Sunday, April 29, 2012

First Trip Away From the Dock

I am still getting caught up on everything we accomplished LAST weekend.  Last Sunday, after installing the starboard side Ma'alahi decal, we got the boat out of the harbor to warm the engine up and enjoy the summer like weather.

Leaving Friday Harbor
I definitely have the itch to take our home somewhere warm, tropical, and beachy.  However, as the weather in our area starts to turn to Spring, I remind myself that we LIVE in a boating "Mecca".  We know of a lot of couples that have sailed AROUND.THE.WORLD. and they have chosen to live on San Juan Island.  So - it is days like this that I remind myself to be thankful for and explore where we are right now. 

K says, "Ma-Booowt Maddy (hybrid mommy/daddy)"

Steering for T while he checks the decks.

M - appears to be enjoying himself.
Life is good. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Vinyl Boat Name Installation (finally)

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you may remember this post, in which I complained about a "dreaded box" that has not been able to find its way off the boat.  The box's contents consisted of our starboard side vinyl boat name lettering - the port side Ma'alahi was installed in June of 2011.  The reason (excuse) I had for delaying the installation of the starboard side name was that we would have to move the boat.

Because the weather this last weekend was absolutely perfect (and it was the WEEKEND OF GETTING THINGS DONE) T and I moved the boat to the slip next to us while the kids were napping (nope... didn't even need to start the engine - huge hassle right?)

When I installed the name on the port side of the boat, the process was new to me and somewhat intimidating.  If I recall correctly, the lettering itself cost about $200, and I felt pressure to install it perfectly because it is permanent (guaranteed for 10 years) and expensive. 

Because this was the WEEKEND OF GETTING THINGS DONE, I met the project head on.  I finished the installation in about 1 1/2 hours (compared to the 4-5 hours it took me to install the port side).  I didn't over analyze or over think it and it turned out nice.

Here is the step by step process that I followed:

I ordered Ma'alahi to cover the approximate area of the old boat name, "The Cheryl Lea III".  If you look at the hull at an angle, you can see where the old name was.  I taped off the area of the old name as a guide for placing the new decal.

Next, I taped the first decal layer (gray shadow) to the hull.  Because the decal is large, I applied a long piece of tape in the middle of "Ma'" and "alahi" so that I could apply the shadow in two pieces.  I then cut between the "Ma'" and the "alahi" so that I could handle the decal more easily. 


To apply the decal to the hull, I removed the tape from the section of lettering I was preparing to apply (up to the long vertical piece of tape) and separated the decal from the backing paper and cut the backing paper along the vertical piece of tape (it is useful to have an extra pair of hands when doing this).

From here, holding the decal firmly, I squeegeed outward away from the vertical tape, pressing the decal firmly against the hull and proceeding slowly to avoid bubbles.

Squeegeeing the "a'" - (not following my own directions)
Once the first half of the section is installed, I removed the vertical piece of tape, separated the decal from the decal backing and squeegeed the remaining decal from the center outward in the same manner.

Fully squeegeed "Ma'"
Once a section is completely "squeegeed" to the hull, you can remove the top layer slowly (revealing the actual decal) and at a sharp angle (as to avoid pulling the decal away from the hull). 

Revealing the "Ma'"
Gray background/shadow installation complete.
That was the easy part.

Because our "Ma'alahi" decal was larger than normal (it doesn't seem larger than normal to me... but that is what the graphic designer from BoatUS told me when he called to confirm my order), the navy lettering came separate from the background.  I did not think this would be a big deal but it created a bit of a challenge.  Because the decal backing paper is thick, I could not see where I was placing the top navy layer in relation to the gray shadow.

I was able to place the top navy layer accurately by doing two letters at a time and by cutting around the actual vinyl decal (very close to the edges in areas) so that I could could determine where the edges of the gray background were located.

Placement:  not an exact science.

And, finally, the finished product:

The manufacturer's instructions advise using an exacto knife, needle, or pin to pop bubbles under the vinyl that form during installation and cannot be squeegeed out.  I did not need do this because the decal went on smoothly. 

Best of all - I got rid of the "dreaded box" that has had a home aboard the boat for almost a year. 

If you are choosing to tackle this project as a "DIY" project - good luck!  The extra work was worth the savings (vs. paying someone to do it).  The best advise I have is to not over think the process - just do it.

Good Luck!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Storage Unit Move - Day 2 and 3

It is official.  Hell has frozen over and we made some enormous milestones this week.  

I forgot to take photos on day two of the move.  Our storage unit move consisted of two days with my pickup truck (about 2 hours each day) and a full day with a big moving truck (provided complementary by the new storage unit company).  

1/2 way through day three - old storage unit
1/2 way through day three - new storage unit
 I did not get a photo of the completely moved into new storage unit.  IT.IS.FULL.
DONE - I am going to try to sell the last two items in picture.
The above photo makes me smile.  I didn't think this day would come.  I am so happy! 

We moved from a 5'X10' storage unit AND an 1100 square foot fully furnished house into a 12'X20' storage unit WITH loft and NOW we have everything inside a 10'X10' space.  AWESOME.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Storage Unit Move - Day 1 -

Keeping it brief.  Progress from day one (which consisted of 2.5 hours with the kids at grandma's). 
Old Unit - Day 1

New Unit - Day 1
I am, literally, trying to pack the unit to the ceiling.  I am kind of sad that it is necessary to pack things so meticulously.  I wish we had less stuff.  We will soon have all our belongings inside a 10'X10'X10' space.  Something that most Americans probably cannot do. 

There is going to be a lot of re-organization at the new unit.  It is hard to move things, that were on shelves at the old unit, over to the new unit because I have to move the stuff before I can move the actual shelves.  It is a puzzle.

Oddly enough, I am getting the same rush that I used to get when I move from one house or apartment to another.  I love reorganizing things and taking inventory of things.  It is very cleansing.  

Back to work.  :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Time to get to work.

Ma'alahi's crew, namely myself, is feeling much better.  Whew!  Now - it is time to get to work on spring projects and things that we have been delaying due to winter-ish weather (that is the excuse at least). 

I bit the bullet this morning and leased a new 10'x10' heated storage unit.  Our new unit is $99 per month ($41 less than our current unit).   We have notified the owner of our other storage unit that we will be out by the end of the month - SO, we have 13 days to make the BIG.CHANGE.

I am going to try to document the process with photos along the way.

I looked around the old storage unit this morning, trying to decide what can go in the back of the new unit (AKA - what we don't plan to access unless we move off the boat), I realized and that there is still a lot of things that we are going to want to get rid of.  The first thing that comes to mind is our dining room table and chairs. 

Considering the price of secondhand furniture (Craig's List and local Facebook networks/trading post), I do not feel that it is worth it to pay to store items that you can buy for a nominal amount or get for free. 
August 2011

Today - April 2012

New Unit - a blank canvas!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Living Aboard + Sickness = NO FUN

It has been a tough couple of days.  Luckily, I was off island with the kiddos so it was not too difficult to get the kids to burn off steam.

I got back to the boat on Wednesday afternoon - I had huge swollen glands, and immediately became achy and got a nasty fever.  This continued for 24 hours (hopefully it is over now!). 

I cannot find any "pros" for living aboard while sick and taking care of two kiddos.  Not FUN.  Being on the boat, itself, is not a real problem.  Getting up to the car with the kids, stroller, and their entourage of stuff was not fun.  

Trying to lay low.  Cold/Flu medicine and Coffee is flowing.