Friday, April 26, 2013

The 2013 Season Begins

Finally, after a month of preparing Atalanta for launch she is in the water.  Springtime in a boat yard is a wonderful time of the year.  The yard is full of sailors working on their boats.  Best of all is the day it culminates in the launch.  After doing this my whole life I still get "the feeling" on launch day.  The crew at Bristol Marine do a great job handling your boat as is transitions from land to water.  Mike and his crew move 35,000 pound boats like their toys.  Atalanta successfully launched once the tide was high enough to give her five and a half feet in the launching well.  Once in, we checked all the through hulls, sea cocks and the stuffing box for leaks.  All was well.  We commissioned the water system, engine, generator, and heads for the year.  Now all thats left is putting her in order, making the interior livable, and enjoying.  Here's to the new year.  Hope to see you onboard.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Almost In

After a great deal of preparation, Atalanta is now ready to launch.  The hull is polished, the bottom is painted (thanks Chad) and the interior is on its way to being livable.  While there is a great deal that needs to happen to commission Atalanta for the new season, being in the water is a big step.  We hope to be in the water by the 25th.  Once in, we will need to commission all of the systems including water, engine, generator, water maker, refrigeration, and more.  Each year, Atalanta becomes better with small (sometimes not to small) upgrades and refinishing.  We need to do more varnishing to get her in shape.  Fortunately, Richard finds this therapeutic.

Planning for "living aboard" continues.  Kay and Richard visited the UVM travel clinic to get immunizations for areas that we anticipate visiting.  Yellow Fever, Malaria, Hepatitis A, and Tetanus all needed to be considered.  After being poked with lots of needles, we are good to go.  Last in this regard is to consider areas that have Malaria and figure out how long we will be in those regions.  Based on this calculation, we can figure out how many pills we will need to protect against this disease.

More to come once we are in the water.  Stay tuned.
Biistol Harbor

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Launching in two weeks!

April showers bring ……..   It’s time to prepare for launching the week of April 22nd by getting jobs that must be accomplished “on the hard” taken care of.  These include preparing the shaft and maxi-prop (lubrication, checking the cutlass bearing, cleaning and painting with anti-fouling paint), sanding and painting the bottom with two coats of Pettit Ultima 60 and cleaning and polishing the hull.  These jobs will take about four full days.  Before Atalanta is launched we also need to check the through hull fittings, seacocks (9), and hoses that could allow water to enter the boat. Most everything else can be accomplished once the boat is afloat.  There is still plenty to do to get Atalanta sea-ready but Kay and I can do most of the work with a little help from our friends.  If you have a burning desire to engage in manual labor, be sure to let us know.  There is nothing like being in a boat yard in the spring. 
This past weekend, Chad and Richard were able to make major progress with the pre-launch preparation.  They completely sanded the bottom, painted two coats of Ultima 60 (thank you Bisbee Hardware for shaking this unbelievably heavy paint), finished painting the shaft and prop, removed the winter cover and erected the cockpit dodger and bimini.  Bristol Marine has checked and lubricated the prop and all through hull fittings. 

We just have to polish the hull and we are good to go for launch!  Soon the real season will begin.  

There is light at the end of the tunnel they call winter.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Hoppy Easter

We spent Easter weekend in Bristol, RI noting plenty of sunshine, daffodils, and people wearing T-shirts. These signs of spring (not yet visible in VT) reminded us that boat launching is not far off.  Atalanta's 30th birthday is this year and we have spent a good many winter hours scraping, sanding, and polishing away 30 years of tarnish, varnish, and other unwanted effects of aging. The numerous hours Richard spent refinishing the teak and holly sole paid off in smiles when we laid them in place. They look amazing!   An $18 bottle of Collonite Metal Wax became my new best friend upon discovering that replacing the brass latches would cost over $50 . . . that's per latch! Adding the generator, freezer, and watermaker will make life aboard much more comfy but I am mourning the resulting loss of storage space. Almost every closet or cabinet I peered into contained some sort of additional required component for our new "accessories." I think this may negatively impact the number of shoes I am able to bring.

 Richard will be headed back to Bristol to paint the bottom and I will be figuring out where to put all this stuff that is currently piled - floor to ceiling- in our stateroom!

Happy spring! K