Rambling 2017 update

Two three ENTIRE sailing seasons have passed since I last made an entry. That is not good blogging. And most of those memories are probably lost forever, sadly. But I will try and recap a little.

The fuel tank project was completed. I had a couple inches lopped off the bottom and it was re-welded. The boat smells much sweeter now.

The cabin table was removed. There was no easy way to cleanly remove it without pulling the mast, so I just took a multi-tool and cut it out. The interior feels much more spacious. I occasionally miss the utility of having the table; but mostly I am happy with how much easier it is to move around below. I think I may eventually add a Lugun Table or something similar.

Madre sewing up the new cushion covers

Madre sewing up the new cushion covers

New Starboard double cushion

New Starboard double cushion

I made the Starboard settee into a permanent double berth. Once I permanently screwed down the new extension (somewhat larger than than the pull out extension that came with the boat), I was able to add a couple drawers under it. Extra stowage is always desirable. The new bunk also got brand new five inch foam and upholstery (all cut and stitched at home) which is wonderfully comfortable to sleep on. Since it is permanently a bunk, now, I removed the folding seat back and trimmed the little ledge flush with the cabinet in order to make sleep against the hull a little less claustrophobic.

This is the forward locker area. You can see the chain up forward of the temporary plywood wall, and you can see the trial fit of the new floor. This will make the locker much larger, although the sloping hull sides will need some thought as to the best way to handle the space. The hose on the right is the vent from the air head going up to the deck anchor locker.

I am slowly putting together the pieces to make the forward locker (head) quite a bit larger. Since I went composting there is no longer a holding tank up forward, and I see little reason I can’t push the little removable wall forward closer to the anchor locker. This should be a great upgrade when I eventually get it done.

I installed a television. Yeah, I know. But I spend a fair amount of time just lounging aboard at dock at all times of the year. Sometimes it is just nice to sit back and watch a movie. And, frankly, small LCD TVs are so cheap now-a-days, that it really didn’t cost that much. Although I did install a new AC outlet for neatness sake.

Mama duck sitting on her eggs

Mama duck sitting on her eggs. For pretty much the entire summer.

I lost almost an entire sailing season (2016) to a duck who had moved aboard to raise little ducklings. Mama duck laid her eggs under the dodger and just sat on them. For months. One day one little chick hatched. No idea what happened to it as mama kept sitting on the rest of the eggs. Eventually, after waiting more than twice as long as the typical month or so for eggs to hatch, I had to evict her. Actually, I think she sat on those eggs for about three months. She was quite insistent and I didn’t want to bother her, hoping that she’d give up on her own. She didn’t.

Getting ready to take off on a weekend sail this past season, we had cast off the lines, and I pushed the throttle forward to be horribly surprised when the boat surged backwards into the dock. The engine control had pretty much given up the ghost. I ordered a new one, plus two new control cables (throttle and shifter) as I figured they were getting long in the tooth as well and got it installed. It works great; but the throttle control just doesn’t feel as sturdy. I’m not sure if I will get the same thirty five years out of the new one that I got out of the old. Ah, well. Progress.

I think I finally figured how to quickly and cleanly assemble and launch the Porta-bote. The key is to use a halyard to raise the bow of the Porta-bote while assembling in order to not have pressure on the bottom. It works much better. Also, once the middle seat is in, that same halyard can be tied around that seat and used to lift the boat. Then pushing it over the side is not a problem. Once the Porta-bote is in the water, climb in and install the bow and stern seats.

This year I sailed a bunch. I started in April, and had my last sail I think December 2nd or 3rd. I just finally winterized the motor yesterday while the snow was coming down.

This winter I hope to get some work done on the Port settee. I would like to extend it by a little, and install new foam cushions. I hope to also keep working on the forward locker. And if I’m really productive, I have some thoughts regarding rebuilding the galley and extending the port quarter berth aft a bit.

Whew…OK that was a bunch of stuff. And it is really only what came to mind as I was furiously typing at my dining room table. I’m certain there is much, much more that I missed. I am going to try to get some photos here and there to try to colorize this madness of a post, and I’m going to try hard to get back into blogging. I’ve been feeling the need to write, of late, so perhaps I can get myself back into the habit.

P.S.

Oh, while it is not directly related to the boat, I can’t believe I almost forgot to report the biggest personal news story of the past three years…We got married! Last July. I never thought I’d make that step again; but sometimes things just seem to come together.

Winter Solstice

It’s officially winter. Yay. Notice the exclamation point on the banner. That means I love this time of year.

Except, of course, I’m lying.

I’ve got the worst case of self diagnosed SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It’s unseasonably warm this weekend, which is nice, but not enough to shake me out of my funk. I really, really want to head out on an adventure. This would be the perfect winter weekend to make a break for warmer climes. Alas, the bank account is a bit anemic and I’m going to have to keep working for a while longer.

Perhaps I need a project. Something to achieve. Being as I own a boat, there is no shortage, of course. I just need to get off my tail and begin. I’m thinking the modification to the cabin table is the right place to start. The table takes up a little too much room, so needs shortening. Thinking about that makes me just a little happier.

The good news: today, being the shortest day of the year, also marks the return of sunshine. Just a little more daylight every day from here on out. In a little over three months, early sailing season should begin. And that really will warrant an exclamation point.