I (Jessica) had to sand down to smooth even more.
Our work continues to the inside of the boat as well. I take to (hopefully) getting the last coat of paint in our forward salon, and Matt is beginning to get us functional by beginning the process of wiring everything to our batteries.

Cheers from the work yard!

Thank you SO MUCH to our Patrons. These charitable souls help keep us in the work yard, our camera equipment up to date, and the videos coming. To join the Patreon ranks, please visit http://www.patreon.com/mjsailing

Thank you!,
Matt & Jessica

Music:
00:01 - Spoiled Kids – Daniel Kadawatha
03:25 - Sunset – Methas Tariya

Camera equipment used:
- Sony NEX 5T - http://amzn.to/2glc9zG
- Apple iPhone 5S - http://amzn.to/2iHRu7G

Editing software: Windows Movie Maker

Website:
http://www.mjsailing.com

Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/mjsailing

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/mattandjessicasailing/

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Seam Ripper Come Rescue Me

Who knew vlogging could take so much time?  Oh wait, maybe it’s the sewing project I’ve been working on the past few weeks!  Either way, the blog has still been ignored, and I still apologize for that.  And probably will when the next video goes up as well.

While you’re waiting for the thrilling story of our trim (which is about the only lapse between the blog and videos), catch up on all the new things happening, including us finally getting cushions in the forward salon!  Only about a year after we thought we’d originally get them when we first started work on days off.  Although the old cockpit cushions we’d been using in place gave us some kind of padding and fluff under our bums, it was high time to put the real thing in there since all the heavy duty work up there had been completed and there wasn’t the same worry that we’d destroy the fabric right away.

I don’t get anywhere near finishing, and also take a break in the middle to help Matt apply the Kiwi Grip non-skid to our deck, but progress is being made!

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Watch Us Now on YouTube!

That’s right, we’re transitioning ourselves to be vloggers!  Waiting until the boat renovation is only a few short months from completion (I know, I know, we should have started earlier), we’ve finally taking the plunge into recording our lives through video as well as writing.  We’d had the idea for a long time, although honestly, after watching the countless hours our friends the Sailing Conductors put in to filming for their documentary series on Soundwave2Berlin, we didn’t think we could handle all the extra work at the moment that comes with bringing out a camera every time you go to do something.  At least, that is the lesson we took from observing our German friends.

With so many fellow boat workers, bloggers, and blog followers passing through our yard though, we’d always get the question of ‘Why don’t you two do videos?’, and we’d explain it away that it appeared to be just as big of a project as the boat we’re overhauling, and if we did decide to eventually do it, it would be way down the road once we were on the water again.  It wasn’t until our new friends Cat & Will of Monday Never came to spend a few days at the marina while selling their boat where we watched them film a few short clips here and there, and talked the logistics of it that it dawned on us that maybe a video series would be possible at the moment.

Another month or two of failed attempts to actually hit the record button on the camera while we were working, I gave myself a ‘publish by’ date for our first episode and finally started filming.  Only two weeks behind my self appointed date, I’ve kept that promise. Video-logging is a completely different world from Web-logging, and we’ll definitely be spending a little time learning the ropes as we continue to capture our lives in motion.

What does this mean for the blog?  Don’t worry, it’s not disappearing.  As we finish work on Daze Off, I’ll make sure to publish the same amount of posts featuring the work with the same (fairly) detailed explanations as I always have.  Once we’re on the water and travelling I will try to keep up with two posts a week on the blog, in addition to the 2-3 videos I hope to publish each month on YouTube.  Ambitious?  Definitely.  But at least it will keep us busy and we’ll never be able to complain about being bored again.  Partially what got us into this boat remodel in the first place.

We hope you enjoy our very first episode of Welcome to the Boat Graveyard.  If you like what you see, please subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss any future videos.

 

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Rebuilding the Quarter Berth: Part II

Where we had last left off on the rebuild of our quarter berth, we had just cut all the necessary pieces of plywood and Eurolite from the templates we had removed during the demolition.  Because we had finished later in the evening, we waited until the next day to take the v-groove router to the panels.  A project we had dozens of times before and assumed would take 2-3 hours in total to complete the three panels that needed it.

One issue we had to be careful of though was to match up the lines in the quarter berth with the lines that were running down the aft part of the pilot house.  Initially screwing the panels in place, we made marks with a pencil of where a few of the lines needed to end so they would butt up together.  Then taking the panels down to our work bench we had to figure out the distance from the center of the bit to the edge of the router since we always run it along a straight edge to keep it, well, straight, from one end to the other.  I had my mark made there, and from then on went along the Eurolite making marks every 3.25 inches on the edges where we’d eventually clamp the straight edge down.

Everything looked to be going well until Matt went to make the first mark.  It turns out the the square casing around the router bit wasn’t equal on all sides and the edge of the router Matt was running along the straight edge was not the one we had measured for earlier.  So not only were all the marks I had just done now incorrect, but we had a line in the board which was now not going to line up with the rest of the boards.

Making the new correct marks we finished up the board placing the lines where they were actually supposed to be, and then mixed up epoxy and filler to take care of the initial line that was messed up.  We made sure for the next two boards to be very careful of where our marks were in relation to the router edge.

pilot house bare wood

pilot house with primer

Spending two days having worked on this process now because of our screw ups as well as being rained out of the afternoons, we were already behind the schedule we were hoping to be on.  The next few days were a fury of work inside the boat, although we still had a few of those ‘hurry up and wait’ moments.  The panels were placed back in and then the corner was epoxied with filler, but after that we couldn’t touch it again until the next day when it was dry.

The next morning was full of sanding on my part to smooth out the areas that had been epoxied, and then I ran a palm sander over all the boards once more to give them a final smooth down.  Just before lunch I spent 2-3 hours applying a coat of primer, then after a 30 minute lunch I was back at it applying a second coat.  Working on the quarter berth and the starboard side of the pilot house together, it was more painting than I was used to in one go, and by 6 pm I was happy to throw down my paint brush for the day.

On our last day of work for this area I had to split the day up between sanding and painting.  My morning was spent going over all the surfaces with a palm sander and 220 grit sandpaper.  It was a dusty mess and my goggles kept getting coating any time I had to work on the overhead.  By the time lunch came around I looked like a ghost because I was covered in white, and happy ran to the showers to take a rinse before I sat down to eat.

In the afternoon I was able to apply a coat of satin paint, which always seems to go on so much smoother than the primer.  I’m always happy when I get to this point, not only because it means I’m just about finished with the area, but the color is so bright that it is almost blinding.  This boat is becoming so bright and white, I absolutely love it!  Now all we have left to do are the overhead parts of the pilot house and we are all done with walls.  Can.Not.Wait.

Jessica sanding quarter berth

finished quarter berth

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Rebuilding the Quarter Berth: Part I

The last room.  We’re actually starting work on the last room.  I honestly wasn’t sure this day would ever come. Ok, so work still needs to be done to to the starboard walls of the pilot house, but our aft quarter berth was the last untouched area….and now we have our hands all over it!

Our first step was clearing it out which was no easy feat in itself.  Ever since we moved aboard this boat the quarter berth has been our main ‘storage’ area (other than our 10′x10′ storage unit up the road), so if there was anything on the boat we didn’t know where to stick it…in the quarter berth it went.  About half of it we were able to keep chaos free, but the front half, the part we used to store all our tools, rarely to ever had a sense of order.  For more than 48 hours anyway.

To clear space in this area in order to tear it apart and rebuild it, we needed to find new homes for all the items that had been sitting there.  Most of the smaller tools we use nearly everyday were placed in what will eventually become an extra pantry for me; the bottom area of our nav station.  Our drawers from the old nav station; your run of the mill junk drawer; small tools; computer electronics; and then boat electronics; have been moved to sit on top of the port settee on the pilot house.  Over there also went the two boxes of canned food that we had brought over from Serendipity and never visited again.  They really should have been in an easier to access spot.

What resulted was a new chaos in the pilot house that even spilled out a little bit to our forward salon.  Imagine if you (as a homeowner) took everything you stored in your garage and attic, and moved it into your living room.  It is complete craziness.  I actually have video of it that I’ll put online as soon as I have a following video once we’ve cleaned it all up so we don’t look like we belong on an episode of hoarders, haha.

Anyway, back to the project. After the area had been cleared out we started the process of removing all the old walls and plywood, bringing  them below the boat to keep as templates for when we’re ready to trace and install the new wood. The existing pieces still didn’t fit exactly as we wanted though, so before they went down we went through and measured areas we’d like to extend them out just a little bit, and marked those areas with a Sharpie so we’d know later the adjustments that needed to be made.

cleaned out quarter berth

Matt taking measurements

taking apart quarter berth

Once all the old wood was out, there was the task of making sure the aluminum in that part of the hull was still ok and wasn’t pitting enough to the point it would need replacing.  Since our welder is still scheduled to come out and fix one or two more problem areas, we need to know of all issues to the hull, inside and out, before we send our welder packing for good.  This meant taking out the existing insulation against the hull below the waterline, which we wanted to anyway because it’s easier for moisture to get trapped there.

Getting to work with an oscillating tool, I worked through two rows of insulation until I was down to metal, and then scrubbed the area with a metal brush to make sure any remaining debris came loose and was vacuumed up.  Keeping a clean surface down here will help prevent any future pitting, and we definitely don’t want that.  But I have to say, after sticking my tiny little fingers from my itty bitty hand between a few of these metal frames because no other tools would easily fit in there to clean out all the dirt build up, I was tempted just to let it sit and rot.  But sigh…future Jessica would hate me for that.

The next few days on this project were easy sailing.  We used 2x4s as the cleats that would hold the new plywood flooring (seating?) and also put up the new battons which the Eurolite will adhere to.  On a rain free morning I epoxied all of them so they could be installed permanently, and we were ready to trace our old templates onto fresh wood.  In a few areas we made over cuts ‘just in case’ because we knew it would be much easier to shave a little off than be too short and screwed.  The plywood fit in perfectly, although the Eurolite needed just a little trimming.  All in all it was an easy process and the initial install came together very nicely.

Next step will be to route the v-groves in the Eurolite, and epoxy the backs before we can install them for good.  Then it’s onto my favorite task of filling and sanding the corners, and eventually I’ll be unleashed to prime and paint.

Jessica removing foam insulation

Matt adding new beams

initial walls of quarter berth

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Prepping for Paint

It never fails that as soon as we get a few walls new up, and I get excited and gung-ho to get a  nice white coat of paint on them, only to find that project is going to be pushed back about a week for other things first.  Not only that, it’s usually for one of my least favorite projects on earth.  Using filler, and then sanding that filler down.

For all of our areas that are not overhead panels, basically meaning the ceiling, we would like them permanently fixed in the corners instead of solely using trim, and so we’v been stuffing them with an epoxy filler which then gets sanded down smooth.  And who gets to sand down these areas with peaks so hard and sharp they’ll slice open your finger if your hand skips off the sandpaper?  Ding ding ding, this girl here!

Ok, so this round in the pilot house wasn’t so bad because I was able to use  the palm sander for a good portion of it, and there were only a few corners that needed to be done by hand.  A Sharpie wrapped in sandpaper helped to do the trick in those areas, and for once I was left asking, “That was it?”.

Remember last fall when I had the horrible task of sanding all the seams inside the head?  At least these areas, for the most part, are a little easier to reach.

Taking the palm sander to the remaining boards to smooth down the surface for the initial priming, the job actually went by pretty quickly.  Sure there was another day added so we could go through and add a second filler that had better sanding qualities, covering the screw holes and any seams that may have had indents from the first round.  After about three days, I was let loose with my paint brush.

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It was a long day, but I was able to get two coats of primer on all these boards in one work day.  Notice I say ‘work day’ because I will still throw in the towel at 5 pm even there is plenty of daylight left for working later.  I would say the next day where I did a hand sanding, as to not take of everything I’d just done with the palm sander, as well as put a coat of paint on a good day too, but I was suffering a massive wine hangover.  A side story that will be saved for a later post, but Will and Cat from Monday Never met up with us at the patio while they got ready to sell their boat Paradox, and after the few glasses of wine that Cat and I had, combined with the insufferable heat, and we both had headaches until 5 pm the next day.

In any sense, I kept pushing past the fact that I thought my skull was going to rip out of my head, because I was determined to get an actual coat of paint on that day.  The hand sanding took me from breakfast until a late lunch, and the painting was much easier.  Our semi-gloss Valspar just glides right on, although I do have to be careful about my brush strokes.

All this work did take me about an hour past my quitting time, but it was completely worth it.  Look at the difference it’s made in this space.  Pretty soon we’ll have the walls up on the port side as well, and once I’m forced to go through the hassle of filler and sanding once more, those too will be painted.

Gahhhh, I’m so excited to see how all this is coming together!

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Continuing Work on the Pilot House

There has been a lot of work going on inside the pilot house lately! I am just a little more excited that progress is happening here, because as soon as these walls and overheads are built, we move on to the aft berth (which will hopefully be quick and easy), and that’s it for major woodwork!  When these areas are complete we can finally move on to trim, electrical, and plumbing, and BAM, we’ll be in the water.  Ok, so getting that far is still a few months down the road….but at least it finally seems within sight.

There are two main projects we’ve been putting all our efforts into for the past few weeks, and they are getting the upper walls of Eurolite on the port side of the pilot house, and beginning the desk/nav station on the starboard side.

For the walls in the pilot house, it was extremely beneficial to us that we had saved the previous templates from the old walls in our storage unit for the past nine months until we could use them again.  Placing the old boards up against our new 1/2″ plywood that will act as our seat back, we made necessary adjustments to cut the board down until it properly fit in it’s new space.  Once we were happy with how the old template was sitting, we brought the template down to a new 4′x8′ 1/4″ thick sheet of Eurolite, and traced the pattern onto the virgin wood.  The newly cut sheet was brought up and screwed into place.  Basically no tweaking needed!

We decided to leave the sheet that faces midship a smooth surface, but continued with our routing v-grooves into the pieces that face fore and aft.  Wow, I don’t even know how long it has been since we’ve taken on that project.  Maybe sometime last fall when we were throwing up walls in the galley? Everything is coming out great so far though, and I can’t wait to get a few coats of primer and paint in there to finish it off and brighten up the area.

woodwork in the pilot house

Matt cutting wood

 It was fun to begin the tongue and groove projects of the nav desk again.  After having to make odd shaped templates and squeezing boards into place for the walls, doing something square was a nice adjustment.  Not to say this project doesn’t come with it’s difficulties, but at least there are new and fresh ones to offer us a change from what we’re normally dealing with.

The front of the desk was a quick and easy day of cutting and gluing, once we had tailored the table saw to make the correct cuts in the hardwood.  Our frame that will support the doors for our drawers and storage space gave us a few problems of wanting to slide or move just a little bit when we’d go to glue and screw them together.  There’s nothing like having three 90 degree angles and one that’s off to leave you running through your list of expletives in a relatively short time frame.  After lots of tweaking in this area, we eventually did get all the squares to snugly fit our carpenter’s square, and we moved on to making the doors and fronts for these areas.

building nav station

Plus, I was able to paint the walls behind the desk and what will be our electronics area.  I love getting fresh paint in a new space!

painting the pilot house

 Next came the desk top, which is a variation of 2 1/2″ & 3 1/2″ pieces of cherry hardwood for the frame, and a piece of 1/4″ cherry plywood glued to 1/4″ Eurolite, with both pieces sliding into grooves in the hardwood. The tops of the hardwood were rounded over with our router to give them a smooth edge, and we did a light sanding on the bottom edge to take away the sharp corner which would no doubt end up in my forehead on passage.

We also built the frame and panels which will serve as the face for all our electronics.  Things like our switchboard, VHF, stereo, and bilge pump switches.  Once everything was built and properly fitted into place, we disassembled it all to give at least one coat of protective varnishing.  We are so happy with the way everything is coming together in here, and I can’t wait to keep you up to date on the rest of the progress as we get closer and closer to completion. Until then, I’ll just keep daydreaming about our evening at anchor, sitting in here and watching the sunset while comfortable eating dinner inside, or afternoons of reading books and sipping on sparkling water while bathed in natural light.

nav station pilot house

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Building Seating in the Pilot House

Progress on the pilot house continues!  As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve currently lost misplaced my memory card that has the photos of us building up the seats for the area on the port side, so we’ll have to skip forward about a week and a half on progress in that area.  Just picture in your head a lot of cutting  of plywood and attaching it to 1×2″ cleats.

Before that was even possible though, we needed to replace the old floors with new 1/2″ plywood (epoxied on both sides and later to have 1/4″ maple placed on top), but before we could even do that, we needed to clean out our bilges and our metal tanks as best we could.  Mostly this job fell on to be because of my little hands and arms along with my ability to get into the small nooks and crannies that were hiding old dirt and other kinds of buildup.  For the most part I was able to scrape away any excess dirt and old oil from the engine with a combination of a chisel and a wire brush.

Not one of my favorite projects and I could have really done with those gloves that go up past for elbows for the amount of rubbing my arms faced on our metal frames.  Sometimes there was also the project of removing old insulation that fell below the waterline and is not necessary for us, but that was usually a much easier job.  As big of a pain in the butt that project was, it should keep any new corrosion from building in our bilges and give us much better peace of mind.

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 On to the seats!  The port side of our pilot house will have a L shaped settee, and since we’re building them ourselves, we’re going to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible for when one or both of us sits there.  Because we assume that will mostly be Matt’s sitting area, he wanted to make sure he wasn’t forced down into the forward salon because the seats weren’t big enough for him to be comfortable on.  What’s the point of having a pilot house if you never use it?  Based on a few measurements he took from Serendipity, we found out that a seat width of 26″ inches would be the most enjoyable for relaxing.  Since the previous seats in this area were only 14″ wide, there was no way we could copy that set up again and have enough room to easily sit there.

Because the new design for the seats comes out so much further than the old plan, we didn’t want to lose all floor room in this area as well.  So instead of having a 12″ platform that begins as soon as you come to the bottom of the companionway, we’ve decided to push it back so it only sticks out 6″ from the seats, as an extra step up to them.  This does cause us to lose a little more storage space in this area, but we do gain some of it back with the extra width of the seats since the entire area underneath them is reserved for that purpose.

Once we had the base built up as well as painted, it was time to work on the seats and back.  Using 1/2″ plywood for this as well, we used two sheets of plywood.  Overall we’ll have three access points to storage below, and on access point to an area that will house our batteries.  The very end area toward the center of the boat will be our wet locker, but access to that will be a swinging door from the side.  We’re also making opening doors to a storage area that will sit behind our backs, opening  up the area that curves along the hull.

After having put one shelf in here we decided that the lower area which gets thinner the closer you get to the floor will be a perfect place to store charts, since we have so many but use so few at one time.  Because they are so thin and can mold into that spot, and now we don’t have to worry about what other odd shaped items might fit in that spot.  The upper area for storage, I’m really looking forward to using for tupperware.  Silly, I know, but since we didn’t have a great spot for them on our last boat I’m so happy to finally have an easy access area for them.  I’m loving all this extra storage on our new boat!

old floors

Our old floors.

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Random Happenings in the Boat Yard

I know it has been forever since I’ve done any kind of boat work or boat related post, and for that I apologize.  With things like a failed computer that had me only publishing long ago saved drafts from my tablet, to the Florida summer heat leaving me incoherent at the end of every night to, honestly, becoming too addicted to our Instagram account, I’ve let the ball drop.  I’m going  to try and pick it back up because there’s a lot that’s been going  on over the past few months, and I’d love to keep you updated on it!

Just to start you out with a couple of the small things before I really catch you up, I’m posting a ‘Random Happenings’ post before I get to the down and dirty work that has been keeping us busy for the past few weeks.

 

  • We’ve purchased our canvas for the dodger & bimini!

Colors.  Just as much as renovating a home, picking out colors for a boat is just as much of an overwhelming task.  What do we think would look good?  What colors do we want to stay far away from?  What might clash with our bare metal hull?  And mostly….what can we afford?

As I’ve said before, I’m so lucky to be married to a man who’s biggest source of entertainment is researching items online.  Whether it be boats on yachtworld.com (how we came across Daze Off), eBay (how we were able to double the size of our winches for half the cost), or the fabric we’ll need to outfit the inside and outside of our boat.  We knew that Pacific Blue was out.  We had already done it on Serendipity, and as the number one canvas color out there on boats, we wanted something  that would help us stand out a little more.  As if that would be an issue anyway on this new boat.

We had been toying with the idea of a light or bright green for quite awhile, thinking that a lime green would give it a nice fresh look and give this old boat a more modern feel.  After searching for months and months, because we have that kind of time on our hands, he came across a  remnant roll of Ginkgo Green by Sunbrella.  It was a situation where we were not able to request a sample, but instead had to take a gamble buying the remaining 16 yards on the roll and hoped we liked it. Although at the amazingly low price of $6.95/yard, we were willing to take that gamble.  At a 70% discount, we were sure we could like it enough.

When the roll came in the mail we hurriedly ran it over to Daze Off and unwrapped it from the plastic to hold a corner of the fabric against the pilot house and see how the color looked in the light of day and between the white deck and silver hull.  A huge sigh of relief was released when the bright green matched the two perfectly and gave us the modern yet slightly funky look we were after.  It may be months down the road before its turned into anything, but at least we have it and won’t have to worry about hunting down a color later on.

Sunbrella ginkgo green canvas

  • We’re building up the pilot house…finally

This is the moment, at least I personally, have been waiting for forever.  It means that our construction phase is nearly over.  The last major renovation to the boat.  Sure, there’s still a million things to be wired and plumbed later on, but at least once this is complete it will look like a home.  Not to mention ALL the storage space we’re going to gain once this area is built up.  Can you imagine what it will be like when I don’t have to keep spare soda and chips in the van because its the only place to keep them safe and out of the way?  When all of our tools will have a home to be put away in?  It will be heaven.  I can’t say I’ll still love being in the work yard at that point, but at least our living conditions will be much more comfortable.

We’re starting on the port side and then moving to the starboard side once it is mostly built up, hoping the disassembly of the nav station and tool drawers can wait until we have a new surface to put them on.  The first step is framing in the curved area of the hull, which on that side, will eventually turn into storage units that will sit behind  the back of our L shaped settee in the pilot house.  Just as much of a pain as ever, trying to template these odd curves comes with it’s difficulties, but we’re still doing just fine with our 1/4″ pieces of wood attached together instead of using foam.  We’ve had this suggestion from many people, but we can easily take apart the template and reuse those strips of wood, so we think this way works out for us best.

The next stage of this project will be to build up the seats and what will be the storage units underneath them, before eventually moving on to the upper parts of  the walls, covering the three sides of windows.

*I had photos of this part of the project, but lost my memory card before I could transfer them to my computer, so you’re going to see a huge jump in this project.  Sorry!

pilot house 1

pilot house 2

  • Storm season is upon us once again

Oh yes, the reason it feels like we never got anything done last summer.  Come  3:00 pm, cue the storm clouds and heavy rain. A few things have changed since last year though, and hopefully our summer will be at least 50% more productive than it was last year.

The first reason for this is most of our work actually happens indoors now.  If we’re given a few good hours in the morning and afternoon of decent weather, we can make all of our major cuts with the table saw and circular saw outside, and spend the rainy hours of the afternoon indoors assembling what we’ve just cut.  Another is that we’re just doing many of our smaller cuts indoors at this point.  Once the big cuts to the plywood are made, most of the cuts from that point on are little cleats which we can easily tackle indoors with our oscillating tool or circular saw.

The other major reason is, other than a few big storms in May, the rest of the summer so far has been relatively dry.  I don’t even know how many days we’ve seen dark clouds come rolling up to us in the afternoon, winds beginning to gust…and then nothing happens.  Mostly we’re left with overcast skies and a bit of wind, but you won’t hear us complaining about that one bit.  In fact, if we can keep a dry yet cloudy a cool way of life all summer, we’d be on a fast track to get A LOT of work done by this fall!

storms in south Florida

summer storms in Florida

  • We bought an arch for the boat.  It didn’t work out.

This is an item we’ve been hemming and hawing about practically since we’ve purchased the boat.  We know we don’t want davits on this new boat, but we do need a system that will keep our radar and solar panels mounted.  Do we spend the money on an arch?  Do we even like the looks of a massive arch back there?  Or do we go much more simple with two vertical poles to house the radar and wind gen, and a horizontal one suspended between the two for our solar.

Having such a different setup on Serendipity where A.) our davits supported our solar panels, B.) our radar was up the mast, and C.) there was never a wind generator to deal with, I was at a bit of a loss as what to suggest for a solution on the new boat.  Will the three pole system work out?  If so, Sure, go for it!  If not?  Get an arch.  Easy peasy.  I don’t like to be bothered with details like that.  Whatever works, just get me the hell out of this yard.

Unfortunately it doesn’t  always work like that on our boat and we need to think smartly about all of our options.  In the end…the arch did seem the better option.  It would be stronger and give good support in all the areas we needed.  As far as looks go?  Well, hopefully it looks good, and if not….at least we know our goods are secure.

So when a 7′ wide arch popped up on Craigslist in Coco Beach within our price range, we figured we may as well bite the bullet and pick it up.  Choosing a random Friday night, we made the 2 hour dive north on I-95 to the boat yard where the seller lived.  Eventually finding it propped up against a gate (the owner was not there when we arrived) we noticed right away it looked very large for 7 feet.  Taking our measuring tape to it, we immediately found out why.  It was actually 9 ft wide.  We were half tempted to walk away from it right then, but we figured we may as well get it back to the boat and give it a try before we made any decisions.  If it didn’t work out, we could easily pawn it off on someone else.

Making a now 3 hour drive home on US-1 with this gigantic piece of metal hanging off each side of the van, we arrived back near midnight and didn’t even bother to take it off the van before passing out in our bed.  Over the next day or two we eventually did get it on the ground and even up on the boat with the help of one of our neighbors, only to find that the extra two feet of width made it too wide to fit on the aft end of our boat, especially with the angle of the feet the arch sat on.  We toyed with the idea of having our welder make a few adjustments to it the next time he was out working on our boat, but in the end, we decided it wasn’t worth the trouble and we’ll probably go with the other idea of the two vertical posts with a connecting beam.

Luck was on our side though in the fact that we had a neighbor in the boat yard that was more than happy to take it off our hands.

sailboat arch

9 ft sailboat arch

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