February 27, 2014
What were we thinking when launching into this restoration project? Expecting that we could ever accomplish anything in short order has become somewhat of a joke. Let me tell you, living in “The Sunshine State” is not all its cracked up to be if you actually think you’re gonna find endless periods of dry, sunny days. We’ve barely accomplished a thing in the last two months because of the constant rain and what few dry days we’ve had have been too cold for Mofilla to bond with her new epoxy additives :-) So, we’ve done what we could and although it doesn’t look like much, we have finally reached the end of the bottom paint removal! Since I couldn’t really do anything topside in the rain, I left the deck work and hull repairs to join Dieter in the dungeons and get that nasty job out of the way. Attacking it together, we’ve peeled away, chipped away, pulled off entire sheets of glass, and of course sanded away until we finally reached bare wood on the entire boat! Now, we just need some good weather in order to get to work on the repairs in preparation for new fiberglass
So, as Mofilla sits alone down there in the boat yard, covered by a large blue tarp, she’s drying out real good for when the time comes that we ever do see dry weather again. Once we know that Mother Nature got the memo on our plans, we’ll be focusing our attention on repairing all of the rotten spots on the bottom, starting with that gaping hole we’ve created around the rudder. Then, it’s fiberglass, fairing, paint, and splashdown! Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Ha…see you in 10 years!
February 13, 2014
As I sit here this morning, watching the wind whip through the trees and waiting for the stock market to open, I’m reminded of how quickly life can change. One minute everything can be going your way and the next, you find yourself spiraling out of control until the wind settles, leaving you to pick up the pieces. It was a restless sleep last night because two major concerns were weighing heavily on me, with not much I could do about it but wait for the outcome, whatever it may be. In my last post, I wrote about stock trading and how if managed with the right amount of risk, one can make a reliable living on it. Well, the key there is “managed with the right amount of risk”. I broke my own rules! Yes, not the first time…..No, I did not learn my lesson last time…I got a little greedy. I’ve been on a roll this week, raking in the profits and in a matter of minutes yesterday, I found myself on the losing end, losing all those profits and then some. Apparently there were some other factors I wasn’t aware of affecting this stock that had been on a uphill swing all week. Well, remember what I said about “knowing when to cut your losses and walk away”. That’s much easier said than done. There is always hope. Hope can get in the way of logic. Rather than cut my losses, I closed the trading day holding onto a very very risky stock and now awaiting the market open, I could lose it all in the blink of an eye. This games takes nerves of steel…ice water running through your veins… and it is not for everyone. But, it’s a risk I’m willing to take! I’m rolling the dice on this one… Wish me luck!
The other issue causing me concern was the fact that we had 30 – 50 mph wind whipping through out of the west all night and it continues today. We’ve covered our boat with a 30 x 60 ft tarp in order to keep it high and dry as we approach the phase in our project of laying new fiberglass. Well, the dingy davits on the back are a problem and until we can remove them this week, we had a wind tunnel open on the back and all I could imagine is the wind getting up under there, lifting and shifting that tarp enough to budge the boat. I have horrible visions of that tarp giving the boat lift and causing our jack stands to budge. I have visions of a tree falling on it. I swear ever since we got the boat, I have just had this sinking feeling that our little spot down there is just too good to be true and something disastrous is going to happen. Every storm that comes through, you would think I was out on the high sea weathering it because I just worry myself to death about our poor little Mofilla sitting there helpless against the elements. I can’t wait to get her in the water and to move aboard her full time, so we can conquer and protect!
On a brighter note, Brady shredded his ass off in his surf competition this past weekend. This was the best he’s done in competition yet. He’s progressed so much this year and we’re so very proud of him! He needed a good run after his last comp. This one was bitter cold and windy as hell and he almost threw in the towel before his heat even began. His heat wasn’t until about 1:30 and surfing there since 9am, when the weather turned to shit, he was miserable, freezing, and ready to go home. He’d almost made up his mind to skip his heat and go home, until I let him know that if he did, he’d have to reimburse me for his entry fee Instead, we went and drove around for a bit, visited a thrift shop, and just got out of the cold. He came back a little more enthusiastic and donning his freezing cold wetsuit, he was ready to surf! Those poor kids were standing on the beach shivering like crazy, but they were still hitting it. He had a really good session and was glad he’d stayed!
February 3, 2014
Do you know the seven words you can’t say on television? I’m talking about the big ones, the ones that everyone should inherently know are really, seriously, the bad boys of the bad words…
These are the words that have been rolling around in my head lately as we battle the weather, the endless boat repair, and the stock market! They’re seriously so bad that I can’t even type them here…I can only think them. So, if you don’t know the words and you want the full effect of what it feels like to sit on a stock for over a year, only to sell it a week shy of making $20k, then listen to George Carlin below…he’ll fill you in!
Yes, we have been all in (meaning all our money invested) on this particular stock since October 2012, which was supposed to be a big win at the time and ended up being a year long process waiting on court orders, appeals, patent validations, and pending settlement agreements. Each time the stock jumped, it was on big news, not on actual value of the company. There were a few times over the course of the last year, that we made a decent chunk of change off news that made the stock pop, but it always came back down and like a good/bad drug, we kept coming back for more, waiting for the big pop!
The frustrating part of owning this stock was being stuck in a loss for months at a time. Making deals with yourself that if it just pops one more time, you’ll get out and never look back. Wasting all of that trading time on the one big pop just wasn’t worth it. But each time, it lured you back in, thinking the end was near. Dieter finally bailed on the stock in December and that left me watching him “back in the game” making money every day while I waited and waited for this stock to do its thing. The date of the settlement conference was upon us and I swore that come Jan 22nd, I was out of this stock with or without the big bucks. Settlement conference came and went, of course no settlement was reached and this left the stock with a pop large enough for me to make a couple grand, but not what I’d been hoping for. Dieter easily regained a position early that day and walked away with a huge gain and we both washed our hands of it, happy with the profits we’d made. It didn’t matter that it was not the huge lotto ticket we’d hoped for, I was out and not looking back…. It felt good to be back in the market, making a few hundred a day trading again…. Until….one week later, just one measly week, after holding this shit for 15 months…it popped big time and we watched all the loyal long holders cheer and collect their rewards while I added up what I could have made if I’d only held on a little longer! (So here, you insert the seven words you can’t say on television!!!)
I know, I know, this is an adventure blog! We’re supposed to be writing about cruising or diving or boat restoration for god’s sake, but who the hell cares about the stock market, right? Well, yes and no… Unless you were born into money or you’ve saved your entire life and are setting out cruising for retirement, you have to be able to fund your adventure. You might wonder how can you support a life of adventure when you’re working a regular job every day and only have a couple weeks of vacation a year. When you think about the ties that keep most people from setting off to parts of the world unknown to them, it comes down to money 90% of the time. You have to work right? How many people can make a living while travelling? That’s where the stock market comes in. If you can get started with say 10 grand, you can turn that money into enough to live on, fund your lifestyle, and have something to come home to. Now, I don’t suggest you take $10k and jump in the market without knowing a single thing. Start out slow, start out with what you can afford to lose and learn the trends of the market. You’ll find a few of your favorite stocks and trust me, you will lose some money, but it’s how you learn. When you start to get the hang of it, throw a little more money at it. Bottom line is, it takes money to make money. When I first began trading in 2011, I entered the market with $1,000. Dieter had already been trading awhile and so naturally, I was enticed to get in the game too. I said I was gonna learn it and if I lost, I lost, but I was taking $1,000 of my income tax and opening up a trading account. Boy, did I have a lot to learn!
I opened up an account with TradeKing, signed my life away and deposited $1,000 dollars. Then I sat on it and I watched the market, I looked for stocks that seemed to have big returns and I was so scared to lose my thousand dollars that I think it was like 2 months before I ever got the guts to make my first trade. Then I did it. I found a hot little ETF called AGQ. At $170/share, I could buy 5 of them! I was making daily profits of about 30 bucks and thought man, this is pretty easy money! 30 bucks a day, 5 days a week, well, okay, so we can’t exactly live on that, but it’s a start and I’m making money! If only I could buy more shares, at $5 – $6 profit per share, I could really rake it in! Soon, I added another thousand to my account and then another… Each time I added more money to trade with, I was able to increase my profits. So again, I tell you, it takes money to make money! It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, I lost some too, but I learned a lot and now with a trading account of over $30k, I’m no longer satisfied with $30 profits, but a couple hundred to a thousand a day isn’t unheard of. However, on the wrong side of the tracks, I’ve lost that much in a day too, so it’s important to know when to cut your losses and move on. That’s the hardest part of trading…knowing when to say “I’ve lost, I made a bad call”.
If you think you’d like to take off and live a life of adventure, exploring the unknown, pushing the limits and facing uncertainties, but you have no idea how you could afford it, then this might be your ticket. You can do this from anywhere in the world with an internet connection and you determine when you want to work. Make some money in the morning and spend the rest of the day doing what you want. Or, spend a week or two trading and take the rest of the month off. The beauty of this is that you set the pace in this world! Think about it… It’s tax season… Do yourself a favor with that tax return… Take a few baby steps to see how you could live your dreams now while you’re young and healthy rather than waiting for retirement! Give it a try, but remember, only trade what you can afford to lose because there will be times that you will lose! Be patient, learn good trading strategies, and if it takes you a couple years to get to the point of making a good profit, then so be it! Where would you be in a couple years if you didn’t take that risk? You’d have spent your income tax return on clothes, shoes, or a bunch of other crap you don’t need, but you wouldn’t have it turning over more money for you, would you?
There is a book that I would definitely recommend you read. If you haven’t heard of Bumfuzzle, then you should check out their blog too. Reading a few of their posts, you’ll get the gist for what they are about. They have a couple books out and the one that will help you enter the stock market is called Live on the Margin. They’ll teach you everything you need to know to get started and you’ll see that it’s possible for anyone to live this life, you just have to be willing to take risks. I have no affiliation with Bumfuzzle, I am not promoting their book, I am just saying that it’s been helpful to me and I think it would help anyone looking to better understand the world of stock trading without intimidation.
January 19, 2014
As I sit here hunkered down inside and out of the cold with my second cup of coffee, trying to muster up the willpower to head to the boatyard in 36 degree weather, I have to wonder “At what point does thrifty become insanity?” Now, you can tell by the stories we’ve shared with you in this blog, that we are resourceful people. We’ll come up with a way to accomplish just about anything and it’s not always what most would consider the traditional approach, but hey, it works for us! Well, let me tell you, I saw thrifty on a whole new level yesterday.
I spent a couple hours removing some of the clutter, cushions, bedding, etc that we had piled up on the starboard berth of the boat. I’d been wanting to do that for awhile, but always found better use of my time on the outside of the boat. Since yesterday didn’t see temperatures above 55 degrees, too cold for Epoxy to set up right, I used the time to declutter the inside of the boat. When I got it all home and began uncovering cushions to wash them and let everything air out real good, I had to laugh at the masterpiece thrown together to form a couple of wedge cushions for the forward v-berth. See for yourself…Now that’s thrifty!
I guess the push I needed to get the inside cleared out was….well, there were multiple things…
- Dieter was tied up with an inspection report of a 5,000 sq ft house he’d been called on in a hurry.
- It was too cold outside to epoxy and that bottom paint sanding didn’t sound like all that much fun by myself.
- We were meeting up with a fellow blogger who just bought a Leopard Catamaran and we were getting together that night to share in each other’s projects.
Besides, it was time to make some room on the inside so we didn’t have to keep piling from one side to the other every time we needed to access the bottom of the hull for repairs. Now, we just have more sailboat clutter in the house!
One of the blogs we’ve followed for a little while is This Rat Sailed. They’ve been boat hunting for quite some time now and finally settled on one in Daytona Beach. Scrolling through their blog one day, I recognized a picture of the Ponce Deleon Statue in St. Augustine and realized they’d made the move from Daytona to St. Augustine. Being so close, we had to reach out to Mike, the guy behind the blog! Turns out, they actually have the boat right here in the Hammock, just a few miles from ours. So, we decided to get together last night and share in each other’s projects. I did have to warn Mike that at this point, he would really have to be somewhat of a visionary to appreciate our project. I don’t know if that statement really prepared him for the intensity of the matter or not! LOL
We met Mike at his boat and took the grand tour. Now knowing that a Leopard Catamaran was what we started this dream intending to acquire, you can imagine stepping aboard this boat was like “wow, this is nice!”. They’ve got a few projects to accomplish, nothing too major, mostly a few hidden areas of neglect and then of course the wish list of all the things that would make the boat absolutely perfect…don’t we all have those! They’ve got themselves a really nice boat and what better place to start this journey than here in The Hammock?
Then we get to our boat. I think he may have questioned our sanity here and probably even whether or not he should climb aboard? Rusty jack stands? A gaping hole in the hull? Filler? What? Will it squish or crumble when I grab ahold? LOL… I’m sure all thoughts crossed his mind as he approached that ladder, but nonetheless, he climbed aboard to check out our beautiful Mofilla! We showed her proudly and I proclaimed to both he and Dieter to mark my words, stay tuned, 1-3 years and she will be the most beautiful sailing vessel on the water! But again, I ask you, “At what point does thrifty become insanity?”!
Rounding out the night, we took Mike to our favorite place to eat in St. Augustine, The Conch House. A bit too nippy to eat outside, we didn’t really get to enjoy the ambiance of the tiki huts, tiki torches, and wandering pathways around the water, but we sat inside and had a great meal with great company Appreciating the warmth and coziness of the nautical little restaurant, I actually didn’t mind viewing the tiki torches from behind the protection of glass windows! Nice meeting you Mike! Best of luck on your new adventure! See you on the water!
P.S. It was too cold outside and we had too much fun storytelling at dinner to remember to take a picture, so I had to swipe this one from the Conch House Website!
January 14, 2014
Ever wonder why people rush around in a great big hurry all the time, trying to meet the demands of society by cramming way too many things into their lives to truly enjoy any of it? It’s part of what made us want to sail off into the sunset on island time. Social gatherings, sporting events, dinner parties, work, school, play, keeping up with the Joneses….It’s all too much! Stop and think about what is truly important to you and your family and live life to the fullest. Live for you and nobody else. Make time to stop and smell the roses. Make time to stop and let the birds cross! Enjoy the little gifts each day brings because it’s times like this that you pay nothing, you owe nothing, and you can just sit for a moment in awe over the little things that make life worth living…
The point is…wherever you are…make time to enjoy the little things that come along with each new day!
Sunrise photos compliments of Mr. Don Bouer…Thanks for sharing each morning with us Don!
We made it back to work on our beloved Mofilla this weekend after taking a month off to fulfill other areas of interest in our life. From Thanksgiving break with the family, to surf competitions, to preparation for the Keys and a week in the Keys, we’ve been away far too long! All the tools I’d left in an acetone bucket had hardened to the bottom as the acetone evaporated over time. It took me a minute to get our usual pattern down of running extension cords, grabbing sanders, respirators, goggles, and getting down to the nitty gritty, but once we had tools in hand, we picked up where we left off and actually made some progress. The starboard side of the bulwarks is complete and the port side very nearly complete. I did just open up a new spot on the stern that had some strange looking black piles of what looked like eggs or something, but researching it, all I can come up with is that it’s some kind of wood rotting fungi. So, we’ll be treating the entire area with a product called Tim-bor used to kill this fungi and other wood destroying organisms. Dieter continues to slave away on the bottom paint removal and has uncovered a few more small rotten spots in need of repair. He really does have the worst part of this work with the bottom paint sanding…he must really love me Now I just have to get him to love Mofilla…LOL
We’re trying to finish some of the repairs we started before addressing the elephant in the room…the rotting keelson area in the stern. Meanwhile, it’s drying out real good now that we’ve dug all the rot away. We’ll treat this area with the Tim-bor too, making sure we kill any remaining wood rotting fungi before rebuilding the rotted area. Believe it or not, it’s coming together. Completing one side of the bulwark was a nice sense of accomplishment. We even sat on our deck and enjoyed a sunset one evening…So what if it’s from up on jack stands! We have the water at our feet and the wind in our face. Boating without motion sickness!
As for Brady’s last surf competition, he got beat up pretty bad out there. It was big and munchy and he was surfing a brand new board that he’d had zero time on. He hadn’t been in the water for the last 2 weeks, so he wasn’t on his game. He saw a lot of air, but couldn’t land it! He and that little board were being tossed all around out there. He was pretty down on himself, so much so that he asked me not to post any pictures. So…shhh…don’t tell him I think enough time has passed to ease the pain, but I have to share these awesome wipeout shots!
January 3, 2014
Now that was the way to do the Keys! We just spent a week in the Florida Keys camped out on our boat for less than one night in a decent hotel down there. We enjoyed the open night air, the cool breeze, the slapping of the water against our hull, and did it all comfortably without any inconvenience whatsoever. The floating tent setup Dieter designed worked nearly flawlessly. Our first setup was just a little rocky, but once we got into a groove, we were able to set it up in about 25 minutes and break it down in the same. The one thing that didn’t work as we’d hoped was the ability to leave it up free standing after pulling the boat out. We tried twice and both times gave the marina crew quite a show! Realizing it just wasn’t going to happen and trying to recover our falling pieces before they floated away, we just gave in and decided to break it down each day.
Our first day out on the water, we got some good sized lobster and kept them on ice preparing for a feast. The next day was meant to bring in more, but wouldn’t you know it, we had boat trouble. The engine seemed to be starving for air. We couldn’t get up any speed until lifting the hatch and then it took off with a burst of energy. Troubleshooting became easy when the exhaust bellow coming from the engine riser started spewing water all over the place! That on top of failing bilge pump and we had to spend the day at the docks making repairs. We did have just enough lobster to add a couple rib-eyes to the grill and invite our neighbors over for dinner. It was at this point that Don turned us onto beer can lobster! A little butter, salt, and pepper, and an empty beer can, and you’re ready for the grill!
So, as luck would have it, the next day was Christmas Day and nothing was open. Not having found a replacement for the exhaust bellow yet, we spent the day on the docks and later got together for delicious Christmas Curry with our new friends Christian and Zoe. This dish was so good we all spent days afterwards craving it again. Shrimp and Mahi-Mahi simmered with a coconut curry sauce and served over rice with a side of mango and avocado salsa. Delicious! Another first we were introduced to was Christmas Crackers! You each grab hold on both sides and pull them apart and inside the popping toy is another little toy and a funky paper hat that everyone must wear during dinner! We had a blast…a Christmas Dinner to remember for sure!
Thursday morning, Dieter and Don hit the road early in search of the piece we needed to get running again. Thinking it wouldn’t take them long, I opted to stay behind and chill. Six hours later……
They ended up finding a similar material they could make a replacement hose out of but it was at the south end of Marathon and we were up on the north end of Key Largo. That equates to about 2 hours in the Keys. They found the material, but needed the boat in order to make sure they had the right measurements, so we pulled out of Pennenkamp and hightailed it back down to Marathon where we got the piece just minutes before they closed. A thirty minute fix in the parking lot and we pulled into Bahia Honda State Park about 5 minutes before Sunset, just in time to launch and set up camp before nightfall!
We spent the next few days there at Bahia Honda and got a little snorkeling and diving in, but not much. Enough though for Dieter to spear a good sized grouper! The wind and seas were really kicking, so we caved in one day and spent the day in Key West. I can see why people come to the Keys and end up in the bars! The weather will play tricks on you down there and well, you know what they say… If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
December 18, 2013
We got lucky this weekend! Maybe it’s a sign that we’re still in the good graces of Aeolus, maybe it’s just luck, maybe it just “is what it is”, but our little town of Palm Coast had an EF-1 Tornado sweep through it on a path less than a mile from our boat and we came out unscathed! I take it as a sign I knew waiting to have the proper naming ceremony on our boat would pay off! I can only imagine what might have happened if we’d gone ahead and renamed her without taking the proper channels. Whew!
All kidding aside, I was so relieved to pull down the drive of our marina Sunday morning and find MoFilla sitting there all in one piece, especially after I had to remove a fallen tree limb to get down the drive! This tornado came through at 95 – 105 mph in the wee hours of the morning Saturday/Sunday and completely destroyed 7 houses in it’s path just across the Intercoastal Waterway from our boat. It actually touched down just a little here in the Hammock, our side of the ICW, too and ripped some pretty big palm trees right out of the ground! They say this was a fairly temperamental tornado, jumping around kind of sporadically rather than in a straight path. What the heck is going on here? We get hurricanes, not tornados! This is our off season! That was just too close for comfort!
We only made a short house call to check on our boat Sunday because once again, our weekend was eaten up with other obligations. We had a Surf Competition down in Melbourne Beach on Saturday and spent Sunday making some final preparations for our upcoming Keys Trip. Once again, Brady ripped it up down there! Check out his new board Santa brought him
There is still way too much to do in order to get out of here on Sunday and it’s quickly approaching, so I must make this a short post. Since we don’t have time to make our own awesome virtual Christmas Card, I thought I’d hang on the coattail of this family and share theirs. LOL… You already have our life story right here on this blog Be sure to pause our site’s header video so you get uninterrupted sound from the video below.
Happy Holidays to everyone! See you in the New Year!
December 10, 2013
It’s important to know when too much is too much and we’ve reached that point! We have got to sell our boat! We’re holding onto more than we care to chew on at the moment! And no, I’m not talking about our Newporter, but our Regal!!! We’ve listed it for sale numerous times over the past couple years and interested buyers always want to drive the price down way below what we’re asking (which is already below book price). Even at the asking price of $19k, we’re gonna have to come to the table with cash to close. So, we seem to be stuck with it! It sucks because it’s really a great boat for someone who wants it for skiing or light offshore boating. Perfect for the Keys, with the shallow draft! We just don’t have the time to use it and don’t have plans for it in our future endeavors. Anyone interested, here’s a link!
We had to set aside some time this weekend to prepare for a trip to the Keys at the end of the month. Having just recently changed the oil, fuel filter, and impeller, we shifted our focus to the trailer and got it all primed up and ready for the road trip! We put the boat in the water and went out to anchor for lunch, viewing our poor lonely MoFilla from the ICW as we cruised south in the Regal. It’s crazy to think that I would rather have been up there sanding away and bringing her back to life than out on the water, enjoying the wind in my face and the smell of salt water in the air! But I would…we both would! Here, we’ve ripped a hole into her belly and then left her without the time to get back to her for awhile. We might have 1 day this entire month we’ll get to devote to our restoration project. I don’t like that at all! We’ve had these plans for awhile, since before we even bought our Newporter, and I know we’ll enjoy the break once we get there, having fun, diving and exploring the Keys, but it’s just too long to be pulled away from our project! It’s hard to spread your time so thin…too many interests make it impossible to fully devote yourself to just one!
There is another project we’ve been working on. Dieter and his German Engineering tendencies came up with a design for a floating screened enclosure that’ll allow us to camp out on the boat while docked at Pennenkamp or anywhere for that matter, even at anchor. If you remember our last minute trip to the Keys last year, we slept on the Regal because there was nowhere to stay at such short notice! We slept comfortably and had the bathrooms and showers at John Pennenkamp Coral Reef State Park and all for the $10 or $20 bucks a night they charge for a boat slip! Dieter decided to make this trip even better with a screened, covered enclosure so we don’t get eaten up by mosquitos and noseums. It’s just like putting up a tent! We’ve color coded and numbered all the pieces of PVC that come together to form the tent and it only took us 25 minutes to erect it on the water!
This thing sat in our driveway for a few weeks as Dieter pieced all the parts together and of course had all the neighbors wondering just what in the hell it was. Once it was fully together, we had our concerns about whether or not we could break it down and put it back up on the water in a relatively easy fashion. Taking it out for a test spin, we found it worked just as Dieter had hoped! The only thing we forgot was Hawseholes! We’ll have to figure this out on the fly once we get down there. We have to be able to run the dock lines through the screen and putting a permanent hole in place might not work as the position of the cleats and dock posts varies, as does the tide. We might have to rig up an anchoring system from the bottom of the boat! Not sure how this is gonna pan out yet…That’s what makes our trips so much fun….”MacGyver Style”!
As Sunday rolled around, Dieter told me to be ready to leave the house at 10, we had somewhere we had to be. It was my birthday and he had something up his sleeve that didn’t involve working on the boat! I’d tried arguing the point the day before that it was my birthday and I should be able to do what I want on my birthday and what I wanted was to work on the boat! But that didn’t fly and he insisted we were not working on the boat. Turns out for the best because I’ve been fighting a really bad headache and nauseousness that just wouldn’t let up. He actually had to convince me that what we were doing was going to help me feel better. Then he started laying clues that made it seem like we were going out on someone else’s boat and that was the last thing I wanted to do the way I felt! I couldn’t have been more pleased when he pulled down Sanchez Avenue in St. Augustine, the home of a quaint little spa with someone waiting to massage my aching body for a whole hour! Alright, I know we say we don’t spend money frivolously, but if you ever had a Swedish Massage, you would agree, that this is money well spent! It felt so good and with the way I’d been feeling, this was the best gift anyone could have given me. Actually, as we left the house that morning, I was thinking “God, I hope he got me a massage because that is all I feel like doing right now!” And it didn’t end there…he also got me a pedicure…rubbing my feet and calves for a whole hour! I couldn’t care less about the polish, but man, the massaging is unbelievable. I did have to apologize to the poor girl as she chipped away at the top of my toenails trying to remove the epoxy I’d gotten on them! LOL Walking away with brightly painted toenails, he took me to lunch at a nice little place in historic St. Augustine. He’s the best!!!
December 3, 2013
Was I really complaining about overhead sanding? Was that really the biggest obstacle we had the last time I posted? It seems like it’s been forever since I last wrote. Trying to get my thoughts in order, I reread my last post and oh, how I had to laugh at myself and only wish that were still our biggest problem!
We decided to go into that overhead sanding job full force and both work on it until we finished. We had high hopes of getting one side completed in a day! That was just hours before our sanding came to a screeching halt! Having sanded about a 6 sq ft section from the stern, I came across a little bit of wood rot. It’s easy to tell because you hit a spot where the paint just chips away at the brush of the sander, then the fiberglass, then the wood until you’ve uncovered all the rot and start to hit a solid surface again. Only this time, it went on and on and on, until I finally had to holler out “You’re not gonna like this,” as I continued to knock off wet, rotten wood in search of solid ground! Joining me at the stern, Dieter agreed, this was bad news! Taking the grinder, he began chipping away while my heart sunk into my gut as I recalled my words “Love is Blind. All the faults can be staring you in the face, but you don’t see it!”
What can I say? There’s lots I can say, starting with “Always trust your moisture meter!” Dieter went over the boat with a moisture meter before we bought it and although it was sounding off left and right, I refused to see it. It seemed so solid! Maybe his meter was off…maybe it was just the moisture in the paint…maybe it was just because it’s a wooden boat and all wood contains moisture…whatever it was, there had to be an explanation…this was my dream design in a boat and here it was…affordable…it was to be ours, no matter what his fancy moisture meter said! You know, I’m thinking maybe this is why arranged marriages work…you don’t get a chance to fall in love to a point you no longer make sound decisions. Someone with your best interest in mind makes that decision for you and you fall in love later! Hmmmmmm…Interesting…. LOL
We’re lucky to have a resource available to us that is the next best thing to being in the Newporter Shipyard. With Clyde’s collection of information, we’re able to see how the boat was put together and this helps tremendously in formulating a plan of attack for hefty repairs. What we found out is that our apron (aka keelson), the backbone of our boat, is rotting! The apron is made up of 6 layers of 3/4″ wood glued together. It runs the length of the keel, joining the deadwood and keel ballast to the boat. About half of this apron is rotted away in the stern, right around the rudder post. It seems that somehow water collects in the bilge here and has nowhere to go but down…down into the wooden apron holding our boat together! Luckily, it’s confined to this area and doesn’t seem to have run the coarse of the entire boat, but it’s going to take some major repair and a heavy fiberglass layup to get it solid again. Some of the keel bolts have rusted away and broken off. We know more than ever now, that we need to reinforce the hull, at least the bottom, with a heavy layup of biaxial fiberglass. Once we glass this baby, it won’t matter if the boat rots from the inside out! We’ll still have a solid glass hull. But, we’re also taking in some advice from some of the fiberglass and boat restoration experts we know on how to best fix up old bessy!
So, digging out as much rot as we could, we tarped the area off with plastic to let it dry out well. We took a quick turkey break to lick our wounds and we’re now recharged and ready to hit it hard again this weekend! Just hope it quits hitting back at some point!!!
November 20, 2013
We had a really hard time engaging in work this past weekend. We spent more time trying to get around work than actually doing it! This bottom paint removal is kicking Dieter’s ass and he’s been looking for any alternative to sanding it. He says it’s more the health hazard of it than the painful labor of sanding above your head, but trust me, I’ve done a little of it too (just to get a taste ) and sanding a single square foot area makes you drop your arms and massage your shoulders in pain! It’s not fun What health hazards, you say? Anti-fouling paint has lots of nasty chemicals in it, so it’s really important to wear a good respirator. Even wearing the respirator, Dieter’s face is being covered in black smog in areas that would seem to have been protected by the respirator. So again, his search for an alternative has been at the center of his attention this last week.
Saturday, we went into town for a few more supplies and $5 jeans from Goodwill that we could destroy by boat working without much hesitation! By the time we made it to the marina, we were just in time to meet a couple of guys who Dieter has talked to on the phone about bottom paint removal. He was looking for a mobile sandblaster, but found this guy who told him he’d like to try a mechanical pressure washer! Apparently the mechanical pressure washer works differently than a traditional pressure washer, but I can’t begin to tell you how. Anyways, this guy thought it was worth a try and wanted to demo it for Dieter. It didn’t take long. After a little chitchat, he stuck the hose to the hull and all it was able to do is chip away the already loose flaking areas. This wasn’t going to be any help at all. The sander can do that easily enough! But, it was nice of them to give it a try…
So, we were finally left alone in the marina with the only focus being our beloved “Mo-Filla”. We’d been thinking about how to handle reworking all our thru-holes, so we decided to explore the innards of the boat and try to figure out what we had incoming and outgoing. We lifted all the floors and crawled around a bit identifying most of the thru-holes on the port side of the boat and then chasing all the lines and hoses to figure out how our holding tank and discharge process worked. Okay, so we didn’t really get any work done, but we satisfied our curiosity a bit. Still having yet to pick up a sander, it was well into the afternoon and we started poking around in the engine compartment. Seeing an area of wetness and a horrible attempt at a previous patch job lying down beneath the engine, we located it on the outside and found it was a soft spot for sure. Well, soft isn’t really the word. Rotten is more like it! Sanding down past all the bottom paint on the outside, we ended up with a hole about 3 inches across and wide that went all the way through to the engine room. There were a couple smaller holes, not all the way through surrounding it, but this big one was our greatest concern at the moment. Sanding inside and out, prepping the surface on both sides, we mounted a plate on the outside to hold the filler in and filled it from the inside, making sure to overlap it by a few inches all the way around so the filler in the hole had solid wood all around it keeping it in place. Working down inside the engine compartment was almost impossible. You have to be some kind of strange contortionist to work on boats!
Sunday was pretty much the same story. We arrived at the marina late in the morning and dillydallied around for a bit before actually getting to work. We both got a little done once we finally got into it, but it was really hard to engage in work mode! Going on through the week, we’ve priced rental sandblasters and found that we could purchase them cheaper than renting for a day! Then we considered borrowing a friend’s blaster and just buying a compressor to run it. But in the end, I think we’ll continue to sand away until it’s done. On the bright side, we still have one unused bucket of Peel Away we can return It ended up working sometimes and not others and if we continued to use it, it would cost an arm and a leg to buy enough to cover the boat. So, it was a learning lesson, but not really the answer we were looking for. Now we’re just living for the next weekend and all Thanksgiving week! We have the whole week off to work on the boat!!!