Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"It is still January"

Today was the last day that I could use that excuse.  The season is quickly approaching.  Progress has been made but only because I have not been slacking at all.  I am getting tired.  Why am I doing all of this work?  I saw an Alberg 35 advertised in California this past summer for six thousand dollars.  I have put over eight hundred dollars in materials towards repairing the bottom alone.  This doesn't include the hours, days and now weeks of time I have put into grinding, glassing, sanding, fairing, painting.  And that was just for the bottom!

What about the windlass rebuild, removing the rust and painting the three main anchors, the installation of the new AIS and having it communicate with the GPS, the installation of two opening portlights in the cabin, the fabrication and installation of two trim rings for the old forward V berth portlights, repairing the rudder which involved dremeling out rot, building back with epoxy and reglassing, replacing the flexible coupling and installing the new shaft seal which involved lifting the entire engine, borrowing a coupling puller, hammering the shaft back into the coupling, the subsequent redoing of the engine alignment, the replacement of the starter and preheat momentary switches, painting the boom, heat gun and scraping the old epoxy off the entire dinghy, painting the dinghy, finding and installing new rubrail material for the dinghy, sanding the entire deck for new non skid, fixing the sliding hatch, converting the old rope ratlines to wood ones, measuring and cutting new non skid material for the cockpit floor, varnishing the larger flat surfaces of the interior, spending two hours trying to repair a dead palm sander and a dead multi master because of being too cheap to immediately replace, going to town to find a new palm sander, cutting a two foot section of the short whisker pole to make a sleeve to make a proper size one out of the two with rivets, going to town to find rivets, making chocks for the whisker pole, replacing the stop, throttle and shift cables for the engine,  installing a new MP3 car stereo, finding someone in the yard with a truck to go buy wood, going to town to buy wood, making new dinghy seats out of the wood, making a new outdoor sleeping area in the cockpit out of the wood, cutting out a new battery cover out of the wood, going to town to buy cabo sil, going to town to buy polyester resin, going to town to find stainless fasteners, going to town to find packing for the rudder shaft, going to town to get a printer cartridge refilled with ink so I can do my budget eight and half by eleven CM93 charts, printing out those charts and using google earth when CM93 doesn't have it,  painting the topsides, masking off a new waterline to paint the topsides...  

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sometimes work is just work

Taking a sober assessment of exactly what needs to be done on the boat and feeling the weight of it is difficult and stressful.  The stress comes from knowing that when you take this much work on, all kinds of unknown obstacles will crop up. Non sailors ask about storms while they should be asking about removing rusted and frozen bolts you can't reach with a drill...

Part of me thought that it might be fun to blog about some of the projects I have been doing.  "It could be useful to other cruisers".  "I could share my accomplishments with friends"  "It could help with potentially selling the boat".  Take for example the Simpson Lawrence Seatiger 555 windlass.  I have completely taken it apart, regreased it, replaced the springs and put it back together.  This took more than a couple of hours.  While I did make narrated videos when taking it apart, it was so I would know how to put it back together.  The reality of this project is that there wasn't anything tricky about it.  Of course there were set backs and obstacles but they were par for the course.  The whole before, during and after photo shoot idea feels vain and unnecessary.  There isn't anything I learned from this project that I felt should be communicated to someone doing the exact same project.  In fact, most of the work on the boat is like this.  The sea eats at everything and every piece of gear has a life span.  It is just a fact of cruising and owning a boat.  How interesting is that?