Today Dave and I drove down to the boat. It's about 72 miles each way from Minneapolis so it takes us over an hour to get there. It was snowing as we drove down this morning with most of the ground with a light covering of snow. We didn't expect we'd do more than remove some of the cabinetry and haul it back to town and start rebuilding some of the cabinets. When we got down there the snow had let up and it started warming, so we ended up working the better part of the day on the boat. I was able to get all of the remaining liner removed from the front cabin and the bathroom areas, so that can be taken off of the list. Dave spent some time trying to locate where all the leaks are coming in from, so we can get them repaired. One of the things that we've been trying to figure out is how to get more fuel as the first part of the trip down we will be limited in the number of marinas that we can get fuel at. We were able to find an aluminium tank that holds 39 gallons of fuel that will fit through the opening without cutting open the boat and still fit within the space under the seating area towards the back of the boat. With that, and four 5-gallon Jerry cans, we should be able to have the capacity for just under 600 miles. We also determined some locations for an additional battery, power inverter, and battery charger. That way we should be able to have 110 volt outlets working most if not all of the trip. Because having coffee quickly in the morning is a necessity.
It's amazing--you would think that there's no holes open to the sea in a boat. Wow, would you be wrong. There are something like 6 or 8 openings below the water level. They all have shut off valves, so each sink has a hose going from the drain to the sink directly to a valve below it out into the water. In one of the pictures below you can see the piping that connect to the ports going out. One of the valves didn't shut off completely. It is the inlet hose for the toilet, so that one is getting changed out. Below the bathroom sink, the handle snapped off inside the valve, and we were not able to remove it. So Saturday we'll bring down a saws-all to cut it out and install a new port and valve. We also removed the storage tank for the toilet, as there was a slight odor coming from it. We need to do some re-routing of some pipes and install them properly so we can meet U.S. Coastguard inspection. The only way you can discharge sewage from a boat is if you're a number of miles off shore.
At this point we think we have all the wood that is needed to be repaired hauled back to Dave's shop. Dave will pick up the new plywood so we can start rebuilding them over the next week or so. When we got back into town Dave had gotten two books in the mail. One was called Minneapolis to Mobile, a book about a trip in 2002 that the authors took down the same route that we will be taking to Mobile. They went approximately the same time of year as we are planning. The second was Quimby's Cruising Guide, a book with all the marinas big and small, along with phone numbers and services that they provide, and a list of all the locks, dams, and bridges.
main cabin after benches for table and the toilet holding tank removed
yes that is a propane heater running in the boat
front sleeping cabin with all of the liner removed