May 27, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
I got the seat hatch support cleats all installed yesterday, as well as making the very detailed and troublesome cut in the
double-thick cockpit sole hatch to accommodate the pedestal socket. All in all, I'm pleased with the results and it was worth the
work. The pedestal is firm and steady. When I make the top unit, it will hold the compass, the GPS, and possibly, two or three
drink holders. I know that sounds pretty darn hopeful of me as far as having guests aboard, but it could happen.

I'm back. Did okay today. Got the cockpit sole hatch secured, which included drilling and tapping 11 holes right up against the
walls around the hatch, which meant only being able to turn the tap 1/2 revolution, the slide the 'T' handle through the tap driver
and turn the next half revolution. All the way through 11 taps and all the way back out. I also sank seven  2 1/2 inch screws into
the aft edge. All it needs now is sealer and it'll be done until I paint the whole cockpit.
The hatch is two thicknesses of 3/4 inch plywood epoxied and fiberglassed. After I caulk it with Acrylic sealer, I'll scratch up
the surface with 80 grit paper and prime it with Awlgrip, then paint with the Ice Blue Awlgrip enamel. I also made up some
thickened West epoxy and filled in the little dents and irregularities on the ship's wheel. When that hardens good, I'll sand it
smooth and do that wrap. Oh, wait. First, I'll need to prime and paint the hub and spokes. While I'm at it, I should sand, prime
and paint the console. Hmmm. Maybe it's time I addressed the two little curved gear covers on the sides of the console, so I
can actually finish that whole section for good. I DID get the stainless ready to cut the other day by drilling out all the rivets
and removing all the extra stuff. It's going to be another one of those real dicey pains in the ass to get all the weirdly shaped
parts made right and secured properly so it doesn't look like an extra nose on one of my temples. I can do it.
May 30, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

Yesterday was a bit of a train wreck, but I did get the cockpit hatch caulked and finally got a bright idea to correct the rudder post
situation on the lazarette deck. It shouldn't be too hard and will work for me. I also need to get the dock sun shade repaired and
back up. I need to do the modifications to the cockpit cushions and install the Velcro that will hold them in place, then paint the
cockpit and aft deck and call THAT portion of the boat DONE.

As soon as the bilge gets it's last coat of paint and the engine room sound deadening insulation dries out, I can get back to that
area and re-install the engine. Jimmy Sparksalot (I don't know his real last name) the local fishing electrician has offered me 5
feet of 2/0 cable to use as the ground for my 2500 watt inverter. That's cool. I need to finish the heavy electrical cabling so I can
dispose of the excess copper wiring I've been carrying around with me for 25 years. Oh, you just don't know how happy I am each
time I get to unload the excess salvaged material for each area. Of course, without it, I couldn't possibly have built the boat, but it
sure is good to select out the last needed items and say goodbye to the rest. 2/0 copper cable at West Marine is now listed at
about $15 or $16 per foot. It's ridiculous. Counting the two 30 foot pieces that power my windlass at the bow, Falcon has
somewhere between 120 and 150 feet of heavy cabling aboard. Split the difference at 135 feet and by West Marine prices, that's
over $2000 in battery cable alone, not counting the lugs and heavy duty shrink tubing. Admittedly, I have an awesome system -
yes, awesome - I said it - but still . . . . that's a lot of money for one small part of the boat.
May 31, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

Okay, it's much later. Tomorrow actually, or today if you're one of those who insist on 'keeping it in the moment'. I got the
sunshade repaired and re-installed on the dock and did all the cushion work. The cushion work took much longer than I'd hoped
- mainly because I had to take the first one apart after finishing it and do it over. It was being obstinate and insisted on curling up
a little, like a potato chip, and had a nasty patch of wrinkles as well. Cushions require more attention to detail than I am willing
to apply at first. Well, what do you expect - it's a rare, rare thing to be doing cushion work and people my age forget the learning
curve every time we go to the bathroom.
The inside edges of these two
cushions had to be cut down and
the job isn't perfect, but it works
fine and I don't have to lift the
cushions any more to open the
battery switch locker/step lid. The
seats are also in need of a
scrubbing, but that can wait a
little longer.

Today I intend to address the
rudder post problem and get that
taken care of. Once it is, I can
paint the whole cockpit and deck
and make Falcon look a whole lot
better. Hmm. I should REALLY
finish tarring the rigging before
painting the deck, but, well,
maybe not. The rigging can wait
and I'll come up with a good
drop-cloth system to protect the
deck at that time.
Yes, that's right, that's right. I forgot about the covers to enclose the ends of the steering rack quadrant. Maybe I'll be able to
finish those today as well. It could happen. It's another day for you and me in paradise. Phil Collins. I don't care how much I have
left to do as long as I can keep getting some done every day. Sooner or later I'll reach a level of completion that will allow me to
leave the dock and continue the work while on the move. It will also allow me periods of undisturbed time that I can apply
entirely to the writing. I need two to three weeks at a time to edit each manuscript into final form.
It's noon and I've made good headway on the rudder post, which is above left, completely covered in a slurry of West epoxy
and graphite. I cut and hammered into position a small mahogany block, then epoxied it in place. Next, I scraped and cleaned
the stainless rudder post and coated it with WD40, then made up the graphite slurry and troweled and vibrated it into
position, filling the entire void all the way down to the Teflon bearing block. I went to work on the console wings and fairing
and filling any voids in preparation for the last two little sections of the console that will enclose the exposed steering gear,
including cutting out the two stainless sheet covers I intend to use. That's not really carved in stone just yet, though. Just
before coming in to get something to eat, I tried the steering and ou-la, the WD40 worked! The graphite set up and the post
rotated freely inside. Too cool. Now, the graphite simply acts like more bearing surface at the top of the rudder post. To finish
that item, I'll smooth the deck surface and install a small inspection port that will give me access for an emergency tiller. How I
accomplish the emergency tiller is still a matter of some speculation. I have some ideas but haven't settled on anything just
yet. After lunch, the epoxy outside will all be cured and I'll be able to cut and install the last pieces for the wings.
June 1, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

Today is the first day of hurricane season, so . . . . here I am again . . . . still here . . . . still not able to leave. No big deal. I'm getting
closer. Made good progress yesterday. Turned the aft deck filthy when I ground the graphite down - black powder everywhere. I
just took the hose and hosed it off. Got the two upper plates for the wings made and installed and this morning I plan on
epoxying them and maybe fiberglassing them - yes, yes, okay, I'll fiberglass them. I'll also final fair the area around the rudder
post and touch up a few other areas on the deck/cockpit that could use a bit of smoothing prior to getting a good dose of Awlgrip
primer and paint. When I'm done with this phase, it will be the very first time since I started the project in 1985 that the deck and
cabin could be called 'finished'. I'll probably takes some pictures.

I've also sorted out the final configuration and location of the inverter and the cables. Yesterday I had a talk with Randy about a
vibration problem on Lil' Toot since he's had the transmission repaired. I obligated myself to do an alignment on the boat for the
job entails, but still wind up with vibration. I did it professionally for years and consequently know the truth - there is only one
'right' way to do it and a properly aligned engine does not have an alignment vibration, period.
It's only 11 AM and I've already gotten a lot done. The wing tops are epoxied and glassed, the deck around the rudder post is
faired, the line for serving the wheel is washed and is drying, the small vacuum cleaner is cleaned and dried, the entire cockpit
has been sanded and vacuumed, and the Velcro for the cushions is glued and stapled to the cockpit seats. Oh, and the cockpit
drains are opened up with a grinder.

As I was taking a break before coming in here, it occurred to me that I have a couple of irritating little leaks at the aft end of
the anchor davits on the foredeck, and if I'm going to take down all the canvas and clear the deck, prep and tape everything
and paint the entire deck, cabin and cockpit, I should fix those damn leaks. Nothing is ever simple. There's always something
in the way that needs doing first. Well, there's no cure for it except to do it. I can't allow the leak to start rotting the decking on
the foredeck. Or the huge cross-beam the threaded rod is secured through.
June 2, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

Had a good day yesterday as far as making progress on Falcon. Today may be another story as I've promised Randy an engine
alignment and, as it turns out, we'll be having a bit of a dock party tonight before Eddie and Sandy take off for a three week cruise
to points south. Got an early start today, though. The sun is just rising and I've been up for almost two hours. I've done my mail
and surfed through the web sites and cruising logs I follow. I swear, there are some very questionable individuals out there
banging about on boats. I'm going to have to try to keep my head down so as not to be counted among them. Unless I already am.
I mean, that's possible. Well, what are you gonna do?

I got a lot done yesterday and should go right out there and slather on some primer outside and middle blue inside today. That
way, it will dry while I'm on Lil' Toot and I won't have to be here smelling it all day.
The color of the wheel looks darker than it is as the sun has not yet risen high enough to light it up. With the freshly washed
white 3-strand served on the outer ring, it should look pretty good - and feel good on the hands. The dawn is calm but overcast
with predictions of rain today. We'll see what happens.
June 4, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

Another day of threatened rain without a drop landing anywhere near Cortez. I
got a little done one the business cards, which I do have some fun doing, and I
just returned from a "boat stuff" shopping trip with Donny. I got a small
inspection port to cover the remains of the rudder post on the aft deck, some
lightweight reading glasses for this computer work, some ant poison to address
the problem of those tiny sugar ants that has invaded every boat in the marina,
and a roll of that spectra core super fishing line to use to repair the thin brass
covers on the bottom of the compass I got from Randy. The covers are all split
down the sides from being over tightened. I like to wrap them with the spectra
line, epoxy over the line, then use a high UV resistant varnish over that. It
makes for a good look and a secure fix and has no effect on the magnetic
properties of the compass.

Well, just here to keep in touch today. Need that weather window to get the
engine alignment done as well as painting on the deck and cockpit. Still need to
fix those little deck leaks way up forward, too.
June 5, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

Another day of dire predictions concerning rain blah blah blah. I'm pretty sick
The pan and compensator on the Wilfrid White version are larger than on the Kelvin White, so I was unable to swap out the
undamaged items and have a good unit. Consequently, I had to come up with a viable fix that I could live with. While many of
the more critical internal parts are still available online, these are not.
The cracks in the compensator pan were more severe than those in the diaphragm pan, but each pan had about 8 to 10 cracks.
These occurred when the mount screws were over-tightened. The compass is also of the 'Pintle and Gudgeon' mount variety,
which I am obliged to remove because I simply can't find a way to use it in my application. I tried - believe me. It's all brass so
those will have to be cut off and polished smooth.

What I finally did to fix the thin brass pans was to wrap them with Power Pro Superline fishing braid. First, I wrapped them
tightly with 10 pound mono filament in order to compress the splayed tops, then applied the super braid and removed the mono.
Later, I'll epoxy the braid and paint the entire compass Largo blue - like the hull - oh, yeah - I'm not restoring antiques here - I'm
building my boat.

I went out to get new, non-magnetic hardware to attach the brass pan and compensator back onto the compass and had to settle
for what I could get. It'll work fine. Next I went to the county Tax Office and renewed my truck registration, then off to Goodwill
for a new supply of work T shirts. $1.57 each. How do you beat that? While waiting in line to pay for them, the skies opened up
and we've been getting deluged for an hour now. I'm glad I closed up the boat 'just in case'. It's tapering off now.
of it. I'm working anyway - I just won't get all scattered with exposed tools and materials, so I can pick up and run for shelter if I
have to. So far this morning I've been working on the compass Randy gave me. It's a 1947 Wilfrid O. White 5 inch Constellation
made by Danforth, and it's a pretty good compass. My other compass is also a Danforth Constellation with a slightly smaller card
and profile, but when I looked at them both side by side, I decided the White had a much clearer and easier to read card and
opted for it, even though I love the old style overly complex card. I might install it somewhere below just because I'm too lame to
give it up. I believe it is a Kelvin White model. Both items are equipped with compensator's.
June 6, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
To the left is the compass, now with the spectra braid fishing line
wrapped on the cracked pans and the pintles cut off. I did them with a
10 inch blade held in my bare hand while trying to watch a stupid movie
on TV last night. I'm pretty sure it took over an hour, though the movie
made it feel much longer. I'll smooth the spots on the compass and prep
it for paint and polish the plastic dome. Right now, the light is an
awesome original incandescent unit with a red filter, but I expect
eventually to replace it with a variable brightness LED inside the holder.
Sweet.

The closer I get to mounting the compass and GPS, the more I'm
thinking that I should mount the post somehow semi-permanently, or
come up with a way to seal the post in the socket better. Right now, the
fluted texture of the post allows water to flow right into the socket. If I
bring a 12V feed up through the bottom of the socket, then I'll have
water flowing into the bilge any time it gets into the cockpit, and that is
something I have an aversion to. I don't like cockpit leaks into the bilge.
They are bad.
I used this way oversize line to serve the wheel. When I
started, it was a huge wad of loose 1/4" three-strand and
it was so difficult to pass through the wheel for every
wrap that I stopped and wound it into a large ball. That
worked much better.

Like so many other one-time events in the building of
the boat, I got this wrapping down just about as I was
finishing. Consequently, I will go over it, tightening it up
a little better, before I tie it off, leaving a few extra wraps
down the kingspoke, as it is now. I like the feel of the
June 9, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

The headache yesterday was really, really bad and didn't ease off until I went out and got more intensive pain killers. Even then,
it lingered some until I went to sleep. Gratefully, it is gone this morning and I did accomplish a little yesterday. For a couple of
months or so I've been intending to try and slip 'Date Years' into the 'Building Falcon' section and I got most of that done. Oh,
yeah . . . . it rained yesterday. I also managed to epoxy over the spectra braid and the brass pans on the bottom of the compass. I
should really try to get the coat of Ice Blue on the cockpit and the aft deck today. It looks like we might get a good weather
window for it.
Finally finished the console wings today. Yes, yes, I know that up close the boat looks like Fred Flintstone carved it out of a rock,
but that particular kind of 'finishing' can be done easily, a little at a time, once I'm off the dock and moving. It's strong,
water-tight and looks just fine. Once the sealer cures, I'll prime it and get on with the painting. The cosmetic covers that belong
on the shift and throttle mounts will be painted Largo Blue before being re-installed, and I think I'll paint the shift ball blue and
the throttle ball red, just because why not. I need to make a final decision on the mounting of the compass and get that done, as
well as the GPS and a power socket for the big mega CP spotlight that every obnoxious yachtsman needs to keep in his cockpit to
annoy other boaters with.
June 11, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

I worked on getting the aft area of the boat ready to paint yesterday, cleaning, organizing, scraping and sanding. I also primed the
stainless sheet steel covers I made and installed on the console wings, then rethought the entire process, trying to anticipate any
glitches that might sour the job, like something I couldn't do after already mixing the paint and consequently, losing the
expensive paint. I decided to make one more run to Home Depot for steel paint trays (these epoxy pints dissolve the plastic ones)
as well as more chip brushes, small foam brushes, masking tape and mixing sticks. I did that this morning, so I'm just about
ready to get started painting this big area. Be back later.

Okay, I'm back. I worked on the aft deck and cockpit some more, taped everything off that I'm going to, vacuumed the whole area
and applied the first coat of Ice Blue. It's about a million degrees outside, so it should dry fast. I did the entire rear deck from the
aft cabin bulkhead to the transom and everything in the cockpit except the seat tops and the battery switch hatch. The sun is so
bright outside right now that the camera was unable to adjust enough to get better pictures under the Bimini.
It needs another coat, plus some non-skid on certain areas, and I will also paint the tops of the seats. I ran out of paint on the
first coat. I'm pretty pleased. It looks good.
June 12, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
Making hay while the sun shines. Got the second coat on over the aft deck and the cockpit, as well as coating the tops of the seats
for good measure. I still have a bunch of little shards of masking tape to cut off and some tiny touch-ups with the Ice Blue, but
this section is done. I used an old salt shaker to get the non-skid compound distributed wherever I wanted it. I also got the
primer areas on the cabin sides and side decks coated once, as shown below. Tomorrow, I'll do whatever prep needs doing on the
cabin roof and forward areas and tape what needs taping - oh, crap - I forgot - I still need to seal those bolts on the anchor davits -
okay, I'll do that, too. THEN I'll finish the Ice Blue painting.
I'll need to install the wheel and pulpit and compass and radio, blah, blah, but that should all be fairly quick and straightforward.
From that point, the outside will be good to go off the dock and all that will be left are certain essentials inside, most of which are
also fairly straightforward. I'm getting closer to leaving.
June 13, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

I stripped off some more of the tape shards and painted the throttle and shift balls red and blue respectively. I also painted the
lever cover plates Largo Blue and installed them with the wheel and level balls.

Earlier in the day I removed the dinghy and panels from the cabin roof and hung the foredeck anchor rodes off the anchors to
clear the deck for painting. I also removed the four long - 12 inches each - leaking anchor davit bolts and did a good job (this
time) of sealing the areas and re-installing them, this time, tightening them up properly. It's impossible to guess how or why I
did that bit wrong the first time. It's possible that I was thinking about coming back and completing their installation later, then
just plain forgot. Who knows. Maybe I thought the first job was good enough. It wasn't. Anyway, ,it's done right now.
I'm pleased with the way the brightly painted and shiny lever balls came out. I used clear automotive spray paint over the red
engine paint on the throttle, and just a single coat of Largo Blue on the shift. Still, I'm wondering if I've left myself open to odd
comments around the marina about my brightly colored shiny balls. We'll have to wait and see.
The dinghy is a huge pain in the ass to manhandle on and off the cabin roof, so I'm putting together a system of using the foresail
gaff and an old boom vang to raise and lower the unit. I will still have to turn it over and place it in position on the cabin roof, but
now I can easily move it from the boat to the dock or the water and back again without difficulty.
June 14, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

The mornings recently have been fabulous. A cool breeze, clear skies and bright sunshine. I've been getting a lot done on these
cooler times of the day. It is 11:34 AM and I am in for a bit of food and rest after getting some good stuff done this morning. I got
closer to what I want as far as rigging the dinghy hoist, but still a little ways to go.

Just got a call from Espin, who is back in the country and has had the worst trip to the Bahamas in his life. He apparently NEVER
got to sail once - not for a minute - in the entire time he was over there. He expects to be back here in a week or so.
Using the 4:1 foresail peak halyard and a 4:1 old boom vang system, it almost worked good enough. A little more tinkering and
the dinghy hoist system will be sorted out. I also removed the anchors and extra ground tackle from the davits and foredeck to
facilitate prep and painting of the rest of the deck and cabin. It should make for some good pictures. Soon, I'll only have interior
stuff to do.
June 15, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

I will clean up and tape off around the bow and cabin as much as I can, as early as I can, and see if I can get a coat of Ice Blue on
today.
Well, there you go - first thing you know, the deck and cabin roof are painted, and non-skidded. New word, 'non-skidded'. Just
made it up. I still need a coat on the cabin sides and more on the side decks, and possibly some touch-up here and there, but it's
coming along fine. I'll probably take a little time to do some varnish on the companionway doors and main hatch and battery
switch hatch (it's ALL the varnish on the boat! - awesome, Huh?) Why not? I'm this close to a finished exterior, might as well do
the varnish and get a set of 'one-time' pictures so when it turns rat again I can show people what it used to look like once upon a
time.

Right now, it's steaming hot outside and I'm a little played out. But the boat looks good.
June 16, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

I slept late today and didn't get up until 7 AM. The extra rest is nice, but it seems like a slow start to the day. The last thing I did
outside yesterday was to take a couple of pictures of the sunset and some of Falcon, bot with and without the flash. Nothing
special happened, but I did get a nice sunset shot and the freshly painted cabin top still looked good in a sunset glow.

Well, I need to get outside and get all my ducky's in a row and get this last coat of Ice Blue on the deck and fittings. Then will
come the 'remove the glued-on tape' adventure and the varnish fun. Varnish is easy though. Gotta go. Later.

Okay, I'm back. I got the last deck painting done, completing the cabin sides, doing second coats and touch-up wherever needed,
and applying a second coat with heavy non-skid to both side decks. Late in the afternoon I was able to pull the tape, but there's
still some shards left to get off with the help of an Exacto knife and a small scraper. All in all, I'm happy with it and will now be
careful of what I do on it. No more room for abuse and 'take care of it later' crap.
June 17, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

I've been cleaning up the dock and organizing this morning, getting ready to varnish everything I'm going to varnish. I'll also do
the four old wooden-cheeked snatch blocks I've saved forever. Some people eye them with a degree of envy. Someday I'll quote a
price and watch the envy flee from their eyes like a lawyer from an ethics question. Today will also be a laundry day.
Head down and full speed ahead, I am not a man enamoured of varnish work. I do not like it, and I do not pretend to. It is a pain
in the ass for an all too short result. Nevertheless, I have conceded to vanity of having a bit of prettied wood on the boat, and the
minute it gets to aggravating it will be stripped and painted like everything else. There is something about over-varnished boats
that makes them look like vulgar people wearing too much make-up or sporting too many shiny baubles. Besides that, bright
work is a pain in the ass. But then, I've said that.

I sanded and wiped down the pieces and applied the first coat of varnish. I don't know what happened to my brand new can of
good varnish - it's either here somewhere or I gave it to someone, but all I have is an unopened quart of Interlux 100 HiSpeed
varnish (not my first choice, really) with a lid so rusty that it crumbled when I took it off. So, after the first coat, I actually
slobbered on (too thick) two more coats in the blazing sun ( a no-no - causes curdling, which it did). When it dries hard in
another day or so, I'll give it a light hand sanding and apply one more spare coat for a nice bright shiny look.

Uh-oh. Thunder. I have to go put the hatch back on or cover the opening before it rains inside the boat. See you tomorrow. I'm
going out with Donny and Barb, who are bringing me out to eat for this, my birthday. I can't say how old I am because numbers
don't go that high. Okay, 62. But I hardly feel a day over 60.
June 20, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

It is Saturday morning and already oppressively hot and muggy. I got the varnish sanded and re-coated yesterday and will be
installing it all today. I'm also engaged in re-lacing and re-connecting all the lines I removed to facilitate the deck painting and
have already done the main halyards and mainsheets. Push has come to shove on two other small pieces of deck hardware that
have been waiting for me to design and build them. They are line guides for the four foremast halyards that are intended to keep
the lines off the deck in the long run from the forward direction changing sheaves to the four-gang line clutch at the rear edge of
the cabin top. Lines that lie on the deck get notoriously dirty and quickly develop mold. I'll be making them today out of white
Starboard.

Below are some shots of the varnish in as good a condition as it gets to be this time around. It is at a level of acceptance that I
like to refer to in the highly technical term of 'good enough' and I am braced for having it annoy me a little until I can get around
to doing it really nice.

There is also a shot of four sailboats who came in together yesterday and have left together this morning. They are a source of
wonderment to me. How can you go off for fun and adventure in a sailboat if you are tethered to three other boats? Have these
people never gone on a family vacation? Do they not know the meaning of 'getting away from it all'? Do they not realize that a
big, annoying part of 'IT' is populating those nasty vessels attached to their hip? Oh, well. To each his own.
I managed to get some stuff done this morning - polishing the
shafts and lubricating the sheave and mechanisms in the old
wooden-cheeked snatch blocks, plus assembling them. They are
ready for installation. I also got the hardware all back on the
companionway doors and I removed the hatch once more and
relieved the drain holes, then lubed the tracks and re-installed
the sliding/lifting hatch. Then the headache started running me
down. I had to take Wal-dryl and Excedrin and lie down as the
temperature outside soared and the boat became a stuffy
sweat-box. Another high-temp record-making day with 'feels
like' temperatures over 110. This sucks.
June 22, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina -
Cortez, Florida

I got the rest of the lines laced through the deck organizers and
turning blocks, so now I can measure for the two new line
guides and make them up. I also finished installing the
June 23, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina -
Cortez, Florida

We went to Marine Surplus yesterday and Ed had a good look
around. Geoff and I settled for a couple of pieces of Starboard
where one, the 1/4" sheet, was all his and the other, a 3/4" gray
piece, we split. I will use a piece of that to make my little
Compass table for the cockpit. Now I have to round out that
design and assemble the tools and materials. The device will
hold the compass, the GPS, and have at least one 12v socket for
accessories, probably two. The accessory sockets are for a
million CP spotlight and cellphone charger. I also still need to
get the VHF radio mounted and the autopilot control mounted.
June 24, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina -
Cortez, Florida
I was greeted by Paul this morning and he told me I had to
clean up the dock and how mad Ham was about the situation.
He tried to stick up for me a bit, but I think we all know I've
been pushing it and have already gotten away with much more
than I should have. So, I cleaned up the dock and it's coming
along fine. There is the table with just the stuff I'll be working
on today, the sheets of insulation and fiberglass that I'll be
working on today, and the last of the odd crap that I have to put
in the truck is on top of the dock boxes. I also put the mast on
the dinghy and will put the rest of the dinghy stuff in it. I put
the anchors and rode up on the foredeck and will have a few
much larger diameter tube and I think it looks pretty good. This finishing of the outside of Falcon is a huge achievement in the
completion of the boat. It means the end is near.

I got the headache with a vengeance this afternoon and finally threw in the towel and took the pills.
companionway doors and both additional sun shades. When the tide was full high there was only about a foot from the docks to
the surface, so I slid the dinghy in and rowed it around for a while. It feels quite stable and rows easily. Now I have to get some
flotation installed so I dare to put up the mast and try sailing it. Here are a few pictures I took this morning.
hours of work up there splicing the rode to the chains and stuffing it all into the rode lockers, but at least it's off the dock. I'm
soaked through with sweat. I hope it's lowering my cholesterol.
July 20, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

I will drill the holes in the forward rode lockers and get the anchor rodes stowed, clear the decks and clean out the cockpit. I need
to finalize the compass/GPS mount, re-install the engine and get serious about wiring up as much stuff as I can. Which brings
me to the much delayed electrical panel. I have most of the materials, ready and waiting, and I will build and install my own
electrical distribution panel.

Rats - I forgot - I've got to install my two main bilge pumps and fix that damn hatch leak, before anything else. Maybe I should
make another list somewhere. Right now, I'm cleaning up outside and getting ready for the day and cleaning out the cockpit.

I drilled the holes through the bottom of the forward rode lockers and vacuumed them out for the first time since I built the
boat, then finished both of the nylon rode splices and rove the rodes through the holes and tied them off. I just managed to get
the entire 165 feet of 5/8 inch rode and 200 feet of chain into the port rode locker and secured the chain to the 35 pound Delta
anchor. For the 45 pound Spade anchor on the starboard side, I spliced a stainless thimble to the free end of the 215 feet of 5/8
inch nylon rode and installed a shackle to allow easy connection to the 200 feet of chain. I'll paint the last 10 or 20 feet of chain
bright red so I can see when the end is near. That will give me time to cleat off the chain and attach the nylon, for a total of 415
feet on the primary anchor.
July 21, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

I will be doing some things today, but it's hard to say what. I have a few items staring right at me and I think I will start right on
them to get going, but will then put together a more organized sequential approach to the jobs that will most quickly prepare
Falcon for travel. I mean, for the dinghy, I can strip and paint the oars, make the electrical extension for the pump, attach the
centerboard cap, rig the mast and take it for a sail. Though, honestly, I don't like the shrouds. They are too stretchy and put too
much strain on the forward seat and mast step. I will be replacing them with SS wire, so the sail is probably out. I haven't   done
this much work to start destroying it by being too lazy to replace the shrouds. The thing is, I HAVE the wire - I just need to use it
to size the jibs before I go cutting it up.

I have already cut most of the 1/2 inch silver-backed sheet insulation into the proper width to fit between the roof carlings in the
cabin, so all that's left there to get that installation going is to cut down the 100 or so bolts that extend down from the cabin deck
where all the hardware above is bolted on. Let's get an accurate count here. . . . . Okay, there are 96 of them, ranging in size from
3/8 inch down to #10.

I also need to get going on the installation of the 2 1/2 inches of main deck insulation (same stuff as the flotation with a layer of
the 1/2 inch silver-back added) so I can use up the big chunk of that I have left over and get all the insulation jobs out of the way.
The sooner they are done, the sooner I can apply the huge rolls of material I've been carrying around forever to the interior of the
boat. Yeah, okay, that's enough thinking. Time to get moving and get some of this done.
I cut the blade and palm grip off an old canoe paddle, slotted it, drilled it, sanded it and had a tiller. Next, I sanded down the oars
for the dinghy and slapped a coat of Volan on the blades because they were starting to come apart. It blistered some in the
midday heat, but it will still do the job just fine.

I got the two props out of the van, along with a gallon of Interprotect 2000 and a gallon of West red bottom paint. The props got a
light sanding and will get primed and painted, ready for installation.
July 22, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

The no-see-um's are out on force recently and this morning is no exception. We had an extremely low tide last evening and have
been having very high tides as well, combining to make almost a 5 foot tidal swing here, which is HUGE for an area that usually
has no more than a 3 foot swing from high to low. There will be a gathering/dock party tonight because Warren and Laurie are
coming up to visit from Fort Myers. It's so sad that Espin isn't here. He hasn't seen them since they crashed into his boat and I'm
just SURE he misses them.

I will try hard to get more work done today. We'll see how it goes by tonight.
By the way, I also made the bilge pump cable for the bilge, looked over a couple of things for the electrics, and wiped down and
primed the props. So far this morning, I have sanded and painted two coats on the tiller and oars. The props will need a bit of
touch-up sanding before bottom paint. This primer tends to made drips.
May 27, 2009 - July 22, 2009