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Sunday March 27, 2005

    It's been a tough week of work.  Since returning from Florida last weekend, we have entered the final stretch.  Mr. Beuhler was right when he said that putting the glass cloth on with epoxy was going to be nasty work.  Not just nasty but exhausting.  I started with the bottom which was the hardest.  Crouching under a boat with about four feet of headroom with a roller spreading out the cloth, pushing out the wrinkles-it was tough on the legs and the arms.  So the cloth is on two thirds of both sides of the bottom and on the port side.  The weather has not been too cooperative although since it is cool, I have more time to work with the epoxy.  I sanded down that work today and when the rain clears out I start putting on the layers of fiberglass resin.
    Since it rained several days this week, I did some inside work as well.  Rebe's room got some molding and there was more polyurathane applied to some areas.  On the way home from Florida I stopped at Camping World in Myrtle Beach.  We bought all our 12 volt lights there as well as a stove.  Following George's advice again, we bought a camping stove for a third of the price of a marine stove.  I also read in Lin and Larry Pardey's book that they reccomended a non gimbaled stove facing fore and aft which is our layout.  The galley is also at the center of rotation so there will be little motion there.  Once the coutertop is in place, the stove can be installed.
    In addition to the Pardey's first book, Kelly also picked up "All in the Same Boat" by Tom Neale at the library.  They are a family cruising so their advice is perhaps a bit more applicable than a couple for some things.  I also like Tom's attitude about life and his comments on the 'real world'.  But if there is one thing I've learned through my studies of all these people who have gone cruising before us, there is no one way to do things that works for everyone.  We will have to find out what works for us.  So Kelly has been plying me with questions- 'do we have a skeg hung rudder?' 'No, ours hangs of the back of a long keel and is even better'.  'Are we going to have this?..and this..and this?'  'No, yes and do you think we really need it?'  'Why can't we have a diesel engine?'  This question seems to cause the most trouble with 'boat people'.  No, we will have an electric motor which we will use as little as possible-we're sailors.  In so many books I have read about problems with diesel engines not working when they are needed, of people spending house is a dirty engine room figuring out problems.  Even Mr. Neale, when he wants to point out the 'realities' of cruising, talks about the hard, dirty, hot work in the engine room.  I will admit, I don't like the Internal Combustion Engine.  I don't like working on my car, I don't understand them when they break, they are dirty and greasy and they seems to always bloody my knuckles.  I don't want one on my boat.  Fortunately, electric propulsion is becoming 'vogue' now and I would rather maintain my electrical system than a fuel system.  And with solar recharging, it is free as far as fuel is concerned.  We could, if funds are low, limit our cruising expenses to food and 'administrative' expenses.  I believe that in the long run, this is the way to go.  Simple, clean and efficient.

Saturday April 2, 2005

      A lot more ugly grunt work this week.  At this point most of the bottom and all sides except the transom are covered with glass and epoxy with a layer of fiberglass resin on top.  This was at the recommendation of a boatbuilder down here and it saves a bit of money as well.  In this colder weather it takes forever to dry which slows things down a bit because I have to wait several days before I can sand it and be ready for the next coat. 
    There were several other things accomplished this week besides sanding and working with smelly, sticky, nasty chemicals.  I installed most of the lights that I had purchased at Camping World.  I ran the plumbing to the deck for our gravity fed system.  I put on a few more coats of polyurethane inside and got the deck ready for planking.  The deck will be planked with one by four inch planks, glued and screwed to the plywood deck.  It will be stained and then coated with epoxy to seal it and then polyurethane with sand for non-slip properties.  I predrilled holes in the boards and coated them with waterproofing.  The foredeck was covered with three quarter inch plywood and cloth and epoxy since that area will be taking more abuse from anchoring.
    Kelly has been getting a bit schizophrenic lately.  She is picking up books at the library and doing searches on the Internet to educate herself about cruising.  She has begun to consider things like galley equipment.  On the other hand, she is very worried that we will not have everything done and have everything ready.  I am under no illusions that we will have everything together but it is not like we will slip the docklines and go off into the unknown like some early explorer.  We will be local for at least a month and within the Chesapeake for two more.  I am sure we will find plenty of things we have forgotten and probably some kinks that need to be worked out.  I've been going through my old boating magazines to take out info on places and boating tips and organizing it so that I have lots of information available.  It's going to take hard work, time and patience to get good at what we're doing.  She thinks we're leaving not knowing what we're doing.  Yet it's not like we haven't sailed before and there will be classes this summer and lot's of practice in our boat.  I am trying to go about it intelligently, striking a balance between being afraid and going too slow and pushing to hard and doing things before we're ready.  Sometimes it makes me a little crazy too.  Also while all this is going on, I put my second sail together, one of the topgallants.

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Monday, April 18, 2005

    What a hard two weeks it's been.  I spent most of the time on the maindeck which turned out to be a lot more work and expense than I had anticipated.  Since I cannot afford teak for several hundred square feet, I put down four inch pine boards spaced a quarter inch apart.  I thought I could do that in a day or two.  It took me a week.  Then I purchased the caulking that goes in the cracks which is almost sixteen bucks a tube and a tube did not go far.  So instead of spending a thousand dollars on rubber caulk, I filled in most of the crack with construction glue and but a bead of caulk on top as well as filling all the screw holes with caulk.  The stuff takes forever to dry and since it hasn't been very warm, it took a week for it to dry to a sandable consistency.  The part of the deck that has been sanded looks pretty good and I think all the work will be worth it but it is a lot more than expected.
    I also put on the rubrail, a two by six wrapped all the way around, except at the ends where the solid bulwarks go.  I attached the forward bulwarks consisting of five eighths plywood and two by eight supports.  I cut a hatch for the foredeck and put several coats of fiberglass on the outside.  Except for the transom, all the cloth is on and was I glad to be finished with the last bottom piece!  Ugly work!
      On Friday we got a very unwelcome surprise.  We found out our house is under tentative contract and the settlement day was set for May 31!  I will not be finished by then.  This sent Kelly into conniptions.  She was already worried that we were not going to be ready to go and to potentially accelerate thing this way and take away any options of waiting sent her over the edge.  She's really stressed out now.  I'm pretty stress out too but I have to work on what it under my control and not worry about the others if possible.  There are some options I have to work on but only time will tell.