HAUL-OUT NEWSLETTER 5- Making Fiona Presentable and Making a Presentation

March, 2004

During Fiona’s haul-out from October to approximately May of 2004 I will briefly list the work needed to get her shipshape for the next cruise.

The weather took a turn for the better in February, with a concomitant increase of activity on the boat. The rebuild of the dinette area made big strides. One minor problem I ran into when replacing some ¾ inch thick plywood is that the old ply is indeed ¾ inch thick, but the new plywood is a little thinner. This makes it more difficult to get a good match at the surface. I started to assemble the new freezer equipment which is located under the companionway steps, next to the dinette. The two lower steps are installed. Walter showed up a couple of times, we re-installed the chainplates on the port side. We also took care of a couple of jobs that need someone on the inside and someone on the outside, such as bolting on stanchions. We installed new ground plates and new speed and depthfinder transducers. The forward railcap is now completely finished.

Back in the basement I modified and refurbished the old freezer cabinet. The new cold plate is now foamed into place next to the food chest. I made a space for the refrigerator and built a new insulated lid for it. I fixed a few problems with the old single sideband transmitter, let’s hope it lasts another cruise. In a moment of domesticity I took down the curtains from the main cabin. Besides being dirty they were rather faded. On the advice of the lady in the local cleaners I got some blue dye, popped it into the washer along with the curtains and re-dyed them. Apart from being wrinkled when they emerged they look a lot better. I attacked the wrinkles with an iron, that’s the domestic bit. The new freezer requires a mounting for the compressor on the engine. I made a design and took the drawings to Bob Berg, who is fabricating it now. The bow platform is still sitting in the garage, I made about ten new teak strakes for it and installed a new sidelight, but until the boat is in the water it will stay in the garage. I have now accumulated about 70 CDs for our musical entertainment. All the vinyl and tapes that I wanted to transfer are done. I ordered a radio/cd player for the main cabin, when it arrived I did a bench check, fortunately, as the cd player was kaput and I sent it back for a replacement. The radio has manual tuning, a necessity if one sails foreign; in Europe and the East frequency assignments are different than the US, and most digital radios do not work.

I am chasing a new stove for the boat and hope to order one this month. I am also chasing the shaft generator problem, without success so far. The ½ inch chain arrived from Nordstern, this will form the new bobstay. On the first day of March the welder finally showed up and welded the new mounting plates for the halyard winches on the mast. Now I need some warm weather for the mast painting. I was asked to give a talk about the last cruise to the local Kiwanis, ‘No problem,’ I said, ‘I’ll show the video.’ ‘How long is it?’ asked my Kiwani friend, ‘One hour.’ ‘No good,’ he said, ‘Their attention span is only 30 minutes.’ So with some long-distance coaching from my friend Lew I made a DVD slide show on the PC, complete with background music and sound track. It lasts only 15 minutes, perhaps the Kiwanis can stay awake that long. As I write this newsletter Rich has posted the crew call for the next cruise on the website. Let’s hope all the problems are solved by the time I take off in June.

Until next month keep smilin’; winter will be over soon,


Photos to come

Ironing the cabin curtains in the kitchen

Bob Berg in his machine shop – a vital cog in the Fiona support infrastructure.

Hull/deck reattached and the railcap installed at the bow.

The dinette area in the main cabin, about 50% complete.

Freezer cabinet, varnish and paint are still needed.

The winch mounting pads are finally welded in place.

The massive ½” chain compared to the original 3/8″ bobstay.

The bow platform is straight and ready to go back on the boat.