Grass Is Growing

Kelly and I evolve and keep moving, striving for discovery of life’s many wonders. Life is: enjoying time with family and friends, discovering new friends or interesting places, feeling accomplished with a job well done or simply finding ease with adjusting to any situation. We try to do good in little ways, spreading good humor, and to accept what we choose (and then sometimes compromise). The act of searching for, and now refitting Fayaway, encapsulates many such aspects. Our broker summed it up when she said, “you’re the right buyer for this boat.”

Time to move on, time to get going. What lies ahead I have no way of knowing. But under my feet, baby, grass is growing.

Tom Petty

With that feeling of grass sprouting under our keel, we also feel at ease with the work ahead. We provide 98% of the labor, and sometimes, thankfully with good friends offering appreciated advice and assistance. Looks to be a daunting list below, seemingly growing as fast as tasks are checked off. How to begin? Priority is on the rig, while the mast is down, and then preparing for water before we lose our cottage rental at the end of May.

There are no problems. Only solutions.

John Lennon

March 21: Mostly completed as of this post.

  • Remove outdated refrigeration, inverter and DC power systems
  • Mast:
    • Remove, inspect and measure all standing and running rigging, spars, lights , instruments and wiring
    • Repair/repaint minor damage/corrosion on spreaders
    • Mount new radar bracket, weather instrument and LED lighting bases
    • Begin running new power and NMEA wiring
    • Splice dyneema running backstays and topping lift
  • Drain nasty old brown diesel fuel and clean fuel tank; install clean fuel lines. Yuck. One of the few tasks better left to the professionals! Icky black 15-yr old goop in entire fuel system.

If we know only the sail dimensions, then we can figure out all the line lengths for the creation of lazyjacks. (Page from my notebook. Hope I did this correctly!)

April 21:

  • Finish mast and rigging:
    • Install second conduit for radar wiring
    • Install new, wiring, lights and instruments
    • Clean, reassemble and install furling systems, new standing wire, turnbuckles and running lines
    • Install lazy jacks
  • Refinish teak washboards
  • Remove grossly outdated old life raft (a beast)
  • Install new 3KW inverter, updated power switching and battery wiring
  • Begin overhaul of engine:
    • Replace ALL rubber hoses and clamps
    • Clean or replace heat exchanger (upon inspection)
    • Replace impellers (raw and fresh)
    • Install new alternator, regulator, serpentine pulleys, belt and charger wiring
    • Fix malfunctioning tachometer
    • Install new motor mounts, realign drive shaft
Example of bad splicing: some trial and error goes into mounting Sta Set X onto existing blocks. Hoping I’ll get it right eventually!

May 21: Fayaway must go into the water this month so we’ll have a place to live!

  • Install new house and starter batteries
  • Refinish teak rubrails, companionway and cockpit trim
  • Install stern pushpit (removed by previous owner)
  • Install life raft and EPIRB. Only three years old, saved from old boat, as buyer wasn’t interested in long distance cruising
  • Finish remaining engine overhaul, change coolant, oil, filters
  • Re-pack stuffing box
  • Rebuild head
  • Install new thru-hull fittings for NMEA depth and speed instruments
  • Install new dyneema lifelines
  • Install new 12V refrigeration systems for refrigerator and freezer
  • Main boom:
    • Remove old hardware, repair corrosion
    • Refit new sheet, traveler and reef lines
    • Install blocks and padeyes for new lazyjacks
  • Thoroughly inspect for dry-rotted or otherwise questionable drain hoses throughout boat; replace as required
  • *Re-check all fittings, hoses and clamps below waterline. I found a 98% disconnected cockpit drain hose during one of my closer inspections. At 1.1/2” diameter, this could likely have sunk the boat!
  • Mount new radar dome, masthead instruments and lighting fixtures (immediately before and after stepping mast)
  • Step mast
  • Launch (fingers crossed! See anything I forgot?)

June 21:

  • Assess and correct autopilot as required
  • Install NMEA backbone, USB charging ports, AIS, plotter and multifunction displays
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with LED throughout
  • Install 330 (x2) watt solar panels and independent MPPT charge controllers
  • Install dodger/canvas (scheduled 15 June).

Kelly and I also have paying jobs now, so boat work typically happens during weekends, and requires driving back and forth two hours to and from where the boat sits. We’re making good progress to keep the grass at bay. Then driving will change to sailing this summer, as we assess further needs and wants by bobbing around the quaint coves of New England, and becoming re-accustomed to living on the water. Hopefully Covid-19 also takes a hiatus to allow friends to come aboard too! After our “summer break”, we’ll haul again for winter storage and continue refit before going back into the water in 2022. On the short list for next year are: bottom repaint, electric stovetop and oven, cockpit cushions, fenders, whisker pole, possibly sails, RIB, watermaker, etc.

One year ago this week: looking up, a pair Martins scout for nesting on Fayaway’s mast, while quarantined at anchor in Culebra’s Ensenada Honda.

Long term plans haven’t lost focus: Assuming COVID-19 soon becomes less of an inhibitor, Fayaway will be fully seaworthy and ready to depart for distant international waters once again in 2022. And THAT’S what I’d prefer writing about!!

Life is learning to navigate the channel even when it isn’t clearly marked. You experience a few bumps along the way but you don’t sink unless you’re reckless.

John Carmichael – Alexandersmap.com

Please be positive, and kind to strangers. Get your inoculation jabs (as the Brits say!), continue to wear your PPE as authorities recommend, and BE SAFE! We hope to see you out there, or at least take you for a sail.

Kelly at ease, climbing around boats during one recent visit to Annapolis.

2 thoughts on “Grass Is Growing

  1. nhcarmichael

    Long list, but you’ll get through it as you’ve done before. Just as we’ll all get through this pandemic and where we’re going with patience and perseverance. Oh, and that Carmichael quote was nice to see. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When we were building houses, I would get anxious with the long list of things to do. Greg’s advice: just put your head down and focus on the job at hand, it’ll get done. I’m still working on following that advice. I’m sure you will get it done! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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