|October 2, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
I'm still here in Cortez after my first departure date has come and gone. A couple of huge roadblocks jumped up and it took a bit
of doing to get over them. Today, I should get the raw water pump mounting and adjustment system built and installed and
should get to fire up the engine again and try to calibrate the tachometer. It will be different now, with all new pulley ratios and
alternator speeds. I'm hoping it will be easier to get a more accurate calibration. In truth, the specific RPM the engine is turning
is not a significant number. It is only a reference, something that I will become accustomed to as a quick point to set to get what
I want out of the engine. I will run the engine at a speed that is correct for the boat and conditions while offering the most fuel
economy. This is a factor of conditions plus propeller size and pitch, and whatever the tach reads is the point I will consistently
return to. If it reads 1850 RPM and is really doing 1600, or vice-versa, I don't care. The engine is good to 5400 RPM and I will
only use that much RPM and horsepower if I'm aground, trying to get off, or in some desperate situation. Still, my head forces
me to make it as accurate as is reasonably possible, so I will.
Yesterday I was talking with Geoff about getting the sails done for Falcon. I am that far along that the LAST big item is on the
It is not yet 11:40 and the raw water pump is mounted and I've started and run the engine, and yes, the tach needs calibration. I'll
have to connect with Randy and borrow his tach gun that allows you to put a marker on the crank pulley and light it up with a
strobe that gives you an accurate RPM. Then you adjust the tachometer calibrators until it matches, rev it up some and see how it
tracks. No problem. On to whatever is next for today.
|October 3, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
I really have to clean up the boat again and reorganize. I know I need to get the wiring going, but everything is a mess again and
there are things I need to get untangled and straightened out so I can sit down and start wiring, testing and fixing anything that
needs it as I connect everything on the boat. I'm expecting trouble with some of the masthead electrics because they ALWAYS
make trouble and it has been years since any of them have been turned on.
I just realized I completely forgot about the macerator that empties the holding tank. I have no wiring run for it, no fusing, no
switching, nothing. Okay, no big deal. I'll tag off the windlass supply power, use a key switch high on the wall to operate one of
the high-amp relays I now have plenty of, and use an in-line fuse, all behind the forward head bulkhead. No problem and short
I also need to make up a master list of tasks that are waiting so I don't forget any more stuff like that. There are so many little
things that I need to save materials for so I can do them later. Oh, phooey. I just remembered I have to go out to the island and
buy that Uniden radio for the panel. Might as well do that today. Then I can go back into 'scrimp and save' mode for the rest of
the month. I should buy a lottery ticket today. I'm due. I'll probably win. Off to make a master list in Word.
Still haven't gotten to the master list. Randy stopped by with the tach thing for the engine and I want to try that calibration if I
can. Like, right now. Be back.
I grabbed Jamie for help with the Tach adjustment and have it awesomely close - couldn't be happier. Dead on at idle and within
2% to 3% at 2100 RPM. Great. I also made arrangements with drew to change my prop next week. It's just another one of those
things that has to be done, so I might as well get it out of the way.
|October 5, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
Drew was here yesterday diving, so he decided to remove my old prop and install my new one. The old prop presented a bit of a
problem, but the new puller he made worked beautifully and the prop came off with a loud "SNAP"! The larger 18 inch prop I
had him put on was a bit of a tight fit, but it worked. I knew it would - I've used 18" props before and like the effect. The 16 by 16
inch unit that came off was still in surprisingly good shape and I'm going to sand it off and paint it and keep it for a spare. I like
it. I actually thought it would be almost dead by now. Well, maybe it is - I haven't seen the color yet. It could be red as a tomato.
When Randy said there was no cotter pin in the prop nut, I didn't know what could have happened, but I knew I'd put one in
there. It turns out he just didn't see it and forced the nut off over it, destroying the $57 special prop nut that holds the zinc anode.
Drew was able to get the destroyed cotter pin out, but the nut was far too damaged to go back on. My first order of business this
morning was to find a cheaper way to get it than West Marines $56.49 price. I found it at Defender for $40 delivered. Another
unexpected expense that I really had no choice about. It has to be done. I thought the prop change would be quick and easy. I've
always done them myself before and never had a problem. Oh, well.
|I modified the mount for the raw water pump
to get a little better position for the hoses as
well as more adjustment and better belt
tension. I think I should also drill the holes for
the companionway door before I vacuum out
I just drilled out the new holes through
Frankenwall and re-installed the
I did get more stuff done today and got the
dock and dock boxes cleaned up as well, but
there seems to be a bit too much activity out
on the docks to allow me to really get into
some projects. I've been getting continually
interrupted and it might be starting to annoy
me. Who knows. It doesn't matter. I just have
to keep on and get these projects done. That
damn Master List is intimidating. I may have
to mark some items to be done at a later date,
after I get out of here and am on the hook in
|October 6, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
The prop nut is shipped and on the way. There is wood on the deck outside that I need to just mark and rip into battens for both
ceiling and floor edge supports and that will be my first job this morning. All that is really required is that I cut in straight lines.
Actually, once those are cut I can start installing them and using any extras to make the electric panel temporary seat and
counter. Once the ceiling edging is in, all the cabin roof insulation - that is already cut and waiting - can go in. I will still have to
complete the fairly complex curved laminations on the inside of the forward deckhouse sides, though.
I have the aft cabin area all cleaned up and ready for paint and flooring. I also pulled the bolts out of the pulleys one at a time and
put form-a-gasket on as thread sealer. I also dug out the long, thin teak battens to be varnished and used on the main cabin
ceiling and the four teak donuts that were once crappy lights but will not be magnet hiders for the four cabin speakers.
I have the headache today but have been taking a little aspirin and trying to work through it - with some success, and some not. I
also think I might have found a tiny oil leak at the very end of the engine oil drain hose. It's nothing to worry about at all, though,
and probably only needs a slight tightening. Worst case scenario, I shorten the hose and install a standard barb and common pipe
plug - bingo.
|October 7, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
Yesterday I started with getting the inside edging up on the deck hatch in the main saloon. It's sort of the worst of the edging
work on the ceiling and required using a piece of scrap wood someone left in the 'free' rack. I started by just measuring out the
wood for cutting, but one thing led to another and the first thing you know, the four corner pieces were made and installed. I'll
need to trim off the excess gorilla glue and cut and install the little filler pieces, but after I round the sharp corners on the inside
edge, I think I'll be able to upholster right up into the spigot and get a nice, neat finished appearance. I'm going to get more of
this trimming and other woodworking projects done on the overhead areas before starting to bring the 12 foot planks down from
the truck and laying the sole. And I once again have such a mess in the cockpit - I did it yesterday - that I want to get more of that
cleared up before I start painting. I don't want to be climbing over piles of tools and supplies with open paint containers.
It's 10:15 and I've just finished with the fill blocks around the hatch. Once it all cures up solid I'll trim off the expanded glue and
smooth it out.
I got a lot done on the aft section overhead with the trim pieces, cutting and installing 16 out of 19 of them. I'll do the other three
as soon as I can and move on to the main saloon. Once these pieces are in I can grind the proud ones back a bit and install the
overhead insulation. Things are moving on.
The Master List is intimidating. So far, after three days, I've only got one item red. Red means dead, and dead is done. I think I'm
going to try making a paper template for the forward cabin side laminations and see how that goes.
|October 8, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
I just noticed that I hadn't updated the date on the postings for the past 2 or three days, so I did. I've been up since 5 AM and it is
hot, incredibly humid and the weather people say we're in for a record-breaking day of heat and humidity. It is now 6:30 AM and
what should be the coolest part of the day, and I am sitting here sweating in the dark. This reminds me of Viet Nam.
On with the show today. I'll continue to install the overhead edge cleats and fillers and try to get something done about those
forward cabin sides. Thats still something of a question mark. I wonder if I really need to build it up to the full 3/4 of an inch, or
if 3/8 of an inch might be enough? After all, the boat has done alright without it for 24 years now. Still, it isn't the right place to
Once again, another very busy morning with visitors and dock talk. Mostly with Espin, who has some issues he wants to address
on the boat. A lot of wild wakes this morning. I don't know why. When I am working on the boat, I'm mostly below and never see
what kind of boats are making them - cruisers or fishing boats - not that it matters, really.
I'm still cutting and adding pieces to the overhead. I discovered 4 more that I needed in the aft cabin area, so I'm doing those
right now. . . . . . . . Okay, done. I now have to start using drop cloths as I start working over the computer desk and the bunk. This
glue is less than forgiving if it drips onto something, and it drips onto everything.
I got all of the aft area done and one full side of the main saloon. Then I went up Espin's mast to reeve a topping lift for the boom
through the sheave at the masthead and down the inside of the spar, where he fished it out. We removed the internal function of
the spinnaker halyard to free up an exit on the mast and transferred the spinnaker pole topping lift to the starboard side to avoid
crossing the main halyard with the new boom topping lift. It didn't take more than an hour to do everything.
|October 9, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
Espin is due to leave early this morning. Oh, yeah, and he has a 'real' girlfriend now. Sounds very serious. Barbara. I hope to meet
her once I start moving around. Speaking of which, I need to get moving early today.
Lots of visitations this morning but they seem to be over now and I'm starting serious work. I'm going to have to shut down the
computer and cover it up so I can finish installing the cleats in this section and start grinding the other cleats into submission so
I can start installing the insulation. Yeah, baby. And the milestones just keep on dropping. It'll be much later when I get back to
It's 4 PM and I got a lot done. I finished putting the cleats in the main saloon and then trimmed off all the excess glue all around
the two areas. I also ground the wood back where it needed to be and smoothed the edging around the overhead hatch spigot. I
ground a lot of the problem areas on the cabin sides and repaired one loose plank. When I remounted the TV I moved it over 1
inch and up 2 inches. It looks like I could have gone more - like another inch in each direction - but I'm good with where it is
I retrieved the prop nut from Angela's office and found Drew working on another boat. He came over a little while ago and put
the new nut and zinc on, so the new prop is all mounted and ready to try out. Unfortunately, the cockpit is stuffed like a
Christmas goose, so It will have to wait a bit.
One thing about creating such a dust storm inside the boat is that I now know where every single strand of spiderweb is. That
stuff has to go and I might just have to take measures to eliminate the spiders.
|October 10, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
The mess inside the boat is legendary. I'm talking about the dust from grinding the cleats even. I still have so much dust to
vacuum out of the boat. Oh, well. It's moving. I'm going to get as much of the overhead insulation installed as I can today, and
see about insulating the deck area above the electrical panel as well. I think I have just enough of the 2 inch foam to make
headway there as well. I also feel good about starting to lay down some of the cabin sole. The whole notion of having a real floor
in the boat after so many years is exhilarating. First thing you know I'll have real storage on board and won't have everything I
own stacked in piles around the bilges. I might also have a real, on board head as well. Things are moving along pretty well now
and I like it.
|October 11, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
I got about two thirds of the insulation up yesterday and also got an idea to help seal it all around. I have some of that
ultra-sticky aluminum tape and I'm going to use it all around the edges and over the seams. I'll probably end up having to get
some more to finish it up, but as a way to prevent tiny bug condos above the headliner, I like it.
I emptied the cockpit out and want to clean up the whole area out there this morning, both on the dock and the boat itself. I ran
the engine several times and tried out the new prop. It moves some water! I mean, it creates a huge prop wash and looks like a
raging river behind the boat when the throttle is turned up some. I started laughing. It might have to be dialed back a bit. The old
16 by 16 that was on there was fine, though admittedly a little to 'tall' for the boat. By 'tall' I mean the 16 inch pitch should have
been cut back a little. Ideally, I thought I should go for an 18 by 14. Eighteen inches of wheel diameter is what the boat is
designed for and the bigger the wheel, the more effectively the boat slows in back-gear while docking. Of course, the more severe
the back-gear prop walk is as well, but there are trade-offs in this and I prefer not crashing into docks with my bobstay and
dolphin striker and having the rig crash down on my head ( though I have taken extra measures to prevent that anyway ).
When I started looking for a replacement prop a while back, I checked at General Propeller here in Bradenton, by far the best
prop people I've found in all of Florida, and they wanted about $700 for the unit - an 18 by 14 three-blade right hand prop. Not a
bad price, but more than I was hoping to spend. Randy had just found and won a good item for MoonDream on Ebay, so I started
looking there as well. I forget how long it took - it might have been six months or so - until I found this brand, spanking new 18
by 15 right hand three blade unit with key and nuts. I won it for $201.59, beating out the next highest bidder by only 59 cents.
That's what comes from having enough Ebay experience. I KNEW someone was lurking intending to bid the $201, so I lurked
with my $201.59 bid and got the item. $25 for shipping and I own the prop for $226.59. What a deal.
Since it was at least a little shorter than the 16 inch pitch, I decided to try it out just as it is. After cruising with it for a while and
calculating fuel economy and other engine related issues, I'll decide if it should be dial back a bit. Meanwhile, all I need right now
to leave the slip is a good bottom cleaning and to get my essential lights and things connected electrically to pass a Coast Guard
Jim came over yesterday and was pretty impressed with the Volkswagen diesel engine. I understand that because I'm pretty
impressed with it myself. Of course, I have also been working with them for years now and, with the new pulleys and raw water
pump, have improved both the performance and the cooling. It's a good item and I might open a new section to the website
dedicated to the engine, providing all the information I've collected as well as the manuals, schematics, and drawings for the
instruments I use and the new pulleys I designed. Jim was also pretty impressed with the pulleys, but then, they are awesome.
I will continue with the overhead today and find my stash of fresh batteries for the camera so I can take some pictures and post
them here. I know I've been a little weak with the pictures recently. I didn't even get any of Espin's new boat or any of the recent
sunsets. I have to get back on the pogo stick here and hop to it. Oh, yeah, most of what I did yesterday was to watch the
Presidents Cup. There was a lot of excellent golf from both sides.
|October 2, 2009 - November 18, 2009
|The pictures above are the first steps in bringing down the edges of the hatch spigot and how it looks when it's almost finished. I
still need to sand and smooth it some more - I only roughly ground it back to even with the roof beams - and I'll ease the inside
edges a little to make the material easier to stretch around the corner as I staple it in. Eventually, I'll have to come up with a
treatment for the inside edge. . . . . . I HAVE IT! Never mind, I'll tell you later.
Below are the processes of installing the overhead insulation, shot 1, and taping the edges all around, shot 2.
|I got the rest of the foam up in the main saloon and taped all the seams and edges in the aft section, but between the golf and the
talk breaks on the dock, didn't get the main cabin taped off. That will have to be tomorrow.
|I didn't notice until I was taping that I installed a few pieces white side down, but since I have no clear confidence that foil has
any effect beyond marketing the product, I can't rally the interest to be concerned. See you tomorrow.
|October 12, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
We got rained on again last night but I can't complain. This is supposed to be winter - the dry season when it doesn't rain every
day - but the weather pattern has just been strange almost everywhere in the world, so why should it be different here? At least
here it's only hot and muggy with occasional rain - sort of like Tahiti - so, you know what I'm saying: it could be a lot worse.
Actually, this would be great if I was cruising and didn't have an endless stream of work waiting to be done. Speaking of which,
I'll finish the taping of the overhead insulation first and start sanding and varnishing some stuff, like the overhead battens and
the speaker rings. I'll also do the teak around the panel and get the companionway ladder apart, trimmed, and sanded, then
varnish the components before rebuilding it with a backplate. The backplate for the ladder is the beginning of sealing off the
engine room. I also have to remember to mix up some batches of thickened epoxy for making fillets in a number of corners that
will soon require fiberglassing.
|I got most of the overhead insulation taped before running out of
tape, but not all. I'll take a run down and get another roll. I'll need
more for the forward sections anyway, but I want to finish these
two areas because I might just install the material and the battens
and call the overhead done. It's just such a huge thing to start
having an interior after living in the equivalent of a bad backyard
shed all these years.
I got the tape and some WD40 and while I was paying for it, I
remembered that I HAVE some WD40 somewhere but haven't
seen it in a while. Hmmm. Anyway, the taping is done. Now it's
time to clean up again and prepare for the next stage. I'm not quite
sure what that's going to be.
I sanded and varnished the 4 speaker rings and the 4 long battens
for the main saloon overhead. After I get the material installed, I'll
cut the battens one at a time and fit them, then bring them all
|outside and align them and mark and drill the screw holes so they
are all arranged in neat lines. If you don't get them right, they remind
you just before you close your eyes every night when you're lying in
I made the pattern for the port forward area of the cabin side that
needs to be finished. It's in the galley. I'm also thinking I might just
roll out some of the overhead material and see how that's going to
be to install. The roll is a big heavy lump that is a foot in diameter
and 5 feet tall and weighs about 60 pounds. Just getting the two aft
sections of the cabin overhead covered will shrink it considerably.
More and more the thoughts of dropping from the overhead to the
bulkheads circulate in my head. And next, of course, starting to get
the floor in. I will be making special hatches in the floor for storage
|October 13, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
Yesterday George Carter offered me a free table at the October 31st Marine Flea Market he puts on every year in the parking lot
across the street. I'm just hoping to have very little left to get rid of by that time. We'll see what happens. The very minute I get
started on the floor, I'll empty the truck and see what I can put on a table to sell. I have at least one big jib I don't need, and
several fishing rods, some charts and cruising guides, some extra dive gear and foul weather gear, and some tools. Hmmm.
Maybe I do have enough stuff to sell. I should be sure to start putting stuff aside early. The FIRST thing is however, I have to get
those dozen 12 foot planks out of the truck and put down on the floor of the boat!
I have the overhead material out on the dock and I'll have to wash it up a bit before installing it. Damp sponge stuff - nothing
serious - shelf wear. I also added a second coat of varnish to the battens and a first coat to the panel trim. Oh, yeah, and taped up
the cabin side pattern and pulled it off. That's going to be interesting. I strung the GPS antenna lead through the Bimini top and
dropped it straight down to the GPS, storing the extra cable in the zipper pouch already incorporated in the Bimini. I may just do
that bit on the windlass remote cable so I can stay out of the sun for a few more minutes. It is hot out there and it's only 10 AM.
I did the windlass connector and cut and scrubbed the first piece of headliner and that is hanging over me right now. The thing is,
I only have a half dozen or so staples in it and need to blast in about 100 more. It is totally working for me. I went through my
electric stapler and lubed it with WD40 and loaded it with a full clip of new stainless staples, then went below and plugged it in.
After about thirty seconds of just sitting there looking around with it's shifty, sinister little eyes, the stapler went
"BRRRRRRRRRTT!" and I just turned in time to see a full clip of staples in a tight little chain fly into the bow area. It was the
coolest thing I have ever seen a stapler do. I reloaded it and it hasn't repeated the performance.
|Here is the first - and largest single piece - of headliner up. It
starts right off as a huge pain in the ass, then backs off to a minor
nuisance, then is as easy as making a tight bunk in boot camp.
That one dirty mark is the extra oil that comes out of the stapler. I
wiped it off when I noticed it on the picture. The staple that was
there is now gone and the spot will be beneath a batten, so the tiny
holes won't show. I need to take a bit of a breather before tackling
the next section.
|3:45 PM and the second piece is in. It's incredibly hot
working in here without a breeze or a fan. I had the fan
hanging from a nail in the ceiling. No way no ding dong nails
go in my new ceiling. Know what I'm saying? The battens are
good to go out on the dock and I'll start measuring and
cutting them to size. Then I'll have to align them on the table
and tape them and mark them for the fastener holes. I'm still
completely undecided about the edge treatment and know it
will have to wait until I get the cabin side finish on.
|I'm having a good time now. I believe I'll take a break and move the sails out of the truck so I get to walk around outside in the
mild breeze. This hot work is probably kicking mass butt on whatever cholesterol I have. That and the oatmeal.
|October 14, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
Today I will start by putting a second coat of varnish on the panel trim and getting the headliner up in the aft cabin area. I will
also cut the battens to size and number them on the back side. I'll need to tighten up the main cabin headliner a bit so the seam
staples in the middle are hidden by the battens there, But that shouldn't be too difficult. I'm also going to move the floor planks
to the boat and the sails. In fact, I might just start moving everything I'm going to keep to the boat and leave only the stuff I'm
getting rid of in the truck. That might make some things a bit more difficult right now, but it should only inspire me to get the
most annoying things done soon. Or throw a bunch of crap away. Either way, moving forward. Know what I mean?
It's only 9:45 and I have the varnish on the panel trim, the two fabric guards made for the cockpit seats, and most of the whole
load in the truck over here at the boat. I am also finding a lot more things to sell at the flea market.
I tore apart the two dock boxes and tossed out a full dock cart of old sail fragments and used canvas that I could not see ever
using. I also put a bunch of new and used canvas bags of various types on the recycle rack along with a partial roll of mosquito
netting. I drilled and installed the little fabric guards for the cockpit seats/battery switch hatch. Now the hatch opens and closes
without touching the seat fabric, so it won't wear it out. It's just noon and time for me to eat, but right now there is a nasty
thunder cell trampling the area just about five miles south of us and I'm watching it on Wunderground, hoping it spares me a
drenching. I mean, after a year tucked safely inside the truck, I just took the floor planks out and the skies blacken - one cloud
actually curled it's lip and sneered at me - and threaten to soak and warp and split them . . . . and give them swine flu. So I've got
my best Popeye squint-eye glare going trying to hold them off. It's working. After I eat I'll start cutting and installing the flooring.
The first plank is being a minor pain, but it's getting close. I have to keep going back and forth from boat to dock, cut here, grind
there, trial fit, grind, grind, etc. Once this one is in, however, the rest start going zip-bang.
Okay, there is more 'bang' than 'zip', but it is slowly moving forward. It's 4:45 PM though, and I'm feeling like a little relaxation,
so that's what I'll do. So far, so good. The floor is coming.
|October 15, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
By the end of the day yesterday I was exhausted - in a good way - and I have to start right off by thrashing some today. The sails
need to be moved to the foredeck and the dock areas need to be completely cleaned up. I also need to cut the battens to size and
roll on a coat of Kilz on some stuff. Once everything is in order, it'll be time to make small planks out of big planks and get the
floor down inside the boat. Even if I just tack in most of the planks temporarily, it needs to get done NOW. I also need to come
up with some palatable way to make access hatches that are both strong ( for the walking on ), flat, and secure ( not popping up if
the boat gets knocked down, spilling the contents into the cabin ). I am fond of fitted carpets held in place by Velcro patches -
especially in winter - and I don't want big lumps under the carpet to make me stumble. One of my favorite things about these
carpets is that the big scrap bins behind carpet dealers readily give up new carpets every few months or year or so, and each
change gives a whole new look to the inside of the boat.
|The two main planks that surround the bottom of
the compression post are the most difficult,
requiring quite a bit of fitting. In this picture, the
only one that is secured has the bronze ring-nails in
it. The next one on this side is just sitting there and
will not be installed as it is. The one forward in the
main cabin is now fitted, but I need to add two
cleats beneath it on the bulkhead to secure it to.
Then I'll need to fit and secure the small filler piece
at the threshold.
There will be very few full-width planks installed
because I need hatches over the batteries and other
storage areas below the cabin sole. I will also be
installing small boxes and partitions below for
additional storage and to control shifting of the
items below. Full planks will be installed over these
partitions to increase strength and give purchase to
the floor hatch latches. And that's the name of that
|The battens are cut and the sails are all on the foredeck. The plank and threshold are installed. I did a few other little things too,
mostly in cleaning up and sorting out. Right now, I'm hungry and about to do something about that.
|For some reason I was unusually sluggish and
tired after eating lunch and spent about three
hours lying down and listening to nonsense
TV while I tried to doze. Eventually I got up
and cleaned up the aft floor section and
vacuumed it all out, then started cutting and
fitting more planks for the sole. The two
primary planks and the threshold between
them are the only ones fastened down at this
point. I need to trim a couple of minor spots
on the next nine planks, Then I'll need to paint
the bilges that they'll cover and add any small
panels to prevent stowed items from migrating
out of the storage areas, and only then can I
glue them up and seal them down
permanently. The sole in this area continues
aft another two feet on either side of the
engine bilge, but I have to narrow the
companionway ladder about two inches first.
That makes it time to take the ladder apart,
rebuild and narrow it and varnish it. I'll also
add a soundproofed back panel to it to start
sealing the engine room.
|October 17, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
I didn't do a log yesterday because we had the 'big front' come through and it took all day and all night, so far. I cleaned up the
dock and cockpit and stowed all the tools and things, then closed up the boat as one wave of wind and rain after another rolled
past. None of it was bad, only bad enough to making working impossible.
Today I need to tear the companionway ladder apart and paint the bilges under the new floors and blast some Kilz on the areas
that are waiting. Hmmm. Sounds like a plan. They said 'no rain', 'cooling' and 'windy', so that'll work for me.
I'm getting good stuff done. The ladder is apart, cut down, sanded, and back together. When I go outside, I'll be cleaning off the
excess glue and blasting on a first coat of varnish. After that, I'll probably get the Kilz rolled on inside here, then prep for the bilge
|October 18, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
It got pretty cold yesterday afternoon and the varnish never fully dried. I had to keep the boat closed up to be comfortable and
finally brought the sticky ladder inside near sunset. Naturally, I was not about to fill the closed up boat with paint fumes -
especially since the paint was not apt to dry for days - so I didn't paint inside. It was bad enough when I brought the still uncured
|October 19, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina -
Will you look at that? I just made a big zig-zag blue daily
separation line which means I no longer have to find a way to
come out even across the bottom of each daily posting.
It is beginning to warm up here and it looks like tomorrow I
will be able to get back to work on the boat. The truth is, for
the past couple of days I have been fighting alien invaders
from another planet in Roswell, New Mexico and . . . . . .
Okay, that's not true. Actually, there was this sea monster . . .
. . okay, I've been lying around watching movies or out
talking with people on the dock about anything at all and not
doing much of anything else. It's been like a vacation and I
love it. But the changing weather will get me back to work
and I'll love that, too.
One thing though, is that I have finally figured how to finish
up the ladder and I'm good with it. I'm going to soft foam and
upholster it for sound deadening and keep it fairly light so it
isn't a pain to move around. I'm pretty sure I'll supply
pictures. I always do.
I emptied all my clothes out of the truck and it's getting close
to cleaned out. Just a little more and I'll vacuum it. As a
bonus, it looks like there's a small digital clock that will work
perfect in my new electrical panel on the boat.
|November 3, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
I may have to develop better food storage techniques in the forward galley - heeyyyy, wait a minute, 'the FORWARD galley' -
yeah, that's right - I'm going to have an 'aft galley' as well, which will mean twice as many food storage opportunities. And a
big 9 cubic foot reefer, so, yeah, I'm good. Okay, then, where was I? Oh, yeah, food storage in the, as yet unfinished, forward
galley. The picture says it all.
|Until I can get the reefer built and operating,
I'm sort of locked into canned veggies and
fruit. While I'm working on 'Under Way' eats
of nuts, dried fruit, and Granola bars, I have
to be careful. Dried fruit is very high in iron
and that is not such a good thing for
someone my age. Also, I'd need to find out
how much sugar is in those Granola bars - I
want to eat food, not candy. Canned veggies
are full of sodium and canned fruit is full of
sugar. Still, in moderation, it's better than no
veggies or fruit.
In the short clear containers is tea and coffee,
black eyed peas, brown sugar and white
sugar. I love the brown sugar in oatmeal. I
only use the white sugar in coffee and you
can see that last of that I'll be using. When
it's gone, no more white sugar. Below,
in the big containers, is brown rice, brown
rice, instant potatoes, oatmeal, Crystal Light
(Jury still out, but decision looks bad for
Crystal Light), oatmeal, red beans and split
|Espin introduced me to this method of food storage and I love it. An odd thing about single, independent men cruising on
sailboats is that they seem to be very capable in the kitchen, or 'galley', as it is. Geoff is instantly knowledgeable of what is inside
all canned foods, and he eats a very healthy diet. Espin owned and operated several restaurants and is an accomplished cook, and
he also eats healthy. Donny and Barb have done extensive healthy eating research and also eat healthy. I have to admit, I'm
struggling with it, but am catching on a little at a time. My condiments, in the left middle of the picture, include olive oil,
Worcestershire sauce (2 bottles by accident), black pepper, garlic salt, and a new item, curry powder. I still have coffee, too, on
the far right, but I may eventually replace that with cold brew tea.
It's still only 6:33 AM and I'm all ready dressed and set to meet the day. Donny and I are crossing the street for breakfast this
morning, then I'll need to take some dimensions inside the boat and cut down the big sheets of insulation into manageable sizes
so I can either install them or stow them somewhere. I'll also need to check on when my insurance is expiring on the truck so I'm
sure not to drive it uninsured. This should be a good day when I reapply myself to the boat. 27 days left. And I need to call
Rivertown today to find out about doing my own work there. As it is, they quoted me the same cost as Royal Yacht in Naples. For
that money, I have to go to Naples, but I should check on doing my own bottom.
I've listed the truck on Craig's List, so we'll see what happens, and I've cut all the 2 inch foam down to width. I'm about to get
something to eat, then I'll go cut all the 1/2 inch foam down. That way, I can put it all in the cockpit and not have it on the dock
or in the truck. That reminds me, I have to go get something out of the truck. The last thing, I think. I'm going to have to be real
careful about the last two sheets of thin stuff, because if I cut that right down the middle and the only way to get the curved
pieces out of them is to 'spoon' them into each other, I'll be heading back to Home Depot for more of the stuff and that won't be
easy without the truck.
|November 5, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
I seriously have to get some work done today, even if it means chasing people away. There is simply too much to do and too little
time to get it done. And it's harder now, with the truck empty and the boat packed with crap both inside and out. I just REALLY
need to make some serious headway on the interior finish as well as the interior final structure, i.e., the holding tank, the reefer
box and chart table, the floor, the head cabinetry and the galley/stovetop cabinetry. This will require wood, fiberglass, and epoxy -
not to mention the design work on everything. Right now, stage 1 should be getting the insulating foam installed so it isn't
underfoot. I'll take a couple of pictures of that right now.
|Well, yes, of course it's still dark out. It's 6 AM in November. Anyway, there is the huge pile of foam all cut and ready to begin
installation, and there is the poor boat piled with stuff. You are looking at sails, dive gear, floor planks, oil heat stove, sheets
of insul-board for the fabric backing ( yeah, I made up that word ), epoxy, buckets of tools and climbing gear. Oh, yeah, and a
small square of cloth from the new sails for the U.S.S. Constitution. But that doesn't take up much space or weigh the boat
down much. Still, I have to get rid of it.
I just took a quick run to Walmart and picked up a crock pot, a pair of sneakers ( on sale for $10 ), 3 pounds of black beans, a
shaker of sea salt and 2 pounds of brown sugar. I don't know what I'll be cooking today, but I'm fairly certain I'll be eating later.
|There's the new crock pot. I threw in some water, salt,
olive oil and black pepper, then a bunch of black-eyed
peas. It's turned all the way up to get started, but I'll
monitor it and probably turn it back to low and let it
cook for a long time. When it's almost ready, I'll add
more water and some rice. Hopefully, I'll end up with
about half a pot full of beans and rice that isn't too
It has been less than an hour so the pot is still on
'high'. I just ate one of the peas. It was pretty crunchy
but not too bad. In another hour I'll add the rice. And a
little more salt and some curry seasoning. Just a little.
The foam is all loaded onto the boat and I split the two
thin panels for the cloth on the cabin sides. They are
MUCH easier to handle.
The hook and loop pad I got for the 5 inch DA has the
hub on it, so I have to do a little quick exchange and
put the old hub on the new pad. Pain in the butt.
|November 7, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
When I moved the panels from the dock to inside the boat, I discovered that one of the four panels was missing. A nasty squall
had come through while I was out with Don and Barb and must have tossed one of them into the water. I don't think I needed all
four of them anyway, but still - - - - - you know - - - - makes you feel stupid for not weighing them down. I tried to find it this
morning by dragging through the murky water with a treble hook lashed to a long fiberglass batten, but didn't find it anywhere.
Oh, well. No big deal.
|I measure twice and cut the concrete board once and installed it as the ceiling inside the electrical box. Did you notice how it
went from being a 'panel' to a 'box' just that fast? That's right. All I need now is a bottom and it will be a complete enclosure.
Randy had the cement board left over and gave it to me so I could use it inside the electrical box - in case of fire - and over the
cook-top. It protects the insulation above it from heat and flame.
|November 8, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
I did get some stuff done yesterday, including cutting the cement board for over the cook-top and moving a lot of the insulation
on board (out of the cockpit) and stripping off the very last things from the dock to the boat. I also removed the sun shade
because the wind has been very gusty for a whole day now.
Donny will be end-for-ending Dulcinea in the slip so she'll be better positioned to withstand whatever pounding we get from the
remnants of 'Ida', who will now be known as 'Ida rather been a real storm'. It what happens to little storms when their parents
name them silly names. In preparation for this storm, I will yawn. It's all I got.
Today I will be removing the extended ends of the 16 5/16 deck frame bolts that have been cutting and banging my head for the
past 24 years. You can't move too fast on these things because there is absolutely no way to back away from this once you've
done it. . . . . . . . Okay, now 15. I just did the one right over my head. Now I'm committed. Next, I will start getting the under deck
insulation installed and see if I can get the cement board over the cook-top installed. Pretty soon I'm going to have to design and
rough in the last structures inside the boat. Not only do I need to get a couple - or a few - more 4 by 8 sheets of plywood while I
still have the truck, but I seriously need the structure and cabinetry to install the last of the equipment that is presently waiting
on the non-existent floor and the deck outside.
The wind blew two chairs off the dock today and I had to fish them out of the water. Then I tied all the chairs to a piling, emptied
the table and flipped it over and collapsed it. Once again, it's almost impossible to work inside the boat because it's so packed full
of crap, but who cares - tomorrow I'll just shift things around to and fro and get the bug, bulky insulation installed and taped.
And once I really finish the overhead area, I'll be ready to install the rest of the foam rubber backed vinyl to the deck undersides,
and two big lumps of stuff will be gone from underfoot. Then some floor work and back to the painting and the electrical panel.
I got another hit on the truck, but I don't think it will pan out either, though this one was a seriously interested shopper and the
other two were scammers. I think it will sell and I'll get my price. I also found a place in Miami that is selling exactly the solar
equipment I want for the lowest price yet. $1835 for the charge controller and 540 watts of panels. That amounts to about 225
amp/hours of power per day, or the ability to be completely power independent at anchor or on a mooring, using just about
whatever I need to - within reason - no air conditioning or all day TV - but I could still do just about anything I want to.
|November 9, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
Today is a pure 'install insulation' day.
|There is some of the new insulation installed. It's more of a problem than just putting the thinner stuff on the cabin overhead,
and I still have to get the thinner, silver coated stuff installed over this, but it's going. The second shot is where I had to move
everything to work in the first area. The things is, however, the more insulation I get installed, the less clutter inside the boat.
|November 10, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
I went through all the wire with RJ and gave him what should be enough to do everything on his boat. I also got all the thinner
insulation up over the cook-top area, taped it all off, and hung the cement board as well. That took a bit of gymnastics to
accomplish alone, but nothing too difficult. Donny brought over more stuff he's 'moving along' and left it. What a can't use, I
move along myself. Today I gave the little hand held VHF he gave me to RJ.
|November 12, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
|There is the board installed to the underdeck area
above where the cooktop will be installed. I'm also
now committed to placing the crock pot there are well
as the electric frying pan. I will keep the electric frying
pan, and replace it if it fails, because I will still want to
fry up fish in olive oil whether or not I have gas for the
Today I'll make up some ultra light epoxy filler and fair
in the joints and screw heads on the cement board, as
well as getting the insulation done on the electrical
panel side. I might get a lot of the insulation done in
the main saloon, too. If I'm ambitious enough, I really
need to get the little trim pieces up on the cabin
overhead in the head and the forward galley. I also
need to take out the BIG grinder and trim the edge of
the cement board.
I just ground back the inside edge of the cement board
and now the entire interior of the boat is coated with a
|fine concrete powder. I opened all the windows and hatches to mitigate the problem as much as possible, and it helped some, but
not enough. The cement panel is filled and faired and the boat closed back up. Now, once again, I need to move stacks of crap
from one place to another so I can get on to the next area. It is still only 8:22 AM.
|The thick foam is in over the electrical panel and all the stuff that was
piled in front of it is now here - picture me pointing at the area beneath
the faired cement board - and here - picture me pointing at my berth,
stage right. Of course, all the big pieces of foam are farther forward, in
I'm about to eat and then get busy putting the silver-backed 1/2 inch
insulation up. Then, I suppose I have to design the structures for the aft
cabin area. If I don't get the supplies here and installed now, it will be
more difficult later. It shouldn't be that big a job and it will really help
finish up the boat.
|The foil backed insulation and foil tape are up and now
it's time to do a little design work for those structures.
I can't just go buy materials without knowing exactly
what to get.
I got some work done on the design of the structures.
I'll have to keep going. I'm not satisfied with the
dimensional accuracy of the drawings and if they're not
right, it's impossible to get a real idea of what the units
are supposed to look like. I'm also just a little
disappointed in the relatively small volume I'll end up
with inside the ice box/reefer if I use all the insulation
I'd originally intended to use. I wanted to use 6 inches
all around, but might have to settle for 4 inches. The
more insulation, the less the compressor runs, and the
less draw on the solar array.
|November 13, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
|The computer was off and covered most of the day and I just fixed it up and turned it back on now. I can just barely snake
through the aft cabin area to get in and out of the boat. I managed to get all the foam up on this side of the main cabin. It made a
huge mess inside that I've just finished partially cleaning up. The foil foam and tape should be easier. I also cleaned off a lot of
the deck and opened up and dried out the sewing machine. All the wood that was lying on the side deck had to be spaced and
stacked on the dock to dry out as well. I also just finished straightening up the dock. And I got some drawings done.
|November 14, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
|The main cabin is all insulated and there is only a little of the taping left to do. The piles of foam inside the boat are getting
considerably smaller. There are, of course, lots of 'bits' of foam lying on the floor waiting to be vacuumed up.
|November 16, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
I got a lot done today and now have much less 'not to be used right now' stuff hanging around. It's all packed neatly away in the
dock boxes with just a little bit of 'I might need this before I pull out' stuff on top. I also repaired part of the colored sun shade
and removed both forward and middle deck covers from the boat and stowed them as well. Richard helped me get the 200 or so
pounds of old wire into the truck. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go down to Home Depot or Lowe's and get the last sheet stock I
need for the inside structures. Right now, I'm thinking 1 sheet of 3/4 inch and 2 sheets of 1/2 inch should be enough. I'd better
do a bit more measuring and design to be sure. My track record concerning the disposal of extra materials is a long and sticky
story that resembles Fred Sanford's back yard. Plus, there are surprisingly few places aboard this boat to store a 4 x 8 foot sheet
of plywood. Tomorrow I will measure and layout at least 9 or 10 panels I already know I need on the computer to be sure I make
this the last 'big item' run across town.
|November 17, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
I am very close to ordering Gore-Tex thread from Sailrite. The thing is, it costs about $150 per 8 ounce spool. For right now, I
suppose all I can do is make use of the stock I have and later on, get the Gore-Tex thread and make repairs with it as they come
up. A 1 pound spool costs almost $300. Ouch. Of course, it lasts forever and doesn't rot in the sun, which is the big deal.
I am also getting very close to making the final measurements for my sails and cutting them to shape. There will be
considerable sewing at that time as well. I will just use what thread I have for now. It is a little disappointing that my center
canvas is already showing signs of aging. Time flies. It's already 3 years old. I think.
|Yes, there is the first trial fit of the first sail: the jib. It needs about 4
feet taken off the luff, which I will do from the top. First, I have to re-
hoist it with the foot tacked and check the situation a little better.
I like the looks much better with the full foot, as Donny suggested. That
way, I can draw a line from a point about 18 inches above where the
halyard is attached in this photo, down to a spot about a foot above the
|clew, cut it off there and install a headboard and a leech tape
and line. I think that will work fine. Once I get that one done,
I'll move to the foresail.
|November 18, 2009 - Seafood Shack Marina
- Cortez, Florida
I started this morning by stripping everything off my bunk
and getting ready to finally glue all the foam blocks together
and make a mattress cover and a cushion cover for it. Not only
because it's overdue, but also because some of the rolls of
material and other supplies I keep moving around the boat are
intended for this job. Also, the bunk structure is the only one
inside the boat that is done - installed and fiberglassed - and if
I finish the mattress, I can safely store the computer stuff on
the bunk and complete the computer desk, the underdeck
over the computer desk, and the shelving beneath the desk.
Tom came and asked me about the truck last evening and said
we would talk about it today. He also said two other things.
One, that he would not have the money until after
Thanksgiving, and two, that he would give me my asking price
for the truck. Alone, both of those statements are innocuous
and give no alarm, but together they might mean, "Give me
the truck now and I'll pay your full price later." That will not
be happening. You see, if the truck gets totalled or burned or
stolen while he has it, all he has to do to me is say "Oops", and
I'm out a truck and the money and there is no court in the
land that will support me. My only possible recourse would be
Civil Court and their only possible solution might be that he
has a duty to return the truck to me as he received it or pay a
Blue Book minimum some day when he gets around to it.
|I also have a huge stack of stuff for Espin that he wants
me to ship up to him. Once I finish this section of
today's post and finish my bowl of superior gruel, I'll
need to call him and get the address, then pack
everything up and ship it to him.
The mattress in my bunk is now glued into one large
foam pad, from nine oddly shaped pieces. As soon as I
can - maybe tomorrow - I'll sew up a mattress pad and a
tight cover and put them on it, then properly fit sheets
and blankets. I should probably also paint these exposed
surfaces, as I will not be finishing them until I reach
Marathon. I mean the fiberglass. All the wooden areas
will be properly finished soon.
There are hundreds, thousands, of things in my daily life
around the marina, dock parties, storms, interesting
people, boats, the daily drama they all swim in, and I
know it might perk up the writing here, but those items
have little to nothing to do with building Falcon.
|I just came back from Scrap All where I got $132 for the 168 pounds of insulated wire. Awesome. So I stopped into Home Depot
and picked up 2 sheets of 3/4 inch 4 x 8 plywood and 4 ten foot 1 x 4's to mount the 110 volt outlets in the boat. That cost $76 so
I'm doing okay as far as cash in pocket. I also stopped in at the Post Office and got my mail and Espin's. I have an appointment at
the VA on Friday and they want my next yearly fee for my Post Office Box. That would actually make it time for me to find out
exactly what date would be the end of the box, so I can start up my mail service with St Brendan's Isle. I may end up doing it
today. I just got back here and haven't really gone through the mail yet.
|There may come a time when I write a section where that aspect of these Logs, I still have all the complete Logs in archive, will
be rewritten into a more personal story others may find interesting.