New Lifeline Cover06/16/2012
It's Saturday and I took the scooter to the boat early in the morning to get some more work done. The plastic covering the lifelines that go along the outside of the deck is starting to crack. The cable underneath appears to be sound [though it broke at a fitting in sailing trials], so its really just a cosmetic thing. I often lean back against the lifelines while sailing or hanging out in the cockpit and as part of the refit, I ordered new covers for that area. They come as a length of PVC tubing with a layer of foam over that and then a sunbrella cover wrapping. I originally ordered the cockpit lifeline covers stock but they were too long, so I had to return those and order them custom size. Several weeks later, the new ones arrived. 52.5 inches long. They fit perfectly with just the connecting hardware sticking out. I took a test lean and they feel nice and stable against the back. Boker Tov is starting to look more and more spruced up.
Solar Panel Connectors06/13/2012
Tonight we just had a bit of time before we had to go home and give the baby a bath and we managed to attach the connectors to the solar panel wires where they connect to the panel. The panel comes with these special connectors and we had to obtain connectors that connect to those connectors in order to get a good fit. This is all somewhat similar to what we had to do to get the solar system set up on Tropical Dreamer, but simpler and less expensive this time. Still not entirely sure how we are going to connect the charge controller to the batteries. I'm thinking we connect through the battery selector switch, but I'm not sure if that will work right. We are doing everything else and soon will have to make a decision on how this thing is going to actually be hooked up. I ordered some more equipment this week to get ready for a 4th of July cruise from San Diego, things like a radar reflector, throw-able seat cushion, Jim Buoy Safety Harness and lanyard, and two five-gallon gas tanks. That will bring the on-board fuel capacity to around 20 gallons, which should be enough for 80-100 miles of non-stop motoring range.
06/12/2012, Our House
I've gone from bagels to baby food. Thems organic peas and broccoli. In the final picture, I've mixed in some organic baked sweet potato that I made last week and froze in sandwich sized zip lock bags. Our little girl likes to get her eat on and she eats vegetables!
Help With The Solar Install06/10/2012
Went out to the boat on the scooter early this morning and continued polishing the hull. Got 3/4 of the way done before changing gears to continue working on the solar system install. That's my father in law helping me install the new, much larger panel. Naturally, it is turning out to be a rather involved project. To the left is the final version of the mast crutch with its side stays bolted on and the new mast bolt and wing nut securing it from the bottom at the mast pulpit, which was easily bent back into shape after the gin pole incident. That repair is delayed another week while an important part that got bent has to be fabricated.
Hull PolishStill nice in the early morning
It appears that all the parts have arrived so we should be able to fix the mast raising system this weekend. In the meantime, we've been studying and in contact with some of the marinas around San Diego in anticipation of the 4th of July trip to Coronado. We're booked for two weeks at the Lowes marina down the strand from where we will be staying. The plan is to spend a week with the family and then, depending on the weather conditions and the condition of the sailboat, do a little cruise. This morning I took the scooter back to the boat in the early morning and worked on polishing the fiberglass hull. It was tough at first, but once I got warmed up, it became an enjoyable form of yoga-like exercise. I admit it, I'm one of those people who appreciates looking at the lines and curves on a sailboat.
Dry Run with Sarah and Celia in The Saturn DinghyKeith
06/04/2012, Her former bassinet room
Sailboats are good for people who love to organize. The process of checking all the fittings, organizing the lines, and making the sailboat into a functioning machine is gratifying and enjoyable to me. Doing so also teaches me more about the sailboat and makes things safer and more enjoyable on the water. One of my projects this morning was to get the lines organized and secured. This picture shows how I tied the mast to the bow to secure it. That line coming off the left side goes down to a cleat. When I left the sailboat after the gin pole incident last week, things were kind of disorganized. The sailors out there will understand how sometimes, when things don't go as planned, you just want to leave the boat in whatever condition it is and come back to it when you are fresh and have a more healthy attitude. I feel a lot better about things in light of the progress we've made since then. The new fittings should arrive this week and I'm hoping to have the mast back up and down properly by next weekend. The next time the mast comes up, I can also make sure the new shrouds fit properly. The process of getting the sailboat ready to cruise is as enjoyable in many ways as the cruising. Just spending an hour or two puttering around and slowly moving the refit forward is enjoyable for me. But it is a means to an end. That end being the sailboat trip.
06/02/2012, In Laws Driveway
This morning we completed a few more small steps to get the boat ready. This picture shows the wood piece we fabricated to fit into the mast pulpit. It holds the middle of the mast straight so it doesn't bow during storage and transport. Eventually there will be support pieces on either side to hold the mast even more securely. When the new mast bolt arrives from Catalina Direct (the old one was stripped during the gin pole incident), we will drill a hole through the block so that the assembly will be secure and the mast bolt will have a place to be stored when the mast isn't up. A little farther forward in this picture you can see two wires coming out of the deck. Another of this morning's projects was to clean out the old silicon around the the old solar panel through-deck wiring hole and fit the new, larger, wires up through. It was a tight fit, but we managed to get the new wires out without drilling the hole wider. Now the new solar panel wires are completely run and ready to be fitted into the panel and controller located on opposite ends of the sailboat. In the picture you can see the outline of the old, smaller solar panel and the four holes where it was secured through the deck. This morning we measured the bolt size to re-fill the holes left by the removal of the old solar panel and continued preparations to install the new panel.
Scooter Back In Service To Assist With the Sailboat RefitNice this morning at 7:30 a.m., going to be a scorcher the rest of the day
06/02/2012, In Laws
Last weekend, as a consolation to not sailing, I found a buyer for the silver Chinese scooter I obtained shortly after I returned from the sailbatical in 2008. I wound up driving it like 30 miles completely across town to deliver it to the new owner. That and the Vespa rental in Rome helped me to remember how much I enjoy riding. Brings back memories of how instrumental that little Zuma 50 two stroke was to the refit on Tropical Dreamer (see older posts of Matt and I riding it from the Rebounder motorhome to and from the boat yard during the summer of 2008).
Dinghy ArrivesKeith, air conditioned inside the house, but it would have been pretty brutal assembling it outside
05/30/2012, Celia's old room
This is the 10 foot Saturn dinghy that I finally selected for Boker Tov. There were a lot of factors that went into choosing this inflatable. Available space on a 25 foot sailboat, budget, potential number of people to ferry on and off the sailboat, and of course, safety. It is a little smaller than the Zodiac Zoom that took me across the Sea of Cortez and on my southern journeys on Tropical Dreamer, but it appears of better quality. It has 5 separate inflatable compartments and a pretty advanced valve design and appears to be a sturdy and safe tender or life raft or run-about. With any decent sized engine, this baby is going to be able to fly. We'll do a dry run with Sarah and Celia later on tonight.
Singer Family Adventures
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