Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Progress and more projects

Howdy Folks,

Been a while since the last update, but we've been super busy.  First the saga of the arch, stern seats and swim platform is finally complete.  We're super happy to be done with that one and the quality that Jason over at JZ custom rails came up with is truly impressive.

Before the panels went on - gotta love the tape covering all the old holes.

Still shows the old dodger and empty bimini frame, not to mention the ever present holes in the fiberglass, need to get those filled...eventually.

Welding on the solar panels

Here's our new swim platform and transom step.  The swim platform is completely removable by removing to thru-bolts and sliding it out of the brackets.

Then of course, true to form we had to have the canvas folks get started immediately after.  They made us a new bimini and dodger out of sunbrella supreme, which turned out great.  I'm realizing we don't have any great pictures of those but will share what we have.  The outside of both dodger and bimini are black, with supreme you get a nice linen (tan) color on the inside which brightens up the cockpit and cuts down on absorbed heat from reflected light.  At least that's the claim, anyway we love the look and it's 100% waterproof which is a nice bonus.  You'll also notice our new polycarbonate windows in the dodger still have the protective brown paper on them, which looks odd for now.  We're leaving this on until the teak work is complete...

Here you can see the new dodger and bimini.

Windows still covered while the teak work is in progress.

Sterm view showing the interior color, seems dark due to covered windows.  Swim platform was off for fine tuning the fit.

Good view of bimini and newly sanded teak.  Connector piece between dodger and bimini is in the works.

Yep, you heard that right.  We're also refinishing our teak, since we've been drilling holes in everything and have completely let the teak go while re-working the windlass, arch and stern railing.  Since we're so far from the boat, we unfortunately had to pay someone to do this for us.  It's not super difficult but very time consuming to strip everything down to bare wood, sand a re-coat it all.  So we talked with a few folks that where recommended by our marina neighbors.  One, that we really liked quoted us a price of $5500 for the full boat (yep, crazy) but then we found another lady that was a bit eccentric but said she'd do it all for $1800.  We can deal with a lot of eccentricity for 1/3 the price, particularly when she agrees that we pay when it's done and are happy with it.  So she and a helper stripped everything down and put a couple coats on last week.  They should finish it this week.
We also removed our old stern light and put a new LED up on top of the arch, installed a down light on the bottom of the arch to help light the cockpit and rear of the boat and the solar panels, new MPPT controller and wind generator should be hooked up this week.

In our free-time (dripping sarcasm)...we also closed on the sale of our lake house and have moved into the condo.  We were both fairly bummed when this finally happened but are trying to focus on the positives.  We've paid off Vela, so she's 100% ours now.  We also have the cash to payoff the condo that we're living in now and will be renting when we head out to cruise.  This means more $ in our pocket every month from that rent, which equals a nice boost to our monthly budget.  In the process of moving we sold and gave away a ton of stuff.  Which means things are starting to get real...quickly.  We're still selling big ticket items on craigslist in Austin but have done pretty well with the downsizing.  Of course, we'll have a lot more to get rid of once we move onto the boat.

Our last night on lake LBJ.  We'll miss you... But as our friends Joel and Jennifer say, we trading in the lake house for waterfront property...anywhere in the world!

I had to include this one.  As I mentioned we where not exactly overjoyed to be selling the lake house.  So, imagine my surprise when I hooked up this uhaul trailer (that I didn't get choose) and realized it had a sailboat on the mural.  Sometimes the universe just...makes sense ;)

Now both people that actually read this blog know the reason for the long silence.  We've been crazy busy making major progress on our target date.  Next week, we leave for the sailboat show in Annapolis (including cruisers university) which should be fun.  Then we'll be back, selling stuff and working on the boat, we might even leave the dock one of these weekends...that would be rad.

I'll leave you with a marina sunset, the best we can do with so many projects in the works on Vela.