Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Seattle, July 8, 2008

The No. 1 Frequently Asked Question: Is something wrong with the boat? The short answer is no – we are making enhancements. .
– The 62 foot mast was removed March 18 and reinstalled June 24 with a big crane. The big change was removing from the mast a frustrating furling mechanism and installing a slick new Strong Track system and an electric winch for hoisting the main sail. After the mast was painted we added a new signature – two bright flourescent stripes high on the mast, our own Nike swoosh which will distinguish our mast from all the other white sticks in a crowded anchorage.
– New main and genoa sails (shipped from Port Townsend Sails) will be installed and tested when we return in December.
– The boat arrived in New Zealand (sailing the old-fashioned way) with non-functioning radar, auto-pilot, wind and speed instruments and an ailing windlass (the power unit that moves the anchor and 200 feet of chain). Most of the replacements are now installed.
– We finally got new batteries. We selected AGM batteries to eliminate maintenance. In doing so we may have asked for other problems though. Time will tell. It took professional help to modify the existing electrical system to accommodate these new beauties.
- The anchor chain locker has been redesigned and rebuilt to eliminate leaking and make it easier to pull up anchor with a crew of two. Sounds easy, huh? This work had to be done while the boat was out of the water and took a skilled craftsperson four weeks full time.
– Eight more inches of width to the master berth. It’s small but it’s huge. We grabbed the extra width by cutting out part of a locker, just a bit of furniture. But wait! All the furniture on our boat is designed to be part of the hull structure. This meant not removing all of what we wanted to and having a carpenter make a wood cover for an ugly piece of fiberglass, as well as adding storage in another area to make up for the lost part of the locker. The finished product looks very much like the woodwork of the rest of the boat and when the varnish is applied should look like it was part of the original build.
– All new interior upholstery. Phillip the barefoot upholsterer worked on his own schedule. No matter. We couldn’t have taken delivery until the end of June because the boat was a mess and 15 feet up in the air. Phillip will recover the ceiling with ultrasuede when we return and Wendy the canvas lady will make new canvas covers for the outside of the boat then too.
– New stainless steel arch fabrication over the transom to house the new wind generator, the solar panels, the aft anchoring system, and more.
– Repair leaks. Lots of little leaks. Each type of leak requires a different fix. Each fix requires multiple steps. Each step takes a day.
– In all we have had four or five shipments from the US ranging in size from envelopes to hundreds of pounds on pallets in ocean containers, personally cleared through NZ Customs for our “yacht in transit”. It’s been “Keystone Cops” more than once but in every instance importing has turned out to be substantially less expensive than purchasing the same items in NZ, even with the cost of freight, currency exchange, customs fees, mileage, long distance calls, and mental anguish.
The boat was “splashed” back in the water June 24. With Tom doing a substantial share of the labor and an 8% decline in the Kiwi dollar since we began the work, the project is on budget - if not on time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tom & Hellen,
Do you remember me ? Paul the french guy you met twice in Mexico and in Bolivia...I 'm so happy to have found your blog...so long time I want to give some news...
I'm living in France with Paola, mi bolivian girl friend, she is an architect as you Tom ! we are deeply in live and we project to be married next summer !!
Tom: if you remember Charles, he is living tomorow for Panama with his french girl friend, they'll be there for few years..
And Marie is living in Valencia (Espana)...
hope you're well. I'll take a look manytimes at your Blog !

Abrazo muy muy fuerte desde Francia.
Hope to see you soon ?

Best regards


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