Saturday, November 4, 2017

The 3 Rs of buying an older boat...Redo/Repair/Remodel...

We've been working a bit on our Redo/Repair/Remodel list and it's GNAT season!
No-See-Um Screens, Bath Fixtures, Fans...
Well, on the east coast, it's often gnat season. So we've been working on converting a couple of the porthole screens to gnat screens. After some research from other cruiser's blogs and Youtube, I came up with solution. We haven't put it to the real test yet but plan to soon. We learned from Carolyn Shearlock's blog, The Boat Galley to use wedding veil material! It is a lightweight fabric, not netting. So with our 50% online coupon we bought some at Joann's Fabrics. 

We chose black instead of white as it allows a clearer view out and it seems to also provide a bit of privacy in! We cut the fabric about 2" larger than the existing screens, then doubling the edge over for extra strength, leaving an overlapping edge to fill in any of the gaps in the portholes, then glued the fabric to the metal screens. We tried several glues and the best one is I use to also glue linen panels to boards for my artwork! Above you can see the wet glued edge. Looks messy but dries clear.

On the back side or other side of the screen, I added some black Gorilla tape catching the fabric and metal parts for extra strength and support. 

Here is the screen with "no-see-um gnat" fabric in place. The extra overlapping fabric fills in the gaps that the regular metal screen had. And the view is not compromised at all. We are hoping that incoming breezes won't be compromised either.

We made one for the forward hatch and the two side doors by simply attaching with velcro (by some simple hand sewing and more Gorilla tape) and they snap on with the existing fabric screens.
And for the main cabin way, we attached the fabric with glue and Gorilla tape to a slim strip of wood, kind of like a yard stick baton. Then velcro strips to the wood baton and the wood bar just inside the hatch that opens. Then we hand sewed some plastic coated weights from an old cast net to the bottom. Voila! It can sit just inside the doorway or outside. We need to test it in a breeze to see if it will work best in or outside the doorway. We are prepared with some small velcro squares to apply just inside the cabin way for full protection when we are not constantly going in and out.  You can see how clear it is to look out but the view in is obscured. Can't wait to use them on a trip. Hope it works or it will be back to the drawing board!

Next up is the plumbing fixtures for both bathroom sinks and shower. 
Here is the old one. 

And here is the new one! 
It was not easy. I could go on with a very long story about taking the old one off and installing the new one(s). After buying 4 of them between Home Depot and Amazon and after 4 days of attempting, we got one to fit. Then after buying new hoses for below, none which would fit.... well it got done. And no leaks!

Here is the old shower head and fixtures.

And here are the new ones! Unfortunately, the fixtures we wanted would not fit as the handle and plumbing is right next to the wall so the new one looks just like the old. It's just new!

View of master sink with new fixtures

And then we did the forward sink fixtures. The old faucet would NOT come out due to rusted/frozen on piping. I've been wanting to get the chain saw to do some remodeling and Bruce just says, no, no, no. But he got to use a version of a chain saw to get this one off! Its a "fine tool", Bruce says its just a chainsaw with finesse.

New faucet fixtures in forward head. Ok but we still can't use it because now the seacock plug has evidently separated from the shaft in the closed position, per conversation with Patrick at Groco. We discovered this as the water would no drain after our last haul out which "freed" the stuck seacock. To replace it will require a haul out which we just did this past summer and don't plan on doing it again for about a year. So for now, this will just look pretty.

Fans! We decided to add a couple of fans, which are 12 volt, 0.3 amps draw therefore great energy efficient.
  One in the main salon....

And one in the master stateroom. This one had to be wired to the 12 volt light that was already there. You can just see the wire running down from the light but it is tucked away behind the wood cornice. We chose one that clips on so we wouldn't have to drill any holes in the wood and we can also move this one a bit for more comfort adjustment.


We have one for the v-berth but not installed yet. 
So, we will get to test this all out on our next trip out. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Short End of Summer Trip

Friday, September 29, 2017
Wow, we have not been out on Summer Breeze since "Totality"! Hurricane Irma came to visit and created quite a mess, and we've been on a couple of short road trips. So it has been since August 21. Too long but here we are with 4-5 free days and the promise of cooler and nice weather so we are going south a bit, maybe Beaufort, maybe Hilton Head. We left today at 12:45 pm, 3 hours into high tide. That's our secret to a successful launch without popping any balls!

First I want to show you our latest update to SB. Our friend and neighbor, Hugh Allston made our new hand rail gates. He did a magnificent and beautiful job!

And this is our new "fix" to keeping Bella from peeking too far over the flybridge. That made us nervous! She can still peek but can't slip over. Not "Hugh" approved and still needs some tweaking but it worked.

As we traveled south, there were several rain showers around and a few drops on us but no rain and it made for beautiful skies. 
We anchored at 3:45 in the S Edisto River at Laurel Hill anchorage, as noted on Active Captain. And the dolphins came to check us out. Love it when that happens! (photo above)

The clouds were spectacular and so was the sunset with the surrounding rain showers. And then,a bit of rain came, so we decided to turn on the genny, the a/c and cook dinner inside.  
I did get my Day 29 and a Toogoodoo 365 painting in as we left the creek. It was high tide and this spot is just before the fork in the creek. I love how the water is peeking through the marsh grass and the distant tree lines are seen because of the curves in the creek.
My #stradaeasel set up on the boat.
Saturday, Sept 30
The wind came up about 5 AM, we checked the anchor and all was fine. We got up early (6) to make the Ashepoo Coosaw Cut at a higher tide as it gets pretty low there but after watching the morning weather update, decided to hold off. The low in south Florida is causing some winds, near shore gale warnings and rain showers.... then again after more weather station watching and coffee, we decided to continue on but only to Beaufort.
The clouds were heavy but created a beautiful sunrise!

Along the way, I completed my last painting for the 30 day challenge. As we entered the Ashepoo Coosaw Cut, I quickly sketched the scene and got to it. I had some challenges with a little wind, wakes from other boats, but got it done! #stradaeasel challenge!

We got to Beaufort around 3 pm and anchored just behind the mooring field that is next to the marina. That gave us protection from the winds, a great view of Beaufort and easy access to the dinghy dock!
We had a few projects we had been working on that we wanted to finish. The sunscreens now have new roll up snaps (just like on the Isinglass) and the tie down snaps to be used instead of the ropes. Rosie has a hard time untying (and tying) ropes. Fingers just don't work that well with them. So this little addition to the screens is great! 

And we also have the rope problem on the fenders we use at docks or locks. The fingers don't always work that great when you need them in a hurry. So we made up some straps with soft fleece lining that sits on the teak hand rails with grommets for the ropes and then Bruce found some line adjuster things. So now we just clip the loop in the rope and adjust the length if needed! Yeah!!! (for Rosie's fingers!)

We also worked on our no see-um gnat screens but that's still a work in progress. For another day. 
This is our view in the evening of the marina and city. The winds had picked up as predicted but not so bad. It was already cooler and the gnats are gone for now. 

Sunday, Oct 1
No sunrise picture today as we slept in. Oh well. 
Today our friends, Jeanine and Tim Jones who just moved to Beaufort came out for the afternoon. We picked them up at the dinghy dock and had lunch on Summer Breeze, including home made apple pie (from Jeanine of course!)! Then we went into town, walked around a bit and watched a bit of the 9/11 commemorative ceremony that had been postponed because of Hurricane Irma. Back on the boat later for a quiet evening. Not much of a sunset as the clouds were gone. Swept away by the wind! 

Monday, Oct 2
This was our sunrise Monday morning. The winds had quieted during the night but still a bit breezy. The clouds were still moving fast. 

Leaving Beaufort waterfront area...

Entering the Toogoodoo Creek about 3 in the afternoon. We had to hover around the creek a bit to allow for the tide to rise a bit more before crossing the sandbar. I love this little cottage tucked into the trees. I think it 's going to be a painting soon.

We had an almost perfect docking but not quite. The wind gave us a bit of a challenge in our turn around as it would catch the boat and move us. Wind from one side and tide from the other did not balance each other out! We had to abort the 1st try but made it on the 2nd approach. It was not pretty but it was without incident! Phew! 
We can do this!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

TOTALITY 08-21-17

Eclipse day sunrise! 
Melissa and Caitlyn came in from Charlotte to spend the eclipse in the zone of "totality" with us in Charleston. We left early on Monday morning (8-21-17). The tide was still coming in but almost at peak so we wanted to leave the dock with the current still at our bow and of course we have a sandbar to cross! It was a beautiful sunrise, though cloudy. They were predicting about a 60-70% cloud coverage during the eclipse and a 30% chance of rain. And we had another successful and stress less dock launch! As long as we are at almost high tide with the current coming into our bow, we are getting this departure down!
Co-captains of the day are ready at the helm.
As so are we!

It was a nice relaxing ride to our destination just off of Limehouse Bridge. Not only would it be a great viewing spot but also a great people watching spot. There is a sandbar that pops up at low tide that makes for a place to swim in shallow water and hang out on a beach like sandbar.  There were other smaller boats and many kayaks that showed up. We lowered the dinghy and went over to the sandbar and played around with the dogs for a while before the eclipse began. The news media had said that animals may act weird and the weather may be weird. Whatever that means! Well as we played in the water, we were attacked by jumping shrimp! They would jump around us actually hitting us or landing on us! It was harmless though we did have a lot of squealing going on. One actually got stuck on Maya's fur on her neck. We laughed quite a bit about this after.  Then just before the eclipse began, the dark clouds appeared and we could see some lightening in the not too far distance but it was not on us. Dark clouds behind us with lightening, white puffy clouds moving around us hiding the sun here and there and blue sky towards the beach. Ok, the weather was weird and the attacking shrimp was really weird!

We perched up on the dinghy platform as the moon started to pass over the sun. The cloud cover was spotty as the eclipse actually began, but it was amazing to see! 

This photo with my phone doesn't show the eclipse at all! It is amazing how the special glasses clearly showed it all so well. 
It did get twilight dark for about a minute or so during totality and we could see the ring around the sun (Bailey's Beads?) and the diamond ring! It was suddenly quiet and then you could hear all the "ahs" and clapping and then it started to get light again. 
As the dark clouds got a little closer, we along with most everyone out there decided it was time to leave. The rain did start to come and we were grateful for the bimini and Isinglass protection on the flybridge. We stayed dry! We got to our overnight spot we had spotted last week and anchored at about 4:30. The rain had stopped by then and it was beautiful again. The trawler on a mooring ball was there as well as a beautiful double masted sailboat. This is a great creek for anchorage! 

It was a beautiful evening with lots of dolphins around us with some even coming right up to the boat several times to get a good look at us. 

We were gifted with even a more beautiful sunrise this morning. We left our anchorage at about 7:45 in order to catch the incoming tide at almost peak. Again, another perfect docking, the stress is still there but getting better!
Bella and Maya happy to be almost home! Oh, a Maya update! Last week, she would NOT "go" on the potty spot after I sprayed her with water. No problem on this trip! Guess she forgot that I did that. Though they did have a bath on the deck after the sandbar swim. So, we have clean and happy puppies after TOTALITY.