November 4, 2013

Home Improvements!



When I say artist I mean the man who is building things - creating molding the earth - whether it be the plains of the west - or the iron ore of Penn. It's all a big game of construction - some with a brush - some with a hammer, some with a shovell - some choose a pen.


I've recently chosen December 1 as the departure date to southern seas.... so much to prepare for now since I've imposed a deadline on myself... I love it.

Cruising is a true adventure.  But it's not all chasing sunsets. For every hour spent sailing, there's an equal amount, or more, hours spent getting the boat ready. before my upcoming departure can happen, lots of things need to be done to upgrade this sweet boat to a higher level to make her fit for cruising.  

There's a whole series of boat improvements that must be completed by December 1... or at least I feel they need to be completed.  The Universe may have other plans for me. But Thankfully, several jobs were recently accomplished by yours truly.  There's an undescribeable  satisfaction of completing a boat project... For one thing , they always take twice as long as you think they will,and they always cost twice as much as you planned.. then there's the domino effect where you create a new problem to repair while working on the first problem... but that's all a part of the magic and the wonder of just figurin' it all out and doing it right... if not the first time, at least by the 2nd or third time... I love it...Here's a sample of some of the recent Home Improvements!

THE NEW TABLE!
I owe a huge load of gratitude to my good friend Gary who shared his magnificent carpentry skills in his awesome home workshop.  Why replace the table you might ask?  Because the one that came with the boat was just too damn big.  It took up so much space in the salon, making it difficult just manuevering about.  So I came up with this bright idea... why not just a smaller table?  after all, how often do I need to seat 6 people?... Here's some pics from the progress of the table project...

Gary worked his magic to recreate the original table pattern in a scaled down version... 


Once he got done, I took the table south to refinish it and install it onto the pedestal... Here's the final product!  Sweeet!


Everyone could use their beach time to sand some wood 
I think.... 
    video




Here's some before and after shots of the refinishing process on the dock at Fernandina on a crystal clear sunny day...  perfect conditions...

Final product below!
something has gone haywire in the formatting of this sections... please bear with me... you may have to piece it together....



Oh boy, mail!  Just arrived! The fridge, the foot pump, and the mounting board for storage tanks...
3 big jobs ahead... See the table in background, just refinished.

Next Job... The FRESH WATER FOOT PUMP! (contain your excitement here.)
I know that doesn't sound very exciting, but hey it is what it is... Its a way to pump fresh water into your sink without having to use any electrical power.  Plus it tends to make the user conserve water more than just letting the pressurized water flow and flow while one stares out the port in awe at some gorgeous sunset... here' the damage down as the work was being done...


As seen above, I had to carve out a space for the foot lever... here she is with all the hoses connected .... wow, is this exciting or what?!... too bad I didn't take a photo of the beautiful water flow from the new stainless steel tap!

Now for the Biggie... REFRIGERATION IS NOW INSTALLED!  whoo whoo!

you may say, what the big deal about refrigeration?  Well, the good part is that I no longer have to make daily trips to get ice, screw with it and pump out all the water after it melts.  It also means you get a nice cold ice locker, for your food!  All powered by this small and very expensive little compressor unit... i know it's not much to look at, but it floats my boat, so I'm excited about it... see here



First I took it out of the box and just looked at it for a day.

  During that time, I read and re-read the manual to understand what was up... Then I consulted with my dock neighbors Ray and Dave, who are two rather salty sailor and general do-it-yourself boat fixer uppers.  Then I wondered what type of new home refrigerator I could have bought at Sears or Home Depot for $1200, a pretty nice one indeed... But with marine products, you pay out the butt for small specialized units that fit in tight marine environments... and this little unit cost the same as a brand new full size home refrigerator... but don't tell anybody I spent that much for it, ok?


It took me another day to work up the courage to drill a 2" hole in my ice locker.  Finally, after a lot of measuring and re-measuring, I bored thru.... there was no turning back now that the wheels were in motion.









Next, I had to figure out how to snake 15' of copper refrigeration hose through the ice locker, through a storage locker, underneath the sink in the head, into the sail locker, under the water tank, and all the way to the rear of the sail locker where it would meet up with the power source for the unit known as the compressor... simple enough eh?... then came a series of boring several holes through the bulkheads (walls) to get from point A to point B... It seemed perfect at the time until I came up 12" short of my calculation... Enter PLAN B... remove all the hose and try a shorter path to get there.  Thanks Dave again, for helping me snake it out and snake it back in the new route... I know this is getting boring to read, but I gotta get there...


 
There's no confusion here at all as you can see by the confident expression on my face.... enter Plan C... re-route the hose for the 3rd time... 3rd time is the charm.


It was a big job for Joey here, but I'm sure it will be well worth it... come to think of it, that job sure was a lot of money, energy, and time just to be able to have a cold beer in the middle of the ocean.... and it snowballs from there, cause now you have to upgrade your batteries and charging potential due to all the amps required to run refrigeration on a boat at sea... but it's all good... it just means another project to tackle.

NEW HONDA GENERATOR!
I cashed in my piggy bank of coins and had more than enough to buy this Honda Generator for recharging my battery bank... every penny counts, kids.




Its the small things in life that add up....
Oh boy!  A new quart of Semco!!!  Teak Sealer!


One final not so exciting, but handy, job was the rebuilding of the fold out bed...Now I can get in the storage bins much easier without having to move all the cushions and unfold that big board just to get in there... plus, its now my new sleepy time pad... seemed like a one hour job... it took about 4 hours and three trips to the hardware store... love it tho. 

Sometimes you gotta work in order to play...So the good part about home improvements is this...
When you get done, you get to hop on your bike and go places!  All the time knowing you've made a difference in a small little part of the world today, and maybe touched some others along the way like the clerk at the hardware store, or the neighbor you chatted with, or whoever might listen to your victory story.... today the boat, tomorrow the world!


Things to build, things to create, seas to sail, don't be late.


















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