Jean and I are in the final phases of preparation for the Grand Depart on January 6th. A few of the items in the final stage include; installation of the y-valve in the forward head as we replace the old hoses with new ones. We have been painting shelves and bulkheads as well as floorboards in the engine room. We are changing the forward berth curtains and bunk spread with something lighter in color. Left to the last few weeks for completion are a custom dinghy cover, a Furuno 1830 radar plug adaptor, chaffing gear for lines, minor fiberglass repair, and porthole sealant. We continue to sort out the clothes we will need to take and where they will reside.
We took Makin Memories over to River Energy on the Anclote River near the end of the sponge docks and fueled her with a hundred gallons. The day was so beautiful that we went on a cruise out to Anclote Island and back. I am happy to report that the new swim platform and the dinghy performed flawlessly.
Jean and I plan on moving on board right after Christmas as the couple who will be living in our house while we are away, begin to settle in. We look forward to having the time to settle in ourselves aboard Makin Memories and still can go back and forth to the house and make sure we are relatively set for our departure on January 6th.
Makin Memories is back in her slip at Turtle Cove after a week of maintenance and cleaning. The swim platform turned out as planned and the engines received new water pumps each. Attaching the ladder from the aft deck and bringing the dinghy onboard have yet to be done (hopefully this weekend) as well as adding additional batteries for the house electrical load and a valve cover gasket for the starboard engine. I will change the oil in the diesel engines the first of December as well as change all the oil and fuel filters (jeez, sounds like a lot to do yet!).
We will begin moving the items we need to live aboard for a year in the coming weeks as well as finish arranging administrative items here so that we can manage them remotely. We feel fortunate that we have a young couple living in the house while we are away knowing they will care for the home till we return.
We installed the DinghyRamps yesterday afternoon as well as the telescopic swim ladder and cleats. The blow-out panels, stainless steel supports under the swim platform, d-rings, and ladder from the aft deck to the swim platform are the only items left to do on the stern. We will install two new water pumps on the diesels and a valve cover gasket on the starboard engine, as well as add two additional house batteries (they provide power for lights, etc. when at anchor). I will finish buffing today (supposed to rain this weekend, of course) and a few fiberglass repairs here and there and that should be it. Hope to splash her on Monday or Tuesday of next week!
After months of planning and building, we were able to install the custom swim platform on Makin Memories. We have the accessories to install yet and measure for the dinghy, but the platform is on. Tomorrow the supports will be installed and then the DinghyRamps. Almost there!!
I wanted to post a couple of last shots of the swim platform before the boatyard begins attaching it to Makin Memories. We will attach the cleats and telescopic swim ladder as soon as the main platform is attached to the transom. We plan on installing the DinghyRamps once we can perform a final measurement to make sure all fit according to plan (d-rings in the optimal position, etc.)!! Afterwards, the ladder from the aft deck to the swim platform will be modified and reattached and all should be ready. We have a few other items that will be addressed in the engine room and a few minor cosmetics on the deck and hull to complete, and then ash her and then the cleaning and packing for January can take place
Makin Memories is scheduled for haul-out today; weather permitting. It is exciting for both Jean and me as we anticipate the final touches in preparation for departure in January. The boat is not the only item that needs attention in preparing for a journey of a year’s duration. The house, the cars, banking, to name a few need attention too. This weekend we spent time reviewing household operations with the couple that will be moving into our house while we are away, as well as packing and storing. With two months left before we depart, it is incredible how much there is still to do!
Fiberglass work always alluded me in the past. Now that I own a few watercraft, fiberglass and it’s repairing demands that I learn how to or go broke having others do it for me. It began on a Saturday after several hours on stand up paddle boards when I was hoisting them back up in the garage to where they hang above the cars from the garage ceiling. As I was hoisting, the line broke, and they both came crashing down, damaging the rearward end of both of them (likewise dinging my wife’s car in the process). Off to the marine store in town to purchase epoxy and fiberglass cloth. Then I did what many of us now do when faced with a project never attempted before, I watched a few YouTube videos and sallied forth mixing my first concoction of epoxy and kick (an experienced “fiberglassers” word for accelerant). With a little more sanding, they will be ready for the water.
We are getting closer to hauling out Makin Memories and preparing her for her custom swim platform. Today we discussed cleat position and non-skid application. The swim ladder location will be on the port side and measures 18 1/2″ L by 12 1/4″ W and will fold up and lay neatly on the topside of the platform. It is a “four rungs” telescopic type for a less stressful climb aboard. For the ladder from the aft deck to the swim platform, we are hoping that we can repurpose it and by leaving a twenty-inch height gap between the last step and the platform, we will still have plenty of standing space between the transom and the dinghy tube. The dinghy ramps are in their location and will be bolted in once we bring the dingy by to make sure their positioning is correct.
Doug and I broke the mold on the new swim platform yesterday and I got my first look at what months of planning and hard work had produced. While we still have to attach it to Makin Memories and add all the accessories on, we have to cut out the holes for the blow-out panels. All in all, it was a long-awaited moment and not at all disappointing. Thanks to Doug Bruce of Doug’s Custom Boat Work located in Tarpon Springs, Fl.
I went by Doug’s custom Boat Work today (co-located with Pitman’s Yacht Service in Tarpon Springs, Fl.) to check on the progress of Makin Memories swim platform. Doug let me know that he believes he will be ready to pop the platform out of the mold tomorrow, maybe Friday depending on the weather tomorrow, and make sure that I am there to watch it. The four sections as seen in the photos are where the blow-out panels will be located and screwed in with #8’s. The blow-out panels are in case Makin Memories takes a gigantic swell from the stern and instead of the full impact of the wave exerting its force against the transom and trying to lift 24 tons of vessel, the blow-out panels will be pushed out and the excessive force will be dissipated thus saving the possibility of transom failure. Sounds good to me!