Several of my previous posts discussed goals and lists of things that I envisioned getting done while in the boatyard- some by the professional staff and some by me. The original links to those projects are at the bottom of this post but I’ve cut and pasted the actual lists, with what we did and didn’t get done…some of it being a pipe dream I didn’t have time to actually finish. Here goes:
Bottom (hull) properly cleaned and prepped by the boatyard and at least three coats of paint added to stressed areas and two coats added to most other areas. Done
Book Shelves installed in master berth and salon and shelving for storage installed in cabinet where the washer/dryer used to reside.Done
Have the Rudder dropped and inspected. New seals and gaskets installed. Figure out the reasons for minor water ingress up the rudder tube.. Done
Propeller Shaft- either install a Dripless Seal (SureSeal Shaft Seal System) or confirm that the packing gland can be re-packed and proper tension can be maintained on the current shaft nuts.(yeah yeah,,,ha ha)- Done
Take out the faucet in the forward cabin head and install a fresh water foot pump. (so my girls can’t leave the water running and drip all the fresh water out of the boat).- Not Done
Have the main bilge pumps safety checked and fix as needed. Done by Subcontractor but NOT DONE CORRECTLY!
Change the current gray water setup to a 3-way valve so it can run out of the boat vice into a large grey water tank. Empty the tank and clean it.- Not Done
Close and seal the extra through-hulls on the boat. Unfreeze struck through hulls and handles.Done
To Be Done by Me:
Using the templates I have, cut and install the new sound/heat barriers in the bilge spaces under the galley floors.Done
Install new heat/sound barrier in the engine room. Not Done
Take off heat shield material on engine exhaust piping and install new heat shield and heat shield tape. Not Done
Find out where the lower coolant drain is- drain and change engine coolant. Not Done
Find out where the engine thermostat is- change it (make sure you buy extra thermostats). Not Done
Drain and Change Engine Oil. Not Done
Figure out how to get into the space and change the impeller (take existing impeller kit and buy two more prior to changing it). Not Done
Change the primary Fuel Filter (canister)- at the boatyard we’re right next to a large Marine store- get extra canisters. Not Done
Change the primary Oil Filter (canister)- at the boatyard we’re next to a large Marine Store- get extra canisters. Not Done
Pick up Main Sheet (getting a new one made) and reattach to the main. Take off the mizzen Main Sheet and have a new one made.Done
Install new speakers in the cockpit, stern boxes and main salon. Not Done
Many of the goals above that were mine to do in the boatyard simply didn’t get done because I didn’t understand several things about the yard. I had assumed I’d be able to do engine work while hauled out, but the yard didn’t have any available facilities for waste/oil disposal or would have charged me by the gallon. I think that’s crazy, but that’s their policy. Weird, since my own marina encourages us to use a free shoreside waste disposal area and it’s free. I also couldn’t do as much engine work as I would have liked just due to the guys working in or near the engine room. For at least three days, someone worked on the getting the shaft seal undone and repacked and then there was the whole job of getting multiple through hulls drilled out of the engine room compartment. The yard then had to grind them, epoxy them, fiberglass the holes and paint, which took another several days. I basically wrote off those projects and determined I would do them back here at the marina. So that’s my list and I’ll write more detailed posts with pictures about several of these jobs as I go. What you won’t see if any write-ups about folks who didn’t do an excellent job. Just won’t waste my typing time with folks who didn’t do the job right or finish the job to my satisfaction.
In getting ready to haul out our 51ft Sailboat for multiple upgrades, repairs and normal maintenance, I knew my wife would be in Japan the entire time and I still needed to maintain some semblance of a normal routine with my two young school aged girls. We looked very hard at hotels with kitchen near the boatyard and several Airbnb’s, but we would have paid over $1456 dollars total for 7 days. (the haulout turned into 11 days). This cost would have been on top of the food costs, haul out costs, subcontractor costs and every other costs. After talking to our friend and experience yacht broker from Yachtfinders/Windseakers, we just decided to stay on the boat while she was hauled out. This did present some challenges as we were not allowed to dump gray water (no dishes or our tank would fill up) and we didn’t coordinate our black water tank cleaning well, so we had to make sure it was cleaned while we were 16 feet up on the hard. We also had to adjust to the kids clearing the gap from boat to ladder and the boat vibrating in it’s scaffolding at night, but things went well. The boatyard had nice bathrooms and showers and seemed to go with the flow of having young children there in the late afternoons. However, the boatyard started work early, so we tried to be off the boat by 0700 and the kids often were back by 4pm.
If you haul your boat out and want to live on it (with or without kids) here’s some of the things you may experience:
So in the end, if I can live on my cruising sailboat on the hard with two little kids while my wife is traveling on business, you can too. Note: Quincy the Great Dane was not with us, we kenneled her for this little adventure.
When I discuss downsizing personal items; I’m not talking about sorting and putting things in storage, I’m talking about actually getting rid of very personal items because you really don’t want to pay for yet another storage shed. This was brought home last week as I watched our triathlon bikes and equipment get sold and carted off. I was the impetus behind this but it still had an emotional impact, as we’ve now truly closed that door for the near future at least.
I’m around but distracted because Tulum has been hauled out since late Tuesday but her bottom’s not even started yet. The damn cold and wet weather patterns have not helped. These Jan/Feb/Mar months have been the wettest and coldest I’ve ever experienced in San Diego. In order to save approx $1400 dollars on hotel or Airbnb costs, we elected to stay on the boat and then yard happily obliged. We have power and our crack poop pumper showed up at the yard with a 100 foot hose to clean us out,,,although the yard has very nice heads and a private shower. Climbing the 16 feet to the boat via ladder has not stopped the girls but they have had to learn to slow down and allowed me to help them across the expanse from ladder to boat. The yard starts early in the day and ends work early in the day, something we’ve gotten used to and have worked through. I think we’ll go back in the water by this coming Thurs/Fri, just in time for Michelle to get back from her Japan trip and miss all the fun boat work in the yard projects. I’m sure she’s jealous!
Here’s a shot of her hauled, more later this week-
There’s a haul out and spa week coming next week for Tulum V and I can’t wait. She needs this TLC and maintenance prior to us leaving and this happens to be one of the milestones we need to check off prior to starting more serious shakedowns come spring and summer. Here she is hauled out for survey:
Middle of winter and it’s cold! Dream of casting off lines and heading south? What’s really keeping you here? Not enough money, relatives health, boat’s not ready, we don’t have enough sailing experience, the kids don’t want to go, we want to continue to build our nest egg…..ect ect ect. I’ve heard some of these in my own life and had to set them aside. I was “woken up” to how short life can really be and I’m a HUGE advocate of living your life while you can…while your own health is good enough to fully enjoy things and even if your boat and finances are not perfect. Will they ever be? I have no intention of dying without living.
If this is where you want to be, isn’t time to make it happen? Courtesy of Pexels.
If you want to head south but just haven’t had that “wake up moment” where you see yourself dying without living…DON’T WAIT. Head south or west or east or north. If you are on the West Coast and want to head south this year,,,,,sign up for Baja Ha-Ha in May and take off with us in November!
I have no financial ties to the Baja Ha-Ha, I'm just sitting here in a rain and wind storm on our boat wishing we were already somewhere warmer.
A huge thanks to Mrs. Behan Gifford on the Sailing Totem website for including this tiny (but growing) website and blog in their Cruising Family Blogs section. This means our website is featured and there’s an RSS feed that will make sure all our posts update on their site automatically, sooo super cool.
A bit about the Sailing Totem Crew- Totem is the name of their boat. Jamie and Behan Gifford and their 3 kids headed south from the West Coast of the US some 10 years ago, eventually circumnavigating the globe. With their oldest in college now, the rest of the family is still on the boat and now in Mexico somewhere (having finished their circumnavigation. They are regular guest speakers at various boat shows and Mrs. Gifford writes for SailFeed by Sail Magazine (one of my dream jobs). Her husband Jamie is called “the cruising sailmaker” as he will consult and help anyone order sails for their boat and the Giffords have a sailing consultancy business as well. Behan Gifford has also co-authored one of the definitive texts about sailing and voyaging with kids, called Voyaging with Kids. The book is great but not yet reviewed on LF2SF because I haven’t finished reading it yet.
If you hit the link to the Sailing Totem website and purchase the book, they’ll get a few Amazon pennies and totally deserve them for all the work done on the book and on the website.
Thanks again to “Sailing Totem” for putting us on their site with RSS feed, that’s awesome!
Good Morning Everyone, it’s been a crazy long week and more to come next week. This whole week I’ve been working on the boat (of course) but I’ve also been going to night classes at Training Resources Limited Maritime Institute (TRLMI) for a Diesel Engine Maintenance Course. YES, I’m still trying to improve my weak mechanical skills and since I have a firm grasp on my own failings, I already know that I’m not the greatest at mechanical stuff…..and the high jump! As a bonus this afternoon, we were allowed to go on a field trip to check out the engines on Captain Zach’s Newton 46 dive boat. Zach is one of the students in the class and owns Waterhorse Charters and Dive Shop (in San Diego). Because San Diego has a large sunken warship (Yukon) just off the coast, Waterhorse Charters specializes in taking folks out there who come to train for thier PADI or other Wreck Dive Certification. The boat is spotless, has more than required safety gear and his engines are in great shape. I was pretty impressed, cause I’ve been on some pretty janky dive boats in a couple of places, but Captain Zach knows his stuff and has a Master’s License to prove it. Me and him sat in class for a couple of weeks in January 2017 at the (then) Maritime Institute for our Masters License Training, but Maritime Institute has since become TRLMI. I get to wander around the San Diego Sunroad Boatshow tomorrow and then finish up my last Engine Class tomorrow afternoon as well…too much fun. I’m getting LOTS of stuff knocked out on the boat and the next two weeks will be huge weeks for the boat. Next week I have someone coming on the boat to look over my spinnakers with me. Pretty excited, as I don’t have much spinnaker time and every second counts for good experience. In order to shore up some of my weaker points and stop paying ripoff prices for work I can probably do, I’ve also signed up for a week of class for Outboard Engine Maintenance in February and another week of class for Onboard Electrical Systems in March. If you’re interested in these skill sets, TRLMI offers the classes and has a world-class training facility where you’ll get hands-on + instructors who are willing to take the time to explain crucial details along with real world experience. If you want these skills, highly recommend you sign-up for a class somewhere and improve yourself.
I’ll do another couple of posts with more detailed info and pics on Waterhorse Charters, TRLMI and the boat show.
So the above reasons are why I missed Wednesday’s post, but I’m working hard to stay with it. Today was another painting with bilge paint day on the boat before I went on the field trip and I’m gonna have to throw a second coat on tomorrow, then be done with that portion of the paint project. I’ll have some pictures of before and after to awe you with my painting skills and the nastiness of the areas painted….you’ll see we’re making slow progress. Next week it’s into the engine room all week to clean the engine, change the coolant and the oil and then attempt to get to the impeller to change it. My engine is literally put in backwards because of the velvet drive and V drive operation…so getting to the critical bits of it is literally painful boat yoga for midget’s and my kids won’t go into those spaces. I try to bribe them, pay them and threaten them but they will won’t go into those impossible to get to engine spaces so I have to do it….next week. Ok, still got paint on my hands so I have to clean up- see ya-
If this is where you want to be, solid finances will help, ALOT.
When I came across this post from the Aroused Blog post, I knew I had to reblog it. This post feeds directly into another I’m working on in conjunction with an article I’ve read from the November 2018 issue of Kiplingers magazine. Ever heard of the FIRE movement? This is unique group of highly motivated individuals who save their money in large amounts with the express desire to retire early. I wanted to retire early and have achieved this in my mid-40’s, but I had never even heard of this movement when I started toward retirement. Read the interesting article below by the Aroused Blog and consider checking that blog out, then keep an eye out for my Weds or Fri post as I discuss the idea of retiring early in conjunction with going on an extended cruising trip.
I started this post several days ago. Most posts take me several days to write if I need to put some thought and application into them. It’s been raining in San Diego and cold. But the good news is that the new float switches that we just put into our bilge pumps work like a charm. Good News. Continue reading →