Friday, December 2, 2016

It is all about the (achievable) dream(s)

I still meet time to time  few folks who "dream" about sailing the world. 
Sounds an expensive, unreachable, dream.
It is not. (I mean, hopefully, I will prove them wrong, and prove me right).
True, it is complicated. But it became an attainable adventure. (tm)
Requires a lot of commitments, years of it - if you are not rich or have obligations, but with the right amount of time and focus, certainly achievable.

Back on the mooring

First, owning a sailboat is not exclusively reserved to the wealthy anymore. Nowadays, following the boom of production boats, there are hundreds of boat from the 70-80s that are less expensive than a new car, waiting for an unconscious dreamer.
True, you might need to move to an area where you will be able to moor or store your boat, and that alone require some planning.
But, Well, if you want to go cruising, maybe start to live by the sea.

Appreciating the dodger - for a (rare) rain
You will have to be handy, or learn to be. Slowly, with lots of mistakes, I am making my way to be mostly autonomous. I learned with Lego as a kid, and that would have been the closest from any handy work I will have been until those last couple of years.
Now I can build a dodger, change the fuel system, do the maintenance of my diesel engine (and not only the oil, please), and so on, so on.

Last, but not least, the online community is super helpful and huge.
There are books on everything, YouTube videos on everything.
Seminars, Training, Websites.
So much content to drive you that it might be overwhelming.

All you need is Time.
Time to spare and spend money.
Time to work on the boat.
Time to sail the boat.
Time to cruise.

And time is the real currency for dreams.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Boat Projects (Part 4 - and likely Last)

I am running out of time in the harbor, actually, I am likely gonna move the boat back to its mooring tomorrow. The good news is that engine issues seems to be belonging to the past and fuel filtering is working as expected - so far.
I should make it out the slip, if not to the mooring :)

Still, I have few projects before the next trip.

You ever wondered if Duck tape will resist marine environment ?
It doesn't.

Climbing the mast on the sunset get its rewards.
Nice view. Cruise ship in the background.

Certainly will have to deal with those steaming and deck light one day.
So much corrosion... I suspect that part is an original :)

Pulling the windvane cable all through the mast, with a running smaller line inside.
Was trickier than what it sounds like, but ended up ok.

Third attempt to protect the genoa against the sun.After painting it (twice), I am trying a special tape.
No, No duck tape. And because I like the blue, I painted it too.
The only bad news was I lost the propeller - ALREADY - of the brand new windvane I just installed on the mast. Garmin did not blink though, they are sending a new one, and just asking I verify the screw is tight enough that time.... Well, I will certainly add thread lock on that one.
But that mean at least 2 other back and forth up to the top, to get it back and put it back.
And this time, not in the harbor. With the swell and wind.
Lots of fun in perspective.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Boat Projects (Part 3)

Today was all about bottom.
3 hours scrapping in the harbor waters. easier than in the mooring, but you always question the quality of the water, and the presence of sharks - usually attracted by fish parts throw away by local "sport"- fishermen.

Yesterday, I closed-on on the draft version for electronics and dodger plexi.

GNX is installed, and ready to go 

The windvane is up the mast and working.

The dodger do have is windshield.

I devised a plan.
First:  Make it work.
Second: Make it pretty (or prettier).

Surprisingly enough, the "LIST" came down to a basic/simple/ready-to-go handful of items, and this to be ready for the next "big" adventure - likely 2018.

- Mast lights (anchor/ deck / steaming)
- Sat Communications
- Engine panel
- Holding tank pump
- Windlass

I am planning one month in Oahu in January, and hope to act on those 5 items , as a stage 1.
I still have few items to do in-between, but overall, this seems achievable. (and financially bearable).
Back to work!
I still have few days in the harbor before the end of the month.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Boat Projects (Part2)

This week is all about giving thanks to the boat.
After all the fuel issues of last month, I decided to change everything.
It eventually worked, and the engine, eventually, came back to life.
Not without few hesitations.
I have to say after the fourth or fifth time it did not start - and as I changed almost everything - 2 filters, oil, transmission, electrical, tubes, I had some despaired thoughts.

New Raccor

First Installation of the GNX Wind

Test of the windvane.

Works on the laptop as well as phones and ipads.

Hop, top of the mast, we need to remove the old windvane

Lahaina Harbor, top side

The old windvane
The electronic ended up to be easier. Almost plug and play. They fooled me, and worried me nothing was working because those idiots sent me a discharged battery, and I did the installation at night (the windvane is solar powered).
Eventually, I got the NMEA2000 network to fire, got some reading on all instruments.
Installation is not done just yet, but the hard part seems to be over.
Future will tell.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Boat Projects (Contd)

Profiting that the boat is back at the harbor, I am drilling on the current boat projects.

Transmission oil really needed to get back to a nice red color 

Air filter - after cleaning. Let the diesel breathe.

Quite some work to get the ice back on the fridge plates. Refrigeration specialists are nowhere to be find nowadays,
I have to improvise myself to act like one.

Still cranking on cleaning fuel. Less contamination.
It might be working.

Much needed oil - filter change.

Preparing for the electronics installation.
Finding my way in the electrical panel mess was not a small adventure.

The plexiglass panel(s) are now locked in place.
It makes the dodger rigid and sturdy. 

Bimini - 4 panels - Draft version - is in place. That was lots of work, but already worth it.
Protection from the West side sun is priceless.

Finally got rid of those fake SS clamps in the bilge.
they did not last 6 months. Good lesson, sometime, marine quality stuff is needed :)

The boat is still at the dock for two more weeks, and changing the fuel filter system and installing the remaining of the new electronics is on the program.
More to come.