Moving Day

Today was moving day!  Only four days past our anticipated splash date, we got set back in the water.  Which, for yard schedules, was pretty darn good.  Yay!!!!  After spending almost seven weeks stone still in the yard it felt great, and a little weird, to be bobbing along again.  Everything went well, no surprises, and we checked out what our newly pitched prop would do by motoring back down to Dragon Point, Merritt Island and basically anchored right in front of our old Marina again.  A race was going on right in front of where we anchored so we sat back and watched, took a nap, and started on unpacking all the things that had been stowed away while in the yard, like the dinghy.  We also got all the plumbing systems up and going.  No more hikes to the bathroom! Today was such a good day 🙂

So hopefully no more hurricanes pop up, we will finish stocking up, and start heading back over to the Bahamas.  Time to get this show on the road again. Whew! 

It may have been a good day for Keith and I, but it was a GREAT day for Kai. Since we’ve been in the yard he hasn’t been allowed on the deck at all, we were too afraid of him falling.  The poor guy was starting to go stir-crazy.  He was ecstatic with free reign of the deck today.  You could just see it in his face.  Happy dog.  

^^ Kai, just takin’ a walk with my boat 🙂

^^first night back on the hook, feels so good.

^^view of Pineda Causeway from our head (bathroom) port.  You know, because we have a functioning head again!!!

Not Our Day to Paint

We have been in the yard for just over four weeks, too bad my patience for being in the yard barely lasted three weeks! 

I was all gung-ho at first and in true-to-our-style fashion we ripped into ALL the projects at once. We are not the “finish one project before you start another” kind of couple. The aft cabin (our bedroom) was yanked apart to pull off the rudder, the paint was sanded off the hull, the galley cabinets and countertop were ripped out for the update, the workroom rearranged for the new battery charger wiring…..  Basically we made a mess of all our living areas all while ensuring that we wouldn’t be able to just skip out on some of the projects.  The gung-ho-ness, however, quickly faded in the Florida heat.  That, and something about the climbing down a ladder, playing labyrinth in the suck-your-shoe-off mud puddles, navigating two temperamental locked gates, and crossing the street all because you have to pee in the middle of the night “might” have played a part.

The final kicker, though, was the paint job.   The paint project on the hull has been a doozy because of the super hot temps that kick the paint off before we even have a chance to put it on.  The fact that it rained on our fresh paint two separate times didn’t help either.  Then of course there was the tractor running around dragging a grater behind it trying to level out the fore mentioned puddle mess creating clouds of gritty dust and do I need even need to mention the neighbor, who hasn’t touched his boat since we’ve been here, who pulled out the belt sander for his bottom paint as we try to paint right next to him! Aghhhh! We gave up on trying to get an acceptable finish after a low, low moment when we were both thinking (and admitting out loud) that being at work sounded more fun than what we were doing.  Instead of trying yet another coat of paint, I sanded out all the roller marks, dirt, and bugs (did I forget to mention the love bugs came out -they love wet paint).  I then wet-sanded the entire boat three times with increasing grits.  Yes, by hand.  Up and down scaffolding a gabazillion times or at least it felt like it.  After all that work and a very sore shoulder the end result resembles thin, faded gelcoat, the kind in need of a paint job. I burnt through too many areas of paint.  At least it doesn’t look like a kindergarten class painted it anymore.  We will revisit the paint job again on the next haul-out.  For now we are done with it.  Well, after it gets waxed.

Enough whining……we do have good stuff is going on as well.

For starters, Keith has fixed our rudder issue. BIG YAY!!! I had planned on doing a whole post on the rudder work, that was back in my gung-ho phase. In stead here is the quick and dirty version: the bottom part of the rudder had too much play and the top part of the rudder wasn’t secured beefily enough to prevent the play resulting in the offending clunking sound.  So, the bottom part got reamed out and sheaved and the top part got a new fancy bearing put in.  No more clunking!  It sounds so simple but it really was a bit involved.  The whole process was slowed by the fact that we gave the lower gudgeon piece to a well known local machinist who said he could do the job in a few days.  Then he’d have it by next weekend.  Then the following week.   Then no answer by phone.  Then he calls and says he is coming by to drop off our part, he doesn’t have time for it….and this is why we do things ourselves!  Keith got the part back and had it finished up by lunchtime the following day.  The part, not the project.  It feels good to have the clunking issue resolved!

^^ removing the ill-fitting gudgeon.

^^ a plan comes together.

^^hole in gudgeon reamed out and a new bushing ready to be pressed in.  This is the part that clunked. Not any more!

^^gudgeon removed. It wasn’t that easy to get off and definitely was not that easy to put back on.

^^ new big bearing and mounting bracket.  

And on with more good stuff, I have a leak-proof galley countertop.  Believe me, YAY!  The plan had been to add a double sink and a Corian countertop and remove the top-loading storage cubby that kept getting filled up with water from drippy dishes.  When it quickly became apparent  that this mini renovation was going to cost the same as several months worth of cruising, I settled for the most important item on the list which was sealing the countertop up. I’m quite happy with the update.  I even like the new paint color, which was lucky since only Keith has a mode of transportation (I DO NOT ride the scooter) and I had asked for all the creamy, off-white, beige, light yellow paint chips the store had so I could pick out a color.  I got about eight contenders to choose from 🙂

Keith also got a slew of miscellaneous projects done in between the big ones.  A new battery charger, some engine alarms, tightened the loose pedestal….  You know, boat projects.  We’ve also had time to spend with friends, thank goodness! As much as I am completely over being in the yard, I have to admit it is nice to be already strapped securely to the earth during hurricane season, quiet or not, so we plan on finishing up the to do list and reprovision while here and plan on being back in the water and cruising again in two weeks.


Haul Out – Day 28

Finally. We can cross something off the list. I replaced the broken port light and Keith has replaced the shaft, with all its accompanying pieces, and gotten the engine all realigned. Four weeks and two items done. Oh boy.

The weather didn’t cooperate for finishing up the painting so I spent a good part of Sunday poking around with Keith on his projects. We have great engine access, which also provides me with plenty of picture taking opportunities.

Keith at the galley, me in the workroom.

Keith in the workroom, me in the galley.

From the companionway access.

…and from the cockpit.

Haul out-day 20


Day 20 and I am embarrassed to say not one single project has been crossed off my list. Not one. It’s not that we haven’t been working hard or even that things are going horribly wrong, it’s just that we haven’t completed anything.

I have the hull painted-except for the boot stripe and detailing around the port lights. I have the deck painted-well the first coat at least. We have the bottom peeled-the fun part is still to come. Keith has yanked off the prop, cutlass bearing, shaft, exhaust through hulls, and rudder post-but reinstallation has yet to happen. Bilges have been scrubbed-but not painted. Lots of progress, no completion.

That calculation I did several weeks ago, the one where we need to complete an average of four projects a week. Yeah. I keep waiting for the week that all the loose ends of all of our half-done projects get done at once. It will happen one day, I see it…..a flurry of scratch marks and celebratory high-fives all around.

Haul out-day 13 Naked bottom

Got the bottom peeled today.

Tom Musto from Boat Savers arrived at the marina this morning and after sorting out the poor power supply from the yard the process began. We had never watched a boat bottom being peeled. There is something quite difficult about listening to your boat’s private areas being shaved off. The varying depths and consistencies of the whatever-it-was filler that was applied to our boat gave him quite a time, but he stuck it out. By early afternoon, we had a naked bottom. (Not really smooth as a baby’s bottom, but still quite smooth.)

Very happy with the choice to peel it, happy with the job Tom did, and happy that the hull looks good and is relatively dry. Good things.

Keith was going to start on the grinding of the tight spots, but the marina was serving free food and beer. He will grind tomorrow.





Haul out (Days 2-8)

Day 2:
I started on sanding down the hull but the sander retired on only my second sheet of sandpaper. So I moved on to chipping off whatever-it-is on our bottom. I uncovered a few more tiny blisters. Hmmm. Then, we spent the evening discussing the best way to remove all the bottom coating, (some places it actually did adhere), how to deal with the blisters, and what to put back on. I also made a run to the hardware store and bought another orbital sander. />

Day 3:
Spent the entire day sanding and fairing the hull in preparation of painting. Oh goodness am I sore. Up the scaffolding, sand a few feet, down the scaffolding, drag the scaffolding- the wheels don’t work, up the scaffolding, sand a few feet, down the scaffolding, drag the damn heavy scaffolding, up the scaffolding …….that was my day. It sounds like a bad day, but it wasn’t. I was happy as a clam working away.


Day 4:
More prepping the hull, fighting with the scaffolding, and finally got the first coat of paint on one side of the hull. It’s not the prettiest job. Lots of roller marks. Oh well, only the first coat. Keith and I will work together on the finish coats.

Day 5:
More sanding, more scaffolding scuffles. Keith started grinding on the bottom and was quickly reminded of what a big job grinding an entire bottom is. He did it on our Morgan 41. In fact, we went home and and looked up the phone number for a guy to peel the hull.

Day 6:
Called and arranged to have the hull peeled next weekend and mentally committed to being in the yard however long it takes to insure a completely dry the hull. Then spent the day wet sanding the hull with 400 grit. I was quite impressed with my prep work, I won’t lie. In the afternoon, Keith and I painted the hull. I really really tried to have realistic expectations as we had a tough time when we painted a few years ago. It went no better this time. No matter how much we thinned, and how fast we worked, we couldn’t keep a wet edge. We have tried using every brush and roller combination, it just hasn’t been successful. The thing that is most difficult to accept is that we rolled our previous boat and got a flawless finish with the same paint-so we know it can be done! And we know we can do it!. I left the yard in tears after seeing all my prep work obscured with a bumpy, roller, brush-mark filled finish. Not such a happy clam tonight.

<br 20130504-195403.jpg

Day 7:
Sanded the hull and dragged/carried the scaffolding around the boat twice. Ready to try painting again tomorrow. (no tears-I promise) In preparation, I bought a few more brushes to try “rolling and tipping” again. Keith made progress on his project list by removing the prop.

Day 8:
Gave up on “roll and tip” method for the final time. We tried everything we could think of on the port side and gave up, we had the best results with just one roller. At this point I have accepted that the finished outcome will have to be wet sanded and buffed out. Keith lifted the engine, took out the shaft and cutlass bearing, and worked on rebedding the rudder. Later, I painted the starboard side of the hull. It actually is the best finish so far. I just used very, very thin paint, one foam roller, and a very cloudy afternoon. Still far from flawless but maybe buffable.