sailing project

After gutting the pedestal of its wheel, instruments, and drive cable.

Living in a Boatyard

Well it’s been one week since Saoirse came out of the water for some final projects before taking me around South America.  This is definitely…different.

Just over a year ago, I lived in my brand new 2,000 sq-ft house, driving around my new BMW while cruising the city and hopping in my Jeep when I wanted to go play outside.

Now I’m knocking on the window of a Toyota hatchback to get the bathroom key from the guy who lives in his car in the yard, if I want to use the restroom after business hours.  And showering in the corner of a storage closet.

It really starts to sound crazy when I say that I’m doing all of this by choice.  The temperature in my cabin hit 92.9F today, my cooking is limited to my backpacking recipes, and spiders manage to build webs above my head every night.

Improvidus, apto quod victum.  Improvise, adapt, overcome.

At least it’s dead quiet out here, with the exception of the insects, frogs, and birds.  And dark, too.  The marina I was at previously was next to a noisy bridge and bright at night.  It’s nice to see the stars again.

Conversion to Tiller

Finally got the steering pedestal out!

For my tiller conversion project, I’ve managed to completely disassemble the steering pedestal and cables underneath.  After hacking away at the sealant with a knife, I had to use some brute force to detach the pedestal from my cockpit sole.  It wouldn’t budge, and suddenly…there it goes!  Back I flew towards my companionway, but I was able to catch myself before tumbling backwards down my steps and into my cabin.  And to remove the bolt securing the steering quadrant to my rudder tube, I’ll need to hire the world’s best contortionist.  Any recommendations on who that might be?

Adding Solar Panels

To take a break from the frustration, I connected one of my 25W solar panels.  I have two, for 50W total.  I haven’t permanently installed it on my stern rail yet as I don’t have the hardware, so it’s sitting on my helm seat.  So far, running my cabin fan all day and one light for a couple hours at night, this has been more than adequate to keep my batteries topped off.  I’m confident that when I get my other panel connected, I’ll have my basic electricity needs covered.

Cleaning the Hull

I also washed the topsides and removed the waterline stains prior to the next step of compounding, polishing, and waxing.  To remove the waterline stain, I used MDR Waterline Stain Remover (I was a little put off by the idea of using muriatic acid, so I thought I’d try this product first).  This stuff works well…wet the area, spray on, wait 15 minutes, then scrub whatever stain hasn’t dissolved already and rinse.

Alright, enough of this writing nonsense.  The rain has finally let up so it’s time to go watch the lightning retreat and the stars that will appear in its wake.

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