Itching to move parts from our cluttered kitchen and onto the boat, we loaded the car with boxes and tools, and drove the 2 1/2 hours north to Rockland. We’re working outside on a frosty morning in March. It’s one of those days when you’re not quite sure if rain will hit or pass by. But the work is getting accomplished.
Our big “task for the day” was to install the new chain and anchor. Chain is 5/16” Grade 43 “G4” hardened and hot-dipped galvanized carbon steel. Attached to that mouthful of chain is a new 55 pound Spade anchor (pic below) using Crosby G-209A forged shackles. Crosby shackles are the strongest available to fit the 5/16” chain, but are literally the weakest link with a working load limit = 5,333 lbs. (I’m fairly confident that there’s some safety factor in that number).
Using a Sailrite hot knife we cut 4 1/2” long x 1/2” wide pieces of brightly colored nylon webbing. (Paracord Planet) Colors of the rainbow (red, pink, orange, yellow, etc) are now attached every 15 feet (approximately 5 meters), allowing us to know how much chain is out.
On an earlier trip, I dropped the old anchor and rusty chain onto a pallet below the bow. Now, after cleaning out all the dirt and rusty fragments from the locker-depths, Kelly went down the ladder and dragged the newly-marked, spic-and-span chain toward the bow and tied a retrieval line that I’d dropped down through the roller. Because it’s too cold and batteries aren’t connected, I hauled up the new chain, hand-over-hand, to initially attach a new “emergency detachment line” from a padeye below in the chain locker. Since the foredeck is only 12 feet or so off the ground, it really wasn’t too heavy and went up without much fuss.
See earlier post: What A Drag for why we bought new ground tackle. Note also the old cable ties (yellow).
We spent the rest of that day out of the drizzle, snaking wire up through the steering pedestal (power, microphone & NMEA 2K). Fun stuff. Seemingly, roving a wire bundle a measly 4 feet should be a simple task. But so quintessential to everything done on a boat: you transform into a Gumby-like contortionist while blind and using one hand. Why do I love this work so much?! (I really do 🙂 Move another sticky note!
We borrowed a friend’s piece of white-board to mark the milestones, and do a celebratory dance when one little sticky note moves from left to right.
Our lives are deceivingly simple: coffee, work, more coffee, eat, sleep, repeat and look forward to the day when we move back aboard and set off (success!)
In a few days we’ll load up again for the drive north, thereafter expecting to move a few more sticky notes.
Here’s a short list of new items fully-completed recently:
- Diesel Engine, fuel management, insulation, exhaust
- Fuel tank (doubles our capacity!)
- Anchor and chain, marked with pretty rainbow colors
- Helm-mounted instrument pod
- Bottom – blasted, faired, painted (epoxy barrier and copper)
- Hoses – holding tank plumbing (no stink here) and scuppers
- Toilet (household size)
- Bottom instruments: depth, speed, temperature and sonar
- Whisker pole
- Fender covers
Priorities remaining, in various stages of completion:
- Finish the Electronics:
- Chart plotters (helm & nav station), networked
- Instrument pod at companionway (wind, depth, speed, etc)
- VHF & WiFi radios, exterior satellite and gps antennas
- Sails (ordered in October!)
- Electric water heater
- Cockpit enclosure
- Solar panels mounted (permanent frame)
- Space heater (hydronic)