Friday, February 26, 2010

The Journey is upon us

Well folks this is it. Tomorrow morning, if the weather doesn't deteriorate I will be taking Windsong out of Inglis to Gulfport, FL with my friend Jeff to help. It will be my first overnight sail, but I have been mentally preparing for it for months. I feel confident in my preparations and am ready to get it done. I changed my plans on taking it to Tarpon Springs, so now I am going further south to Gulfport near St. Petersburg. I thought about how I would have to do an overnight sail to Tarpon Springs, but would have to stop at some point to wait for daylight to enter the channel. Without a depth sounder I need to be sure where I am so daylight is required to enter. I figured why not continue sailing through the night and end up in St. Pete the next day? If things go well, I have Jenny for a whole week in two weeks to continue the ride south, through the Okeechobee waterway and up the East Coast. I have plotted a course of offshore buoys in the area and do not feel it will be difficult to follow.

The weather looks rainy and chilly, but the winds are favorable for the ride and not too high. If it looks real bad tomorrow morning we will call it off, but it has been looking better throughout the day. All of my foul weather gear is packed and safety procedures reviewed.

Forecast as of 8:00 pm Friday

Northeast winds around 10 knots in the morning becoming southeast 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon. Seas 2 to 3 feet building to 3 to 5 feet in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop becoming a moderate chop. A chance of showers in the morning...then showers likely in the afternoon.
Saturday Night
Northwest winds around 15 knots. Seas building to 4 to 6 feet. Bay and inland waters choppy.
Northwest winds around 20 knots. Seas 4 to 6 feet. Bay and inland waters choppy.

I have a slip on hold at Gulfport Municipal Marina for Sunday. I will keep the boat there for about a week then begin to take Windsong further south.

Wish me luck! The float plans have been left with loved ones and I'll call the coast guard in the morning to give it to them as well.

Friday, February 12, 2010

THE Project List

THE Project List

♫Dun dun dunnnnnn.....♫

What I have here is the project list for Windsong. This will be an ever evolving list, and even now is only a quick outline of things I anticipate in the near future. If one thing I have learned from other boat owners is, the list never ends. But this is the near-term list of things I hope to get done in the next year or so.

1. Before leaving Inglis:

-Remove as much interior woodwork as possible
---Begin refinishing wood - clean, strip, sand, varnish
-Begin any other prep work (remove headliner, cleaning, remove rotten bulkheads, etc.)
-Seal portlights with some silicon to temporarily stop leaks. - done
-Put all safety gear on board - jackets, flares, fire extinguishers, first aid kit
-Get dinghy on board

2. Before transport to boat yard:

-Remove Mast (please comment on Mast Removal, I need to do it soon so I could use some advice)
---Remove sails (how do you remove the roller furling?)
---Secure or remove running rigging
---Remove booms & hardware
---Remove lower spreaders
---Cut/undo mast-head light & instrument wiring
---Attach crane
---Remove uppers
---Remove Mast

-Take down bimini, dodger & frame
-Remove hardware (lifelines, stanchions, etc.)
-Empty tanks
-Secure everything inside
-Winterize E (would it be a different process if it is Summer)

3. In Boat Yard:

Bottom & hull
-Remove bow decorative piece
---Refinish or replace piece
-Scrape or grind off paint to gelcoat
-Grind out & clean blisters
-Let hull & blisters dry out
-Inspect propeller, shaft, cutlass bearing, etc.
---Repair, Refurbish or Replace as necessary
-Inspect and rudder
---Repair, Refurbish or Replace as necessary
-Clean, dewax and sand hull above the waterline
-Repair any damage
-Apply epoxy barrier coat to hull-side and bottom
-Apply white paint to topsides
-Apply paint to top stripe (green or blue???)
-Apply anti-fouling bottom paint
-Paint bootstripe
-Apply name

-Remove headliner to access hardware
-Remove all deck hardware
---Polish/Refinish or replace hardware, service winches & windlass
-Remove all portlights
---Order new windows (where from?)
-Remove steering column
---Refinish wheel, binnacle & compass.
-Remove cockpit instruments and panels
-Remove teak handrails, captrail, bowsprint & trim
---Clean, sand & refinish teak (how to finish: varnish, 2 part poly, or leave bare)
-Clean, de-wax & sand decks
-Repair core damage
---Known problem areas: cockpit sole, under mast
-Grind cracks
---Dremel tool
---Fill & fair deepest cracks
-Apply epoxy primer (all at once or tape off non-skid areas and do separately?)
-Paint bare areas white
-Paint non-skid off white or beige
-Seal hull to deck joint
-Attach all teak pieces & seal where necessary
-Re-bed all hardware (rigging, stanchions, etc.)
-Attach steering column
-Re-bed cockpit instruments

Mast & Booms
-Remove all hardware & rigging
---Inspect, refinish or replace as necessary (wire & hardware, spreaders)
-Remove all lights, instruments wires (leave messenger line)
-Clean running rigging
-Clean, sand and paint mast & booms
-Attach all hardware and rigging
-Attach new instruments & lights
-Run wiring
-Raise mast & rigging to finished deck
-Assemble booms & hardware
-Attach sails

Finishing touches
-Make new or repair all canvas (sail covers, bimini, dodger)
-Attach bimini & dodger frame & canvas
-Attach sails

Interior projects
-Remove & refinish all wood (trim, doors, cabinets, companionway stairs)
-Remove all rotten bulkheads
---Repair or replace bulkheads
-Remove all laminate tops
-Inspect galley systems (refrigeration, gas & stove)
---Repair or replace
-Remove all old wiring, leave messenger lines where necessary
-Remove all old plumbing (pipes, pumps, head, sinks, water heater, strainers)
-Clean all tanks
---Remove large parts, remove rust, re-paint
---Replace all hoses
---Refurbish raw water strainer
---Maintenance as needed
-Clean out chain locker
---Figure out locker options (lead to under berth? how to seal off?)
-Clean & sand all surfaces & lockers
-Clean bilge
-Paint all surfaces (formica or paint bulkheads?)
-Install new plumbing
-Install new wiring & electronics
-Apply new formica surface tops
-Install trim, bung, varnish
-Install cabinets, doors, companionway stairs

And so on, and so on....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

January Projects

In my time off I have been busy stripping and sanding various pieces of woodwork from the boat. I spend a few hours a day working on it and have developed a good rhythm and process to prepare the woodwork for varnishing. I ordered some Interlux Compass and Goldspar Satin varnish and will begin to apply them this week. As you can see below, I have a box full of cabinet doors, trim, all 3 doors and a few other random pieces already done. I went back to the boat this weekend with my friend Jeff to gather more wood, as I had finished prepping all the wood I had. We have pretty much completely removed all wooden pieces from the v-berth and I can start to feel the progress.

Stripped and sanded wood, ready for varnishing:

The v-berth, mid wood removal. You can also see that I've removed all of the headliner as well:

This past weekend I also sealed up the portlights (windows) with some silicon sealant. This is a temporary measure to eliminate leaks until I start to remove and replace everything. All of the windows leak so something needed to be done until I could replace them.

So this week I have quite a bit more wood to strip and sand, but will also start the varnishing. I am excited to see some finished product after all of the hours I've put into the woodwork. A lot of the pieces will need to be re-installed on the boat before I can finish them, as they need to have bungs (wooden plugs to hide the screws) installed before finishing.

I also cleaned up and tested out the 9.5 foot Achilles dinghy that came with the boat. It isn't pretty, it's quite ugly in fact, but it floated well and has no serious leaks. Jenny and I took it out onto some local lakes around downtown Orlando and had some fun afternoons lounging around on the dinghy and relaxing on the water. I purchased two paddles from the Sailor's Loft in St. Augustine and they work great with the dink. You can row it quite well like a canoe with two people. I owned two cheap rafts as a kid that I would paddle around Doctors Lake off of the St. Johns river. They were named the Otter, and Otter II; so naturally this one gets to be deemed the Otter III.

The dink on the banks of Lake Ivanhoe:

Relaxing as the wind sails us back to shore

Good view of the city (and a very fine Jenny as well):