Sunday, November 4, 2007

BOAT…A Hole in the Water into which you Throw Money

So, let me tell you about our boat refurbishing odyssey. As I said earlier, we pulled our boat out of the water in the fall of 2003 expecting to work for a season and launch the following summer…well, we didn’t actually launch until three years later. What did I learn in three years?

Surveyors are crooks
All boat repairs are more time-consuming and costly than expected
Lynn is a perfectionist, but very handy
One boat unit = $1000.00
BOAT is actually an acronym for Bring on Another Thousand (or boat unit…see #4)

You know you are in trouble when you start thinking “it only costs one boat unit, that’s not bad!” It’s a good thing that we got a good deal on the boat by purchasing in Georgia because the money we saved has all gone back into repairs and upgrades. We have certainly used much of our equity, both cash and sweat. But, we now have a beautiful, seaworthy vessel. Here’s a short list of the main improvements we have painstakingly, I mean lovingly, accomplished…

New bottom (24 blisters estimated by our surveyor turned out to be more than 200)
New engine
New generator
All new electronics
New rigging (twice, but that’s another story)
Refurbished mast and furling motor
All new lifelines
New stainless steel swim platform (designed by Lynn)
New stainless steel arch (also designed by Lynn)
New cockpit enclosure
New main sail
Refurbished winches and windlass
New stainless steel portholes
New windows
All new upholstery and d├ęcor
New Corian countertops and sinks in galley and head
New microwave and freezer
New lifeboat
Revarnished all teak
Etc, etc, etc…the list really does go on and on…

Although the boat is 24 years old, almost everything is brand new. I don’t really mean to sound like I’m complaining because, although it has been challenging at times, we really have enjoyed the project and feel very satisfied to have brought our boat back to her former beauty. The most rewarding moments have been when strangers ask if it is a new boat…which has happened more than once. Our launching party last year was also a wonderful event, with friends and family there to celebrate the long-awaited splash. We even popped a bottle of Dom Perignon for the occasion.

We have now been living aboard for about 5 months and thoroughly enjoy the experience (except for the occasional bickering that inevitably occurs due to close quarters J). We continue to make improvements in preparation for the big departure in December. Just this weekend Lynn installed our new freezer and I started varnishing the teak cabinets in the salon (one coat down, five to go!). Twenty six days to go…