Saturday, August 20, 2011

The clock is ticking towards our departure for Florida! Our home in Indiana is sold and we have to move out on September 21st, but we'll be in Connecticut from the 10th to the 18th, which means I have just over two weeks to wrap up the boat work for the year. We'll be renting in FL so that we can watch the progress on the house.

During the past two weeks I've filled and sanded the osmotic blisters on the underwater hull and painted the black boot top stripe (the four inch wide stripe just at the waterline). You can see the rolled up plastic tarps used to "tent" the hull to control the sanding dust. The filling and sanding took more than 50 hours and was a dirty, hot job, wearing a respirator and long sleeves/jeans under an unventilated tarp in 80+ degree weather, but the results will be worth it - just so I never have to do it again!

The dust, which drifts everywhere, especially where you walk around, required me to scrub down the decks, coach roof, etc., but the scrubbed deck is looking good.

The lazarette is amazingly roomy and holds cleaning equipment, mooring lines, shore power cables, the dinghy anchor and line, and a myriad of other small items. It always surprised me that I was actually able to scrunch myself into the lazarette to pull cables and hoses. Speaking of that, I also finished running the LPG line from the cockpit to the galley and had to be a contortionist to secure the hose to the fuel tank strap to prevent chafing.

I've installed all the final deck fittings, waterproof light sockets for the side navigation lights (note the connecting wire coiled next to the light boxes on the coach roof), connected the diesel tank deck fills, the brackets to hold the LPG tank on the caprail, and the holding tank pump out fitting. I've designed a dismountable rack to hold the light boxes on top of the coachroof when the mast is down (like when transiting the Erie Canal), as races to hold the lowered mast itself at three poinwell as bts: bow pulpit, mast pulpit and boom gallows.

The bowsprit still needs to have the wisker stays attached, and I think I'll need to install two knee braces at each inboard corner of the platform to give it more stability, but I can do that in Florida. Meanwhile, Brands' Marina has painted the mast, boom and spreader after I stripped all the old paint. On the recommendation of other sailors, I had them use a tan shade of Dupont Imron matched to a Krylon khaki so that I can touch up the mast as needed.

Since our new home in Viera, FL, won't be completed until late January 2012 I'm getting pressure to have the boat transported to the Indian River, rather than sailing her down in the Spring (a Fall transit was ruled out due to the time constraints and the need to still finish up the engine room wiring of the charger, inverter, and house battery bank. It might make sense to go with a late October transport because I can work on the wiring when the boat is in the water. No decision yet, but I'll be thinking about it. For now, it will take all of the remaining weeks to finish the barrier coating and painting of the bottom and the refitting of the mast hardware.