Week Four (Mon 11.22-Sun 11.28)

Thanksgiving was this week, so…not a lot of work was completed.

However, we did make progress on larger projects that we’ve been working on. 

This week's projects:

·    Wanted to step mast, but going to wait until boat in yard.

·    Finished removing Styrofoam from around old ice box to install a new one.

·    Removed hand pump faucet from galley and tested at home 

Pump action faucet...3 pumps = 1 cup

·     Started removing wires that aren’t connected to anything, removed batteries and battery switches, labeled wires, stripped nav station 

Battery Bank

Back of switchboard
Switchboard madness
More switchboard madness

·     Started testing engine wiring, found the 24V to 12V voltage regulator does diddly squat and decided to connect glow plugs (9V) directly to 12V power supply with new voltage regulators.

·     Painted rust eating primer under mast step in cabin, v-berth, stuffing box, and forward bulk head. 

Under mast step

Lauren painting under mast step

·    This rust eating (and plastic dissolving) primer is really nasty stuff (I have to wear mad scientist rubber gloves).  If you get it on your skin you have to wait for your cells to die and slough off the paint!
V-berth ceiling

·    Mapped wires and disconnected wires from control board


It might look messy, but this is a beautiful sight

·    Tested transducer, radar, and radio antennae…all working  ^_^

·    Connected windlass to 24V, chain comes in but does not go out.  The solenoid needs to be re-wired (no biggie).


Sunday Funday

Last Saturday I called my dad to check in and hear the news from SC.  He said, "I've been reading your blog and it sounds like you and Ransom have been working your butts off!"

This is a fact.

We did, however, implement a policy of taking one day off: Sunday Funday. 

This past Suday we went to a sand sculpture event on Bradenton Beach.  The theme was recycling, and the sculpture as you entered the competition really set the bar.

The Sunday before that we went to the Sarasota Medieval Fair (and forgot the camera).  It was super sweet!  They had tons of shows, vendors, food, and beer.  We saw a jousting match and a live version of chess that made you want to scream, "NERDS!" 

We had GIANT turkey legs for lunch and washed them down with grog served by wenches.  

The bar was set high on this first Sunday Funday, I hope we can keep it up  ^_^


Week 3 (Mon 11.15 - Sun 11.21)

“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”
-Henry Ford

(An especially helpful quote when we stop and look around the cabin, see all the mayhem and anxiety starts to creep in).

This week many larger projects were completed that required small steps to achieve a greater goal.

This week’s projects:

·     Used a scaler to loosen and break off rust under the mast step
·     Removed toilet to test at home.  Decided to replace black water discharge seacock
·     Opened chain locker to inspect and formulate a plan to ease drainage, locker looks good.  Windlass currently not hooked up, un-spooled all chain out to see if end bolted to hull…it is.

·     Finished sanding and oiling teak
Teak went from gray to brown  ^_^

·     Jim (Jim #4) from PPI came by to measure for v-berth mattress and give estimates for cushions.  We cut off the "new" cushion cases to see if interior foam was recoverable.

The old cushions (port side)

Starboard cushions

·     More grinding of water tank lid.  Found an old circular saw blade (we didn't care if it was ruined), that sped things up.  Also acquired a metal cutting blade for grinder.  Top was finally removed and Ransom began cutting out baffles (walls in water tank to prevent sloshing).  VICTORY!  Six days after starting to carve the water tank for a rubber bladder, Ransom conquered the ancient beast! 

The top is off!

Baffles and lid be gone!!!

Ransom the saw wielding monster vanquished the water tank!

·     Leaks in diesel hunted down and remedied.  We got the new glow plugs for the engine, but were unable to crank her because there is a 24 volt current going directly to the plugs and we need to reduce that to 12 volts or the new plugs will burn out before their time.

Engine compartment

·     Ransom cut out steel pipes from engine compartment and cleared out clutter.

Steel pipes and clutter from engine room

·     Opened the can of worms that is the electrical panel.  Ransom played with the breakers, most lights work, but a more detailed inquiry will be conducted next week.


The mayhem that is the cabin...

·     Removed paneling from v-berth.  Very difficult job as screws were all flat heads and entombed behind joint compound and layers of paint.  Had to use a hammer, screwdriver, paint scraper, crowbar, and drill to finish the job.  Cut cardboard templates for v-berth and head.

Old v-berth panels

Example of a flat head hidden behind layers of paint and joint compound

All panels removed

Templates cut for v-berth

Head template cut

·     The rust hunt began, and we sprayed rust eater on any spots we found to prepare for a rust inhibiting primer.

Rust found behind insulation in v-berth (never fear, 'tis all cosmetic)

·     Cleaned mast ropes

See those nice white ropes?  They used to be green!

·     Repaired and remounted navigation lights at top of mast, and re-rigged ropes
Re-rigged mast

·     Radar mast remounted with rubber pads under step plate
Ransom cutting rubber for radar mast

·     Mounted the wind vane steering system

New wind vane steering system (and a nice view of the rehabed teak)

Radar mast and wind vane steering system

·     Rubber epoxied onto mast step to protect deck from mast.  Another layer of epoxy added around rubber to make water tight (not pictured).

Mast step

Mast step


Week Two (Mon 11.8 - Sun 11.14)

I thought I had been motivated in the past, college exams, little projects here and there, writing a thesis, planning a wedding….then I started working on Vitte.  The sight of her in dry dock without her rigging is enough to make you a little teary. 

I’m reminded of a quote from Jurassic Park, “T. Rex doesn't want to be fed, he wants to hunt.”

With this powerful drive to splash her, we work on her every day all day. 

This week’s projects:

·    Mike from the marina stopped by to inspect some areas in need of welding and found they are all cosmetic and not structural.  He also took a look at the diesel engine and got us in touch with an excellent mechanic, Jim (Jim #2, our neighbor is also Jim), who is experienced with old diesel engines.
o  SHE LIVES!!!!!!!!
·    Inflated tender to see if she’s leaking anywhere….and she is.  Another project for another day

·    Prepped radar mast step: sanded and epoxied
·    Met with sail maker, Captain Jimmy (Jim #3), who found the Profurl system we have is not the appropriate size for our boat.  A small setback, but now we can use all the cool Jibs that came with the boat  ^_^
·    Stripped the mast’s rigging and cleaned the ropes back to “like new”
·    Removed foam from inside the engine compartment to see what’s going on back there and if we can put a small water heater there.

It's pretty cramped in here...

Chipping away

Who's a happy worker?  I'm a happy worker  ^_^

·    We finished prepping the interior to paint (taping, scraping, sanding, and cleaning) and put two coats of primer and two coats of a semi gloss topcoat (which oddly smelled like bananas and milk to me).  After drying overnight, we removed the tape (but some paint came with).

mmmmm, bananas and (soy)milk

·   Ransom began cutting top off metal water tank…a job that never seems to end

This is the job that never ends.  Yes it goes on and on my friend!
Ransom started it not knowing all the pain and he'll continue
grinding it forever just because this is the job that never ends....

·    Started sanding and oiling the teak railing.  We decided not to varnish since that is a never ending battle with the sun and the natural look is more our speed

                                    Ooh, lookin' good there teak!


Week One (Tue 11.2- Sun 11.7)

Once Vitte III was safely dry docked at Cut’s Edge Marina, we didn’t waste any time getting to work on her.  The first order of business was to create a nice shady work area by erecting the dodger and bimini.

Second order of business was removing EVERYTHING from the boat for inspection, and organization (one of my favorite things).

Inspecting the sails was one of the coolest jobs we’ve had on our “to do list.”  We cleared the driveway and, one by one, took each sail out of their bags to identify and assess their functionality. 
This is what we found:

·         New Main
·         Used Main (functional)
·         New Storm Jib
·         Functional Working Jib
·         Functional Genoa (130)
·         Functional Spinnaker (with "sock")
·         Working Jib (ripped at Clue)
·         180 Genoa (blown out)

Did I mention I love organizing things?  It must be the Virgo in me….luckily Ransom shares the same passion since we spent an entire work day organizing the hardware and loose tools that had accumulated over the last 40+ years.

The finished product of a day's worth of sorting

Nuts and bolts and screws, OH MY!!!

After clearing the boat of stuff, we poked around to familiarize ourselves, inspected the gadgets and hardware that remained, and prepped the interior to be painted.  

Framed painting on boat

Awesome lacquered print of colonial Barbados behind painting.
Cabin before
Scraped and taped

Taping and scraping

Nav Station before
Nav station after ripping all equipment out to be rearranged or scrapped.