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A BIG STEP FORWARD January 30, 2017

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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That‘s if you think selling your boat is forward.

The survey was 31 or 35 pages long. Broker thought that was a lot. When I bought this boat, my survey was 71 pages long. I had asked the surveyor to be detail. He was. If a light bulb did not work he wrote it down. This surveyor was not bad. He did write down things that are part of a new boat and not what one would expect to get on a 38 year old boat, even when new. Covering open circuits on the back of the electrical panel. Label wiring on the backside of the electrical panel. And secure the rudder so it does not flop back and forth. Those were 3 of the items he wrote down.

There is a right way and a cheap way to do the rudder. The surveyor said to do the cheap way and he can do it right way the next time he is in the yard. The keyway has wore to where the rudder shaft rotates slightly. It needs to be filled and a new keyway cut. The surveyor suggested drilling a whole for a bolt that will pass through the tiller and the rudder shaft. That is not a big deal. I was asked to take care those three items. The buyer did not ask for a reduction in price, so I was good with the fixes. I have 2 more circuits to make covers for, drill the rudder shaft and I will be done. Drill a perpendicular whole will be hard to start. Then it is drilling a straight 3” hole.

Friday the new owner is coming to inspect the work. He should be happy. He is a pilot for American Airlines. He and his lady plan to live on the boat and learn to sail before going cruising. Good plan. The boat is in good shape and one could just cast off and do the islands again. I’m ready. He has moved the closing up 1 week. That is a good sign.

The other item is the mate and I have not looked at the first place to live in. That makes me a little nervous. Do not know why, I remember flying into Lexington, KY on the company plane being picked up by a realtor and sighing a contract before getting back on the plane that afternoon. We can do this stuff.

Got a couple days to complete everything. Better get with it.



Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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One more step in the selling of a boat. We had the survey of the boat on Friday. One comment heard was that the engine room is a disaster. The engine room is 38 years old. The wiring is not done the way the industry does it today. It has been rewired when we bought the boat. New tinned marine wire was put in through out the boat. Through the years new equipment has been added with its wiring. That included AC units and there pumps, an electric head with it’s pump, a large generator with its wiring harness, cooling hoses and exhaust system. A multi function display with a wiring harness that covers the equipment we have plus the wiring for several other items that we do not have. The MFD was one of the latter items installed and has close to a hundred wires that just drop into the back of the rest of the wiring. Looks terrible. I also installed a small bus to handle the AIS as we want it plus wires to change it to other functions that can be done with the radios, but not while using the AIS. More wires with no place to go. It is a mess.

There was also a comment about the hoses running around. Most of the hose is very stiff and hard to make turns. There is also the hoses coming in from the cockpit shower and their hanging in the engine room. It is a mess.

There is also a bilge pump, and the fresh water pump in one area. They are set on a shelf that one has to climb over the generator or crawl under the water heater to get too. The new pumps are larger then what was around in 1979. They also have hoses and strainers. This is also where the water for the water tanks come into the boat and gets distributed. Originally there was copper tubing for water lines. They were old, corroded and leaked. I tried PVC, but that was a bad idea I will not trouble you with, so there is more hoses.

Did I mention the heavy duty diesel starting battery and the 4 golf cart batteries that make up one group of house batteries. It is a stand up engine room. That is if your no more then 5’-8” and stand in one place. You can turn 360 degrees, but you can not take a step. Most of the work is done while kneeling on a cushion. Cramps!

This whole disaster works very well. Has survived a “almost” knockdown. That is when the boat gets laid on its side. We did 45 degrees once. That was enough for this old man.

What happens now is the surveyor writes his report for the buyer. He then has 3 days to make a decision to continue and buy the boat, quit the deal or renegotiate. I understand he got the report sometime today. We should here something Thursday. If the deal goes forward, one way or the other, we would close on or before March 6th.

Is that all?  Nooo. The surveyor was here from 8:30 till 4 pm. The boat is only 46 feet long and 12.5 feet wide. After the engine room there is not that much more to see. But they do look at everything. Yes he is making notes all the way. The boat is also lifted out of the water and he checks the hull for soft spots, checks all the through hulls, bearings and rudder. Then back into the water for a test sail.

What will be will be.

UNTRUE WORDS January 16, 2017

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

Some of the words of wisdom about boats are true, i.e. “A boat is a hole in the water you through money.” Others are a lie. “The two happiest days are the day you buy your boat and the day you sell your boat.” Major lie. I am here to tell you it is not true. I have had 5 boats and the only one I sold was a great day. That was when the old boat was part of the payment for a new larger boat. The others were among the worst days of my life.

When you put a boat up for sale, one must expect that it will sell. I am happy to live in the dream that maybe it will not. Well, that was a fallacy. Offers were made, prices were agreed upon, contracts were signed, earnest money paid and dates set. All rather final. Of course there is the survey. I am not worried about that. Nightwatch is an old boat, but she is in pretty good shape. I would leave on a cruise with her today.

Are there things that could be improved. Yes. After all it is a boat. They are never perfect. There is always a list. The surveyor will give the new owner a list. A few weeks of ownership, the owner will be able to add to the list, and it will go on.

Beside me on the chart table is my current list of 9 items in which one was checked off today. None are major, just normal items that you do to keep her afloat and healthy.

This weekend we sailed to Number-One-Son’s house to pick up some items that belong on the boat that we did not take along when we cruised. My son and his wife are happy to see the stuff leave.

The way boat sales go, I could be a street person for a period. We are going to either buy a Condo or rent an apartment. We want to be by the water, so that is the mates project for the next month. In a perfect world, one could close two homes and move in to the new place in the same day. Think about this, we have no furniture. Therefore, my son gets company for a day or two. Now this is all set on the fact that neither of us drop dead from overwork.

Other then driving the boat to the yard for the survey, I did my last sail today. Saturday I had hoped to sail, but the wind was right on the nose. Today the wind started the same way, but it was not a big deal. The first third of the trip one is passing three lifting bridges, two fixed high bridges and several miles of cannels. Then we got to where we could sail and we did. In winds of 5-10 kts. In the middle it died to almost nothing and we were moving at less then 2 kts. I did not care. I was sailing. The wind did fill back in to about 10 kts when we had only about 2 miles to go. That was good. Kept me busy all the way back to the marina. My mind needed that.

We are to close no later then March 6th. That gives us a little over a month. Not much time to totally change life styles. A new adventure.

WHITNESSING THE END January 10, 2017

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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We lived in Alabama for about 5 years. The Bear was there and I became hooked on the SEC and the Tide. Now I must say I am happy for Clemson. I have a whole group of cousins that are Clemson Alums. They won and it was apparent all during the second half that they had the upper hand if time permitted. Well it did. Alabama just did not have it together. The comments their coach made as he went to the locker room at half time held on through the second half. I think they may have been the better team, but they beat themselves last night. We need a rubber match for the 2017 championship.

We moved to a bigger slip and I did another great landing. Probably not make another good landing as long as we are here. Timing was good also. We did have a windy rainy Friday night and Saturday. Not the gale that was forecast, but it was miserable. Then it got cold. 40’s. Come on we are in Florida. Plus 2-1/2 years in the islands, I can’t handle temperatures below 70. It is now Tuesday and it was almost 70. Tomorrow 75. Wahoo.

I stumbled across a Facebook entry by two of our Canadian friends from cruising. They looked great considering you could only see a small part of their faces.  Don’t freeze friends.  Hope you still have the same goal.

The boat still wants to quit. The router died a couple months ago. It was about 5 years old and that is about their life expectancy. We have WIFI here, but no one has it. The people blame it on the fact that this place is mostly sailboats. To many masts. First we got a new router. Still nothing. I contacted the outfit I bought the WIFI booster from. They are still in business. Wonderful. We loaded a software program that resets the booster. Well, it was suppose to. The booster has a power light, it works, a Lan light, it works. It should work. We checked the router by activating the software and found about 5 other boosters around me, but none were mine. I mailed the booster to the people and will see if it is cheaply repairable. We are selling the boat and are not giving anyone a new booster. We can use the our hotspot. There is also a crews lounge that has good WIFI.

I still have a project list, but have not been working on it since we moved. So today I was going to work on the bow sprit. I was also going to warm up the engine today and when I checked the oil I found about a gallon of in in the catch pan under the engine. NOT GOOD. I went all around the engine and checked for leaks. We had a bolt that holds on the one of the motor mounts that actually passes through an oil run. It had leaked like this. Put the bolt back in, no leak. That was not it. I filled the engine back up and cleaned up the spilled oil. Cranked the engine and started feeling all the places I would think it leaked. I had replaced the oil sender when I was looking for the engine electrical gremlin. I did not put Teflon tape on the threads and it had a strong drip going on. The gallon came from the trip down here. Fixed that and another problem solved. The cleanup took about 3 hours, the fix about 30 minutes, including test time.

Engine electrical gremlin. On the way down it left. I have no clue. That is why they are gremlins. I had continue to clean and tighten wires to no avail. It was with us when we left the marina. I did not do anything while underway. Just looked over at the instruments and shasaam, no gremlin. The engine has been started about 6 times since then, and still no gremlin. I even had an electrition scheduled. I was concerned about the cost. Troubleshooting cost. Maybe a Greater Power know about electrical gremlins.

Maybe tomorrow I will get to work on refinishing the bow sprit deck.


ON THE MOVE AGAIN January 3, 2017

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Not a big move, but from Tampa to Palmetto, FL. For those of you who want to look it up, we are on the Manatee River on the south end of Tampa Bay. It is a large marina with around 130 live aboards. That is a lot live aboards. The group runs the gambit from pretty shoddy to nice yachts.

The trip down was good we had a good 2 hours of sailing. Then the wind died. It picked up again when we were about a mile north of the Skyway Bridge. After passing underneath the bridge we would be turning SSW and directly into the wind. Then we turn up the river for a couple miles. The trip up the fiver runs from passing through narrow dredged areas to a mile wide area.

The marina is on the north side of the river which is a mile wide at this point. The marina is pretty much open to the river. One of the complaints is that large yachts transit the area at cruise speed. That causes large wakes to come into the marina. Our boat actually moves. Interesting. It will make Yoga a challenge. When we got here the assigned dock was a 40 foot dock. We also had to back in to have the boat’s gate meet the figure pier. I do not like being stern to the pier. Cuts down privacy.

Now, good old Nightwatch does not like to back up. Plus when it backs, it like to go to the right. One has to allow for that and of the environment. Like wind and currents. But I made it without touching anything. The locals gathered to handle lines and see me squeeze into a small slip. I did it. Got a great reputation. I found out that that means you get no help with lines in the future. You do not need the help.

We were not happy about being in a 40 foot slip with our bow sitting 15 feet out into the cannel between piers. The cannel was about 70 feet between pilings. We complained.   One for the size, and another for the charge for a 60’ slip. Not wanting to loose the money, they found a 60 foot slip. We moved.

Next great thing the broker showed our boat this morning. That took a long time when we were suppose to be moving the boat. We therefore shainghide the broker to be line handler during the move. We first. let him finish his brokering duties.

So far a good week. We are to have a gale on Saturday. We shall see how we ride. I think the wind will be from the shore side of the marina. That should keep it calm, I hope.