Turning a corner, or a page or a new leaf

If you read my last post, you know that our 30’ Islander isn’t the best fit for us.  She’s lovely, but old and needs more work to handle than we (than I) am capable of.

Rick bought the Susurrus (Latin for ‘whisper’) at a time when he needed something to do.  The Great Recession had forced us to sell all our fun toys and there wasn’t a lot of extra money but Rick isn’t the kind of guy to sit around watching TV all day.  He’s a lot like his mom that way.  She doesn’t sit still either and everyone she knows have the beautiful quilts, towels, pillowcases and clothing to prove it!

Here’s a photo of Rick’s mom and our kid, Andrew, with the quilt she made him in 2010.

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But the Susurrus also had sails that needed to be manually hoisted and it was a little small for the amount of travel we wanted to do.  If Rick was going to be serious about making her exactly what we needed, he’d have to spend money on rigging, sails, and the like and it would still be a little small.  4 people could ride with us but would be in the way every time we maneuvered.

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Ingrid and Ron up on the cabin and, I think that’s Ruth in the white coat.  I think there were 7 of us on this trip.

Rick started looking for a replacement boat.  It had to be:

  • comfortable for us to live on for awhile
  • large enough for guests
  • easy to manage so guests didn’t have to be roped into being our crew, although they have to be willing to be roped in
  • able to do coastal cruising
  • not ruined by previous owners
  • cheap

‘Cheap’ was probably the number one requirement, oh wait, ‘not ruined’ had to be number one!  You would be horrified if you saw the things people did to a once-upon-a-time fine-looking boat!

Rick began checking all the on-line boat-for-sale websites, doing his research.  We went to local boat shows and visited boats that were for sale.

People will post photos of their boat that are cockeyed and fuzzy.  Sometimes they’ll post 1 lousy photo, just 1 photo?!?  We went to a boat and the owner had torn out the couch and stuck a double-bed in its place and hacked out a built-in cabinet so he could put in a full size fridge!  He basically turned it into a house-boat and it was uuugly.   We couldn’t tell any of that from the photos, of course. BECAUSE THEY WERE FUZZY!

Here’s a photo of an item someone is selling on Craigslist.  All of their photos are this fuzzy…

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Rick’s research consists of all the usual for-sale websites and boat shows, plus owner-forums.  That way he finds out that if a particular kind of boat has problems with water leakage around the windows, which engines last forever, etc.

At one of the boat shows held in February, Rick saw a 34’ Marine Trader named Ms Maggie that pushed all his buttons.  Right size, right layout inside (location of all the facilities), great condition, but a little more than he wanted to pay plus, there was another big reason not to buy a boat yet…

We had to sell the Susurrus first.  I really felt guilty about that.  You don’t know how much Rick talked about sailing around the world, from the time we first began learning how to sail while he was in college!

We had some grand times with our friends, the Gantts.  We rented sailboats in San Diego’s Mission Bay, playing catch across the water.  And we had these huge water cannons that we’d chase each other with!  Ah, yes, the fun we had pre-kids 😉

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Friends since high school!

Rick posted a ton of photos online and after a few months, a lot of phone calls, a few lookie-loos, and a sale-cancelled-by-cold-feet, another Richard called and asked to see her.

Richard loved the Susurrus and bought her after a test-run up the Alameda Estuary.  That was in August.

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This is Richard looking jaunty as the new captain of the Susurrus!

Rick and Richard also went out once again so that Richard could learn all the quirks that the Susurrus had – engine ‘walk’, outboard not centered, outboard on the ‘wrong’ side of the rudder – and how to get in and out of the boat slip with those quirks, too.  Richard was an ace at it!  He was so enthusiastic about buying the Susurrus that we didn’t feel quite so sad about selling her.

I didn’t feel sad, really, more melancholy that I couldn’t quite seem to be as enamored of sailing as Rick wanted me to be…but I tried, truly I did!

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That’s a photo of our other son, Austin, captaining a 40′(ish) sailboat we rented years and years ago.

Rick kept looking for the right boat, always holding Ms Maggie up as the ideal.  We kept looking at boats and Rick kept thinking about Ms Maggie.  Rick didn’t want to pay so much, though, so he put that thought aside.  He kept looking at boats that cost less and needed work, they needed lots of work.  People ignore maintenance for so long it becomes a huge effort to do the work.  Whether its refinishing the wood or replacing a broken whatever, its like some sort of mental spiral and they need an ‘intervention’ to stop letting the boat slide down into disrepair.

It’s a sliding scale: cost vs condition, right?  Cost goes up as the required repairs go down.  That’s true with almost everything.

We’ve seen some boats at the Alameda Fortman Marina that haven’t moved in years.  Why are they still there?  Why are the owners paying slip fees and not just selling the thing or dumping it?  It’s a puzzle.  Maybe elderly parents can’t sail anymore but the kids don’t have the heart sell it out from under them?  Maybe its cheaper to pay slip fees than it is to dump it?  I dunno.  If you know, let me know…

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So sad…makes no sense to me.

Finally, Rick realized he didn’t want to have another boat that needed quite the level of extensive work like the Susurrus had required.  The Susurrus was a mess, remember?  He didn’t want to spend time, money and energy fixing stuff already rundown.

Here are a couple photos of the Susurrus before Rick got his capable hands on her:006019

 

 

 

 

 

The outside woodwork on the Susurrus was stained PURPLE!  Seriously, some people…

And here are a couple of her afterwards:

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The cushions were made for us by Cindy Trupski, she is one genius sew-and-sew.  And that gorgeous pillow is by Rick’s mom, Jan.

So…we bought Ms Maggie…a full year after seeing her for the first time!   I’ll give more info on that whole process soon.

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I suppose I need to rename this blog “Tales from the Dark Side” since most sailors will be horrified that we switched to a ‘stinkpot’

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Last Little Bits

There were a few things that Rick didn’t do in the shipyard because he could do them once the boat was in a slip – like installing the new ceiling and carpeting the floor.  After that it was maintenance and some new equipment where needed.

The first task was the new ceiling.  He went to Southern Lumber which specialized in unique woods and purchased 2 sheets 1/8” birch veneer plywood – sadly, the Southern Lumber owners retired.

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Exterior grade plywood.   Rick had the original mahogany trim pieces from the old ceiling and decided to cut out the plywood in the same shape that the old ceiling had taken with all the mahogany rim.  He didn’t want a dark ceiling since there was enough dark mahogany and semi-dark upholstery in the boat already.  He wanted to lighten things up but didn’t want stark, glaring, plain white.  He put 3 coats of polyurethane on the birch plywood leaving its naturally light tone.

He made a template of each of the pieces he needed, cut them each out a bit oversized and trimmed them down until they fit neatly in the space.

He had a whole lot of ceiling light wires to poke through holes in the plywood.  He made some light pine trim to go down the length of each side of the ceiling.

Being a YouTube University student, he saw where one fellow did the shiny insulation foam on his ceiling when he did his boat and thought that was a great idea so Rick went to Home Depot, got a roll and tacked it on the ceiling before installing the ply.

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As you can see from the pic’s, it came out pretty nice for an amateur hobbyist.

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Now it’s time for the carpet.  He’d not cleaned the fiberglass floor from all the goober of his construction activities – a little stain, some polyurethane – because he planned to lay in some carpet.  He purchased nice-looking deep green carpet exterior grade at HomeDepot, cut it out and installed it with Velcro strips so that, if it got flooded (happened twice), it could be removed and dried out without getting moldy.  He also put carpet on the shelves behind the settee and dining table.  It came out looking very nice and clean.

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The only left was getting the curtains…ah, yes, the curtains.  There weren’t any.  But Rick had gotten some lovely Tommy Bahama material that was used for the cushions and some pillows and he was antsy about getting curtains.

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I’m not much of a seamstress, nor am I a tailor.  I’m more of a, ummm, constructionist?  I’m good at creating the costume that will be used a few times.

But I did make some ‘curtains’ to go in the V-berth to hide the ugly white sides.  They were gathered, stapled at the top and simply hung.  Don’t look too closely at them and they are perfect!

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Rick wanted curtains for the main cabin and the head (bathroom, for you landlubbers).  So we talked about how to hang the rods and what style of curtain, etc.  Rick’s mom sewed the boat’s logo on some swatches of material to be inserted into the curtains.

We measured the areas and I started sewing.  About a year later.  So far I’ve sewed one side of the curtain for one window.

But, hey, he hasn’t purchased the stuff to actually install the curtains so it’s all good, right?  😉

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The America’s Cup

When Rick heard that the America’s Cup would be held in the San Francisco Bay he decided he would see it from the water.

When we purchased the sailboat Rick had given himself a deadline that we’d have enough done to be able to be out on the water for the America’s Cup.  At the time, the race was a year and a half away, plenty of time!  But we barely made it.

Being fed up with the old motor (purchased second hand anyway, screw being frugal) Rick went to the Oakland outboard shop and purchased a branch new 15 horse Mercury kicker motor – called a kicker because it is specifically designed with high torque pushing a heavy boat using a small engine.  Hmmm, maybe it should be called a ‘pusher’ instead?

We installed it using all the same hookups as the old Merc had but now it was New and Dependable!

Rick and I took it out sailing a few times to get a feel for the boat, how it handled in chop and how it floundered around when there’s no breeze (give up and motor, already!)

America’s Cup was in September so Rick invited some family members, including his parents to come along with us.  Rick’s mom loves sailing and insisted on dragging Dad with her.  We headed out.  We motored around to the City side of Treasure Island and decided that now was not a good time to try to sail.  The crush of boats was incredible.  We all had the same idea.  Even ski boats were out there trying to catch some of the race.  We motored over to the Turn 2 buoy (southeast of Alcatraz Island) … where we puttered around very slowly like every other boat in the crowd, trying to avoid each other while staying in position.  Well, most of us tried to avoid the rest of us.

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Our best example of a close call was when a 50’ plus sailboat under full sail, UNDER FULL SAIL!, going about 10 knots sailed through the spectator fleet expecting everyone to get out of his way because we are “under power” and he is “sailing”.  He missed other boats by maybe 5’ with all the other captains screaming and honking at him as he went by – and he barely looked in our direction!  (This happened again when we went out to see the Blue Angels – tons of boats, all motoring at the slowest speed possible, basically staying in one spot’ish and some jerk sails through us.  Keep in mind we were hunkered out of the way as close to the sea walls as we could be and he has to be sailing right there…where we are…jerk…)

 

This is how qualified that guy was to hold a steering wheel in his hand!

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Side note:  Look how cool the Blue Angels look against the Golden Gate Bridge!

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All in all it was great fun to watch those big America’s Cup boats come flying around the Number 2 buoy, staying up on their hydrofoils around the turn going as fast as an offshore power boat.  You can see the guys on board leaning into the turn like they’re in a sports car.  Wow.

It was one of those once in a lifetime events that we were glad to be able to see in person.

Rick can check off another item on his Bucket List 😉

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Napa to Alameda and Murphy’s Law

I wave goodbye to Rick and he’s off!  Motoring from the marina in Napa, where the boat had been dry docked, to Fortman Marina in the Alameda Island Estuary where our little boat will have its forever home, as they say.  It’s about an hour from our office/apartment.

The trip was going to take most of the day, so I drove back home to await Rick’s call when he got close to the Estuary.  At that point, I’d drive to the Alameda marina and we’d drive back home.

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So here is Rick’s story: (I’ve added little notes here and there)

Took a day off work and we headed up to Napa.  Holly dropped me off at the marina in the morning so I’d have all day to get the boat to its new home in Alameda.

Although my son, Austin, had joined me for the trip up the river, he was now out of town and I’d have to go down the river to Alameda on my own.

Our little outboard was running good, had plenty of fuel in the tank and the plan was to motor all the way to the new marina. (Note: in the interest of being frugal, we purchased a second-hand outboard)

The weather forecast was that it would be overcast in the afternoon with winds expected to pick up to about 15 mph.

To be on the safe side, I brought my toolbox and sails on board.  (Note: this guy always has his toolbox with him, good thing, too, as you will soon see)  I installed the mainsail back on the boom but didn’t hank on the jib as I didn’t have a containment bag for it on deck.

Engine fired up nicely and I headed down the river.  I had my Humminbird 5” chart plotter on the steering pedestal working great.  I knew I needed the depth sounder as there are lots of shallow spots coming down the Napa River and the channel gets fairly narrow in places.

I used my cell phone to call the Mare Island Causeway bridge operator.  He was very polite and opened it for me and another boat.

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(Note: This isn’t a photo of the front of our sailboat…I’d kill for roller furling!)

Then I headed down to the Carquinez Straight and took a right turn into San Pablo Bay.

As I motored along at about 5 knots I noticed a sailboat behind me about .5 mile going in the same direction.  (Note: I’m not sure why Rick mentions this since the other boat doesn’t figure into the story at all, but whatever, it’s his story) When I was about 4 or 5 miles down the bay, about 1 mile off shore, my little engine began to sputter badly and then just gave up completely.  The wind had built and there was now an 18” chop that I had been bouncing through nicely.  But what it did was stir up garbage in the old fuel tank.  Even though I had a spiffy new spin-on fuel filter, it had clogged the filter enough to starve the engine for fuel. (Note: Rick didn’t say ‘spiffy’ he said ‘nice’ but he’d said ‘nice’ previously so I wanted to use a different word)

I had a spare filter on board so I went down to spin the clogged one off and it would not budge, I pushed, pulled, cajoled but it wouldn’t budge.  I went looking for my filter wrench but I realized it was not on board.

I wasn’t interested in hammering a big screwdriver through the filter to use it as a handle to rotate it off (even though this is a trick for oil filters) because I didn’t want gasoline leaking out all over the bilge of the boat!

Realizing this engine wasn’t going to start, I was glad I brought along a sail, after all it is a sailboat.  So, as I bounced around in San Pablo Bay, I started bringing up the mainsail.  As most sailors know, a sailboat bobbing around like a cork in water always turns beam to the wind.  In this position, it’s rather difficult to raise a mainsail.  (Note: The pressure from the wind on the sail makes it hard going to crank it up. PLUS Rick is standing on the deck by the mast while the boat is bouncing up and down in the chop.)

When the sail was halfway up I heard a loud bang and realized that I had forgotten to lock the steering well at the pedestal and the boat ‘backed down’, which slammed the rudder all the way to one side and popped the chain off the steering sprocket. (Note: Blankety-blank steering sprocket was installed upside down by previous owner and it’s a blankety-blank to rectify that)

 

I finished getting the mainsail up and secured it with the main sheet which brought the boat nose to the wind at which point I had no steering whatsoever.

I don’t care how many years you’ve been sailing, you can still be stuck in really stupid situations.

So, the first thing I did was go below to get my emergency tiller.

Guess, what?  I forgot to bring the emergency tiller on board. (Note: it’s in our office basement, lovingly given about a hunnerd coats of finish to make it glossy and shiny)

Now what, I’m scratching my head to find something I can use as an emergency tiller.

Looking through my toolbox, the biggest thing I had in there was an 18” crowbar, one of the reasons the darn toolbox is so heavy. (Note: I love a good crowbar, don’t you?)

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I was able to hook the edge of the crowbar sort-of into the edge of the emergency rudder post and managed to get some steering. (Note: Think about it…most sailboats have large steering wheels or a 3 foot long tiller.  Rick was using an 18” crowbar, so his leverage was minimal and he had to hold on tight and manhandle it.)

One of the things about sailing in the bay area, no matter where you are, north bay, south bay, east bay, the wind is always coming from the Golden Gate, which means I was nose to the wind to slog my way south to Alameda. (Note: Rick used a different word than ‘slog’ but ‘slog’ is so descriptive, don’t you think?)

Sailing a 30’ boat upwind means it won’t point very high. It also means it’s going to take a looong time to go the several miles I needed to go to civilization. (Note: Why didn’t he call the tow company?  He doesn’t really know, he just thought he could do it himself)

The nearest port of call to my position was Richmond and the nearest marina was the Richmond Yacht Club.  It took all afternoon for me to make it to the yacht club and I got in just before sunset. (Note: I don’t want to contemplate how hard this would have been to do in the dark.  In fact, I don’t want to contemplate much of this episode, I can’t imagine being out there like that.  I’ve married MacGyver!)

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I sailed in past the breakwater past the boat docks to the guest dock at the yacht club where there was a bit more maneuvering space. (Note: not all marinas have this kind of space to maneuver!)  When the people on the dock, who were tending to small dinghies saw me coming in they let me know this was a private yacht club.  I waved at them with my emergency tiller – a crowbar – and yelled, “I got no steering, guys!”

My first pass, I missed the dock, so I did a 360 in the turning area and came in again letting the mainsail go in time to drift into the dock.  Everyone grabbed the boat since I had no fenders or lines out and I jumped up across the cockpit to let the main-sheet go in order to depower the boat.

Ah, safe at last.  I picked up my cell phone to have the wife come and rescue me.  (Note: I got there way after dark since the car’s nav system didn’t realize the fastest way to the marina was via a tunnel that was closed.  Rick immediately fell asleep in the car, he was exhausted)

I realized the boat would have to be there overnight, to which the yacht club was amenable.  (Note: In fact, the next day he was a minor celebrity coming into the harbor ‘hot’ like that and not crashing into anything!)

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Even though I was able to replace the fuel filter, the motor still refused to start.  Evidently the bad fuel had gotten all the way into the engine and clogged things up.  I took a look at the steering and realized fixing it would be a chore because I had to release tension in the cable in one of the pulleys to get enough slack to get the chain up and over the sprocket.  (Note: this stupid steering issue was a continual problem until we, I mean Rick, figured out how to fix it)

The next morning, after being sufficiently frustrated that I wouldn’t be able to fix it in a couple hours, I called BoatUS and got towed all the way to our Alameda Estuary berth.  Evidently an ego adjustment was necessary. (Note: Honestly, this guy has no ego about anything, he’s so laid back about everything!  I, on the other hand, tend to get nervous easily, which I hate!  And try to fight since I, as you can tell, married MacGyver! If you have to be in an emergency situation, Rick is the guy to be with.)

My triumphant entry into Fortman Marina was at the end of a tow line and I could see my wife standing on the shore taking pictures and having a good laugh. (Note: I wasn’t really laughing that hard, more of a snicker and even then just a little one.  If boats are for fun, we’re having some fun now 😉

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The dingy little dinghy is launched!

After months of sanding and painting and sanding and staining and polyurethaning and painting and sanding, the dinghy is done!

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Look how nicely it fit in the back of the truck…notice how dingy it is…blechhh…

 

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Doesn’t it look like a raggedy mess?

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Here it is during its makeover.  Wood sanded, stained and polyurethaned, bottom primered.

The dinghy is finished but the sailboat isn’t, not quite.  Rick decided to bring the dinghy to our place in Discovery Bay, where we can at least we can go rowing in the Delta.  Its either that or store it in our backyard/parking lot.

Back in the truck it goes, with Rick whining all the way ‘its getting scuffed!’.  And us praying that it doesn’t slide out when we go over hill and dale to its temporary home.

After grunting and groaning it out of the truck and down the side of the house…

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…and up these steps…

 

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…and over the handrails, somehow…across the deck and then down a whole flight of stairs and a ramp to the dock.

…which didn’t happen.  The whole flight of stairs, that is.  Not that day, with only Rick and me to do the deed.

We ended up waiting about a month, when we knew some strapping young men would be to our house for Superbowl Sunday (no comments about how long it takes me to write a blog post, thank you very much).

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They made short work of it.

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Ta-da!!   😉

Strictly Sailboats

2 weekends ago we went to the Strictly Sailboat show in Alameda.  It has new and used boats for sale and vendors with boat stuff for sale – from inboard engines to keychains, dishes to canvas cockpit covers.

We’ve been going for years and years but this was the first year we went as owners of a sailboat!  Oooh, aaah.  Bottom-dweller boat owners, maybe, but still.

I expected to find super deals on SOMEthing…we need so much in the way of outfitting the boat.  But, we bought nothing.  They had fabulous outdoor cushions made of floaty-cushiony-plastic stuff that cost $800, yes, EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS, for the cockpit of our tiny little boat.  Seriously!  I kept thinking I wasn’t hearing the saleslady right.  I kept trying to make the decimal point go over 1 place.  Yikes!

How much?!?

How much?!?

I saw someone walking around with fenders – those big oblong, pillowy things that hang off the side of the boat to protect it from bumping against the dock.  Otherwise known as bumpers! Yeah, a normal name for a boating item, how unusual.

Fenders come in so many pretty colors and sizes

Fenders come in so many pretty colors and sizes

Anyway, we didn’t see them for sale; I was hoping they would be cheaper than in the store – they can be almost 70 bucks for 1.  You can buy covers for the old ones – as long as they still hold air, they’ll do the job – the covers are almost 30 bucks.  Cheaper, yes, so maybe we’ll make do with covers for a while.

Back to the boat show:  It was a beautiful sunny day, not too warm.  We went on some of the boats, it’s interesting to see what others have done setting up their boats and it gives us good ideas.  One boat had a TV that swiveled between a bedroom and the living room (berth & cabin).  Great idea, but we couldn’t do that unless it also swiveled on through the bathroom, which is between the v-berth and the cabin.  And I can’t see us getting a TV anytime soon, anyway.

 We talked awhile to some guys with engines – inboard and inboard.  An inboard will cost about $12k installed.  Ouch.  Our boat’s too old to be worth that kind of expense.  We might upgrade the outboard.  I’d like something with more power to it.  The outboard we have now is about 10hp, which seems too wimpy to me.  Especially since we might need the power to get out of the way of something big…even though sailboats have the right-of-way, we don’t always get the right-of-way.

 One nice thing about looking around at all the boats is being able to say we like our layout just fine.  Unless I’m looking at a catamaran – which is what I want, what I really, really want – none of the sailboats made me jealous.  I don’t like heeling; you know what that is don’t you?  It’s when the boat is tilted to one side or the other.  Bottom line, I’m a klutz.

Here’s a used 34’ catamaran for sale and its only $125,000.

$$$

$$$

I like catamarans because:  1. They don’t heel unless something is very, very wrong  2. They are roomier than sailboats and, most importantly  3. They don’t heel.

 We’ve sailed on a few cats in the past, that’s how I know I want one.  However, naturally they are more expensive than sailboats.  They aren’t as ubiquitous as sailboats.  That’s what makes sailboats cheaper; there are sooo many of them in all shapes and sizes.

 My favorite place to be when sailing on a catamaran is standing at the back corner leaning against the rail, holding onto a backstay…hard to do on a sailboat when you’re heeling.  One day, maybe, we’ll have a cat.  But for now, our budget yacht is just fine.

 Oh, here’s where we had lunch – Bocanova.  We were lucky enough to beat the lunch crowd by about 3 minutes and snagged an outdoor table where people-watching was the best and so was the food 😉

Pefect day to sit outside and people-watch with a lovely glass of lovely wine in hand...

Perfect day to sit outside and people-watch with a lovely glass of lovely wine in hand…

Stepped, whatever THAT means…

Rick was very excited a couple Mondays ago.  A big milestone hit when the mast was stepped!  Yeah, I don’t know why they call it that.  The mast is popped off the boat and laid on supports next to it.  Stepped?  I suppose I could look it up…

First Rick and a guy, let’s call him Mike, because that’s his name, went around the deck of the boat to disconnect all the cables that support the mast.  Rick is carefully labeling everything so that it won’t be a nightmare to try and guess where everything goes – how smart!

Bundle of wires

Bundle of wires

Rick asked Mike to look at them all to assess their condition and see if any needed replacing…he said no!  That’s welcome news as the cost of replacing and repairing stuff is getting up there.  Some things require elbow grease and not much else but some of these stays and guides and pulleys and such are not cheap – $45 for a new one of these little guys.

Yeah, $45 for 1 of these!  Rick has noted where each one goes with blue tape.

Yeah, $45 for 1 of these! Rick has noted where each one goes with blue tape.

So how is a mast ‘stepped’?  A specialized vehicle drives up to the boat, loops a strap around the mast and pulls upwards to disengage the mast from the deck.  Then the wires and ropes are unbundled from inside the mast and disconnected.  Once everything is disconnected, the mast is lifted away from the boat and set on sawhorses next to it.  The boat is 30’ long and the mast is taller than the boat is long. The cost to pull the mast was $150 and it costs $50 a month to ‘store’ it.  As I said, the bucks are adding up here, bit by bit.

The truck...

The truck…

In process...

In process…

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Rick is pulling out all the old wiring and will be replacing it with new. He’ll also be adding extra lights to the mast – to illuminate the deck and one that tells other boats we’re at anchor.  He’s also going to add some extra cabling so he can fly flags.  He got an America’s Cup flag when we went to one of their regattas last summer.  Right now it’s ‘flying’ off the light in our kitchen nook…

Cute little flag...hmmm, that picture is crooked again.

Cute little flag…hmmm, that picture is crooked again.

Rick has sanded  the mast.  Once the yucky paint and slightly corroded areas are sanded, it looks pretty good.  He’s already primed it and its going to be painted a boring, I mean lovely, white.

See how ugly and corroded?

See how ugly and corroded?

Messy, corroded mast

Messy, corroded mast

Unfortunately, with sanding comes the smell!  I hate that smell – Rick used to refinish pianos and this is the same darn smell.  I can’t figure out why since the pianos were all dust and mice droppings coupled with stripping off old finish and this is merely paint, for the most part.  Still it’s a nasty smell.

He also going to sand and paint the spinnaker pole, it might not come out as cleanly as the mast but a new one costs $180 so we’re gonna pinch that penny.

Now that the mast and boom are down off the boat deck, Rick hopes that there will be less purple bird poop on it.  Why purple?  Well, the birds are eating olives and the results are purple!  He has to clean up the mess each time he wants to paint/sand/stain, etc.  We might have to get a plastic owl or snake to act as scarecrow.

At least we don't have THIS problem!

At least we don’t have THIS problem!

We’re getting close.  It is way more encouraging for Rick to be in this mode. He sees the fruit of his labor with each trip, rather than leaving things looking worse than before or fretting about the rain leaking into the cabin, which it still is, a bit, but it’s not raining as much and the bilge pump is set to do its thing so the leaking isn’t as big a deal.

I guess it won’t be long now until we are in the water!  I suppose I oughta get to practicing my sailing knots.  There’s one for tying the boat up to the dock, one for attaching bumpers to the lifelines, one for flying a jib and MORE.  Its actually kinda fun and I’m sure I’ll be sharing that with you in a future post 😉