Jul 31, 2017

Shakedown Cruise with the Hackers

This weekend my friend Wayne and his three kids, Aiden, Mason, and Nash, joined my boys and me for a weekend adventure aboard Longer Days. Our plan was to head south for the Venetian festival in Saugatuck Michigan. 

I woke up at 6:30 Friday morning, (thanks, Charlie), and started cleaning and organizing the boat so the Hacker’s would have a place for their gear. They arrived at 10:30, tossed bags into rooms, and all the kids proceeded to go berserk with excitement. 

We left the dock around 12:00 with 10-15 knots of wind from the north. Mason (11 years old) helped bring in the fenders, tidy up the dock lines, and then raise the jib. I thought how awesome it would be for my son to someday be old enough to help out like Mason did. 

Jul 25, 2017

Are we living aboard yet?

LeeAnn left for Europe last week Friday, and the boys and I moved onto the boat. So I guess we are officially living aboard, but it doesn't really feel like it.

The house still has a ton of 'stuff' in it. We've been storing, selling, and giving things away for months now. I feel like we should have reached the bottom by now, but we're still digging! It never really felt like we had all that much stuff. But when you start to go through it all... it adds up. 

There are things that are easy to get rid of, the old brown couch we bought for $25 at a yard sale. There are things that are easy to keep, like old photos. 

Then there are things like... cooking spices. I can't bring them all. Half drunk bottles of alcohol. Should I dump them or throw a party?

At what point do I take our shoes off the shoe shelf and sell the shelf? When do I take the magnets off the fridge? 

I guess the answer is 'now', but it's hard because mentally I think I'm still living in the house. Even though the beds are gone.The kitchen table is gone. The decorations are gone from the walls. It's still my house, and in my head, I still live there. 

I've found the best approach to getting things done is to pick a room and clear it out. Within that room, it's helped to take everything off shelves, out of the drawers, out of the closet. Once things are spread out across the floor, no longer in their "place" it's easier to say "ok, now where does this go?"

I've spent so much time dreaming about sailing away, of leaving my house. I never appreciated it much. Now I look at it differently. I'll miss wrestling with my kids on the living room floor. Watching as they launch from the couch and knowing that if they fell, the worst they would get is a hard landing on a carpeted floor.

It's not all bad though. I love the minimalism of living on the boat. it doesn't feel very minimalist with "stuff" pouring out of lockers. but it's the most important stuff. The kid's favorite toys, their favorite books. Many I forgot we even had. Where has "if you give a mouse a cookie" been hiding all this time? We have all our favorite clothes. Our favorite cooking utensils. You get the idea. 

Tomorrow is my third day working on the house. I have the major tasks to accomplish:

1. Get everything packed up, or in the garage to be sold.
2. Organize the garage so people can "shop" through our things. 
3. Organize the storage area in the basement.

Things have been going well at the house, but I hope I can make a bigger dent tomorrow. I still have a lot of work to do on the boat, and a lot of work to get my new company off the ground!

Jul 16, 2017

Books in the bilge!

Getting the boat ready to go has really sucked. So it's a breath of fresh air that packing has been going really smooth. If not better than expected.

We've definitely had to be really picky about what we are bringing. The hardest things to go through were books and toys for the boys. The nice thing though, is we are picking out all the favorite toys, the favorite books.

Jul 12, 2017

Praying for the low point...

The last few days have totally sucked. Everything seems to be going wrong. Everything is difficult. Progress is painfully slow.

Two of the biggest hangups are getting the pressure water and fridge running. Can't really move onto the boat without those two things.

The Battle Of The fridge:

Problem: So I screwed up and left water in the refrigerator cooling line. It cracked the raw water strainer during the winter.

Solution 1: Bought a new strainer. Great. Install it while kids scream and fight... open the seacock (the valve that lets water in from the outside of the boat) and find that the old water hose has stiffened, or just fatigued from multiple strainer replacements and the hose has cracked and is now leaking.

Solution 2: Buy new hose from West Marine, bring it back to the boat to install it while kids beg to go swimming. Forgot my heat gun at home. Can't install. Take kids swimming so LeeAnn can organize the boat.

Solution 3: Bring the heat gun the next day and install the hose. Kids are watching Curious George on the iPad. Add hose clamps... they don't fit because the new hose has thicker walls.

Jul 8, 2017

Moving aboard

The boat is rocking like crazy right now. The marina we are at is exposed to the north, which is the direction the wind is blowing from. We're on the Northernmost dock. The most exposed, so we're taking the brunt of the waves. The dock isn't a breakwall like it probably should be. Just a dock so the waves go right pass it.

We've started moving our things on the boat. We had about 5 boxes and large bins in the basement packed up and ready to go. Everything found its place on the boat fairly quickly. LeeAnn and I kinda looked at each other and thought "well that was easy." We've been struggling to figure out what else we can move aboard before we officially move on.

Jul 2, 2017

Easy to dream, terrifying to do

We're less than five days away from starting our move onto the boat.

I'm full of doubts. I wish I wasn't, but I am. 

We've given away our cats.

Ready for launch!

Finally tied up all the loose ends today. Rudders have 6 coats of Interprotect barrier coat epoxy, 2 solid coats of bottom paint (I might add a third coat) and are back in the boat (thanks Ross!).

The sail drives have been painted with 5 coats of Interprotect, and 3 coats of Trilux 33. I was super freaked out about painting the sail drives. It seems like every article on sail drives shows a picture of one that has been nearly eaten away by galvanic corrosion.