Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bob learns to NEVER buy a sailboat....

Needless to say we are very grateful for all of the help Bob gave us, he worked like a fiend. In his words, he had fun and it was a vacation – the weather was beautiful here and he learned a lot of new things.

I asked what his number one lesson was and he said he learned "NEVER buy a boat!", cars are much easier and once done you don’t have to mess with them until 100,000 miles later.

Oh well, guess we will be the family sailors.

One last job for Bob

As a last bit of work (since we were sending the router to Ohio with Bob, other stuff that we had no room for and the Explorer which he bought) Bob used the router to make hand-holds in the hatch boards. MUCH easier to grip!

Boondog's for oysters

Bob stayed to help through the next Wednesday, February 28, 2009. On the last afternoon we quit work early (about 3 PM) and went to our favorite hangout Boondog’s and had oysters.
Mark and I shared a dozen but Bob took advantage of the ‘all you can eat’ offer and had 69 (yes we counted them!) needless to say they are one of his favorites.

Our first 'sail' without the sails...

Later that day we took off and motored around to Arkansas County Navigation District docks and tied up. It was nice to be on the water but with no sails aboard a bit anti-climatic.

Rats nest of wiring

All the new wiring fit like a glove through the various openings in the mast – now all we have to do is run them to the panel and attach them properly – easy for me to say…

Here comes the mast

After the boat was in the water it was time to step the mast. A crane is used with a harness. Balance is important as it weighs 1700 pounds. This photo was taken from inside as the crane was moving it toward the opening.

SALTWATER at last...

The boat finally touches saltwater again.

Hunt's Castle 'Winter Texans' come to watch

We met a lot of nice folks at Hunt’s Castle where we stayed while the boat was in the yard. They were intrigued by our ‘retirement’ plan’ and when it was time to launch Silhouette we had a small audience for the event even though it was chilly and drizzly that morning.

Here (left to right) is Steve, Merrill, Jim and Bev watching the launch. We motored around to the marina and the gang showed up to welcome us to our new temporary home. Nice folks!

Next the mast wiring and re-wiring begins

Once the batteries are in Mark and Bob begin to wire the mast which was no small task. Here Bob is attaching the Radome (radar) to the mast. We expected to drop the boat in the water on Friday the 13th but the yard was booked so we had to wait until Saturday morning. This was good as it took the best part of 4 full days to finish the mast improvements, wiring, conduit etc.

Batteries fit in the box

The big question of the day was ‘Will they fit in the starboard battery box’? It was a very close call.
I asked if the handles could be removed, it solved the issue and they all fit.
(We left handles on one so that we would be able to removed them later…1305 amp hours of power…1/2 is usable). Should be able to run that dishwasher now….

Ready for 'Batteries Anonymous' meetings

The new batteries are about 110 lbs but with two handles the guys did not complain too much.
(Notice Bob’s left foot in the bucket – unfortunately he is standing in a BIG wad of caulk, fortunately he noticed it before it was tacked all over the boat…)
Meanwhile it seems as though I have been sitting around eating bon-bons and reading trashy novels – guess again. My new nickname is ‘Chrisgetme’. As in Chris get me a wrench, Chris get me a screwdriver, Chris where is the tool I was just using and now can’t find? For the most part I did not mind being the gopher but going up and down the ladder about 1000 times a day did get a bit old.

Out with the old batteries...and...

We ordered new batteries before we left Dallas from a company in Corpus Christi….they arrive and these are the one we are trading in.

New forestay chain plate

The new chain plate is in and looks great. We kept the backing plate (it was on the inside of the hull) for show and tell. It looks like a piece of junk metal, the corrosion has eaten about 50 % of the metal.

Imported drill bit does not work well, USA rocks

We take out a brand new 3/8th inch drill to drill a hole in the stainless steel plate at the bow to attaché a support piece and the drill breaks. Chris runs out to Discount Auto to find a replacement and the job proceeds.

Bob in the chain locker

When it was time to replace the chain plate on the forestay Mark sent me (the smallest) into the chain locker to break loose the ½” nuts that have been in place for 20 years. Yeah, right. I put all my muscle to the task and then Bob comes to my rescue as I haven’t been able to budge the darn thing. He fits in the smallest spaces though he is a pretty good-sized guy. Practice I guess.

Fairing the hull

Bob gets to practice fairing the epoxy on a boat hull His vast experience on doing the same with Bondo on his various antique cars (are we old enough that cars of our youth are already antique, DAMN!) has made him equal to the task.

Cutlass bearing is replaced just in time...

Bob and Mark have done some epoxy/fiberglass work to the prop-shaft and a new cutlass bearing is needed and ordered.

Hooking Bull Boatyard

We are Hooking Bull Boatyard in Rockport Texas (nice place by the way, small and friendly) and still working our tails off. Here the guys get ready to do some patching to the hull. We have removed a few thru-hulls and need to fill in the holes with epoxy. We expected to be in the yard for about 1 week but spent 2 weeks instead.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The family Goundhog saw his shadow in Rockport, TX

My brother Bob is a groundhog and so we got to celebrate his birthday together. He mentioned that it was the first one I attended since he was 40 – I was not invited to that party so I crashed it.

Rose saved me a few days later (I was feeling rather guilty as that was a LONG time ago) when she found a t-shirt everyone signed celebrating Bob’s 50th birthday and my signature was there. Whew!

The Boiling Pot - Yummy

Bob and me at the Boiling Pot – we ordered 2 dinners for the three of us and still had too much….it was delicious.

a little country dancing...

My folks told us that we needed to eat at a restaurant called The Boiling Pot. Seafood is dumped on the table and you eat with your fingers. Since we had to quit working early it was just after 5 PM when we arrived. As there was no bar (a bit early for us) we went down the street to ‘301 Bar and Grill’. Mark and I got to do a bit of country dancing.

David the truck driver ROCKS

David, the boat hauler for Seale Marine did a fine job and the boat was safely in the yard and he was heading back north in short order.

The boat arrives safe and sound...

The truck driver David said he would be at the boatyard – Hooking Bull – 8:00 AM and there he and our boat was right on time.

Our first travel bar...

We arrive in Rockport, check into our hotel and go out for dinner and drinks. Had to get a picture of my brother Bob’s date…oh, no wait this was not his date, this was Dawn – our first bartender at Moondog Seaside Eatery.

We drove UNDER the boat / Picha's Czech-American Restaurant

The next morning we leave around 9 AM, Mark and Bob driving the truck/UHaul and I’m driving the Lexus taking 35W south from Argyle. About 5 minutes later I look up at an overpass and see our boat sitting there and we drive UNDER the sailboat. It was so amazing that our timing was perfect….too bad it happened too fast for a picture
We stopped in West, TX for ‘brunch’ at a Czech restaurant – it is a wonderful little place and worth a try if you are in the area. On the way back to our vehicles it finally hit me. We are now traveling full time! I am thrilled needless to say…

Boat is FINALLY ready to move

Finally near dusk, the boat is ready to go, strapped and supported with numerous support pads. By this time I am frozen solid (not much work for a girl when there are so many strong men in attendance) and the decision was made to stay the night again with Jack and Karen. We had every intention of leaving for Rockport on Thursday and had packed up all in preparation to travel south. So we visit Jack’s favorite bar (The Moose) for dinner and fall into to bed.

The hardtop bimini is removed

Now it is time to remove the hardtop (the windshields have already been stowed) and the crane on the travel lift makes easy work of it. We are glad we went with plan B as we were thinking of removing it with ‘man-power’ while the boat was still in the slip. Later, it took 5 strong guys to move it into position under the boat on the trailer.

Warm weather for folks from Ohio

The some of the workers take a break…as you can see the day is warming quickly and the Ohioian shed his coat.

The mast is loaded on the trailer

The boat was hauled, tied down in the yard then the truck went back to the haul out slip to pick up the mast. As you can see from this picture it is attached to the semi trailer under the boat.

Boat Voyage...

On the morning of the move friends showed up to help and bid us goodbye. Here Mark, brother Bob and Jerry Hayslip move the boat around to the haul out slip while I stayed on the dock to take pictures.

Ice again?

Just for fun it decided to ice up again after my brother Bob arrived from Ohio. He was not amused as he could have had the same in Ohio. Fortunately, it did not last too long and we pulled only one day later.