Our Latest Projects

Since our arrival at Acosta Creek Harbor on the St. Johns River in Satsuma, FL, we have had two priorities. Number one was to finish the Chesapeake Bay anchorage book and have it ready for distribution. Number one completed. Number two was actually several small projects to be completed before we headed out in the spring and begin the next phase of our cruise. With number one behind us, we started as soon as the winter weather would allow. It's been a cold wet winter here in northern Florida and many of the exterior projects just had to wait. But the break finally came; the clouds parted, the sun came out, the temperatures began to climb and the crew shouted "Hallelujah!"



During the wet season, engine maintenance could still be done, although it's amazing how much more motivated one can be if the sun is shining. Oil and filter changes, close inspection of the engine and generator, fuel filter changes and all of those normal maintenance items slowly came off the list. Although the maintenance on the engine and generator have been ongoing since we left Naples, based on our hourly usage, it's still kind of done on the fly. Since leaving Naples, Florida in December of 2012, we have put a total of 570 hours on the main engine and a whopping 1000 hours on the generator. A few months to catch up and give the boat a break was much needed.


One issue that has been at the top of the list for some time was the window leak on the starboard side next to the lower helm. Making the proper repair meant removing the entire window, doing some re-fiberglass, then re-bedding everything back in place. Not something we wanted to tackle while we were out cruising. And if you have been following our progress via our blog postings, you will know the weather has not been conducive to having a large window out leaving a very big hole in the cabin. Since the exterior trim has to be removed for a proper repair, a lot of care is need to protect the area around the window. It had all been redone in Awlgrip before we left the Naples area. A double row of easy to remove blue tape and another layer of duct tape over the blue tape makes a good barrier. Another protective covering using wide painter's paper keeps epoxy drips at bay. The repairs were the same as those we did on the aft cabin windows some time ago.


The seat covers for the flybridge had a lot of miles on them and constant exposure to weather and sun had worn them thin. Not only were they severely faded, but they were getting to the point where every time we removed them, a finger would go through the materials. The seats are not completely sealed from the rain, and often water puddled inside, creating mildew all over everything. The first step was to add vents in the side of each seat to allow for air circulation. Then new covers were made. There is a small fabric shop on the waterfront in Elizabeth City, NC that has great prices on vinyl material, so we bought some the last time we went through. The vinyl is a heavy grade and the cream color looked good on the flybridge. All of the sewing was done in the main salon using our Sailrite sewing machine. The end result was very pleasing, and the first rains the new covers saw showed that they would keep the seat storage compartments nice and dry.


A few other small projects included catching up on the teak, which meant stripping the cap rails down to bare wood and re-applying the Cetol. We did some minor repairs during this last cruise, but for the most part, the teak had been neglected. The handrails just needed a maintenance coat, but other areas needed to be stripped down. Also, our poor outboard had looked like someone had dragged it 20 miles behind a truck. It ran great, but looked terrible. Our intention was to leave it that way to discourage any thieves that might consider removing it during the night. In the Bahamas, this is a common problem, and looking as bad as it did, we doubted anyone would want to try and take it. Now that we are back in the U.S., and we keep the outboard locked down at all times with a chain, the chance of theft is less, but still a chance. It looked so bad, we decided to spruce it up a bit anyway. A company in Crystal River, FL made exact duplicates of the original Johnson decals. Cleaning, sand and repainting, plus the decals, gave the old outboard a new lease on life. Now it looks good enough to steal.


Some other minor items have been checked off the to-do list and plans are in the works to begin the next phase of our cruise. Once a few commitments are finished in the next couple of weeks, Beach House and crew will once again be underway. In the mean time, a short cruise is planned on the St. Johns River to visit a bit farther south and do a shakedown before we shove off for distant shores. LOOK FOR ANOTHER BIG ADDITION TO OUR BLOG. Starting very soon, we will add video blogs to the mix. We are installing the new Garmin VIRB Elite HD Video camera and soon all of our followers will be able to ride along with Beach House and experience first hand what it's like to travel the waterways. We would very much like everyone's feedback on this new addition. We have set up a YouTube account for Beach House Publications and will be posting videos there also. The links will be posted here if we don't add the entire video to the blog. Remember, let us know what you think. Stay tuned.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Chuck and Susan, I noticed your window refurbish. I did a refresh of my leaking window last year with some wood and cleaning up the original. Well this year, my haste in doing it last year has shown with some more leaks. So, I was thinking about window replacement with Wynne windows out of Alabama. Any working time and tool tips you an pass along would be greatly appreciated as I scope the job. I'm perusing some of your detailed past entries for some ideas. Thanks for all your instruction and photos!!

    Ben
    M/V Sand Castle
    Oriental NC

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    1. Ben, Can't comment on the Wynne windows. I would suggest you protect the area around where your working. We have found that our Fien tool is invaluable for these projects and many others. As for time, it all depends. Go slow and take as long as you need to get it right. Good luck. Chuck

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  2. Great!! Looking forward to your videos. Will be just like cruising with you onboard. Donna and I think it will be great fun...by the way...Donna likes her coffee black and I like a bit of creamer.
    Just curious, have you been pleased with the genset you installed? Any problems with it? How is fuel consumption? We are looking for a new one.
    Thanks for all you do, as we travel around we start to realize how many folks read your blog.
    Our best to you,
    George and Donna Routt

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  3. Thanks again George and Donna. It often surprises us too, how many folks read the blog. We have just finished putting together a short video on a recent trip on the St. Johns River. We were experimenting so it's pretty basic. It should be posted later today. Chuck and Susan

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    1. George and Donna, I almost forgot the generator question. We are thrilled with the performance so far and it gets used a lot. 1000 hours so far. I don't have exact numbers for fuel consumption but it only sips fuel. I would guess, and this is only a guess, somewhere around a pint an hour. Maybe less. Now I'm having my coffee. Chuck

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While we always appreciate your feedback and comments, comments are moderated to keep out the spam. There are pretty much two rules. NO LINKS or URLs in your NAME or the POST, and BE NICE. There is enough negativity out there. If either of these are not followed, your comment will not be posted, so don't waste your time. Thanks, Chuck