Sometimes it’s hard to remember all the work we’ve done on this boat. I’m glad we document pretty much everything we do, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to remember it all. As this year was coming to an end, I was excited to look back at our posts and videos to see what we had accomplished. I feel like 2017 has been our most productive year in boat projects since we started down this road in 2013. Up until this point it has seems like we’ve only been tearing out the old stuff that we don’t want or can’t use, and repairing the old stuff that’s been broken or worn out. We’re now at the point where we get to install NEW stuff. And the repairs are mostly just for our convenience.
Last winter was one of the wettest on record for our area, so the first half of the year was spent on interior projects like the AC wiring and creating more storage under the navigation area. The minute the weather turned nice we started working outside and summer quickly turned into the hottest one on record. Rich made some new teak trim pieces for some of the old weathered ones and he finished installing some teak plugs that we either missed when we did the jib track, or they had popped out. Before we could start to finish the decks we had to remove the old chainplates and install the new ones. The chainplates turned out to be a lot easier than we thought.
Our biggest project was definitely finishing the decks. We took the teak deck off and filled in all the screw holes with epoxy a few years ago. Then a couple of years ago we cut off the top skin, removed the wet core and replaced it with new balsa before putting the old skins back on and stitching them up with fiberglass tape and epoxy. I don’t think we did any work on the decks last year, other than refinishing the cabin top. Finishing these damn decks has been like a dark cloud hanging over the boat. Now that we’re done, we can see some light at the end of this tunnel.
It feels like the “repair” phase of the boat projects is nearly over and we’re moving in to the “installing new equipment” phase. On the plus side, I think most projects coming up won’t take nearly as long as projects in the past. On the negative side, the projects coming up are going to be exponentially more expensive than what we’ve completed so far. New equipment is EXPENSIVE!
Projects we tackled in 2017:
- AC Wiring
- Electrical panel installation
- Navigation storage
- New water heater in new location
- Installed new chainplates
- Replaced some exterior teak trim
- Painted the decks
- Bedded the stanchions
- New lifeline gates
- Installed and plumbed water tanks
- Built new battery box
- New LiFePO batteries
One top of all the project work we also had to do some routine maintenance like cleaning and resealing the exterior teak, fixing a leak in the dinghy, and servicing the Electroscan. We installed a water softener as well. It’s probably not something we’re going to keep when we leave this area, but the well water here is so terrible we’ve never used it for anything other than basic washing and the space where we store our water bottles is going to disappear when we install the manual bilge pump next year.
Project Lineup for 2018
Depending on the weather, this is our project list for 2018:
Electronics: New bilge pump cycle counter & alarm, AIS transceiver, VHF radio, navigation pod at the helm
Woodworking: Build new trash bin under sink, make backing for forward red/green nav lights, modify engine room storage, change access to area under and behind port settee, fix/fill holes in location of old electronics in teak bulkheads
Plumbing: Rebuild large manual bilge pump and install in upper bilge, install manual bilge pump in cockpit, install foot pumps at galley and bathroom sinks
Electrical: Finish installing the Victron Inverter/Charger and maybe new solar panels
Safety: New dorade guards, new mast pulpit, new chain, new electric windlass
This is a pretty big list of things to get done, and there are a few things that should be on the list that I didn’t put on it. I figure if we get to the “unlisted” projects that will be a bonus.
On top of the real boat work, we started a YouTube channel and have been somewhat successful in posting our work routinely. Though we haven’t garnered many subscribers, we’re going to keep at it. We like making the videos and it’s actually easier for us than writing everything down. Oh, and if you haven’t already, head over to YouTube and SUBSCRIBE!