Memorial Day weekend found Keith and I in Napa Valley...wishing we were doing the wine tour but instead Keith gave me a tour of his boat projects and what we had in store for us over the coming days. From the new bunk bed configuration, to the refrigeration, the wiring, the head, the bottom, the thru-hulls.....oh my the list is long and a little overwhelming. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) for Keith I'm a trained professional and I set to work prioritizing our tasks:
refrigeration, thru hulls, bottom, head replacement..those were the primary projects for us to tackle. Some of these were multiple day projects as they required cure or dry time. So I bumped those up our list, thru-hulls and painting the head.
First up - the thru hulls which had us removing the old ones and cleaning out the holes for the new Marelon ones which wouldn't corrode. After cleaning Keith sealed the bare wood in the thru-hull with a light coat of epoxy to ensure they stayed nice and dry...and then we moved on to the other projects since that then needed time to cure.
Handing Keith parts for his wiring project way back in the transom.
Keith started working on wiring - focusing on clearing out old wires that weren't doing anything and organizing existing wires to safer placements. I then took on the task of sanding out the bottom of the head, which Keith had stripped bare, and I painted it with a primer. This had to be done before we could put the new head in place to the newly designed shelf for it which would be much lower and do-able for the young ones. After the primer coat I had to wait for it to dry so I then became Keith's assistant on a couple projects, wiring and putting the refrigeration back together. I suggested I should be called Vana White but Keith said I was more like a dental assistant since mainly I was handing over tools. Screw driver - check, wire clamp - check, drill - check, and on and on it went.
Here I am battling the boat logos - I swear I read the directions first but the thing was evil and I had to learn how to fail before I learned how to do it right.
A super exhausted me with Steadfast's fresh bottom and new thru-hulls.
My big accomplishment for the weekend was a new layer of paint on the bottom. I buffed the whole bottom on one day and painted the whole thing the second day. My arms are killing me but it feels good to have that task checked off my list.
So in all - not a drop of wine did we taste but we had three solid good working days where we made some excellent progress. Finishing one project, nearly finishing two others. With another few days like this we will be ready to drop her back in the water and move aboard where we will tackle some of the lengthier projects on the water.
As a Star Trek nerd this keeps going through my mind lately as I hear (and see!) the state of things for shore power on Steadfast. Keith started to undertake this project and just like when he did the DC rewiring last year, one task has blossomed into a full scale assault on the whole system. He spent hours crawling back and forth trying to understand where the wiring is going, labeling, finding issues (such as the image below) and cutting old wires that seemed to have no purpose what-so-ever. The end result....we have just chipped the tip of the iceberg and are looking at a pretty long way to go to get things where they need to be. Ever so slowly we are working this boat back into physical shape - though frankly you probably couldn't tell from just looking at her. Sometimes I wish that I could have some of the "pretty" stuff done but when I see what is hiding under the hood it becomes evident really quick that beauty is going to have to take a back seat to function and safety.
Keith is hard at work getting some much needed projects done and we are talking through what we need to work on together when I get there in a few short weeks. When he unpacked the boat from winter storage he found we had a guest aboard. Some poor mama bird made a nest on the wrong boat...one that actually gets used. Keith moved it to a somewhat safe location and hoped that the mama bird would return to finish raising the little guy.
The bunk reconfiguration (i.e. The Pet Project)
One project that wasn't on our To Do list but which Keith has started (I affectionately call it his Pet Project) is to create a full bunk for Elliot, our youngest, who has been making do with a half bunk these past few years. This involves removing some drawers and storage space which means I'll need to figure out where to keep their clothes. Wouldn't be a difficult issue if we lived in the tropics but as we live off the coast of California, when the fog rolls in we gotta layer...hence a wide variety of clothes are required. One thing I can't stand is storage under bunks for frequently accessed items, like clothes, so I'm going to see if we can somehow leverage the forward closet, maybe have Keith build some shelves in there.
Keith seems to have gotten the refrigeration hardware working (saves us some big cash) and is focused on rebuilding up the interior of the frig as the glass has fallen apart from water over the years. Kind of a stinky job. The other big item we need to work on is the shore power. That might have to come in phases though with the first order of business being my office space.
I'm the wife of the captain, a mother of three boys and a PM in the corporate world. This blog is my view of life and activities related to our boat.