Monday, May 7, 2012

Sharing a comment...

J made a comment on our last post that I wanted to share. I didn't want it to be missed ;)


I discovered yesterday that inhaling paint fumes for almost 14 hours straight makes one a bit loopy.

Yes, it's been a long road, and yes there's more ahead, but there's been a lot of progress this winter that is bringing us closer to the realization of a dream. We work hard now so, as Tom Sawyer reminds us, twenty years from now we will not be disappointed by the things we didn't do. In a few short years we will throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in our sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Another week or so and this portion of our refit will be complete (or close enough to get her home). There's still plenty of refitting to do over the next three years, but those portions should be considerably less hectic...until the last 3-6 months. I think Kel is still dreading her first major provisioning :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Catching up - FINALLY!

I know, I know…  For the few who follow our blog you probably thought we are like many other blogs which start off strong and then fizzle out.  Well I am here to tell you that is not the case!  Sure, we have nothing but excuses as to why we haven’t posted, but at least we’re still here!  Hopefully, in the very near future, our posts will go back to being more frequent but until then, let us get you up to speed.
Okay, excuses – here they are…  Non-boat wise we’ve had a lot happen in the last few months.  J went on terminal leave from the USN, we had the retirement party with good friends and good beer.

J began the search for a job which was then put on hold by our 16 day vacation to Vietnam (an amazing trip!).
Dinner in Nha Trang

Eating fried crickets in Dalat

Tapioka harvesting in the Central Highlands

Elephant Falls

As soon as we got back, the job hunt was back on.  Shortly after our return J officially retired from the USN – 29 Feb marked 20 years of service (way to go J!).  We’re not done yet….  J had some interviews, accepted a position and started his new job, I celebrated a birthday (the big 3-2), we celebrated Easter with good friends, attended my sis in-law and big bro’s baby shower (can’t wait to be an Aunt – only another few weeks and Lil H will be here!), and we’ve both had work travel (actually I am writing this from San Diego where I am for 10 days which I might add couldn’t have come at a worse time since we are scrambling to get Tango in the H2O)…  So, you could say we’ve been a bit distracted with non-boat stuff BUT boat wise, we’ve been busy too.  Of course (in true boat fashion) things have taken longer than we expected, or we were unable to find parts when we needed them or we’d find more that needed to be done than we thought.  Since we are so far behind, it will just be easier to give you a bulleted list of what we’ve been working on.   Here goes…
  • Removed rotted core from around chain plates
  • Epoxied void created by removing rotted core
  • Reinstalled/rebedded chain plates with butyl tape.  Before we reinstalled them, we had a local machinist inspect them and clean them up for us – thank you Mr. Langley!
  • Replaced/rebedded various leaky deck hardware… between bent screws and the extremely small and tight bow anchor locker this was not a fun task!  Due to it being such a tight space, I drew the unlucky straw and got to spend the majority of the time up there.  J was topside removing the hardware and I was below helping remove the rusted nuts.  Same thing when we received the new hardware (West Marine didn’t have the 6in screws we needed), J was top side as I was in the locker installing the nuts on the backside.   It was definitely a two person job.  
  • Constructed winch covers… unfortunately I need to re-do a couple of them. After a fit-check, it turns out the base is a bit too small so if I want them to cover the entire winch (which I do) I’ll have to redo a couple.  No big deal as they are not hard and don’t take long – just a bummer that they weren’t “goldilocks” the first time.
  • Made first hatch cover and it came out perfect!  I’ll make the other five soon, but other stuff right now it taking priority (read: getting her in the H2O so we can move aboard!)
  • Finished the bottom repairs (blisters/voids/grounding damage)
    • Sanded 
    • Epoxied
    • Re-sanded 
  • Prop back for servicing and now she looks brand new!
  • Cleaned/treated/repainted mast & spreaders where corroded.  It’s always interesting working with chemicals where it clearly states “warning – cancer hazard” YIKES! (Yes, we wore safety gear! 
  • Cleaned all mast hardware (thank you Prism Polish – see earlier posts)
  • Received all parts to build up the rigging (all Sta-Lok fittings) and built up all but the inner forestay.  So happy we are doing this on our own.  The process to do it, while it takes some time to measure and lay it out, the actual building part is very easy and doesn’t take too long.  Whoever came up with the theory behind the Sta-Lock fitting is a genius!
  • Big Purchase from West Marine – when purchasing rigging, trawler oil lamp and wire cutters (a few of the big ticket items) a wholesale, military appreciation sale comes in very handy!!  
  • Completed the plumbing under the galley sink
    • New pump, filters, sink drain plumbing, and sink baskets
  • Sanded, varnished and installed  the teak accessories (spice rack, paper towel holder and toilet paper holder)
  • Repaired broken light in forward closet
  • Replaced almost all cabin dome lights and reading lights with white and red LEDs
  • Installed her USCG documentation numbers
  • Serviced two of four mast winches
  • Replaced broken latch on trash bin
  • Replaced locking arm on navigation station desk
  • Removed old Port of Hailing from stern and applied her new Port of Hailing.  While J and I won’t be leaving our day jobs to start a career in boat lettering, overall it didn’t come out too bad!  
  • Removed/refilled/reinstalled LPG tanks
  • Put interior back together (cushions/cabinets/etc)
  • Repaired broken dome light in saloon
  • Wired DC outlet for the TV
  • Replaced the shower sump pump filter
  • Sorted through numerous lockers full of spare parts
  • Cleaned fridge and stove
  • Replaced air conditioner filter (resembled a fuzzy creature) and cleaned vacuumed A/C compartment
  • Installed oil lamp which has been passed down from our first boat.  Moondance came with the lamp; we took it with us when we bought Knotty and now it has come with us again onto Tango.  Have to admit, it looks great mounted above the berth in the aft cabin.  
  • Replaced steaming/deck combo light
  • Solicited the handiwork (again) of Mr. Langley and had our headstay mast pin remanufactured.  With so much of this boat being metric, we were unable to find this pin anywhere!!  So, took it to Mr. L and he had it done for us in an hour!
  • Cleaned and treated the dodger and bimini. We were a little leery when we began applying the waterproofing and it was so dark, but within a few hours it was dry and you couldn’t tell we had applied anything!  The downpour we had a couple of hours later proved our work was a good investment, the H2O beaded off like a champ.
  • Treated the Strataglass on the dodger
  • Washed all the running rigging… I felt like the mom from Willy Wonka, washing the clothes in the large tub of water, agitating it with an oar J
  • Cleaned and treated all the hardware on the running rigging(again, thank you Prism Polish!)
  • Let out the 200ft of anchor chain, cleaned out the anchor locker and installed Dri-Dek (hopefully this will help keep the chain out of any standing water which may be in there when we weigh anchor)
  • Ran the running rigging
  • Replaced mast head light
  • Reinstalled the anemometer, wind vane and VHF antenna
  • Reinstalled the rest of the full enclosure
We had hoped to get Tango in the H2O towards the end of April – well that date has come and gone. This past week, the barrier coat (at least the first two coats) was applied and today J will apply the final and then two coats of the anti-fouling.  As I said earlier, really bad timing for me to have to travel as he is carrying the full burden of doing all of this stuff by himself.  Add to that that we “may” have a buyer for Knotty so on top of everything else, he’s been busy trying to get her ready for a potential buyer.  I say ‘may’ because they are also looking at another Catalina 350 Mk II (we’ve got ourselves some competition) so we’ll see what happens with that.  I may be going home to a bare boat if they decide they are interested in ours!  

With all the setbacks and delays, hopefully we can get her launched and “home” in a week or two.  It’s been a long winter and a bit stressful here recently so we’re both very anxious and really looking forward to getting her back in the H2O and moving aboard!!
p.s. Ill post some pictures of the above progress soon...