January, 2014 Boat Projects, SF Boat Show, and Project Planning

After a brief flight up to Seattle for a few days to visit our son Drew, we drove to Cool Change on our way back from the airport to spend a few more days with her.  Rick’s 2014 vacation day allotment was available, so he took some time off.  We met with Glenn Hansen of Hansen Rigging to go over the many projects we hoped he could help us with.  They included mounting the whisker pole on the mast, setting up rigging for the whisker pole and for a spinnaker, moving the reefing lines to be controlled from the cockpit, adding a trisail track, changing out the mainsheet rigging and traveler hardware, adding clutches for the furling lines, replacing any hardware/running rigging that had significant wear, adding an SSB insulator, making some adjustments at the top of the mast, and any other recommendations he had that were necessary for our full time cruising plans.  Neither Rick nor I have a lot of knowledge about rigging, unfortunately, and with all we have to take on before we leave on our big adventure in only seven months or so, there just wasn’t enough time to learn how to do all of this ourselves.

It was a shock to receive the estimated “budget” from Glenn, but we really have little choice if we want Cool Change to be safe.  So, she is now scheduled to be brought over to Glenn’s docks on February 23, for what hopefully will be no longer than one month.

Since Glenn is taking down the mast to work on the mast head configuration, we realized we had to move forward on selecting our new electronics at the same time.  Wiring has to be run up the mast for some of the new electronics, and it saves a lot of money to do that while the mast is down.

So after doing some research, we went to the first annual San Francisco Boat Show on January 23-25, and talked with electronics vendors.  We are getting a new Raymarine chartplotter, radar and fishfinder (just a fancy depth finder, really).  We are keeping our autopilot but upgrading its controls to integrate with the other electronics.  We are also getting a new tricolor/anchor light on our mast. and of course, changing out our old wind, speed and depth instruments.  All of this requires rewiring throughout the boat, and a new rail guard seated into our cockpit floor.  The vendor we chose will be meeting us at Hansen Rigging the first day Cool Change is there, and their work will occur concurrently with Glenn’s work.  (OMG)

Even more OMG is the huge price tag we are paying for all of this combined.  This is really scary.  Everything else we have done, except for maybe buying Cool Change in the first place, has been incremental, and much of the work we have done ourselves.  However, we knew this time would come.  It is just that it now seems to be happening so fast!  But of course, it must, if we are going to be ready in September to cast off the docklines and set sail for our new adventure!  Oh well, as they say, you can’t take it with you.

In addition, in a view towards the next six months, we are planning the other projects that we are doing ourselves.  We need new canvas, so I invested in a Sailrite zigzag sewing machine.  I love it!  I have just started small projects so far, and it sews like a dream through heavy fabrics of many layers that my home sewing machine would die from.  It is my hope to make lee cloths, weather cloths, caprail covers, a sail cover, and maybe a bimini, depending upon time and talent, amongst a number of smaller projects.

In the meantime, Rick is starting to research an SSB and Pactor Modem.  He is hoping at this point to install these himself.

We still have ahead, a couple of other big projects, such as a haul-out (the depthfinder transducer won’t be installed until the haul-out, and besides, we need a few more thru-hulls looked at, at least one added for the watermaker brine discharge, and we need new bottom paint).  We also will be buying a watermaker and having that installed.  We still haven’t figured out exactly how/where we will install solar panels; they hopefully will fit on the bimini that is yet to be designed.  But aside from that, the rest of the projects are ours – a few additions to the plumbing including an anchor wash-down system and a cockpit shower, buy a used spinnaker and trisail, install a stereo and maybe a TV, tank gauges, etc.  And we are nearing the time when we really have to think about the final details – like a complete spare parts list, gathering all our favorite recipes electronically, getting our medical kit/prescription drugs for emergencies together, figuring out how all this stuff is going to fit on the boat, having our passports all in order, etc.  I don’t even know yet, what that “final preparations” list even will look like – it is all so overwhelming!

They say there is never enough time, never enough money, and you will never finish all the boat projects you have planned, so we figure we will cast off in September, regardless! Rick jokes that he is not leaving the dock until the expresso maker and the ice cream maker are controlled from our autopilot but I have a feeling we will both succumb to more simple living in the end!

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