Monday, March 26, 2018

early to bed...

We finally managed to get three coats of paint on her and she is very shiny!

The white you see now is the reflection of boats nearby.

We plan to add a 4th coat but decided to wait until next visit and concentrate on items necessary for putting her to bed.

Yes, she is back in storage.  We arrived January 12th and left her on March 18th, a little over 9 weeks, and worked on her almost every one of those days.  She is getting whipped back into great shape.  She has been mechanically and structurally sound, but having her look good is a real treat.  We kid ourselves into believing that if someone was passing through the boat yard looking at sailboats, ours would be at the top of the list of the boats they wish they had.

We have a few more projects on our list for next time and then launch and play.  Tentative plans are to head back to the Bahamas to places we have not yet seen and perhaps other islands, also.  We are in hopes a granddaughter may join us for a while.

We made it back home in 4 days thanks to the 4th day being a little over 900 miles of driving.  Now we will prepare our other sailboat, Cal 27 T/2 “Knot Ready” for the summer sailing season and make sure the guest rooms are ready for whoever may come visit!  Yawl come! (sailing humor)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

11 march 2018

Meet Albert, the sneaky alligator. 

He laid here most of the morning. I think he was contemplating his next adventure. As you know, we don't have alligators in Montana, so I don't know what their habits are. I'm learning.

There are often fishing boats in the little inlet at our boat yard. They have been catching bass this year. When we hear splashing, it is a perfect reason to take a break and watch them haul in a fish. Much to my surprise, one of the fishermen hooked Albert. It took a good while for the fisherman  to get him up to the boat, take a picture and cut him loose. My eyes were wide open, the guys in the boat were quite casual.

About a week later, I was working in the cockpit and kept hearing loud scratching and banging noises around the boats tied up behind us. I looked and looked, but didn't see anything. Then it happened again. Still nothing seen. The third time I looked up, Albert was on the stern of one of the boats and just sliding into the water.  That evening at sundowners, I asked if that was unusual. By the wild eyes and dropped jaws, I guess it is. Those people who are living on their boats are now more cautious when they go out to their cockpit in the mornings.
We were shown an orchard close to the boatyard where we are able to go pick grapefruit, oranges and tangerines at will.

Such a treat for us. They take it for granite here. I guess we do the same with our apples.

Oh yes. We have also worked on Submit every day. We spent over a week sanding her, first with 40 grit then 120 grit then 220 grit.  At one point, Reggie grazed his leg with the 40 grit, which he said hurt a little, but not as much as smoothing with the 120 and 220!

The goal was to have three coats of paint on the hull by today. However, it has been too dry, too windy or too cold. One morning it was colder and drier here than at home in Montana. We have only managed to get one coat on her. After all the sanding, we considered renaming her Old Paint, as she looked like an appaloosa horse. After the first coat, she looks like she has the measles. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the spots fade without too many extra coats. Time is running out.

We weren't idle when painting wasn't an option. Reggie reinstalled the heat exchanger and transmission. I got a few more items cleaned up and reinstalled, one of which was the table. It had split apart and was water damaged. With Reggie's constant assistance, it is now glued back together, sanded down and re-stained.  We just have to add a screw to the bottom of the leg and it is done. We also put down new flooring in the galley and dinette. 

Barbara was excellent at holding down the floor pattern.  That was finished today. Tomorrow and Tuesday look good for painting. Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, March 5, 2018

5 March 2018

Look what we've done to our boat ma
Look what we've done to our boat
Well it's the only thing
That we wanted done half right
And it's turning out all wrong ma
Look what we've done to our boat!

Reggie, The Sandman, is bringing the dream to life.  

(still haven't figured out how to keep the pictures from rotating when importing to the blog)

Prepping the hull has been a major job, but we are almost ready to start painting.  The prep and paint will take at least 14 complete passes over the hull.  All of the prep work has fallen to Reggie. Barbara piddles along with little jobs and tries not to interfere with his work. Never happens. He always has to lend a hand.

Thankfully the rub rail removal was relatively painless. We were concerned about removing the machine screws and their nuts thanks to layers of paint on the nuts and tight spots, etc., but had little difficulty.  After prying the old teak off in sections, old sealant/adhesive scraped off fairly easily.  About 70 holes were first countersunk to give a larger clean contact area and then filled with thickened epoxy.  The decision has been made to not replace the rub rail.
Occasional sundowners and visits from friends keep us from becoming jaded.  Anyone is welcome to come distract us for a while!

Monday, February 26, 2018

26 Februart, 2018

26 February 2018

We’ve been given pink and yellow grapefruit, oranges and tangerines from local trees.  It is a nice treat.  Higher than average temperatures bring pretty flowers on trees and shrubs.  Today’s high is predicted to be 85.

Major accomplishment this week! The deck, cockpit and cabin tops are painted.  We are going to need extra strong sun glasses. It is so bright and shiny.  Pictures do not do it justice.  Nonskid areas made nonskid again.  Hardware is being re-bedded.  We take our shoes off at the bottom of the ladder to try to keep things clean.  When I removed the tape yesterday, we discovered that we have a little more touch up work to do than we thought. Oh well, add a little paint here and remove a little there.

The first day of painting went without a hitch, but Tuesday was a little windy. As we were almost done, the wind picked up the paint tray and dumped down the new window and onto the deck and new toe rail. The interesting thing to me was that neither of us made a sound.  None. We just started mopping up paint. After the long silence, one of us might have said, "Can you get that glob right there?" At dinner that night, Reggie tipped his wine glass over. Now there are expletives! Guess we know what's important. We also spilled paint on Wednesday. Negotiating around shrouds, etc with open containers of paint isn't easy, even for someone who is nimble and at our ages we are not nimble.

The weekend was all about food.  On Friday afternoon, we needed to let paint dry so we could walk around to do the rest of the deck. We headed off with our shopping list. First we stopped at Monkey Fist in Green Cove Springs to pick up a few items and then on to Jacksonville to get new cockpit speakers at West Marine. We are not big users of cockpit speakers, but the old ones had died and were letting water into the boat.  The West Marine speakers were an exact fit replacement.

By then it was close to dinner time. We hadn't been to Maggiano's for years. Delicious food and tons of it. Saturday's dinner is in the bag.  Saturday morning the resort managers hosted another breakfast for everyone.

Reggie asserted that we were going to finish painting the deck today, which I doubted, so after a big, late breakfast, we hit the decks. The only break we took was to give the section we just finished a little time to set up. I was hot and thirsty and wanted something fizzy to drink. We went to a nearby convenience store. A lunch break for champions.

how do I rotate this picture here?

This week’s target project is painting the sides of the boat.  The old rub rails will be removed today and the prep work will begin.   Getting it done in a week will be challenging.  We are really looking forward to seeing her pretty again.  She looks pretty ratty now with peeling clearcoat and scratches and off color touchup paint.  In fact, nobody can see much but the hull at present.  The deck is 10 feet in the air so deck and interior work is hidden.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

the work goes on 20 Feb 2018

Major accomplishment last week. 166, plus or minus, holes drilled, a bruised cheek, scraped knuckles, bolts installed and the toe rail is finally in place. After we sent Vic and Marilynn off for fun and relaxation on Whisper, Reggie and I had the pleasure of finishing the project on our own. I sat up on the deck soaking up the rays while Reggie was inside. I occasionally had to stuff a bolt into one of the holes so that Reggie could put on the washers and nuts. No easy chore as it required him to squeeze into cupboards, cubbies, lockers and other tiny places. Sometimes his arm was asked to bend in directions that arms aren't built to bend. Putting washers and nuts on bolts that he couldn't see was the easy part. Do we love the toe rail because we did it or because it is really awesome? We'll let you decide


Next major project is painting the deck and coachroof. After days of filling, sanding and washing, we have started painting. First coat on the non non-skid (slick?) is applied. Second coat was to be applied last night, but it was too dry! Who would have thunk? Directions say that it has to be 55% humidity or higher and it was around 45%. Lower humidity causes it to 'kick' to fast. We will be putting on coat number two this morning. The decision then is what will we do in the afternoon? Work inside and remember to watch our step when outside, or ???

We have about a month before we will be heading north. The list is a little shorter, but still way too long. I do like to work on projects and Submit is going to be one of the most beautiful yachts on the pond. Well maybe I'm a little prejudiced. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

11 Feb 2018

11 Feb, 2018

A good sailing friend reminded me about the image most folks have of cruising. It involves a fancy yacht, white sails on blue seas, palm trees, white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and beautiful young people diving off the yacht wearing little to hide their charms.  Nothing ever goes wrong and when it does, just write a check and all will be well again.  For the modest number of wealthy, this is true.

The basic definition of a yacht is any pleasure boat.  This includes the palatial sailboats and power yachts conjured above as well as little 7 foot sailing dinghies or even canoes.  So, we do indeed have not one but two “yachts”,  one 27 foot and one 36 foot, both 50ish years old.

My friend pointed out how our blog isn’t all mai tais and palm trees.  It is a reality check and a reminder  the majority cruise on a budget or with limited means.  Even if you have much smaller sacks of gold it is possible to enjoy spurts of the cruising life.  There are other ways to pay your way cruising besides writing a check.  They can include investing time and elbow grease and risking sun burns and temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s or higher. 

Some cruisers do their own work because they cannot afford to hire someone else to do it.  Some cruisers love to do the work because they just love working on and love their boat and want to keep it as much their own as possible. Some do it because they have learned the hard or expensive way that they can do it as well as or often better than anyone they can hire.   Some do it because they can’t conceive of investing so much money in a boat which may be pretty and durable and operational but which has very low market value if/when their cruising is over.  I guess we are little bit of any and all of the above.

Most of our focus this past week was installing the aluminum toe rails which replace the antique teak.  It could not have been done without the help of friends.  Vic, Tony, Barbara and Marilyn all helped.  Vic and Toney went way above and beyond.  Vic can get into and out of places in a second which I avoid squeezing into if at all possible.  Tony provided mechanical expertise, muscle, guidance and special tools (big C-clamp) and they all provided encouragement.  The rails are bedded and installed with 1/3 of the total bolts.  Barbara counted 166 total if I recall.  I’ll now go back and add the rest of the bolts and cinch everything down.  Then I can work on the replacement bow plate and its backing plate. That will entail living in the anchor locker at the bow of the boat, an area which is not as large as I am.  I must say I think the new-to-us toe rails really look good and make “Submit” look like a modern classic.  Yes, I’ll try to remember to include pictures, but we are usually concentrating so hard on our tasks that we forget to document and take pictures.

Barbara has received the new material for covering the exposed hull on the inside of the cabin.  She will be divining ways to exactly cut it to fit and then adhere it to the hull.  The entire interior will be really spiffy when she is all done.

We hope to begin painting the deck soon.  Deck in this instance covers where you would walk and the cockpit where you would stand and sit and the sides of the cabin, etc., in other words everything between the new toe rails. 

We’ve come to the decision to continue working on our list of high priority projects.  This includes painting the sides of the boat (called topsides in the boating world) and replacing the old teak rub rails.  As a result, we may not get to launch her and do any traveling this year.  However, she should be virtually turn key for next visit, knock on fiberglass.

We did take a small vacation.  Thursday night we attended a local theater group production of “The Nerd”, well done and very funny.  Friday we drove to St. Petersburg for two nights escape to a motel.  Saturday we attended a gathering of Seven Seas Cruising Association members at the St Petersburg Yacht Club (wow!).  The SSCA arranged 10 different seminars covering things like weather knowledge and beginning forecasting, provisioning your boat for cruising, wind and solar power aboard, diesel engine basics, must have items aboard and less costly alternatives for many others, etc.  The closing presentation was from a lady with Asbergers Syndrome who circumnavigated the globe alone at age 38 in a 28 foot sailboat which she resurrected (refit) herself,  and then decided to do it again at age 55 in the same boat which she again had to rebuild and repair along the way.  Her book may be done soon and should be interesting reading. 

Tonight we are back in the old rented travel trailer and seeing fewer fire ants after placing ant bait and ascorbic acid powder.  The toilet is a little too aromatic and the ceiling light over the sofa still is half full from the last rain storm.   There are palm trees, the view of the St John’s river is great, it is partly sunny and in the mid 80’s, the air conditioner works as do the washer and dryer, the beer is cold and projects don’t start until tomorrow, maybe, given a forecast of an 80% chance of showers and thunder storms.

Gee, ain’t the cruising life grand?

Monday, February 5, 2018

Sauna saga continues 2-5-2018

After the first week of cleaning, we started sealing and painting. I worked on the walls and ceiling inside the boat (she applied two coats of KILZ primer before painting. The varnish had failed in many areas so she has re-done a lot of the interior wood.  It looks really nice!  The friends who first opened our boat and discovered its interior sauna were just about in tears over the mess and our loss.  They were fairly certain the interior was too far gone to salvage and that we might just trash the boat. Barbara's elbow grease saved the day and the boat!) 

Reggie worked on sealing the inside of the fuel tanks.  The fuel tanks have been reinstalled along with the upper salon floor, water tanks, upper salon cabinetry and the lower salon single and double pullman berths.  He also worked on repairs, ie new windows for the upper salon, fixing broken steps and cleaning the new-to-us toe rails. There is still more to do inside, but it is finally coming back together.  Of course, he never gets to do any job without coming to my rescue to help with problems I'm having on my current project.. 

This past week, painting, varnishing and reassembly continued. It goes something like this: stop by the storage units and load up parts and pieces that could be returned to their proper place. Scrub them down and do repairs and refinish if needed. We don't remember where the little pieces go, so it is sort of like doing a life size puzzle. Some of the pieces put on a little weight, so Reggie has had to do some trimming. We've ordered new foam backed vinyl which should be here today or tomorrow. After removing the 50 year old stuff which covered the interior hull in the v-berth and lower salon. it took many hours of scraping of foam and glue to prepare for the new (Barbara's poor hands may never recover).  Hopefully the new glass for the windows will be done in the next day or two as well. With those two items installed, the inside will be ready for a rest and we will start prepping the deck for painting.

We probably won't get that far this week, as we are headed to St Petersburg on Friday for a few days of fun. Speaking of fun, lest you are feeling sorry for us, we should let you know that we do find time for something other than projects. There is usually a Sundowner at the boat yard every evening. It is a great time to share stories, advise and snacks. Our friends from New Foundland arrived a couple weeks ago. We have shared dinners and gone shopping, etc. She introduced me to Bingo. Boy has that game changed since I last played. Here we are in our new matching shirts. 

Notice the computers (something like 50 cards per person), plus the paper games. It was quite intense and she had to help me out, as I couldn't keep up. I even had a Bingo once that I didn't see and by the time she saw it, it was too late. My ineptitude probably cost us $100. What a Hoot.

Other non boating musings. There are a couple of alligators in the pond here in the RV park. There is also one at the boat yard, but we haven't seen him this year. One of the turkeys at the boat yard seems to think it is a dog. He chases the truck and 'barks' at the tires. He's pretty fast on those two little legs.