Research, design and implementation are part of work-work and boat-work. One must perform work-work in order for boat-work to occur! I enjoy working, whether for financial gain or drain, but both are certainly part of our plan – the ultimate adventurous master plan now simply on a detour. The detour is going well; we’re on a very good path now. Vaccinations have thankfully been given to elders and they say we’re not far behind. We’re all moving forward – with or without hurdles.
Our little entryway/kitchen is filling up with new parts, spare parts, boat parts. A monthly budget is shifting into implementation mode, as we shop online almost daily. It’s only money, well-spent, and only for stuff. More costly is time for implementing the plan.
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.Henry David Thoreau
I really do enjoy the implementation part of projects. Excitement builds as quickly as the pile of boxes, awaiting warmer weather to arrive so the plan can progress. Our immediate focal points are geared toward important dates and events:
- May 15: scheduled splash. Fayaway will touch saltwater for the first time in fifteen years. Fingers crossed! Onto a temporary mooring she’ll reside until ready for travel.
- May 31: Memorial Day. Not just a holiday and remembrance of fallen soldiers, but also when we lose our cozy seasonal land-based rental. Effectively, we need to be living aboard before that weekend so someone’s family can have their traditional annual gathering. Can’t get in the way of tradition!
We’re prioritizing initial seaworthiness. Foremost on our short list before launching are:
- Rigging – The entire mast-rig has been sitting horizontally, fully-exposed to nature’s elements for many years. Everything on the mast and boom, and also that holding it up, wiring and instruments require renewal or replacement. Cables are being swaged into new turnbuckle ends. Shining shackles, clean splices and appropriately bright-colored halyards, guys and reefing lines are in the works. Aluminum spars shall be dismantled, and their corroded spots brushed, acid-treated and repainted with fresh white 2-part polyurethane paint.
- Before stepping the mast, we’re adding a new Doppler radar dome, LED lighting, a VHF antenna and solid-state wind instruments, along with new associated wiring.
- Engine – Yanmar diesel has awakened, and started easily at our pre-purchase survey. But this little wonder still needs some basic TLC. Among the work are oil, coolant and filter changes, all fuel lines, hoses and impellers will be replaced, heat exchanger cleaning and an updated alternator/pulley/belt system to support efficient battery charging.
- Electrical power and charging systems – A huge bank (400Ah) of LiFePo (lithium) batteries shall be mounted to store all that power from our new solar array. Updated inverter and control systems shall manage and monitor. It’ll be strange to have so much flexibility with power. Friends have suggested an air-fryer. But our goal is to eventually eliminate propane from our galley.
- Below the waterline – Not much to do here, except install zincs, repack the stuffing box, exercise thru-hull valves, change a couple hoses and install new depth and speed sensors.
Imaginary Post-It notes accumulate in the “in-progress” middle area, as we receive, move and check both kinds of boxes. On warmer days-off, we’ve woken early and drove 2-hours in the little red Subaru buggy to dismantle and remove defunct and outdated components. Old rigging has been tagged, removed, measured and (due to Covid-19) left outside the door of a nearby rigging shop. Our old engine-driven Seafrost refrigeration unit has been dismantled and mostly removed, so our new system could be measured and put on order. We’ve begun tearing out old electrical systems and measured space in preparation for the batteries.
Anyone who has spent time working in a sailboat knows about boat-yoga. No, not the spandex, namaste-on-the-foredeck kind. Contortionist flexing, stretching and strength-challenges to arm, back and legs prove one’s fitness during any demo or install aboard. Try downward dog, triangle and warrior, all while simultaneously turning a screwdriver. You better have a good core for this workout! Add an ability to turn an extended socket wrench in your right hand while holding a box wrench with nut and washer (covered with gooey sealant) in your left, all at arms-length, blindly around a corner with your face turned (smashed) against a cold bulkhead. Vinyasa! Seriously, this is what nearly every project entails. Yet I just can’t get enough, because we know we’ll receive an enormous payback, just as we did before. First stretch – then enjoy a rum drink while watching the sunset over that horizon.