It’s pushing 7PM on Tuesday night, and I’m lying on my side, on the sole of the Sabre, with my arm submerged halfway in cold, smelly, oily bilge water and extended to its limits under the flooring as I work to fasten a new bilge pump float switch to the hull using only feel and instinct. My fingers work in the darkness while I stare up at the headliner and reflect on the percentage of fix-it projects we’ve had to take on aboard the Sabre through no fault of the factory but as a result of past over-confident / under-skilled do-it-yourselfers or lousy “professional” yard work. It’s got to be the vast majority. Two of last winter’s biggest projects, in fact, were taken on for just this reason: replacing one of the cracked holding tanks and re-bedding the poorly installed stainless opening portholes. Those projects are still only half complete; this winter the aft holding tank gets replaced and two of the six portholes are left to go. Continue reading Lesson Number 5,000(?) In How Not To Repair A Boat
We’re in a frantic pattern of late night takeout and 7 day weeks but are on target to make our scheduled departure Thursday evening.
We have new life lines and all new cordage. The holding tank and new macerator pump are buttoned up.
In concert with myriad other little mechanical projects, we’ve been testing systems like the stove, fridge, anchor wash-down pump and windlass:
All the while procurement of safety items (informed by our recent attendance of Safety at Sea at the Naval Academy) and provisions have been occurring apace. Continue reading T Minus Two Days
Our “revised” departure date for Newport is Thursday after next (that’s right, we missed the original departure date by a mile) and the pace is frantic trying to get all of our projects in. Some have been deferred to Newport entirely.
With time at such a premium a photo essay will have to suffice for today’s long-overdue post. The only color commentary I’ll add is this: working full time and trying to prep for long distance cruising feels like working two (or three) full time jobs. At present it’s pretty brutal but with long awaited rewards just around the corner we’re fueled by dreams of our first sundowner on the mooring in Newport. Continue reading The Mad Dash
Between the brutal temperatures, ice storms (2) and snow storms (2), February turned out to be a total loss for boat projects. With so much time lost it will be a mad dash from here to make our planned mid-April launch target. Fortunately, this weekend the temperatures were up and the spring melt looks to be on, so back to the boat yard I went. Continue reading Winter Projects: The Race is On
I haven’t been posting much because little progress has been made on Seb lately. I’ve been scared right out of the yard back into the shop by the cold to wrap up some car projects. Above is a shot of the Chesapeake Bay taken the day before yesterday, and below are some more scenes from the same day, including two of Lake Ogelton and one of Seb as she hibernates. Colder weather is on the way. I’m not sure when I can resume work but it looks doubtful for this weekend.
Holidays. Brutal cold snaps. Rain. Emergent house projects. Deferred auto repairs. Life has been throwing everything it can think of to keep us away from boat projects but we continue to try to fight through and make progress whenever we can.
On cold nights I huddled in the shop and repainted the second set of dorade vents.
Continue reading Winter Sabre Projects #7
There is plenty going on down at the boatyard and in the shop. Much of the salon’s headliner has been taken down to chase a variety of small leaks.
Continue reading Winter Sabre Projects #6
After this evening we have a whole bunch of parts ready to be re installed in the boat. The aft head floor boards and door have had their sanded edges varnished to guard against moisture intrusion and are ready to be returned to their homes.
Continue reading Winter Sabre Projects #5
As I’ve said before, yachting and [especially] yacht repair projects aren’t always glamorous. Today’s mission was to get his little gem out of the forward head and home to the shop so I can rebuild it.
Continue reading Winter Sabre Projects #4
The aft head’s floorboards have now been sanded down enough to fit into their spaces with some room to swell without getting jammed into place. Next I need to varnish the sanded surfaces, and then this project can be called done.
I’ve made progress on repainting a second dorade vent too. This is how it started out:
Continue reading Winter Sabre Projects #3