Sunday, April 28, 2013

April 14, 2013

Lets talk a little bit about fitness. When you move aboard and sail away you lose a lot of the conveniences of shore side life. Number one on the list is the loss of having an automobile. Now a trip to the grocery store includes the thought “how much can we carry back to the boat?”

Our backpack is filled with canvas bags with heavy duty handles and a few over the shoulder sports type bags. Trudging down the side of the road with a bag in each hand, a heavy bag over each shoulder and the heaviest crap in your backpack is part of the usual post shopping ritual.

So a bit of attention to fitness is important. A lot of people think they'll lose that extra 20 pounds after they move aboard. Sometimes they do but more often it just doesn't happen. Getting into better shape before you depart is one of those things you can accomplish while you get the boat ready.

We've just spent the winter in a rented home while we refit the boat. I've had a couch to potato on and 2 refrigerators to eat from so lo and behold, I gained 5 pounds. Damn.

Christy has been using a device called a FitBit to monitor how much natural exercise she gets. The FitBit is tiny and she wears it on a lanyard around her neck. It records the number of steps she walks in a 24 hour period, the number of flights of stairs she climbs and calories burned. It's a pretty cool little tool to help you monitor just how much exercise you get during a day.

10,000 steps a day is a normal goal and after sitting at her desk all day Christy takes a walk when she gets home to surpass that number. I teased her a bit about being so maniacal about getting in her 10,000 steps no matter what the weather. So I guess I shouldn't have too surprised to receive my own personal FitBit after gaining my 5 pounds.

While Christy spends most of her day at her desk I spend a good portion of mine running around the boatyard. I'm pretty sure the longest walk in the boatyard is less than 300 yards. So color us surprised when my first days walking total was over 13,000 steps. At 2.4 feet per stride that works out to a shade under 6 miles. 6 miles covered without really going anywhere, sheesh.

Now that I've had the FitBit for 2 weeks I've found that the 6 mile day was at the lower end of the range for me. My average day is upwards of 9 miles with a 12 miler as the biggie. I don't walk nearly as much on the weekends but my weekly updates from FitBit tell me that I average over 50 miles per week.

Even with all that walking I was still stuck with that extra 5 pounds until I adopted a new strategy. I stopped eating junk food after 8PM. Two weeks later the extra five was gone.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

April 5, 2013.

In my haste to post an April First post I completely forgot to wish everyone a Happy Easter or as I like to call it Zombie Jesus Day.

The engine installation has gone reasonably well with the best part being that the engine didn't fall on me while I reworked the engine bed beneath it.

I used a Fein Saw to cut away the old engine bed to make room for a new, lower bed. For those unfamiliar with a Fein saw, its one of the most versatile cutting tools around. There are dozens of different cutting blades available and they can be mounted in any orientation so you can get the saw into some pretty difficult spaces. Its definitely my favorite hand held power tool. Once the old bed was cut away I was left with a few options.

The vertical stringers were still usable so I had a few choices. I could build wood beds and fiberglass them into place along the stringers or I could use aluminum or steel angle iron and through bolt it to the stringers. I passed on the wood and fiberglass option because its not the best way to accomplished what I wanted and it is a lot of work to do in the time I have available.

I've put aluminum angle into a boat before and it makes a really nice engine bed. The downside is that it seems that no matter how careful you are, after time they always end up looking like corroded pieces of shit. Its pretty much the same story with steel angle iron.

This left me with what turned out to be an excellent option. We use a lot of G-10 here in the yard where solid fiberglass is required. G-10 is hard as hell compressed fiberglass. When you handle it it seems as if it would shatter if you smacked it on something. Its cousin is G-7. Its another compressed fiberglass thats available in a variety of sizes and shapes. So I ordered a 5 foot long piece of 4” wide G-7. I cut it in half and bolted it into place and we're now the proud owners of a squeaky clean, brandy new engine bed.

And now the real fun begins....

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April 3, 2013.

Spring is here, no its not, yes it is, no its not, yes it is...... Last Monday we had the worst snowstorm of the winter with about 2 inches accumulating, this Monday it hit 63°.
Since then its been in the mid forties with 20 knots outta the northwest driving a chill straight though my bones. Every morning its in the low thirties and as the wind builds during the day it feels as if the thermostat is locked in at “too damn cold”.

But they colors of Spring are showing up around the yard so we'll  keep our eyes on the horizon and stay the course.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 1, 2013.

The engine install is going swimmingly. Its moving along slower than I would like but it is going well so I'm encouraged. The folks we're renting the house from are due back by the first of May so we're scrambling to get things done.

With all this on our plate an opportunity has presented itself. Now that we've been here in the heart of Annapolis for a while we've learned an interesting fact. A surprising number of people can't afford their boats. As a result there’s a number of banks that are now unhappy boat owners.

Periodically there are notices in the newspaper about repossessed boat auctions. A lot of these boats are total pieces of shit but that's where the “being local” comes to our advantage. We've put in offers on a few sailboats that I thought we could repair and resell for a tidy profit. We always bid low and somebody has always outbid us.

This week I realized that I've been aboard one of the boats being auctioned and its actually in fabulous shape. We figured “what the hell” and put a low ball offer in. Color us shocked when our offer was accepted. So now the conundrum....

This boat is 15 years newer than our boat so we've decided to finish our refit and sell the Veranda. The difficult part of this decision is that the new boat is a Nordic Tug 39. Thats right, no sails. Bill the powerboater. I think I could pull it off although Christy has her doubts. We could still go to the Bahamas and frequent all the spots we love. Hell, its only got a 4 foot draft, we could get into places we've never dreamed of trying before.

The boats clean, needs minimal work, has a centerline Queen berth, a nice layout and Christy's personal favorite.....a big ass fridge.

I'd have to forget all the rules of the road but I'm getting older so thats bound to happen anyway. I could just plow along indifferent to the havoc left behind in our wake.

If all goes as planned we will be a 2 boat family by the end of the month. Only one boat has a name so we'd like a little help naming the other one. I'm leaning towards “Bullshitter”