Thursday, January 31, 2013

Major Projects Underway

While this post will again be about preparations for the trip, I assure you that it will become infinitely more interesting once we begin our trip.  There are three major projects underway.  First is the install of a 6.5 KW generator.  We chose the Fisher-Panda 6500 as it will fit in the confined space we have or such a unit.  It has a Kobota engine and is only 28"x 23" x 21".  It is being installed by Bristol Marine just forward of the main engine.  Because it is a new instillation, Bristol has to build the exhaust system,  install a new thru-hull fitting for cooling water, and tap into the fuel system.  The second major project is the instillation of a water maker.  We are going with the Spectra Catalina 300.  This will provide us with ample fresh drinking water.  Again, Bristol Marine is going to install the unit prior to launching in April.  The last "big" project is the refinishing of the cabin's teak and holly sole (floor).  I have been picked away at it all winter and have about 60% completed.  The pictures below show the first two steps in the process.  First all old varnish is removed with the assistance of a heat gun.  Next it is sanded with 80 grit, then 120, 220 and finally 330.  The first two coats of Epifane Varnish are cut to 50% with Interlux 330 thinner.  The third through 8th coat is cut to 10% thinner.  The 9th and 10th coats are applied with Epifane's flat finish varnish.  The end result is "like new."  Stay posted for more news as we ready Atalanta for the water.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Punch List for the Trip

As Kay and I prepare for the journey, we are planning and preparing.  Below is a partial list of what we  need to do to prep ourselves and Atalanta for two years of sailing.  Hope you find it mildly interesting.
To dos:

  • Refinish cabin sole (floor) - 50% completed as of today: Richard and Kay
  • Refinish cockpit table - Epifane Gloss: Richard and Kay
  • Purchase and have Watermaker installed (to provide fresh water) - Bristol Marine
  • Complete instal of 6.5 KW generator - Bristol Marine
  • Replace damaged hatch lenses - Hatchmasters, Norwalk, CT
  • Install wash down pump: Richard and Kay
  • Complete switch over of interior lights to LED: Richard and Kay
  • Paint cabin coach top: Richard and Kay
  • Replace leather wheel cover - in process: Richard and Kay
  • Acquire needed national flags countries that will be visited: Richard and Kay
  • Upgrade refrigeration - Ocean Options, Newport, RI
  • Rebuild head (toilet) pumps: Richard 
  • Install SAT phone or SSB (single side band) radio for communication - Custom Navigation, Newport, RI
  • Acquire sea anchor or drogue: Richard and Kay
  • Replace screens for 18 port lights/holes - Larry Steeneck, E> Fairfield, VT
  • Finish repairs on main diesel (oil leaks) - Hanson Marin
  • Sail repairs: VT Sailing Partners, Winooski, VT
  • Finish re-bunging teak deck: Richard 
  • Paint bottom (2 coats): Richard 

We are well on our way with many of these projects and have some completed.  It sounds like allot but some of it is just the normal maintenance that we go through each year.  It is my belief that you do for yourself that which you can and you only pay others for those things that you do not have the ability or expertise to do.  Unfortunately, I am expert at rebuilding heads.  Only by doing as much as you can are you prepared to do what is needed when offshore.  Its hard to call on anyone when your offshore.  The key to safety with such an endeavor is redundancy, prior prep, and building your skill set to deal with the issues that mother nature will surely throw at you.  Its a process that can take a lifetime.