Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What to do?

Among the many things that have to be done to an older sailboat (besides varnish work) is the upkeep of the sails and canvas covers. Almost 20 years back now, I purchased a Sailrite sewing machine for the boat and over the years it has paid for itself many times.
Repairing the main sail
During our sail down from NC this year we were in some pretty strong weather… 20 to 25 kts with gusts to 30. It was no fun. During the course of that never ending night both sails ended up with minor damage. Most people would have to take them to a sail repair shop but I just got out my old Sailrite and set it up on the kitchen table to repair the sails. While I was at It, I also re-stitch some of the sail covers. (the sun will destroy the thread in the stitching over the years). The main sail needed a leading edge grommet repair and several of the slides stitched back on.

A new slide stitched into place
If you ever plan to live on and travel on a sailboat and if you have the room, then I’d suggest a good sewing machine is in your future!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Back on line

It’s been a long 2+ weeks of small maintenance jobs and varnish work while Anna’s been gone to Michigan. One of the first jobs I had  to deal with was our 4 year old laptop computer. One day, about two weeks ago, the screen started to flash from one thing to another from the top to the bottom over and over again. Well, it didn’t take long to figure out that the ‘space’ key on the keyboard had stuck down! If I beat on the space bar several times it would clear up for a few minutes and then start doing it again. NASA, we have a problem. How do you go on line to find a part for the computer when you need the computer to do the search? I finally found the correct part number and called New Egg (a excellent computer parts place) to place an order for a new keyboard only to find out that I needed my login and password for that site (we had ordered from them before) but, this info was on the computer! I had to have my son-in-law up in Michigan call in the order under his account then ship it down here. Sometimes I think that this electronic world that we live in will be our down fall. A week later, I had a new key board and (finally) a working computer again.

old keyboard... surprisingly easy to replace
In the mean time, I’ve done many ‘spot’ varnish repairs on the main mast followed by 20 coats of varnish to re-build the varnish up to the old stuff. I have about 35 coats of varnish on the main mast now. I’ve become very proficient in hauling my skinny butt up the 50 ft + mast over and over again.
I use a '4-part' tackle to haul myself up the mast
A view of the anchorage in Manatee Pockets

Anna should be back in another week or so and we will continue our way down to the Keys and maybe up to the west side of Fl. For those of you up north… enjoy that cold weather!!!