“Wherever we want to go, we go. That’s what a ship is, you know. It’s not just a keel and a hull and sails; that’s what a ship needs. Not what a ship is. What (a ship) really is, is freedom.”– Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean
Seemed like a fitting theme for our blog. This blog is our record of the wonderful year we spent sailing America’s Great Loop. An eventful year of freedom and discovery.
Peg’s big project the last 3 weeks has been sewing a set of chaps for the rigid inflatable boat, or RIB, our dinghy. The chaps cover the inflatable tubes, both protecting them from the sun and providing rub protection at docks. The base material is UV resistant, with reinforcement around all fittings and a vinyl rub rail around the perimeter. Here is a picture in progress, without the drawstrings drawn or the tubes fully inflated. It will tighten up to be form fitting. Also visible is the box we built under the seat to provide a storage area. A pocket at the bow is for holding lines.
Peg has shown true grit sticking with the project, with great results. The admiral has a whole vocabulary I was not aware of. Must help the sewing process.
Motor week is officially done… Yea! Most of the projects from here on out are basically putting Endeavor back together, often with new pieces. Each week in the plan is dedicated to a functional area of the boat. This last week was centered on the boat’s propulsion.
The main engine, a Honda 15hp 4-stroke outboard, has been mounted and connected on a new mount I built. The mount brings the outboard as close to the transom as possible and places the propeller at a depth to all but eliminate cavitation (when the prop loses “bite” on the water and the engine races) in rough water.
To store our dinghy outboard on passages a new vertical sliding mount was built. This mount allows the 9.9hp Yamaha outboard to be stored up out of the water and let down vertically to act as a backup engine.
Next week we tackle Steering: the rudders, control cables and outboard linkage.
The dinghy now sports a new Yamaha 9.9hp outboard. The motor gets the dinghy (and us) up on plane, allowing point-to-point travel at 15+ mph versus the 4.5 we got from her old 6hp unit. No more plowing along like a tugboat!
And then there are those days when the planets align against you. When the tool casually tossed back toward the tool box ricochets so as to cause maximum damage somewhere else. When the one thing you trip over breaks something else. When a weld burns through at the worst possible place. When tools and parts constantly roll off the deck and fall to the ground far below. When a welding spark finds the one gap in your clothing. And so on.
I should take up golf instead… probably a lot less stressful.
This little wannabe helper (a bull snake) slithered up while I was taking some measurements on the hull. Adult bull snakes average about 4 to 6 feet (1.2 to 1.8 m) in total length. We’ve had them around our property years ago, and seeing one now is a sign there are plenty of rodents around to be eaten.
A shock to turn around and almost step on it. Have to go change my shorts now.