Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fun, fiberglass , and battery acid.

Work has continued on despite the crazy heat.  The bow reinforcement is complete. Instead of a chainplate, for the forestay Dehler used a backing plate under the deck that looked like it was repaired once upon a time.  I didn't trust the way it looked so I decided to reinforce that area of the bow and also reinforce farther aft to support load from the bow roller that will hold my 15kg Rican anchor . Oversized ? Yep. Do I like sleeping well at night ? You know  it. So, under the deck I took a sander and grinder to the glass. I also installed new u bolts and laminated 11.5 oz carbon fiber to the deck and hull.  I then laminated a 1/4 thick piece of g10 plate under that. And to top it off, a decent sized 1/4 inch thick Stainless plate  just to make sure .  I feel pretty confident that it isn't going anywhere now. Did I mention I like my sleep?  I have frames bent for the bimini/solar array .  I also have a new xantrex true sine inverter and a new simrad tp32 autopilot ready to install. We installed more lights, made new hatchboards from starboard , completely rebuilt most of the companionway, installed some awesome bora fans from caframo, installed  4 6volt batteries and I am sure I am forgetting a few things. We have definitely had the chance to relax though  by sailing and coving out with friends. We will see how much we can accomplish before Emily's favorite season gets here .
Fair winds, Joel

Friday, July 25, 2014

Link to progress photos

Album link: -- via

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Home Sweet Boat

Every summer, our yacht club throws a Tapas Party... no, not a topless party; although, now that I think of it, my father-in-law has shown up for this party twice in the last three years wearing a pot-leaf sarong and a coconut bra/lei. Anyway, this party indulges the sailor's curiosity in all of us by allowing each yacht club member the chance to open up their boats to the public and, in turn, check out those of others members. Joel and I attempt to participate in this party every year. We spend the day packing away the evidence of whichever project we've been working on, hauling it up to the truck in a dock cart, scrubbing everything down, and doing our best to minimize the areas of utter chaos. Though we still ended up doing all these things again last weekend, this year felt different. As I pulled out my camera to snap some shots to share with my in-laws who couldn't make it this year, I didn't feel like I had to angle the camera to hide anything. In fact, I was so flushed with pride that I ended up staying on our boat the whole evening, answering questions about the boat design and the work we've done. For the first time in these almost 4.5 years, my boat feels more like a home than anywhere else in the world. So, I'm going to attach some pictures here from the last couple tapas parties so you can see the difference too. I'd ask you to pardon my gloating, but in all honesty, I'm far too proud of Joel and my accomplishments to feel guilty.
^ Original pictures from winter 2009^
^ BYC Tapas Party 2014... our yacht club family couldn't believe how much she has changed.^

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Practice and Perception


This year I have decided to take full advantage of the week between the end of the school year and beginning of summer school by staying on the boat.  Aside from cutting out the lengthy and monotonous commute through the fields and dairy farms of Clinton County and giving me time to finish the headliner and some other smaller projects, this also gives me some much-needed practice living on the boat for a period longer than a weekend.  Now, as Brittany from Windtraveler was noting in her blog post just yesterday, day-sailing (even week sailing) is a obviously a vastly different experience than full-time cruising; however, I would still maintain the learning opportunities from the prior are still useful towards consideration of the latter.  For example, I've already learned that provisioning can be tricky.  While I've still yet to wear most of the clothes I brought after 3 days, Joel and I've already eaten almost all of the food that I expected to last us until tomorrow.  Now, since I'm currently a week-sailor, this isn't a big deal.  I hop in my car, take a twenty-minute drive around the lake and reprovision at the supermarket.  As a cruiser, I'm obviously not going to have that option, nor will I have the ability to bring as many perishables. Another thing I've learned recently?  No matter what the weather above, the grass carp never cease to practice kissing on your hull below.  You can hear their lips and fishy faces bouncing off the bottom day and night, rain or shine.  Now, while this fact may seem like a moot point to cruisers, these fish (and my changing reactions to them) remind me that about the importance of perception.  Sometimes, (generally at night)  these carp purely annoy the hell out of me.  However, these past few nights, though I have woken to the sounds of their clumsy fish lips, I wasn't bothered in the slightest.  I think it's because of the knowledge that I don't have to wake up and drive to work in a fee hours.  My priorities this week are on beautifying my boat and relaxing after another hectic school year.  So on that note, I'm going to roll over in my newly painted vberth, feel the boat tugging restlessly on its lines in the storm, and listen to those clumsily-kissing fish.  Don't worry fishies: we are both still wet behind the gills.

Headliner above the galley: notice the swatch next to the companionway.  That's the original color; i ran out of primer and have to pick that up today too.
Headliner in the head... So many curves!  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Oh, what shall we do with an UGLY Headliner?

Since the first moment I stepped aboard our boat 5 years ago, my biggest issue with our boat has been the headliner. Comprised of a sandy-hued plastic composite material similar to the trim that runs between the dashboard and the windshield of my Chevy cavalier, our headliner is an ever-deteriorating eyesore. During the decade in which our boat sat up on the hard, the wooden walls along the salon were removed with the intent of being re-finished. In their absence, the unsupported liner fell victim to fluctuations of temperature and the pull of gravity. In some places, it detached from the hull and hung limply; in others, it cracked and became discolored from sun exposure.  
Joel and I decided we had a couple options for fixing this issue.  We could attempt to reaffix the headliner to the hull to ward off future sagging and then patch the cracks, or we could rip the whole headliner out and start over.  Though I relished the thought of ripping out this particular eyesore after having it hang over me for half a decade, the contours of the surface that it covers are so domed and irregular underneath that we ultimately decided on option 1.  
Joel used epoxy and shower rods to put the headliner back up in some places.  Then, after trying various mixtures and combinations of epoxy, plastic welding (don't waste your time), and sealant, Joel managed to patch the headliner cracks And holes, mostly with 3M5200 caulk or epoxy.  Since then,  I have spent the better part of the last month of weekends priming with TotalBoat high build primer, sanding, painting with TotalBoat single part topside paint, and sanding, and painting again.  2 coats primer, 3 coats paint, sanding and wiping between each coat.  It's not finished yet, but it's almost there.  Take a look!
Like I said, while obviously incomplete, the liner is firmly attached and it's amazing to me just how well the paint/primer filled and covered any irregular areas that were patched up.  It may not look new, but it looks so much better and brighter than it used to.  

Monday, March 31, 2014

A White-washing, Tail-gating Good Weekend

Well, another hour-and-a-quarter ride to the lake resulted in arguably the most productive weekend we've had all winter. We cleaned the boat, and dredged our way out of our temporary winter slip on the main dock-- the one that used to be occupied by our friends Deb and Tim of SV Kintala. (Follow them on their cruising journey on ). We changed the engine oil filter after our short but arduous journey to our slip on the end of Jost Von Dock. I successfully applied two coats of Total Boat Primer to the v-berth headliner and bulkhead after painstakingly taping off the wood trim around the vberth portal. I don't have any pictures of that to post yet, but I plan to post some after the real paint goes on (hopefully a week from now). However, I do have pictures of our newly reconstructed tailgate. Joel's amazing and seemingly innate fiberglassing skills turned Dehler's original transom cover into a fully-functional tailgate. I'll let Joel post next on how he created this awesome addition to out boat.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Work in progress

While I watch the clock hit 3am, I stumble into my sleeping bag on the port salon berth.  The wind whistles through the rigging  as the boat sways back and forth.  The occasional squeal of a fender grabs my attention from time to time.  The boat is slowly coming along. There is definitely alot to do between now and next December, but I think it is manageable.  After all, I can sleep once I am in the Bahamas. We are going to do this .  I will be honest  , I am not very good about updating the blog.  Usually because I am at work or working on boats .  Hopefully that will change soon!  We are working on headliner  bow and anchor system,aft cabin (did I mention I am taking up sewing ....I think it is quite manly! ) cockpit and dodger,bimini  and charging systems.   Let the spring begin!