Sailboats require a lot of work to maintain, upgrade, and keep in working condition. I think it’s fairly typical for a liveaboard sailor to spend only ten percent of their time on the boat actually sailing, and that figure might even be generous. The rest of the time is spent living, doing things such as sleeping and cooking. It appears as though I spend a lot of time keeping things organized. And, of course, a significant amount of time is spent working on the boat.
Winter is half over and I haven’t made a dent in my project list. Every weekend I am doing something. I’ve maintained a steady, but slow, pace as I progress through one project then the next. Not only am I working on the boat, but I am also getting an education in the process.
I wish I had a video camera running when I was changing the engine oil. Somehow, and I still don’t know how, but somehow oil ended up on the cabin ceiling as far forward as the salon. It was splattered everywhere, but miraculously not a drop landed on anything fabric, so the cleanup was simple.
I think I have a boat angel on my shoulder. As a newbie liveaboard, I can honestly say I have made many successful improvements to the boat, but (fingers crossed) no set backs…yet.
I met Sara when I first arrived here. Sara is an excellent sailmaker who is teaching me her craft. She has a chilly loft situated right on the ocean above a wooden boat building shop and only a quick bike ride from my boat. When I walk in the door I am always greeted by a bowl full of sweets and a welcoming, sing-song “Hello” from Sara. Sara and I spend our time together listening to the radio, chatting about this or that, and working on our projects.
I enjoy sewing and making things with my own hands, useful things for my boat. But even more, I enjoy sewing with Sara, like I enjoyed shoveling with Grandpa. This is what I see as two important aspects of simple living: sharing time with good folks and learning skills that allow you to be self-reliant.
Here is my most current list of projects I would like to do before I sail this spring.
Fall/Winter/Spring Boat Project List:
1) strip and Cetol the teak on deck
2) change engine oil
3) winterize engine
5) cover boat
6) wax the boat on deck and the topsides
7) take apart and clean the winches
9) sand and varnish wood bookshelf rails
9) fix the head
10) angle the cleats on the boom to have a fair lead
11) make the forward berth cushions
12) replace the broken diamond pad eye on the port quarter
13) repair canvas tears and zipper in dodger
14) replace window in dodger
15) remove extra holding tank and plumbing
16) build secondary anchor chair locker and deck spill pipe
17) connect forward and aft cabin with a tunnel for Dory the cat
18) make a kitty door in the door to the head for Dory the cat
19) make companionway drop screen
20) sew canvas cover for aft cabin companionway
21) make companionway step in aft cabin
22) install clear panels in canvas hatch cover
23) varnish tiller
24) measure and mark anchor rode
25) wax in the swages on the standing rigging
26) sand, paint, name, and install gunwales on dinghy
27) purchase and install solar panel, and build stainless steel tower for them
28) purchase and install monitor and wind vane
29) replace anchor rode with 180ft of anchor chain
30) install two new batteries
31) cover mast with a tarp for winter storage
32) sand, varnish, and install compass rack
33) insulate the lockers for winter
34) split aft cabin cushion into two cushions
35) make and install book shelf rails
36) repair hole in rubber boots
37) varnish interior
38) install battery monitor
39) make shelf in aft cabin
40) cover aft cabin foam cushion
41) install forward shelf
42) make forward berth cushins
43) install and wire inverter
44) install propane sniffer
41) sail south for next winter!