Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Leather Wheel Wrap

What started out as a well intended "afternoon project" turned into a fatiguing three day marathon.  I found a custom sized leather wheel cover kit (with foam) when I was sorting through our spare parts boxes (the prior owner purchased... but never installed).  I figured this project was perfect for me because I love sewing and it was marine related.

Research online has suggested that these kits can cost upwards of $300 (on the high end) and I figured there was no value in keeping it in storage. 

The thread that comes in the kit is very sticky and, at first, I disregarded the instruction's suggestion to wear sailing gloves to protect your hands (MAKE.SURE.YOU.WEAR.GLOVES) - the thread cuts right through skin.  After ever stitch, you have to pull the leather as tight as possible (hard on the hands even wear gloves) to insure that the interior foam is covered and the leather is stretched adequately.

Leather Installation - in process.
I am (and I think T is too) surprised at how happy I am with the finished product.  Our wheel is now pleasant to hold on to, it is not slippery, and, best of all, it is not cold (due to the interior foam adhesive wrap). 

Finished product.
Finishing this project involved many hours of sweaty labor and hundreds of stitches.  It was well worth it.  I can see how one could justify the expense of this added comfort/luxury. 

YouTube Boat Leather Instructions...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Nit-Picky Projects - Repairing the GPS Mount.

I know, in the grand scheme of things, this was a silly project.  There are a lot more vital projects that I could focus on but .... THIS.WAS.BOTHERING.ME.  Every time I walked by... which is a lot.

GPS Mount, back - BEFORE -
GPS Mount, front - BEFORE
The mount was firmly in place (not going anywhere)... but two screw holes had been striped and, as a result, the entire unit, rested crooked and did not look very "ship shape". 

Wood Filler, ACE Hardware - $5
To fix the striped holes, I purchased wood filler for about $5, from the hardware store.  I then pushed as much filler into the striped holes as possible and let set for 72 hours. 

Wood Filler - setting.
Next, I used some gray heavy duty outdoor spray paint to clean up this dull looking piece of wood (we do not have much wood on the exterior of the boat... so it kind of clashed anyhow).  I did four coats, letting each set for about 24 hours.

After Paint
Viola!  Finished product:

This was a nit-picky project... but I feel so much better now that it is done.  It was starting to remind me of the Dreaded Box.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Creature Comforts Aboard

So much of our (my) daily life consists of making sure that our kids are safe, healthy, and thriving emotionally and intellectually.

In July, when we spent a week at the Henry Island Seattle Yacht Club Outstation, I realized that we (adults) needed a little lifestyle treat.

ENO Doublenest Parachute Hammock
After a little research and (online) shopping, I ordered the ENO (Eagle's Nest Outfitters) Doublenest Parachute Hammock for $50.  This hammock is large (although not really comfortable when sharing with another person... but that may be personal preference) and has a 400 lb capacity.  It is also very compact, packing into a small (5" X 4") stuff bag when not in use.  Additionally, the entire hammock weighs 1lb 6 oz. 
Manufacturer Photo
I was able to spend a few precious hours in the hammock this summer.  Reading... daydreaming about the future. 

The weather was warm (perfect) when we spent the weekend in Bedwell Harbor (BC, Canada).  While the kids were asleep, I rested in the hammock and thought about all of the amazing and beautiful things that we are going to see from it in the future.  I thought about seeing glaciers, harsh mountain landscapes, and wildlife.  I thought about warm breezes and tropical air.  All from our new hammock. 

We are going to make it happen. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Whats THAT smell? Replacing the foam seal on our ice box.

This summer, I made a point of tackling smaller maintenance projects aboard.  It was clear that we needed to replace the seal on our "ice box" (it could be used as a freezer/fridge... but it is our dry goods storage right now... there is not refrigeration unit).

The existing foam that provided a cozy seal was rotten and starting to not smell so good when the ice box lid was open (GROSS).
Rotten, nasty ice box seal.
This is going to be an ongoing issue and I will be more proactive about replacing the seal in the future.  This project took me about 15 minutes and cost $6.  This extra ice box is located in the counter space between the sink and the stove so it is the obvious place for letting dishes dry.  No matter what I use (plastic dish wrack, etc), water finds its way into the foam seal. 

The process...

To make sure I had good access to the back of the seal, I removed the lid from the ice box by removing the brackets and screws that attached it. 

Lid - removed - old foam seal.
Next I removed the old foam.  Most of it came of easily, but I used a chisel to remove the adhesive/foam in a few places.

Foam seal removed.
To install the seal, I simply removed the adhesive from the foam and pressed it around the perimeter of the ice box leaving the seam in the back of the box where it cannot be seen.  I cut the foam strip to size after I installed the foam. 

Ice box lid reinstalled with new seal.
The new seal has been installed for about four months.  In the future I will try to get a more heavy duty refrigeration seal.  Unfortunately, over time, as the foam inevitably gets wet, it has compressed to the thickness of a normal piece of cardboard (I purchased the hardest and thickest foam at the hardware store).  This compression means that the ice box lid is not sitting flush with the counter (a little annoying). 

Overall, this was an easy, fast, and affordable project.  Go for it! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Why we joined a yacht club - Seattle Yacht Club -

Who would have known?  Our families were surprised when we told them that we were interested in joining a yacht club.

We are on a very tight budget ... so the thought of joining a yacht club only very briefly crossed my mind when we first purchased Ma'alahi.  I immediately assumed that any yacht club we looked at would be cost prohibitive.  Plus, we didn't want to pay (what I assumed would be thousands) to join a social club.
This is basically where the yacht club discussion stopped.  

That was, until I read a post on another cruising family's blog.  This family passively mentioned in a blog post that they are members of the Seattle Yacht Club.  In the past (like most cruising families) they have posted about being on a budget while cruising.  I immediately thought, "Wait a second! ... How could they possibly afford to be members of THE Seattle Yacht Club?!?!

So... I was curious.  I pulled up the Seattle Yacht Club's website and started reading about the application process, initiation fee, and dues.  I was (VERY) pleasantly surprised to discover that they have a graduated initiation fee and monthly dues schedule based off the member's age AND they were just starting a membership drive so the initiation fee was "on sale".

This got me interested.

In my (personal) opinion, the Seattle Yacht Club is one of the most prestigious, well known (thinking about recognizabillity and reciprocal privileges), well established, and thriving yacht clubs on the west coast (if not the country).  In addition to traditional reciprocal privileges, the Seattle Yacht Club owns 11 outstation properties that only their members can visit.  Moorage at the outstations is included in your monthly dues!

www.seattleyachtclub.org - SYC Outstations
So... T and I agreed that membership was worth pursuing and started the intricate application process.  Luckily, T has family that are (or have been) members and we already knew a few active members.  The process, from start to finish, took about nine months.  WE.DID.IT.

Seattle Yacht Club Burgee with "Cheechako" New Member Pennant
We are officially New Members of the Seattle Yacht Club (new members fly the Cheechako pennant for our first year of membership).  Despite our distance from Seattle, we have been warmly welcomed by club members and are excited to attend club events, from time to time, in Seattle. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Summer of Wekeend Cruising - Part VII.

Weather permitting... this was how every Saturday and Sunday morning were this summer.  

M laying in the (COLD) water like a beached whale while K tries to move the dinghy.

BLISS.  It already seems like it was forever ago. 

The last of the "Summer of Weekend Cruising" photos... 

On to bigger and more content oriented posts.  T and I have been hard at work on our big to-do list and I am excited to share everything that we are learning!