Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Is this the 3 hour tour?

Friday May 13-2006  
Finally, a month later - we are on our way back to Homer to get our boat.  The weather is supposed to be good all weekend, Little Mike is able to come meet us and help run the Sea Glass and bring some equipment we are lacking right now - survival suits, life vests, GPS... I guess all Scott and I are bringing is the boat!  We bought a four place inflatable to use as our dinghy - it isn't exactly what we want but it will do for now. 

Saturday May 14-2006  
We arrived in Homer at 7 a.m., schlepped all of our stuff from the ferry dock to the harbor, then went back for breakfast.  Mike drove down from Anchorage to meet us, we did a few short errands to pick up extra filters, a few groceries and topped off the fuel we thought we would need. 

High tide was to be at  4:00 p.m. so we planned on leaving the harbor as close to 3:00 as possible to ride the tide change out of the bay.   On our way out people were still shouting across the water from their boats, "Hey, is that the Mish Mish?" "Way to go!" "Good job!"  - had our own little flotilla to see us off! 

We had paid a month's moorage at the Homer harbor, so we just made that deadline - at midnight we would owe them more money - we're outta' here!

Our expected speed was about 8-9 knots, but riding the current out we were making 12-13 for a while.
The first 4-5 hours were pretty much as expected.  As we got out into more open water it got rougher,  the seas were 5-6', close together, and around the points of different land masses it was pretty rough.   We had a full moon so it wasn't pitch black, but it was still plenty dark. The GPS kept us on track, which was nice since it was real hard to make out land masses, through the Barren Islands, past Tonki Cape and Marmot Island .    At one point the Tustemena ferry passed us and we wished we could keep up since she was headed to Kodiak also.  How easy it would have been to just follow her!
We brushed a few logs during the trip which scared the snot out of me - I kept holding my breath waiting to hear water gushing somewhere but all went well.   Those thumps sounded pretty loud to my inexperienced ear!

It wasn't dangerous weather, but it wasn't just a Sunday boating on the lake kind of thing.  We discovered the difference between what we thought was secured and what was actually secured below decks!  The only real casualty was our microwave oven.  It took a rather fantastic leap across the wheelhouse, crashing to the floor in a rather impressive impact.  No popcorn on this trip, boys!

Scott was having trouble with motion sickness, and would rather stay up top so he took the wheel watch for most of the time and nearly froze!  When we left Kodiak he thought his gear was already on the boat, but it was nowhere to be found so he was at the helm in jeans and a leather jacket.  Later the thought struck us that he could have put on one of the survival suits  laying in front of him and been much more comfortable.  We tried to keep 2 people on deck, letting one go below and rest for a couple hours.  It was also tough for Little Mike - once again he had been on duty all night before coming to meet us. 

At one point Scott was pretty tired and Mike took over and gave it a shot trying to steer from below at the helm inside the wheelhouse. The problem with that is  our bow rises pretty steep and you can't see straight ahead.  He was trying to read a little screen the size of a postage stamp and look out the side window in the dark. Scott was laying down (on top of the survival suits!) and was looking up, and watched us circle a couple stars!  We looked at the track on the GPS later and had a chuckle.

It sure was nice to pass under the bridge as we entered Kodiak - Melissa and Scott's cousin Bruce were up there watching for us, waving.  We almost forgot we were cold and tired!  When we finally tied up we crawled into our berths - what heaven.

Then I heard the noise  again-

that same crazy noise I heard  the night we launched.  Again, I was positive I could hear a pump running somewhere, and I was still convinced it was on our boat since it was the same noise I heard while we were in Homer.  It was intermittent, seeming to start and stop with no apparent reason or explanation, audible only when we were below.  As soon as we went topside it was gone.  All of a sudden we made the connection between the noise and the arrival/departure of other boats - I was hearing the noise from the underwater props as other boats moved around! 

We didn't use nearly as much fuel as we had expected.  We went an average of 7/8 knots for 18 hours, and used barely 55 gallons.  Now we have an extra 55 gallon drum and six 5 gallon cans of fuel!  Better to have that than run out.  Now we know.   The other reason for carrying that much extra was that the fuel on board when  we bought the boat had been stored for maybe 10 years and we had no confidence in it's condition.  We drew off a sample and it seemed OK, but there are so many things that can be wrong it  would be foolish to count on it in open water.   The tanks had been topped off before storage, there seemed to be no condensation, water separaters were showing no sign of water , filters showed no sign of algae, but there are still other issues that can affect how well it might burn after being stored that long.

We learned what happens to a sailboat that has no mast - it doesn't lean and hold, but rather wallows side to side, not in danger of capsizing, but not a very comfortable ride in the weather we had.

Overall it was a good trip, a little bouncy, but after having been through it we have a lot more confidence in our hull and engine.  Now begins the work remodeling, rebuilding - enough activity to keep us out of trouble for a long, long time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hurry up and wait.

Friday April 14-2006 
We woke up and spent the day finishing wrapping the exhaust, getting the fridge secured back where it belongs, I bought new fire extinguishers, and we finished up other odds and ends.  We have to leave the Sea Glass  here in Homer until several things line up to get her to Kodiak.  Big Mike came by and offered to keep an eye on her while we are in Kodiak, and if weather and his schedule come together he may even run it over for us. 

Saturday April 15-2006 
We need to be in Kodiak Monday morning so we left on the ferry, disappointed that we weren't able to run her to Kodiak right now, but at least we were able to get a lot of things finished.

I have to say that Scott has gone to great lengths to humor me on this project.  He had enough experience to know that not all things about boats are fun, is prone to motion sickness, and in general, is not crazy about risky things. In my ignorance I was enthralled with the whole idea of living aboard, and as new empty nesters, I was ready for adventure!

Scott has said over our years together that his whole purpose in life is to make me happy.  I have always laughed this off, but this whole series of events has proven that he actually means this!  I'm sure that left to his own devices, buying a boat like this one, jumping into the whole project and doing all that is needed to get it in shape would not be at the top of any  lists of his! 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hurry up! It's time to launch!

Friday April 7-2006 
Time for bottom paint (for any readers not familiar with that term: no, we are not painting our bottoms!  It is a special anti fouling paint to keep things from growing under the water line.)  The only problem is, we aren't really sure where the water line is.  There is no residual line from it's last stay in  the harbor, so we are kind of guessing.  After we have a chance to see it in the water we'll fix it next time we haul out. 

This paint dries quickly, so after a little more than three hours Ryan came and restacked the dunnage (all those blocks that keep us upright) so we can seal and paint the sections that are still not covered. 

Saturday April 8-2006 
Melissa arrived on the Ferry  from Kodiak this a.m.  She came over to see us and the boat - we could tell she was a rather underwhelmed with it.  At this point it still takes a lot of imagination. 

We took off for Anchorage (4 hour drive) to pick up a few things and Mike Busey is meeting us with a radio, so we are all meeting for dinner & celebrate Missy's birthday - I can't believe she is 22!

Sunday April 9-2006 
Drove back to Homer to meet with Mike Orth, the fellow that is going to run with us to Kodiak.   We needed to talk about all the particulars involved - weather, lines, tides, times, and can we really do this crazy thing?  We still don't know for sure that our engine will be ready, so what is our plan if he has to tow us? 

He and his wife run a huge, classic wooden boat as a tender for various canneries during the commercial season, and I think they also do some charter work.  He has many years of experience so we have a lot of confidence in him. 

Now we have a problem - two Mikes, so we started referring to them as Big Mike (Mike Orth) and Little Mike (Mike Busey).

Melissa left on the Sunday evening ferry on her way back to Kodiak.  We'll see her in a few days when we take the boat over.

Monday April 10-2006
Really cold today, but worse than that, it is really windy.  We aren't sure what this will do to our plans to launch.  Weather has been calm and beautiful for the past two weeks and we need it to continue just a little longer.  Wouldn't you know?

The mechanic finally made it by and we are still struggling with the exhaust system.  He has 2 days to get it right, but some parts will have to be manufactured.   Everything is coming down to the wire and it makes me nervous!

Now Scott is having second thoughts about leaving our bowsprit behind, so we hunted it down- climbing around in the boneyard, and Scott, Little Mike and myself struggled, wrestled, grunting and groaning to get that fat pig up on the rack on top of the van.  Where the heck did Ryan go with that forklift?  I'm too old for this!

Tuesday April 11-2006 
Weather is so bad - high winds, high seas, and it is only forcasted to get worse.  Big Mike is not planning on going either, so that cancels our plans on heading to Kodiak Thursday. 

We'll have to go ahead and launch and just tie up in Homer's boat harbor.  If we don't launch Thursday we will have to wait a month for another tide that is high enough thanks to our 9' draft.  Time is getting short for us to get to Kodiak for Scott to get to work on Monday. 

On top of the weather, the mechanic hasn't finished the exhaust so we still don't know if we have an engine.  He might finish up tomorrow, but we don't know for sure.  Big Mike will stand by with the Rolphy  when we launch to get us to the harbor and Bill can finish the exhaust tied up to the dock if he has to. 

We checked in with the Harbormaster to secure a spot - they were very helpful folks.  We are in a spot where they can see it from the office and will keep an eye on it when we leave for Kodiak.

Wednesday April 12-2006 
Nerve wracking day today.  Bill (mechanic) is everywhere except on our boat today, the marine lift is standing here waiting to scoop us up any minute.

4:30 p.m. they picked us up in the slings and drove over to the launch site.  We are positioned bow out of the cradle - we don't know if we will have the engine running to come out under our own power, so we have to be ready for Big Mike to hook up and tow us.  

Little Mike was standing behind the Sea Glass  off to one side and started chuckling.  I look at him and he pointed to the stern.  Where the rudder was hiding the Gl of Glass, it made our name look like the Sea ass.
It's always reassuring when you local law enforcement has the maturity of a 12 year old!  (Sorry Mike, couldn't resist the jab!)

10 hours and counting.  Bill showed up finally to install the fabricated exhaust piece.  We still had not run the engine for a good test, let alone any water trials!  Finally, 8:30 he finished up and we were able to do a small test with the water truck hook up to our intake. 

Now it gets interesting - 9:00 Big Mike calls - his batteries for his mains (engines) have failed in a big way, our tow is dead in the water!  Of course, with his boat the batteries are not exactly sitting around on a shelf at NAPA, and even if they were, they are not quickly or easily replaced.  Our original plan is as dead as his boat.  This is very bad news at 5 hours and counting.

We called around to other water taxis, but late hour, short notice for a middle of the night launch isn't exactly getting them all excited to line up for the opportunity. 

Thursday April 13-2006 
Sometime in the middle of all this, midnight came and went, the clock is running down to our launch time of 2:00 a.m.  We at least know our engine is going to run so we have power, but since they put us in the cradle bow out, we can't actually fire up until we are clear of the straps on the lift.  Let me see if I understand this - don't fire up until the lift is no longer securing you,  the wind is kicking up, 2:00 in the morning, untried mechanicals,  oh boy.

Little Mike has driven down from Anchorage, his extra hands and experience are welcome - he is an  Anchorage Police Officer,  was on duty all night Wednesday, drove 4 hours, and is running on fumes about now. 

A call from Big Mike, he has good news, he found another boat he can use and will meet us at launch time and stand by.  Now we need to take a short nap and wait in the slings.  I crawled up in my bunk and tried to rest, and I must have dozed off because pretty soon Scott is calling us to get up, it was TIME!

What a crazy sensation being on board when they lower you into the water.  When the keel and engine water intake was submerged Scott fired up in neutral.  The lift operator kept working his straps to slide us out of the slip a little at a time until we were finally clear of the lift. 

Scott put it in gear and for the first time the Sea Glass was under it's own power!  It was reassuring to have Big Mike out ahead of us to pilot us to the harbor - kind of a treacherous place with some large rocks in front of the launch site and very, very dark!  Little Mike had a hand held GPS, and I was glad for the chance to see it in operation, but I am old fashioned, and liked having a live person who is familiar with the local area. 

We kept looking over the side to see the water exhaust - not believing how well it was all going.  Engine running well,  transmission and steering, new packing on the shaft doing fine - we can hardly believe it!  After that short run we docked, shut things down and gratefully crawled into our bunks.   

Then came the mystery noise. 

I kept hearing something - which is funny that I could hear it an nobody else seemed to.  I'm the one that has only one functioning ear!  It sounded like a pump kicking in, then would stop, start again, stop,  over and over.  I kept running around trying to locate it, but it was always in a different location and would not be audible when I went up top.  The idea of hearing where it was coming from was even funnier considering it was me trying to figure it out.  I have no directional location abilities with one ear.  It just doesn't work.

Neither Scott or Little Mike were offering any explanations nor did they seem very concerned, so I gave up after deciding that we weren't sinking and fell asleep.   Tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Is this boat getting bigger?

Tuesday April 4-2006
The pump truck with the power sprayer was finally delivered this morning so we donned our rain gear, sprayed, scrubbed, washed and sprayed some more.  We will be ready to paint IF the weather is good tomorrow. 

That short little paragraph doesn't sound like much, but it took the whole day and a lot of energy!  I can barely lift my arms to feed myself!  Just before drifting off to sleep the thought crossed my mind that the boat seems a lot bigger now that it did the first day.  I don't know if it is because we are clearing out all the junk so we have more space or if we just wear ourselves out every time we brush, scrub and hose it down every inch!

We took the bowsprit off - no small task!  It is so heavy- Ryan (from Northern Enterprises)  held it up with a forklift while we unbolted it then he hauled it off to some unknown storage pile in the back of the boatyard.   This could be a mistake, but right now we are only thinking far enough ahead to get finished up with the immediate needs - getting launched and to Kodiak with a liveaboard - so we are not planning to rig sails and all that entails.  Those thoughts are too far in the future and way to far into our checkbook!  Since the harbormaster charges by your overall length we could knock 6 to 8 feet off by removing this beast.

Wednesday April 5-2006
 Big day today! - weather cooperated, we painted!   By the way, I was right last night - it is bigger and gets bigger with every layer and coat and every trip around the hull.  The Sea Glass is now black hull with a white wheelhouse but no identification/name painted yet.   Someone in the yard said we just look guilty, like maybe we're a rum runner or something!  He just calls us the "big black no name boat"!  Unfortunately, I've lost the picture of us at this point.

We did the first coat of sealer (2 part epoxy) that you can only mix one gallon at a time - you have to get it on pronto once you mix it and a quantity more than that goes off on you before you can use it all.   A little frantic in the process, but 3 1/2 hours  and 5 gallons later we were finishing up the last little bits of brush work.  We were tired and cold when we got done - hot showers, food and bunks felt pretty darn good!  Funny how small ordinary things become so wonderful!  If the weather holds we'll have to do the same thing again tomorrow with a 2nd coat of sealer...I can't wait...

Thursday April 6-2006  
Second coat of sealer today, it didn't take quite as long- we had our system down but it was harder to see where you had been. 

The guy from the hydraulic shop came today to finish up the work on the rudder, then we checked in with the mechanic.  We have to keep a fire lit under him and our project in his mind - he is popular and pretty busy, then we knocked off for the day.  It doesn't help that there is a big derby going on so he is especially in demand!  I guess his business name is appropriate - In Demand Marine. 

It doesn't sound like much when writing this, but it was a hard working two days that wore us out!  Maybe we aren't as young as we used to be!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

And the work goes on ...

Tuesday, March 28 -2006
We solved a few mysteries today.  We found the fuel tanks on the port side under the deck, behind galley walls.  I know, someone is reading this saying, "How can you buy a boat and not know this?"  and be somewhat legitimate.   This vessel had such a vague background, in the hands of a broker, and a seller didn't live locally anymore,  so information was pretty sketchy.  We understood we were pretty much buying "As Is". 

Scott has some experience commercial fishing along with being a builder, so I have confidence in his skills and our common sense to figure out what we need.  We've build three homes together so we are not afraid of a little hard work.  As we continue going through the boat we will discover what we need to know, get it in shape before launching. 

We continued to take the galley apart, pulled the fridge out of it's compartment and discovered it is a high end piece of equipment, AC/DC or propane capable like you find in most RVs.   It is now running, but we'll wait a couple days to see how it does and do some other wiring work behind there before reinstalling it.

We located the fresh water tanks and more fuel tanks behind galley walls on the starboard side along with the water  pump and heater.   It seems we have quite a large fuel capacity, nearly enough to get to Hawaii, but only 50 gallons of fresh water.  Any long distance cruising will require some water making equipment. 

It has been interesting to find out more and more about this vessel.  With our original goal only to be to find decent hull, even if we had to have it towed to Kodiak, we are realizing we have stepped into something considerably more than that.  We never expected engines, generators and galley equipment to be in such good working condition.   Different people stop by in the boatyard to talk, often saying that they had thought about looking at this boat, but didn't want to gamble on it.  They were often put off by not understanding the ferro cement, not sure if the mechanicals were any good, and most admitted they now regret not looking at it more seriously.   Others tell us how glad they are to see someone doing something with it. 

This boat sat in the boat yard for several years, so long, in fact, that the boatyard considered moving it out by the road and painting their name on it like a billboard!   When we go to the Gear Shed everybody wants to talk to us about it, ask about our plans, and say things like, "So you are the folks that bought the Mish Mish!" 

We have one spot that needs repair on the outside of the hull where water freezing in the bilge cause some damage.    

Scott started prepping the roof of the cabin to get ready to paint, repaired a few spots that were potential leakers, and I continued to chip away at the wood and epoxy on the deck.  I am finding it to be an entirely frustrating process - I wish it had failed completely, not in bits and pieces!

Wednesday, March 29-2006
We checked out all the bilge pumps (3) today, replumbed the galley sink drain  and hot water supply. 

More research at the Gear Shed about sealer and paint - this is going to be a big deal and more complicated than painting our house!  Just like aluminum boats, ferro cement cannot be painted with anything with copper content, so it looks like some sort of two part epoxy is going to be the ticket.

We found a commercial fisherman that worked a cement boat for several years.  He loved the boat, no problems with the hull, low maintenance and strong.   A crew member left the boat with the seacock frozen open.  At the end of the season, crew members run the boat to the harbor, dock, and jump off the boat without taking care of business!  In a hurry to get to the bar or home I guess!

Scott found out that he needs to be in Kodiak by April 17 for his job, so hopefully that will coordinate with our launch date.  The exhaust work needs to get finished up and good weather on the 13th and 14th.  We have our slip arranged in Kodiak so we know where we will tie up when we get there.

Thursday, March 30, 2006
No big surprises today, more work at projects already going.  The weather is really cold and windy and the forecast is not looking too good for a couple days.  That will slow down the paint preparation!

Friday, March 31, 2006
Oh yeah, snow blowing sideways.  We are hoping this is winter's last fling but you never know.  It is early to be expecting full out spring since we are in Homer after all!  Back to finding a project below decks.

Moisture and no heat has played havoc with woodwork, doors and drawers, so Scott has had some refitting to do.  Of course, you have to do this carefully or your repairs and changes could turn out to be blunders when things dry out- things that are too big/don't close now will be too small and won't latch when they dry out!

He adjusted the hatch to the head - this door is an example of the silly things that please me so about boats-  the efficiency of things that have more than one function!  It is positioned so that swinging one way it is the door to the head, swing and latch it the other way and it closes off the aft cabin.

The sole of the forward cabins was built with untreated lumber, so it has rotted and needs to be replaced.  While we have the dumpster handy we tore that out in addition to any other woodwork that we plan on replacing.  Stripping all this out gives us a good look at structure, holds and bilges which is a good thing, but it leaves us "walking the plank" laid over supports to get across those areas! 

Saturday, April 1-2006
No snow or wind today but rather cold.  The sun peaks out, then jumps back behind a cloud "April Fool"!  We got more interior work done, adjusting cabinets and the hatch over the engine hold.

Sunday April 2-2006
We moved aboard today from Alice's place.   We'll have to use our port-a-pottie, haul water for cooking and drinking and take showers at the laundromat.   At the end of the day I crawled up in my bunk happy as a clam!  It took me a while to quit grinning and fall asleep!

Cold but no precipitation, the roof Scott repaired dried out enough to get a coat of sealer and paint on.  Forecast for tomorrow is for more showers so we need to take advantage today to get what we can painted.

I went through all the paperwork we found laying around, manuals for various pieces of equipment, etc, and organized it all.   Good times for me!  A day spent with my labeler organizing something is a great day! 

I am realizing though how nice it will be to be tied up to the dock.  Every time we  get on or off the boat, everything we carry on or off means a trip up and down the 12' ladder that just barely reaches the deck.  That gets pretty old for someone like me- a little clumsy with marginal balance skills just recovering from acoustic neuroma (brain tumor) surgery!  One arm/hand for what you are carrying, one hand for the ladder.  How nice it will be to simply step off onto the dock! 

I started working on the front section that is basically a tool room with a chain locker.  Drawers and cabinets are overflowing with miscellaneous tools, supplies, parts, fittings, who knows what!  Some of it will be useful, some of it will get tossed into the dumpster.

Port and starboard side, still more buoys!

Monday April-2006
We set out to power spray, scrub and prepare for paint but they never delivered the water truck, so we had to change plans.  Scott worked on electrical - there are mysteries to be solved there!  The old fuse box is unlabeled so it is by trial and error to get that figured out - flip on the breaker, see if you hear anything, try a light - that kind of process.  After discoveries are made I whip out my label maker and get those buggers marked!   Scott also got our running lights and anchor light working.

Our rudder was frozen in position so Scott worked on loosening that up - the hydraulic guy is coming tomorrow a.m. to check the leak in the cylinder that we are expecting to need rebuilding. 

That 12' rudder hadn't been moved in 10 years!

My job continues as the go-fer, hold this, bring that, find this, find something else, then cook dinner.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And the work begins...

Friday, March 24-2006
Scott started going through the electrical system and did a lot of carpentry work today adjusting doors, rebuilding steps and access to the engine.  I kept hauling junk topside to be tossed when the dumpster arrives.  This doesn't sound like a lot, but it was a busy, productive day.

Saturday, March 25-2006
We woke up to a light snow this am.  It didn't last long and was melted off by the end of the day.  We've been fortunate with weather so far.  I kept pitching stuff "overboard" into the dumpster.  We started ripping the teak off the deck and that is proving to be a real pain.  Some places the adhesive epoxy did worked and held, which will cause us problems. 

By the end of the day we were cold and tired.   I headed straight for bed - not a peep from me nearly 10 hours later.  God bless Alice for the electric blanket on the bed, what heaven!

Sunday, March 26-2006
I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning, it felt so warm and comfortable, but once we got moving it was OK.  We headed back to the boat and decided the first project was making someplace to be able to eat. 

In sorting through piles of junk in the aft cabin we figured out that the support for the center section of a lower bunk could also be the dinette table top.   We went over to the local marine shop, Kachemak Gear Shed, found the pedestal leg we needed, Scott did his magic, and ta-dah! we had a table.   No more balancing our meals on our laps.  Funny how small things feel like a luxury! 
This picture was taken later, after we unpacked our personal things, finished cleaning, and set up the bunks - it all cleaned up nicely!

The rest of the morning and all day we spent melting and chipping ice out of the bilge under the engine.  This had accumulated from water leaking in for the roof above and the hatch being left open.  Scott spent the best part of the day on his stomach reaching under the engine with hammer and crowbar, then vacuuming with the shop vac.  He would hand buckets of ice or the tank from the vac up to me to dump over the rail.  Many trips up and down the companionway ladder! 

Later in the day I took a few buoys topside to sit in the sun and mark them with our new name - tough job but somebody had to do it!   My plan was to continue doing my stained glass work aboard in the tool room after we got the boat moved to Kodiak so I wanted to change the name from Mish Mish (which I didn't understand anyway!) to Sea Glass.    I know I fly in the face of tradition by changing the name of a boat, but I'll take my chances with Davey Jones and King Neptune!

Monday, Mar 27-2006
A beautiful day today! We got to the boat to make breakfast and discovered that our supply of 10 year old  propane had finally run out. 

After running to McDonalds we bought and filled new propane tanks and went back to work.  Scott pulled out more ice and opened up a couple more section of the bilge.  He found a bladder tank that at first we thought it might be our fresh water tank.   After opening it up we discovered our error - stinky waste tank!  Okay, so we are inexperienced, now we are literally green! 

Moving forward from the wheelhouse is a general living space that will eventually be our livingroom, or "salon" in proper terminology.  It is unclear what had been the intention of previous owners - some odd carpentry of walls, what looked like maybe the beginnings of a bench and bunk filled the space but nothing really usable.  Scott tore out the existing work, saving wood that we might be able to reuse, some of it nice sections of oak. 
I returned to removing teak on the deck - a project that is proving to be larger and more difficult than expected.

We cooked our first real meal aboard tonight - baked chicken and potatoes in our galley and ate our our new table!   What fun, and it smelled so good while it was baking!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

OK, you bought the boat, now what?

I mentioned before - we spent all winter researching ferro cement, found some information, but we were far from confident.  Almost everyone we talked to had nothing good to say whether they really knew what they were talking about or not.  So many factors could be discouraging - a lot of work, unknown engine issues, no electronics or navigation, and we really didn't have a clue what we were doing. 

Our goal was to find a liveaboard, and the only way we could work toward that was the hard way, with a project boat that would need a lot of work, so here we are.  Put up or shut up!

We wrote the check, signed the papers - still not all that certain, but blundered ahead anyway.  Strangely enough, as soon as the check was written it became a lot less stressful.  The deed was done, the decision was made, now we just had to deal with what we had  done!

My sister's mother-in-law, Alice, took in a couple beggars and let us stay in a building next to her house that had a bedroom and bath.  It was more like her quilting shop area but it was a Godsend.  We weren't sure how long it would be before we could move aboard, or if the boatyard would even allow that.

Thursday, March 23-2006
Good news today, the mechanic put in a fresh battery and the  145 hp Volvo Penta  and 5kw Northern Lights generator started just like brand new!  They were stored well, the previous owner had put them to bed with every intention of working on this project himself, so he did it right!  I have a new found love for all things diesel!  Who would have thought such a miracle possible after sitting that long. 

The Dickenson boat stove lit up, propane cooktop and oven lit up all as if it had been used regularly - we finished burning up the propane on board that was probably 10 years old.  The only thing we didn't have success with was the Toyo cabin heater and refrigerator.  We'll investigate those issues later.  The mechanic told us the engine and generator were both high end equipment, worth nearly $16,000,  almost four times what we paid for the boat!   Our original goal was just to find a hull that would stay afloat, so this is all gravy to us.

I shoveled the snow off the deck, piled up junk, and tomorrow a dumpster will be set up next to us so I can pitch it all overboard.  I might start ripping the failed teak off the deck.  Our plan is to skip the fancy deck and paint the surface with a nonskid product.   If I don't want to be a slave to keeping house, I sure am not going to sign up to slave over a huge wooden deck to maintain!

We gained a little confidence with the good news today, and we are getting ready to carry on with some small repairs to the hull and paint.  This is only our first day but it was an encouraging day.  It will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings!