Margaret and I have had some long days on the boat as of late. Consequently, I have been exhausted when we returned to our hotel and have lacked the energy or focus to write a post. I am no less tired this evening, but I thought I would put together a few thoughts nonetheless about how the work as a whole has been progressing.
This evening, I spoke to my Mom on the phone. She had mentioned that she watched one of our videos. When I asked her what she thought of it, she said that it was ok, but, in a concerned voice, mentioned that it really does not seem like we are getting much accomplished even though we are working so hard. To some extent, I would agree with my Mom; we are not finishing, or even beginning, nearly as much as we had hoped before we arrived in Georgia. As I detailed in my last post, some of our slow pace is because, in hindsight, we did not prepare as well as we could of. We also managed to get fairly sick for a good portion of our time here in St. Marys, limiting our productiveness. But we also had an outsized sense of what we would be able to accomplish in a little shy of three weeks. Now that we – especially me – have accepted how long even seemingly simple tasks can take on the boat (something that we both really already knew from this past summer), we are really comfortable with how much we have accomplished and how well the work is going.
As an example of the way things on a boat can spiral, what has developed into one of the biggest projects we are enmeshed in is something that we barely had on our list when we first arrived. While I planned on examining the rest of the raw water hose and fittings, I only anticipated replacing the first, short length of hose from the seacock to the first tee. But, after glancing at a few of the other fittings further downstream, I realized we needed to overhaul everything that came off the seacock, which amounted to replacing nearly one hundred feet of hose and over two dozen fittings. This job has turned out to be way more time consuming and frustrating than I could have imagined when I made that decision, but it has also been tremendously rewarding in that Margaret and I are gaining great piece of mind and becoming intimately familiar with the inner workings of our boat. As we have removed the old system, we found terribly corroded brass fittings, low-grade plastic y-valves, and completely rusted O-clamps, all below the waterline downstream of the seacock. We now realize that we were on the brink of having not just one failure, but a half dozen of them that would have flooded and possibly sank our boat. We figure that getting this task done, even if we did nothing else while we were on this trip, is time well spent and aggravation that we can accept.
Fortunately, taking care of all the raw water hoses outside the engine has not been all that we have accomplished. As you know if you have watched our videos or read some of our posts, we have also undertaken quite a few other projects, from the small and easy, like rewiring the bilge pump, to the more time-consuming, such as rebedding some of our deck hardware. Along the way, we have learned a tremendous amount about our boat and also taught ourselves how to do some of this work. In the future, when we tackle these and similar jobs again, we will not just go into them with more confidence, but we will be able to finish them faster and more efficiently. Margaret has also been planning and measuring for a number of sewing projects that she will do back in Peoria before the summer on our new Sailrite machine. The time and effort that she put into carefully preparing for these jobs will surely pay off in the future even though we do not yet get to see the fruits of her labor.
Of course, there are still some large projects that we have not even begun that we would really like to, even need to, complete before the summer. For instance – and this is the biggest job remaining by far – the mast has not been down in at least six, but maybe as many as ten, years. We need to pull it off the boat, check all the fittings, remove most of them, and, probably, replace a few of them. While we are at it, we are going to replace the last pair of original stays and the original chainplates. Obviously, that work is going to take weeks and probably involve the assistance of a rigger. I don’t think we ever seriously believed we were going to get this all completed during this trip, but we had hoped to get all the stays off and remove the mast at this time. Now, Margaret and I are discussing our options for getting this and a few other jobs done before we splash in May. Most likely, I will be spending a few more weeks down here in Georgia sometime soon. However, I will not be enjoying the relative comforts of hotel living, but instead bunking on the boat. But all those plans are still in their infancy. We will be sure to let you know how they develop.
And here is video of today’s work (minus some rebedding that I finished this morning before the rain arrived).