Not much of a summer…

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You see the flags flapping above? That was the normal state of affairs for the months of July through September this year. From about 10:00 on, almost every day, we experienced winds in the 20-30 knot range. I had forgotten how frustrating the wind is at South Beach Marina. I had exactly 1 day off from July through the end of September where is was dry enough and mild enough winds to be able to paint. I wish that were an exaggeration. That being said, I did have some help for the time I was able to spend aboard the boat:

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My trusty little deckhand was going around the boat taking measurements. She has been a big help whenever we are working on the boat, always ready to pass a tool or board up or down the hatch. Always keeping me on track, under close supervision.

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The other deckhand, the four-legger, takes a more relaxed approach to management. It usually involves taking lots of naps on deck and managing to step in any wet paint or epoxy that may be available.

We did manage to get the salon cleaned up a little bit, install Celeste’s television, and put up Caomi’s lantern fish painting for some color. The TV will get hidden behind a nautical painting on a panel that hinges up out of the way eventually. One has to make compromises when trying to convince one’s wife to eventually live on the boat.

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The life rings were repainted, marked with the ship’s name and hailing port, and 12 fathoms of lifeline added.

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A new(er) and working faucet was found onboard and installed so we now have cold running water at the galley sink. The plumbing overall looks good but I haven’t tested the hot water system – that’s on the winter project list. The water heater can be run off shore power, the engine’s heat exchanger, or the galley’s diesel stove.

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Occasional breaks were taken at the noon hour, to stave off wind-driven depression and read about Admiral Lord Nelson’s battle tactics. Sometimes these breaks were followed by a safety nap, while the wind howled in the rigging outside…

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A little work was done in the engine room, but all in all the summer was not that productive. After leaving the shipyard in June we started getting really busy at work, culminating in August with almost 350 hours on the clock. One of the few things I could accomplish on my windy days off was taking an inventory of the forward deck planks. The rear of the boat had been rebuilt several years ago, and the old deck planks were removed and replaced with plywood and fiberglass. I know. That offends my sensibilities too, but we get 80-90 inches of rain a year, and the decks were well done, and they don’t leak. Contrast that with the forward decks, which leak like Hillary’s email servers. So every inch of every forward deck plank was sounded. The results were not good.

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Over 50% of the decks on the forward half of the boat need to be replaced. This is now the top priority on the boat work list. And it needs to be done this winter, preferably the first half of the winter, so I can complete my goal of overhauling the engine room over the winter as well.

I have spoken with the Harbormaster about getting a more protected spot so I can erect a partial shelter over the decks. There is a service dock next to the brewery warehouse which would offer great protection. My current slip at the and of “A” dock is directly exposed to the up to 100 knot winds we get from winter storms. No temporary shelter can hold up to that.

The other big decision is to redo the planking or be consistent with the rear decks and go plywood and fiberglass. Given our wet climate and the high cost of planking, I have voted to replicate the ply/glass method as on the rear decks. It will be built up to the 1.5″ thickness of the current planks, but will probably keep the inside of the boat dryer longer into the future.

But first – I must repair or replace the carburetor float on the 1939 gas pony motor, which recently failed and leaked gasoline into the engine compartment. Not for the weak of heart, this boat rebuilding…

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