Fall Work

January 31, 2020

Coming to you from Venice, FL after a beautiful trip up from Fort Myers.  Spent four nights there in a slip at the municipal marina that was literally right downtown.  So a good place to provision, decompress and get the boat set up for cruising.

Then on north with the boat running fantastic.  There is that strange speed hump between 4200 and 4500 RPM where for 300 turns, I gain two knots and run at just over 12.  So with flat water and no traffic, we just kept going all the way to Pelican Bay at Cayo Costa State Park.  It is only accessible by boat and the entrance is scary, since you go through a cut that puts you 30 feet off the beach.  So you really are talking splendid isolation.  Two nights there, then a rainy night in Lemon Bay where we were the only boat, then to Fisherman’s Wharf in Venice for food and a much-needed shower.  On to St. Pete when the weather clears.

The work getting ready for Florida was mostly cosmetic.  Every surface that can be stepped on (cockpit, foredeck, cabin top, deckhouse roof) is now painted with Interlux Interdeck deck paint — a great product that just grabs your shoe and prevents slipping.  The cockpit and foredeck are Bristol Gray lightened up with 20% white and the cabin tops are white.

Everything else on the boat is now either varnish, Seattle Gray (hull) or Hatteras Off-White.  All Interlux.  No brush of mine will ever touch another brand of exterior paint.

I have long wanted to put a ceiling (which non-boatbuilders would call a finish wall) on the cockpit sides to hide, electric wires, hoses and bad glasswork.  I found some totally clear cherry at a good price, so I ripped it into strips, finished them with a satin varnish, and installed them with bronze screws in case we have to get at a wire.  Really looks nice.

I am cruising a lot by myself on the trip, and am very cautious.  But if through some crazy chain of events I ever fall off the boat, I need to be able to get back on.  I actually have tried it using the swim step, but the first lunge upward is a big one.  So I got some bimini fittings and stainless steel bar stock and put together an extension step.  Plus if I just know I have to go into the water to fix something, I have an emergency rope ladder that gives me a good place to hang onto for the first step.

For you folks who are still building, I think the ladder I added to go up through the big cabin hatch is a really good idea.  The only place I ever stand up when I am alone is the cockpit, which is quite deep.  Everything I need at the front of the boat for anchoring or line handling I can do by going up through the hatch, and kneeling to do what I need to do.  My weight is so low that if I ever toppled over, the substantial bulwarks Mark provided would catch me.

Cherry strips going on.

Cockpit port side.

Cockpit starboard side

Swim step extension

Folded up

2 comments on “Fall Work

  1. scotth777
    January 31, 2020 at 10:07 pm #

    When will you be in St Pete Clearwater area? Really would like to get by and see the boat. Still building mine, in Land O Lakes Florida!


    • memsahibsvoyage
      February 8, 2020 at 2:38 pm #

      I will be here every day through February 16, then on and off from Feb 21-Feb 29. Love showing off the boat!


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