Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The boat is almost ready to go, now we need to get ready.

This last Sunday both Dave and I were able to get down to the boat to try to finish some of the work that needs both of us there for it. One of the main things was installing a new auxillary outboard motor. After working on it, trying to adjust it, we realized that we were going to have to build a secondary mount because of the angle of the stern of the boat. Right now the motor doesn't even touch the water even though it's mounted at the right height. Dave plans to work on that next week. The ice box is finally finished. I wrapped up the wiring and the last mount for the auto pilot. Now we need to calibrate the auto pilot and connect it up with the chart plotter. I started some of the cleaning. We worked on the biminy (the cover that goes over the cockpit area) and we think we've got it laid out how we want. Dave needs to bend up some more pipe for the biminy and alter slightly the ones he's already made. So as of now, with the exception of sealing up some of the front stanchions on the boat and putting on the final rubberized coating in the aft cabin, all the re-building is done. We still have some of the upgrades but the list is getting short, which is good, because between now and the time we leave at the end of October, Dave and I have one weekend left that is open for both of us.

This weekend I'll be going down Saturday morning to the boat and Lori will be joining me Saturday evening and Sunday. We plan to do some sailing. On Saturday I plan to do the final wiring connecting the chart plotter with the auto pilot.

Over the next month there probably won't be a lot of blogging because over the Labor Day weekend Dave, Noelle, Lori, and myself will be visiting friends in Iowa, which we've done for many years and always look forward to. Dave has some trips and I have some work weekends scheduled for September, as well.

I am not sure who is more stressed about the trip--Lori or myself. One of the hardest things will be not being around home with Lori and Jane. Some people who know me, know that I stress about timing and completing things. I know it will be a mad rush over the next two months before we leave. Dave has mapped out the days and anchoring spots from Lake Pepin to Mobile. There's not a lot of good places to anchor, so we'll have some pretty long days over a three week period, and there won't be much relaxing during that part. Depending on the seas, the trip between Mobile and Caye Caulker, Belize, may provide more of an opportunity for relaxing.

I'm still really excited about the adventure. It's been a lot of fun actually, working on the boat and learning everything that we've learned so far. Right now one of the parts that is the most stressful is the financials. I've been putting money away since the Spring but have missed a lot of days of work this year, off and on, because of weather and clients and waiting, etc. It should be fine but it's going to be extremely tight to make sure all the bills get paid while I'm gone. So if that's the worst thing I have to worry about, life is pretty good.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

76 days and counting

We are down to 76 days before we leave on the trip. We have lots of work to do before then. The boat is very close to being ready for the most part. There is still a number of details we need to work out before we can leave.
Today Dave was racing. I was at the boat by myself. I worked installing the auto pilot. Somehow I could not find one of the parts that mounts to the wheel. Otherwise I think it is ready for some testing. I also put the first coat of varnish on the new woodwork.

Tonight I am working on the calendar till we leave.  It is going to be a full 10 plus weeks.  Dave has I think 4 weekends out of town. I have couple myself plus 2 weddings.  I have a number of my own work projects that I need to get done before I leave.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Another Sunday, Another Work Day on the Boat

Another work day at the boat. Today Dave and myself got a number of things done. I installed a new head and it should work lots better than the old one. We tried to save parts from the old one, but nothing was worth saving, so it was off to the dumpster for it. We installed the wood tops in the icebox that Dave had made and sealed this week. So the only wood working to do is trim pieces and varnishing.
We also pulled and tested the new coaxle cable for the speed sensor. Dave had brought the new autopilot down during the week, so we laid out where it all goes. It has a motor that mounts to the wheel, its own compass, a control panel, and circuit board. All of them mount in different areas of the boat. We  rough pulled most of the wire. Next weekend I hope to get it all running. The location where we want to mount the control panel is a bit tough to get the wire to. We ended up spending about an hour to get the wire 3" in the space between the deck and the ceiling of the aft cabin. After all that effort, we found that the panel would not mount the way we had planned. However, we think we have a way to make it work and look good too.
The turtle is in the middle of the photo, swimming away.

While Dave and I were working in the rear of the boat I heard a big splash. I looked behind the boat to see a huge turtle swimming near the boat. His shell was over two feet long and in total he was about 3 feet long. We also had a bald eagle fly right over the boat, about 50 feet above our heads.

This week Dave will be working more on the interior and he will be racing his car this coming weekend, once he has a new clutch installed. I plan to spend one day at the boat next weekend, wrapping up some of these projects.