It’s been a busy few weeks! This post was written from the office on my second work day of 2019, after a very busy Christmas season.
In our last post, I wrote about having the survey done, and we subsequently received the full detailed report. The report didn’t bring up any surprises, but as all good reports should, it did provide us with a list of things that will need attention before we depart. Fortunately, none of these are hugely concerning, and most can be fixed and / or upgraded ourselves. Our list of “watch outs” includes:
- New cutlass bearing on the prop shaft
- New prop (we want to switch to a folding, 3 blade prop – this will mean faster cruising when at motor, and when sailing)
- New gooseneck fittings
- A good few electrical items – nav lights, some cabin lights and deck lights not working
- Fitting of an autopilot
- New Gas tubes
- Cleaning keelbolts
The other thing we plan to do is replace all the standing and running rigging. The survey didn’t specifically call out that this would be needed, but for our own peace of mind, we’re planning to replace this before we go, and eliminate (some of!) the worry about something failing mid-atlantic!
So, our jobs list seemed to be increasing daily, but we felt very fortunate that we hadn’t yet come across any major issues that would delay our intended departure, or have any huge cost implications to our very limited budget.
The boat was lifted out into the boatyard over Christmas, which gave us the perfect opportunity to do a few jobs below the water line. Marty, with the help of our friend Davy, removed the prop shaft and replaced the cutlass bearing, and we also anti-fouled the hull for the year ahead. This is a particularly grim project, which involves scraping off old paint and any muck / growth from the bottom of the boat, and then re-painting the bottom with a very thick, tar like paint, designed to stop growth on the hull while the boat is in the water. It usually requires two coats, a lot of patience, and from my experience this time, a hat – antifoul paint does not wash out of hair easily! With that mucky task completed, we were just waiting for one new part to arrive, which Marty would fit, and the boat would be lifted back into the water on the 7th January.
In the meantime, there were a few other things we needed to get in order, aside from the ever expanding list of boat jobs. One of the key things we needed to do, and that would be essential to us being able to actually make the trip a reality was renting out our lovely little house in Greystones. We planned to find some nice tenants willing to take the house on a one year lease, and that meant that we had a (long) list of jobs to do on the house, to get it ready to let. This included things like painting, clearing out all of our accumulated belongings and finding storage for them, and tidying up the garden. With the list of jobs getting larger every day, we were now trying to assign time for each job, and work things through one at a time – in hindsight, this was easier said than done!
So in summary, I think it would be fair to say that at this point, we entered into the less fun phase of the planning – saving as much money as we could meant we’d really cut back on all things we’d consider treats (meals out, drinks with friends, clothes, shoes, holidays etc) and we were selling as much stuff as we could. We spent a lot of time clearing out and de-cluttering every room in the house, and being ruthless with what we kept.
But on the plus side, at this point the dream was starting to feel very real, and we were putting more concrete plans in place. My christmas presents this year largely involved books for cooking on board, and I’m very excited about the prospect of working out a new way to live in our floating home.
We had a busy few months ahead of us, with our full time jobs, some fun sailing planned in Miami in January and March on the Melges 24, our list of boat and house jobs, and in addition to that, we were also booked in to do three courses over the next few months, including our VHF radio course at the end of January, our Yacht Master course throughout February (every Thursday night and every Saturday) and our sea survival course in March – detailed posts on each of these to follow.
Until next time….