Tuesday, October 8, 2013

It's a boat! Test drive...

Posted by Scot

After getting back to the boat on Thursday night, we had another couple of hardcore days of boat projects.  Saturday was another big day with Rafael - we installed the electric winch.  As usual, we managed to add in a few unanticipated projects as well as other things cropped up, so the rule of everything taking 3-5 times longer than expected held true.

While we had the headliner down in the aft starboard cabin, we fixed a through bolt for the nav seat, so that doesn't wobble any more.  Then, while we were drilling the hole for the electric winch, the bit on the drill snapped, so the hole saw skipped and gouged a fairly decent chunk out of the gelcoat (no fingers involved, fortunately).  Anyway, that actually worked out OK, since Raf called his gelcoat guy, who came and repaired that, and did a few other small holes too.  We had one hole in the non-skid in the cockpit that he matched perfectly.  I can still see where it was, but if you didn't know where it used to be, you'd have a hard time finding it.

Sara managed to snap a picture at the only moment all day when I looked busier than Raf.  Putting the finishing touches on the electric winch.
The upshot of all that was that we were still putting the boat back together at 9:00 Saturday night.

So, when Sunday rolled around, our impatience finally got the best of us.  We agreed - it was time to finally move this beast!

We stowed away everything that looked like it could fall or roll, and went over the engines both with a fine tooth comb, checking all the fluids and belts, and topping up the saildrive oil.

We then fired up the instruments, and lo and behold, my fix on the chart plotter wasn't working right.  Fortunately, having done it once already, it was only a few minutes to pull off the offending button, find the problem, and refit the new button properly.  Voila, chart plotter.

We untied and headed out into the ICW, and then out through the Hillsboro Inlet drawbridge.  This was our first bridge opening, and I was a bit nervous.  I knew you had to call the bridge attendant to let him know you wanted to come through, but I wasn't sure what we were supposed to say.  Fortunately, it was Sunday, and there was tons of activity at the bridge, so it was easy just to listen to all the other people calling on the radio, and copy them.

Of course, all those people transiting the bridge made things pretty rough, and there was a good current to contend with as well, but we managed to make it through.  Once we were on the other side - open Atlantic!

Finally, some real ocean under our boat.
We motored more or less straight out from shore, then pulled up the main.  We couldn't use the electric winch, because we still need the deck fittings to lead the halyard back to that winch, so we did it the old fashioned way - lots of pulling and swearing.

Christopher kept us upwind while Alexander and I dragged the mainsail up.
Once we got that up, we quickly unfurled the jib and... watched as the sails flapped in the total lack of wind.  But at least we got them up.

We bobbed around for awhile, and ran the engines, which seem to be working well now that the starboard engine has been fixed up.  Our new hour meters, instrument panel, winches, and all our other little projects seemed to hold up as well.  Unfortunately, the waves were a bit steep, with a short interval, and with little wind or movement, things got a little unpleasant.  Before long, Katie was looking pretty green, and was unhappy.  That is unusual, as she has never gotten seasick before.  We ascribed it to her having a bit of a cold.  Either way, we felt we had given it enough of a trial, and after a couple of hours, headed back in.

Feeling a bit better sitting on the bows.
Docking was a bit tricky, as we had to spin the whole boat in a fairly tight canal, but we got tied up without mishap.  Now that we know it all works, we can't wait to get moving again!

The boys took to the boat right away.  They seemed really comfortable, and remembered a lot from all our previous sailing trips, so were a big help.


  1. Yay!! So excited for you guys. Can't wait to read more.

    1. Thanks guys. We can't wait to actually be moving. Hopefully we will cast off some docklines in the next few days, and head south of here as a shakedown before jumping across to the Bahamas.

  2. "I knew you had to call the bridge attendant to let him know you wanted to come through, but I wasn't sure what we were supposed to say."
    How about:
    Knock knock?
    (Who's there?)
    (Yacht who?)
    Yacht a know me by now!

    I suppose crowded nautical transits might not be an appropriate place for a knock knock joke. Maybe on your next time through?

    Both Trevor and I love reading your blog. Looking forward to the next update. -Kelly

    1. It is not often I hear a knock knock joke I haven't heard before. You got me with that one though! Thanks for the smile. Glad you are enjoying the blog. Hi to everyone at KBH.

  3. We know just how you feel, sitting around doing busy work and spending gallons of money when all you want to be doing is getting on with things. Our bikes are all packed up in plastic, and we are going to get moving today. If all goes as planned we'll be in Beijing by Thursday. Can't wait for you to set sail for real. Keep the updates coming!

    1. Good luck on the trip to Beijing. I suspect you are probably in the air right now. We'll be following your blog closely.