Saturday, January 21, 2006

One week in Ft. Lauderdale

Progress each day with our re-fitting. Three hatches, the port and starboard main hatches and the aft-berth hatch have all had their plexiglass replaced and have been re-bedded to the deck with tons of 5200! Yuk - quite a job. Most of the time involved in this process is in the removal of ALL the old material of which there is quite a bit. The place where the frames bed to the deck is a half inch thick trim of teak. Nice except over the years owners have sanded this teak down to refinish it. When I took off the frames then you find that where they were it is about a 32nd to a 16th higher than the wood outside this. For us that meant lots of sanding with 60 grit paper until all was brought down to the same level. Others taking on this work should make sure you have plenty of time and that you can adequately cover the open hatches while you work. They look great and, as luck would have it, we had a little rain last night with no leaks! Didn’t rain that hard though so not a real test. The real test will be when we take green water over the deck at sea…not that I look for that!
Thanks to Art (Stem to Stern) for his time and patience in teaching us how to re-do our hatches. We love learning such usefull skills.

The refrigeration has been installed…finally! In the process of installation everything has to come apart. Luckily it all goes back, somewhere. This type of refrigerator is the Adler Barbour Cold machine. I had to make a little structure inside the icebox to hold the evaporator box and then lead the copper tubing along the inside of the box, out a hole on the port side, behind the galley drawers, behind the stove and into the cabinet under the sink where the compressor now lives. (Thus, the mess!) In retrospect I suppose I should have paid a little more and gotten the compressor that has the option for water cooling but I just hate putting more holes in a boat and that rig requires two more and a pump and tubing and so forth. The trade-off is that I now have to exchange heat with the air rather than with sea water. Even though the sea water may be quite warm where we are going, it is a better conductor of heat so the unit can work more efficiently. So, knowing that I’ll try to not ask too much from the unit. Also, the more air I can move through the cabinet the better. Right now the compressor will be drawing air from behind and beside the stove. I plan to install an exhaust fan in the cabinet door that will be wired in parallel with the compressor so that when the compressor comes on so will the fan. This should provide a constant stream of fresh air for the compressor. You can’t keep exchanging heat with the same air! Won’t work. Since in our opinion most refrigerated items only need to be cool and not ice cold I will also build a partition for the icebox to that it can have a cold section containing the evaporator and a cool section on the other side. By experimentation I hope that I can find a proper place for this partition so that I don’t eat up too much electrical energy. The unit needs to be recharged with refrigerant before starting her up as I heard the constant hiss of it as I connected the couplings. Oh well…

We hope the hull is drying out. The only evidence of this so far is that salt crystals will magically appear on the hull and you can feel them when you run your hand over the surface. This is the salt water leaching out and evaporating to the air leaving the salt behind. We put the moisture meter on the hull a few days ago but no real change was showing. Eventually we’ll take readings in various location and write the numbers right on the hull so that we can track the changes. An option to try would be to shroud the hull in plastic and place a dehumidifier or two within. Some say this speeds the process while others say it is a waste of time. We’ll see.

Living on the hard is, well, hard. We have to climb up a ladder about 10 or 12 feet to get to the deck. The land head is about 200 yards from here. There are no lifelines on the boat right now so that working on deck is a little scary and we have to be real careful. Refitting the lifelines and the pulpit is probably the next big project for us to tackle and that will remove this danger.

We also realize that life isn’t all work and projects and are finding time have some fun as well. (Not that working on boats isn’t fun. But it is work!) It especially helps when friends visit. Jim and Judy were in Florida for a family wedding and stayed in Ft. L for a few days. We had dinner together, great conversations, and lots of laughs.

We also had a great dinner at John, Debbie, and Rachel's - high school friends who live in Hollywood just south of Ft. Lauderdale. What fun to catch up on the past 25 years.

What will happen next week?


rich P said...

Good to see Jim and Judy in the picture. We had a good afternoon with them a couple summers ago, but I'm still car sick from riding around the Ozark hills that surround their place. And the ride in the aircraft didn't help me much!

Thanks, Scott and Sue, for keeping us posted on your progress. It's all fascinating!

Gracie Liberation Front said...

When I want to dry something out, I cover it with kitty litter. Gracie would probably enjoy the boat better as well. Just remember to remove the clumps. There is a life lesson for you! Everythings is OK when you remove the clumps. Kinda sounds like a movie title..."Removing the Clumps."

Chairman Meow

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Welty:

A bunch of us are going to be in Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break in March or April. Do you think we'll be able to visit you?

Scott said...

Dear Anonymous-
NO! Just kidding...but if I'm still in Ft. Lauderdale in March I don't thing I'll be entertaining any guests! BTW...sign you name!


Anonymous said...


It's either Irfan or Brian Ruxton qho left that last comment. I ... I mean Mr. Ruxton doesn't have a spring break.

Scott said...

Sign your freaking names!!!!!!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Scott and Sue,

I'm a C30 list member and have been following your voyage carefully. Thanks for sharing. It sure helps a Kansas boy make it through the winter! Best of luck.

Darrell Tierney
s/v Island Time
Lake Perry Kansas

brian said...

Hey Cap'n Snappy. Lighten up. If you're still down in Lauderdale at spring break maybe you can be an extra on a girls gone wild video. I was worried about the Chairman. Given the state of the internet today I figured any phrase or message that contained "liberation front" would cause a visit from the Dept. of Homeland Security or some other agency.

I will identify myself in the future.

Gracie Liberation Front said...

"I figured any phrase or message that contained "liberation front" would cause a visit from the Dept. of Homeland Security or some other agency."

To quote my favorite Stooge, "Bring it on!"

Chairman Meow

Anonymous said...

I would have signed my name and i don't go on spring break. My plans for spring break are to paint my car, maybe if i get my compressor.