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Stina and I celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary this week, so we are taking the week off together. But because we have so many other vacations planned this year that involve travel we are going to be staycationing this time, for the most part. The Houston boat show is this week so we are takeing a road trip and check it out. The plan was to drive out today and spend the day at the show and then celebrate us with a nice dinner and spend the night in Houston, but as we all know plans sometimes change. The Houston Texans football made it to the playoffs  this year and the  game is at NRG stadium where the show was supposed to be, the show was cancelled for the day, not such a big deal.

So today will be an us day and the boat show will have to wait until tomorrow. It’s a three hour drive to Houston, and while I’d rather spend that time on the boat it’s a wee bit chilly out today(17 feels like 6 with the wind chill). Sadly there won’t be any sailboats at the show this weekend, but we already have our tickets to travel to Annapolis in April for the Spring Sailboat show and we will be heading back out in October with Beth and Dan for the bigger show.  We are really excited for both of these shows, as it will be our first chance to get on board a catamaran to see what we like and don’t like.

Road trip time, first gas, then snacks and away we go!

Raod Trip, Boat Show

What light through yonder fiberglass breaks?

Lot's to do - fiberglass...fiberglass everywhere

Fiberglass…ugh

So we have lots to do on this beauty of a boat and I hope that we can all post a few nice blogs about some of the activities coming up.  Fiberglass is the first biggie.  We’re already working small and a few not so small repairs.  We went through and found all the holes put into the hull through the years that were just neglected, and we are filling them with fiberglass patches which will be sanded down and gel coated and painted over.  We also had two very bad issues in the bow, where light was literally shinning through the holes where the Bow rail (pulpit) was bolted down. So that’s going to be all repaired with fiberglass matting and then sanded down, gel coated, and repainted.

We bought the boat because we want to use it as a floating school of boating.  We already have the boat down to almost nothing but fiberglass (well, we still have most of the gelcoat, paint and other stuff over that fiberglass, but we ARE making serious repairs to it.)

In the immediate future, we have:

Wait, we got HOW MUCH fiberglass repair?!?!?
Wait, we got HOW MUCH fiberglass repair?!?!?
  • fiberglass repairs
  • full re-wiring of all electrical on board
  • New running / anchor lights
  • installing radio w/ antenna
  • installing vhf / gps w/ antenna
  • installing depth-finder w/ transducer
  • (maybe) changing the boom rigging to a double vang system instead of a HOLYSHITDUCKWEJUSTACCIDENTALLYJIBEDBOOM!!!!! rigging the boat came with
  • carpentry to replace all hatches inside and out
  • replacing the rotted block of wood that prevents our mast from crashing through the deck with a stainless steel support post.

So as we get more involved, a post about each activity would make me happy, I think.  hope we all take turns giving each project a good write up for you, our non existent reader.

 

“And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.” – Henry V, Prologue

Now is the winter of our disinfectant…

We have the boat now and we’ve spent a couple of hours on two Saturdays working on it. Week One was predominately spent pulling everything out of the boat and cleaning, donning gloves to scrub it with soap, water, disinfectant and grease (of the elbow variety).

For Week Two, Dan did some work during the week before he left for Florida for work; he inspected the mast and removed some of the hardware and grinding damaged parts down to the fiberglass. He also worked on the thankless, crappy job of sanding down the inside ceiling of the boat, which clearly has not be done since the boat was built 40 years ago.  It was Kyle, Stina and Beth’s turn on Saturday, and we removed almost all of the hardware that was damaged and rusty.  I did a much poorer job than Dan of stripping the material down to the fiberglass in areas where it was needed.

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Notice the grinder to crotch proximity.

Also note: if you are going to be using a high speed grinder: wear durable pants and don’t grind right next to your crotch. While we were cleaning, I found an inch-long metal sliver about three quarters of the way into my inner thigh. Amy more to the left and I might not have had to worry about getting that vasectomy.

I’m not sure what this coming Saturday has in store for us in terms of work on the boat. Dan really knows what we should be doing next and what we need to do to get this boat in the water. Sadly she doesn’t have a name yet, but its a top priority!

Though this be madness…

…yet there is method in ‘t.

So what are we talking about?

Well, to put it plainly, we are taking the second HUGE step in becoming full time sailors. We are buying a boat.

Gee.  Big damn deal, you say?  Isn’t this a blog about sailors?  Isn’t a boat pretty much assumed? Well lend me your ears, you philistines!

We’ve mentioned the six year plan?  Well here’s what year one has in store:

Step 1: Start the Cruising Kitties (done)

Step 2: Buy a comfortable lake sailor and start learning the hands on responsibilities of boat ownership together.

(No, step three is NOT Profit)

We’ve agreed to take on huge longshots together.  And we’re not a bunch of teenagers promising to be besties forever.  We’re freaking adults looking to do what most can’t, won’t, and are afraid to do- create the life we want outside the mainstream paradigm.

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This is the boat we’re going to look at tomorrow – we will be renaming it if we buy it

So tomorrow we go look at the best option we’ve found so far for a “learner boat” to both sail, maintain, outfit, tweak, intentionally break just so we can fix it, and – of course – go on day sails for a picnic and beer.  We are going on a road trip for 10 hours to look at the world famous McGregor 25 drop keel trailer boat.

So yeah, we’re seriously looking to buy a boat together.  We are seriously planning on sailing away as a group in 6 years, and we’re seriously working towards that goal RIGHT. NOW.

And yes, I’m a little giddy – I’ve missed my boat every day since I sold it all those years ago. Last time I owned a boat, I was a clean shaven young man!  See you on the lakes!

Eves are liminial, pensive times

All things that are, Are with more spirit chased than enjoy’d.

Gratiano, The Merchant of Venice, Act II, Scene vi

Driving

 

Tonight is Boat Eve. And like any other eve, this time is for contemplation and consideration, interspersed with giddy anticipation. I don’t normally experience butterflies for events until RIGHT BEFORE they happen, meaning a hour ahead of the event, not the day before. I think this means that doing this road trip tomorrow, making a real (albeit relatively small) financial commitment, taking this first concrete and measurable step towards a crazy goal, means something significant to me.

All this is really just to say ROAD TRIP!

Getting under way…for love!

Upon the morn our crew sets forth looking for love, for our first seagoing vessel. Well…perhaps just a lake or river-going vessel. But she floats (we hope) or at the very least she will once we have our fists deep into her bowels. This trip will also be a good test of our ability to be around each other all day in a confined space; it’s ten hours round trip to Del Rio, Texas, nestled up against the Rio Grande on the western border of the state. The map says that it takes four hours to get there so add in time to look at the boat, decide if she will be coming home with us, then get hitched to her and drag her back home, those ten hours will be well spent. It almost feels like Christmas.

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It’s all about the Benjamin’s, or Hamilton’s, or…whatever. Money!

Benny is here!
Benny is here!  Show me the money!

 

To go sailing for 10 years on a boat that doesn’t suck, we need money, and borrowing is not only irresponsible, it’s really quite impossible for a sailing lifestyle.  Debt free is the way to be.  Avoid Antonio’s mistake:

Thou know’st that all my fortunes are at sea
Neither have I money nor commodity
To raise a present sum: therefore go forth;
Try what my credit can in Venice do:
That shall be rack’d, even to the uttermost,
To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia.
Go, presently inquire, and so will I,
Where money is, and I no question make
To have it of my trust or for my sake.
Antonio, The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene

We have a spreadsheet – feel free to steal the idea and use it yourself – to keep track of our savings for the sailing kitty..  While it might be smarter to put all our money into one account, we decided it was less stress to keep an account for each couple and we can combine them in 5 years when we look to buy the Catamaran we are going to live on together for 10 years. Here’s a version with no real numbers added yet:

kitty

 

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From his semi-comfortable window ledge, Kyle sat gazing into the night sky and dreamt of engines and DC batteries. Sadly, the harsh glow of suburban streetlights hampered his view of the starry sky, and he was forced to return to reading about systems maintenance. Alas.