Friday, March 10, 2017

Knowing

Just dropping by for a quick update. I'll be posting more when I have time. 

Since Jan 18, we have completed all hull related stuff like:
  • Re-engineered and rebuilt rudder shaft.
  • Pulled, inspected and replaced perfectly good propshaft, with the proclamation from the prop guy that the yanmar was perfectly aligned. 
  • New bronze chainplates and re-engineered G-10 bases and covers over butyl.
  • New glass in the port holes, which included sandblasting the ports, installing the glass wrong, taking it all apart, installing the glass and seals right -- Kerry was also a trooper on this job. She did all the cleaning and prep and it was awful, including the second time.
  • New padeyes in the forward deck -- bedded to raised G-10 pads to get clear of the teak.
  • Rebuilt the anchor windlass (cleaned it and lubed it, basically) saving us the cost of a new one.
  • Cleaned water tanks (awful job -- Kerry handled it like a pro)
  • Divided the anchor locker and installed new spurling pipe from PT Foundry.
  • Solar is ready to go now that the mounts are complete.
  • Hydrovane unit is installed and aligned. We still need to sea trial.
  • Honda generator is on line.
  • Watermaker purchased and here.
  • Iridium go purchased and here.
  • AIS purchased -- still needs install.
  • Honda outboard on Monday.
  • Anchor chain goes all new both rodes on Monday.
  • Oh yeah, fix the Dickenson stovepipe.
  • and more.
Mostly though, after all that was done, there was still the rig. The 30 year old spar was looking pretty rough. Should I paint it? Do we have the time and money. No, aluminum is pretty tough. If you isolate it from other metals correctly, its outer layer of aluminum oxide will protect it better than any paint. Bare mast it is then.

After six hours of sanding, one side.


So I spent the last 40-50 hours sanding 55 feet of mast, turning a faded white, scuffed spar into a nice shiny spar. This included welded aluminum bodywork and everything. It looks awesome. I never want to sand a mast again but, this was so worth it for the finished product.

This was halfway though the process.
Polished and waxed.



And today, after weeks of taking stuff off the mast, I finally put something *on*. I punched the first rivet for the electrical race and the last rivet of the SS sail track that supports our strongtrack.

The last rivets for the sail track.

It was so satisfying, walking away from that mast at the end of the day, knowing the race is done, the sail track is done and we are ready to pull wire and build the standing rigging.

More to do and three weeks to go. My faith in this boat grows every day.

It's the Knowing. That's what all this is about. 

Knowing.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Competence as a Travel Partner

Refitting Brigadoon over the last two months has become a whirlwind of plans, discoveries, revisions, and shifting priorities. We are on the last month with just weeks to go. The marching days keep our attention and intent forward – always forward. Every time we turn around, there’s something we haven’t expected, even though we expected a lot.

Our days have been filled with sanding, cleaning, generators, impact drivers, electric calking guns, anchor chains, outboards, wind vanes, tiller pilots, sand blasting, spreader lights, water makers, solar installation, bilge pumps, bedding port lights, sealing windows, cleaning water tanks, masthead lights, and more...

Rudder inspection became a complete reengineering of our rudder and quadrants. Chain plate inspections ended up being after the fact, as we decided that replacement chain plates were just the right thing to do. Reengineering the chain plate covers meant a sometimes-torturous learning process in how best to cut and shape epoxy-fiber materials. A curiosity about our anchor windlass encouraged us to take a chance and try the old “clean it and grease it and see if it works now” trick that I’ve used many times on old machinery over the years – it worked, saving us an easy grand. I spent days sanding and polishing a 30 year old mast so we could build it right. 

On an almost daily basis, I’ve dredged into my past, pulling up old skills, applying what I know, however I can, to solve the latest challenge and get us there. Thankfully, my personal toolkit is varied and broad; that’s been by design. I’ve never wanted to be the expert at one thing, instead content and satisfied to be good at many. Good, in this case, means competent. Eighty percent mastery is good enough, if it’s in enough disciplines. With it comes a surety, a knowing that problems are solvable. 

Why?

My whole life’s experience has brought me here, to this place and time, where the kid who loved science, art and adventure, who collected experiences instead of things, can grow up to do this.


As I told Kerry the other night, “This is the happiest I’ve ever been. I don’t belong anywhere else or with anyone else. I belong here, with you.”