Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This past weekend was the first one in two weeks that I've been able to go to the boat. The reason was Billy, our cat,  got bladder stones and had to be monitored, and given medication.Have you ever tried to give pills to a cat?  It's a scene!
So, since we couldn't leave Billy at home as usual, we decided that this weekend was the perfect opportunity to take  him with us. And it couldn't have gone better! He truly seemed to love the boat, and was climbing into all the secret little places that only he can get into. I  thought he might climb down the "big ladder"  by the end of the weekend, but by Saturday he was already a pro! WHAT A CAT! See for yourself...

Monday, September 1, 2008

This is the original Craigs list ad that Maggie sent me. I didn't pay it too much mind at first because we had decided to move to Florida. This ad eventually changed those plans completely. You have got to love Craigs list.

Memories of Yesteryear


I am taking it easy today, just farting around on the computer, and I found this great picture of myself a little over a year ago working in the cockpit. I can tell by the sun that this picture was taken in the morning. The tarp was a lifesaver when the sun got high. It's fun to look back sometimes.

Black Gold


It was back to rot digging for me. I prepared myself for the worst, and got several pleasant surprises. First I fully expected to do the initial cleaning of the engine room, but Travis jumped in and saved me from that awful task.  How nice!   When I did finally climb down into the engine room  and took a close look at the job, it turned out to NOT  be as terrible as I expected.
The rot to be removed does not go as high up the hull as  in some previous spots,  and he engine room "hole"  was pretty roomy in comparison to lets say the hallway, which I still think was the worst of it.  I think I got something like 5, 5 gallon buckets of rot out,  which made for about 1/2 of the engine room...with the other 1/2 to go next week. 

Tight Spots


Among many other forms of torture we have had to endure as yacht owners, among the worst are the extremely tight spots. One old timer has even warned me of the dangers of crawling into tight spaces and getting stuck. "Always have someone around who can pull you out by the ankles if necessary" he said. I have not gotten stuck yet, though I have come close on several occasions. Usually fatigue is a major factor. As you may imagine getting into and out of a sardine can sized space is rarely a one time affair. It is something you do twenty to fifty times throughout the job. It can become very tiring.

This week-end has been like that. Crawling into and out of small spaces over and over again. I started this labor day week-end by diving into the engine room and cleaning nearly thirty years of muck. Then I removed all of the wiring, hoses, and cables. At last I was confronted with removing the large timbers the engine mounts to. This is just the kind of job that requires a twenty pound sledge and a thirty six inch wrecking bar. Of course these would be far too big to fit into the confined space so I used a fourteen inch wrecking bar and a hand saw. The timbers were eventually removed exposing the composted mahogany planking beneath soaked in engine degreaser and body sweat. It's all yours Maggie
I then moved aft to the stern where there are four ribs that need to be built in so that the steering can eventually be hooked up. I decided to repair a small spot of rot that I have been putting off because of the spot it was in. One of the tightest spots I have been in. (shown in above and below picture) There is barely enough room to get my entire body into this spot, flexibility is key, then add a razor sharp chisel, a wooden mallet, small pry bar, and a few dozen cramps in various body parts and you have a recipe for progress in yacht restoration. Just a note, it's more than a little sobering to be using a really sharp chisel with limited maneuverability, so close to the genitals.

After repairing the rotten planking, I was free to crawl under the cockpit and begin laminating ribs. By the end of Sunday, I had finally fallen to fatigue. I was covered in epoxy and bruises and could barely load up the truck to return home. I was only able to build in one of the four ribs but it looks like the most difficult one. More of the same fun next week.