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Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.

Tomorrow we are scheduled for the auto pilot to be replaced. That consists of a control head, a processor, a flex gate compass and a rudder indicator. After trying to wire in an on/off switch on my old one, things rapidly started to die. Finally nothing worked. The total system is expensive, but not only does it steer the boat in several different modes, but also gives the radar and chart plotter headings. Without the system running, you only get heads up radar. Those headings do not seem to be very accurate. One of the problems I noted is that it would shift from heads up to a compass heading when it wanted to. To figure out what was happening, I would go below and look at the compass that has several colored lights on it that depending on there sequence tell you what it is doing. No lights, just intermittent operations. Well that basically means your electronics are useless. We are trying to sell the boat including an electronics package. This would mean a big drop in price. So we decided to spend a chunk of money to hopefully save a bigger chunk. Plus if we are sailing, and I do want to sail to Pensacola this fall, it would be nice have a working autopilot.

The second step forward was on my body. I had my pre-op meeting for my cataract surgery. That will be the end of October and the first week in November. They do one eye at a time. I think they do that so if they mess one up, they get an opportunity to figure out why. Hmmm. The old eyes have been getting worse over the last couple years. Now they seem to be gaining speed in there downward spiral. Be happy to get them fixed.

I have started on fixing the wood on the inside. The mate is working on the varnishing, I am doing the wood replacement. Hopefully will start cutting the wood later this week and over the weekend. Then install the pieces and get them varnished next week. That should get things looking like normal again.   Heard there is the first cold front of the season coming tomorrow. With cooler weather, I will be able to finish the outside bright work.

The awning was put off till October. With the expense of the autopilot that will have to be delayed till next year or for the new owners. Nobody is beating the hatch in to look at her let alone buy. So maybe we will get to use the old boat for a while.

I do not really want to go to the mountains at the beginning of the winter. The son-in-law says the air is getting a little chilly. That means cold. I also noticed the snow on the mountains is moving down lower every week. Still can’t believe this is happening to me.

There is a big tropical wave heading for the Windwards.  We have a lot of friends their.  We pray God has mercy on them.



Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Sailing the ICW.

By the time we sell this thing it will be a new boat. The auto pilot was not turning off which caused one to disconnect the control unit to get it back to standby. Not good in an emergency. The local Furuno people said that was like crashing your computer. Not good for it. My guy in Pensacola said that was BS. Put a switch in that made it convenient and sell the boat. By yesterday afternoon nothing worked. No autopilot, no compass, and who know what else. We decided to bite the bullet and order a new kit which includes the controller, compass, rudder indicator and processor. Big bucks, but things that would be a problem in a survey. There are things that those items do that downgrade the chart plotter if not working. So here we go.

Tomorrow it is the normal stuff, replacing my 6 YO starting battery. It needed a boost from the house batteries to crank the main engine. Its time. We have water damage on sever spots in the interior. So tomorrow it is off to the lumber yard to get a sheet of plywood and start replacing areas. Some were caused by leaks, some by having ports open when we were not aboard and a squall hit. The leaks are about finished. The ports, well, we are in the land of air conditioning, so the ports are closed. I do open the hatches when we have a cool dry morning. A boat is a small space and needs airing out on occasion. Finish tomorrow with grocery shopping and a hair cut.

Sound like a normal boring life. We have to take the boat out one of these days. This past weekend I spent playing with the dead autopilot. One of these days. Need to put the dinghy in and crank it up. It has been a month and it does not like to crank right off like it should. Projects.

The mountains are calling me…. The ones surrounded by clear blue warm water,        gentle tropical breezes and palm trees by the sandy beach, oh my.


Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.

With a boat that is not quite true. Boat are a depreciating asset. The guy who said a boat was a big hole in the water you poured money, had it right. The mate has swallowed the anchor plus she wants to move to the mountains to be closer to the grandkid. Friends and relatives remind me that she spent 18 years living my dream on a boat, and it may be her dreams time. Hmmmm.

To make a long heavy story short, we listed the boat last Saturday. Know anyone that wants a very confortable cruising boat. Since we got back, we have been working at restoring the boat after 2-1/2 years of sailing. It is amazing how much has worn out. With the exception of a few items, she is about ready to go again. Get the groceries on board, then off she can go.

Since we listed , the mate has become a slave driver to get everything fixed. She is even becoming a varnisher. Doing good. She likes that because she is doing the inside and it’s still in the 90’s outside. Big things include getting the water maker back from the manufacturer. It has a leak that we thought was an “O” ring. Replaced it and it still leaked. The local distributer sent it back to the factory to see what was wrong. They think it might need honed. Hopefully that is an inexpensive job. The awning needs a panel replaced. I need to replace some paneling that has water stains on them, and that’s about it. Knock on wood.

What are we going to do after the boat sells. You ready for this. We are moving to Colorado. That is home of the Grandkid. I have never been away from water since I was born. This will be a challenge. I spent my life moving further south till I was on the water. Lifetime goal accomplished. I never wanted to see snow again in my life. Well on vacation a few weeks ago there was snow on the higher peaks. This may become a failed goal. I did not mention how I love humidity. Sitting in the warm, humid cockpit this evening, it is hard to even imagine living in snow country. Real snow country. I do not know if I can tolerate 6 months without going outside of a condo.

The mate could be packed and out of here in just a few hours. She is done sailing. She has one more trip in her and that will be to Pensacola to close the loop. We plan to do that in early December for about a week or two. The rest of her cruising will be day trips. I am still pushing for the Bahamas. Those are fighting words. Shoot, after 50 years, what a few more fighting words.

Oh yea, we did pass 50 years of blissful married life a couple weeks ago. OK, those of you who have been married for the better part of a life time know it is not always blissful. I still have a few cousins who have been married longer, friends I would be hard pressed to name. I do not think our kids know anyone but their parents that have made it more then 2 10ths that time. Good for us. Its been good. Especially the sailing part. Oh.

Well got to get back to getting this old boat looking like a silk purse.