Thursday, September 19, 2013

Before and After.

by Allison

It's only a matter of weeks now before we start to call this old boat "home."  In some ways it feels like we have been working on her forever, and we thought that this day would never come.  But on the other hand, time flew by and I can't believe that we've already accomplished so much!

Let's take a look at some of our before and after shots:
We bought Winbrandt during the winter, and we spent most of those long, cold months sanding and refinishing all of the teak interior.  ALL of it.  To be perfectly honest, once we started... we wished we hadn't.  It took forever.  But, it really does look nice now. Riley built the beautiful new table, complete with an inlaid compass rose, and my mother in law sewed new covers for our cushions.

With just a few pennies, Riley built the new doors himself, and they really changed the whole appearance of the cockpit (not to mention making entering and exiting so much easier).  This is when we finally felt like some of our hard work was starting to make a noticeable difference!  He also cleaned up that side over there with the broken electronics.  He's installed a few others since the picture was taken.

Once the weather started getting a little nicer, Winbrandt got a good cleaning and polishing, a fresh coat of bottom paint and a new boot stripe before going back into the water.

We also replaced the countertop in the galley and replaced all four windows.
And these were (mostly) just the cosmetic changes!  You can read about all of the other projects we tackled (well, the ones that made onto the blog, anyway) under the repairs and restorations tab.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Answer is Probably, "No."

by Riley

So, I think some people may be wondering how I gained the knowledge and competency to take on this kind of adventure? The truth is I haven't. Yet.

No, I've never sailed in the ocean.
No, I don't know what to bring, or exactly what foods I'll eat.
No, I haven't planned out exactly where we're going, or when, or for how long.
No, I haven't planned all my finances out to a T.
No, we've never even spent that much consecutive time on the boat.
No, I don't have money for a new engine if mine breaks.
No, we don't have a shower, microwave, A/C, or a sink big enough to reasonably wash dishes in.

But, I also didn't know how to do so many of the things that I have already figured out along the way. The entire reason for this trip is to find adventure outside of a normal, land-based life (where I was beginning to feel like a hamster on a wheel). I may appear reckless, and perhaps I am. Some people have told me I'm looking for something, I think they're right. I'm 27, and I'll be old with arthritis soon enough. I'm going to live while I can. If I wait until I have the things most wouldn't leave without, I simply couldn't go. Living on this boat has a lot of primitive qualities compared to others, but I believe the "lack of" will do my soul good.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Catching Up.

by Riley

Well folks, it's been a while since I caught you up on the progress. We are getting pretty close to our shove off date. The house is being packed up into boxes and it's starting to feel real. 
I was fortunate enough to acquire an autopilot recently, and was able to install with only one call to tech support. When I was a kid, I always wanted a robot to do my chores for me. IT'S BETTER THAN I THOUGHT! While I do love steering my boat, it sure is nice being able to take a break and eat a sandwich or go... you know.
This past week we took a short, shakedown overnighter. These are always good to give you a sense of what you have to look forward to. Oh, it was so nice. A cool breeze blowing, the sun was shining, but we were in the shade under our new bimini top, with books and magazines to read. When those got boring, I jumped off the side to go for a swim. Did I already say it was nice? 
All good thing must come to an end.

Night fell, and so did the battery levels. Our sailboat had two, 100 amp hour batteries. That should be good enough to run everything we have for a pretty long time. But the thing is, while I have just about fixed or repaired everything on the boat, I crossed my fingers with the battery bank. $$$. I'm frugal, not cheap! So as night came and I turned on the anchor light, I could see on the voltage indicator that something was up... or should I say, down. As I lay in bed looking through the front hatch at the light atop the mast getting dimmer and dimmer, I we had a problem. But hey, no worries! I'll just turn the switch over to the other battery. Haha, it was worse than the first. No lights, no fan, I went back to bed. But, Allison needs her fan. It's 2 am, so I do what I do best. Fix stuff. I put on my head lamp and headed for my tools. Believe it or not, I just so happened to bring along another battery! Actually two. They were free, so I didn't know how good they were. So at 2:30 in the morning I find myself sanding battery cables and turning a wrench while my headlamp is now going dead. "Work faster!" Allison yelled. Sweaty, bleeding and tired, I tightened the last bolt and flip the switch. Done. Crisis averted. Why does it always happen in the middle of the night?

Ok, I made up the part about Allison. 

The next morning all was good in the world.

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