Dec 05

the adventure is ON!

Tag: boat work,preparation,tripsjonny5waldman @ 5:18 pm
Matt, Jon and I returned to Mexico to take Sunshine for a sea trial (aka test drive) before buying her last week. While there, it rained like gangbusters in Sonora, so the whole experience felt tinged with a sort of foreboding element. In those two dreary days we had to fix ‘er up and get ‘er seaworthy (since she hadn’t been in the water for 7 months), we had a small part of her keel re-fiberglassed and her engine taken apart, while we scuttled to figure out why there was water sloshing around in her bilge and why the bilge pumps wouldn’t pump it overboard. (We found a very leaky hose and a disconnected Y-valve, and also found out that we’d need to replace those bilge pumps.) Welcome to boat-ownership, right? .flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; } .flickr-yourcomment { } .flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; } .flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }

Once things were sufficiently fixed (albeit temporarily), we started measuring parts we planned on replacing. Jon and I hauled Matt up the mast (in a downpour) so that we could measure the standing rigging. After that, we got intimate with the boat’s plumbing (aka toilet), and figured out how we’re gonna rebuild it. We measured the lifelines, the diameters of the holes in the stanchions, deck fittings, and anything else we could approach with the caliper. We flipped through manuals, turned on electronics, crawled through lockers, and poked around the galley. In the evenings, we met up with Capn’ Bob, a vibrant 72-year-old Valiant-40 owner and spinner of fine sea tales, and Mark Schneider, a similarly spirited owner of another spiffed-up Valiant-40. After somewhat hectic days, these two confirmed that we were making the right decision. (The beers might have helped, too.) Of course, on the day of the sea trial, the sun came out, but the winds vanished, so we sorta bobbed around in the sloshy water until sufficiently queasy, then motored back in to the marina. While we technnically raised her sails, they never filled with wind, so I can’t really report that she sails like a beauty, or that she slices through the water, or make any other even mildly poetic statement about her agility/speed/grace/elegance. But I can say this: she floats. So now it’s on. The money has changed hands, and our dream is becoming reality. Here’s the easiest way to tell: for a few nights there I’d wake up terrified of expensive boat parts that I’d probably have to pay for, aware that my bank account alone couldn’t do it. Somehow, though, we will.

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