Working on the boat has been an unexpected rollercoaster of emotions filled with triumphs and road blocks. Of course, every time I have a moment of self-pity because a project isn’t going well or its sending us further into the red, I can’t help but think to myself First World Problems. Even I can’t feel sorry for myself, when I am trying to feel sorry for myself.

It’s especially on the forefront of my mind because we’re headed to some third world countries in the near future that won’t have a fantastic supply of marine parts available at our convenience. Why, because they have other things to worry about, like where to get clean water.

Yep, brings things right back into perspective.

Alas, here we are and if we want to sail the world and broaden our horizons, we have to get er’ done…and that is precisely what our goal was with our last couple of weeks in Ft. Lauderdale.

This is the last of our sailboat projects for a while and true to any good character building job we hit some roadblocks, experience a roller coaster of emotions and finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Bahamas here we come!!!

Sailboat Projects Part 2

(If you missed sailboat projects part 1, check that out here: Sailboat Projects – Gettin Up, Down, Dirty & Stinky)

Anchor – See our full anchor set up and details here: gonewiththewynns.com/product/mantus-anchor

Our much needed new Mantus anchor arrived just in the nick of time for hurricane Matthew but we didn’t get a chance to install it properly…we essentially rigged it up and threw it out into the water to be dealt with later.

We knew we might run into a few fitting issues (which would be the case with any new anchor, not even our old anchor was a proper fit) but we had no idea it would turn out to be a major redesign. Greg at Mantus was awesome at helping advise us through the process and making sure we didn’t order unnecessary parts, and when we needed a part, he shipped it ASAP.

The biggest problem was our anchor/bow roller. In our first few sailing videos many of you pointed out our anchor roller wasn’t rolling and that was a bad thing (thanks for tip!). We had to custom fabricate a new roller and pin, and while we were at it we brought the anchor system back to factory specs (the previous owner had removed a few parts). We did all of this, thinking we would be fine with the current anchor. Little did we know… Now here we are again needed to adjust the bow roller and it’s a pain in the BUTT!

In the end, we welded (at approximately 45°) an extra piece to hang down and we had to create a new roller pin to fit the new location. When we brought up the anchor it was not seating as expected. We couldn’t have it dangling as it would bash into the front of the boat in heavy seas, and we couldn’t have it putting pressure on the beam between the trampolines as it would create extra stress on important parts of the boat.

Retrofitting anchor for sailboat

Here’s where the Anchor Mate comes in. It attaches to the bow roller and gives the anchor a spot to pull up nice and tight. It’s adjustable so we could get it as close as we wanted to the trampoline without it touching. It’s a neat little addition but of course it meant we had to create another roller pin that extended far enough to hold the Anchor Mate.

In the end, it took 4 trips to Metalworks (the fabrication shop) and three shipments from Mantus. The roller ended up costing as much or more than the anchor itself…but we kept asking ourselves “how much is a good night’s rest and our safety at anchor worth?” Now that’s it’s all done I’d say it’s worth every penny and hour spent!

Once the anchor fit was solid we needed to sort out the rest of the system. Our old swivel was rusted to high heaven and not coming off the old anchor. Mantus makes a big beefy swivel and we now have a Mantus anchor which made for a quick easy decision, send it over guys!

Then there was our bridal hook that never seemed to stay attached. Obviously, we are not the first people to have this issue. Mantus makes a big beefy bridal hook (you will hear me say big beefy and Mantus in the same sentence a lot) that get this, comes with a closure to ensure it doesn’t come off while out at anchor. Genius. It’s the simple things that make big differences.

New catamaran bridal hook

In the end, it took 4 trips to Metalworks (the fabrication shop) and three shipments from Mantus. The roller ended up costing as much or more than the anchor itself…but we kept asking ourselves “how much is a good night’s rest and our safety at anchor worth?” Now that’s it’s all done I’d say it’s worth every penny and hour spent!

The Toilet / Marine Head

The saga hopefully ends. I mentioned last time that we installed two composting toilets in the boat and left this one marine toilet to have variety on the boat while at sea. I would have gone composting all the way but Jason wanted to keep one marine head in case we ever had issues getting a composting medium abroad. Fair enough…but that means we needed the one marine head to be 100% working…not leaking, not clogged, and not smelling offensive every time we flush.

I think you well gathered from the video Jason ended up replacing everything but the toilet itself. Hoses, fittings, clamps and holding tank are all new!

Stripes

We’ve been slowing making the gal now known as Curiosity ours. Adding our personal touches here and there so that she looks and feels like the sailing vessel, traveling home and adventure base I have in my mind’s eye.

I started by painting the cockpit cushions to the delight and dismay of many. We added a few new distinguished characters to our crew in the form of throw pillows and removed the cracking and tattered decals from the sides of the hulls.

If money were no object I would love nothing more than to paint our hulls sunshine yellow or our signature shade of Wynn’s blue. But that would be very costly and vinyl stripes are cheap. So, vinyl stripes it is! Plus, we’ve been told adding stripes to the side of anything makes it go faster.

Sadly, color choices are limited when it comes to off-the-shelf vinyl’s but I did find a pleasing shade of blue, yellow and now grey. They do take time and patience to apply but it’s a worthy DIY project that makes a nice visual change. Just beware of the lift sling and place a blanket over the portion where the slings are placed!  When we paint the bottom in 2017 we’ll go grey so all the colors will start to come together.

Applying hull strips to sailboat

Thanks to my ever-flowing fountain of knowledge known as Kent, we ordered the stripes from Stripeman.com. It’s not the most user-friendly website but they seemed to have the best pricing/selection that I found online.

Delaminating Windows

We finally got the windows back in place! We had already done the grunt work of removing and cleaning them. Putting the windows back in is where we needed a little expertise and Kenny at Just Catamarans is the window man. The activator and final bead are tricky. We have one window left that hasn’t been redone and now it’s starting to delaminate as well. Ugh…but we’ll save that one for another day and time. Hopefully in another 5-10 years or so when it is time to redo them all again, we will have the confidence and know how to tackle the whole project on our own.

Recycling Our Old Sail

In service part one we shared why we had to replace our genoa sail. Now it was a matter of what to do with the old sail…which didn’t take much debating. I first laid my hands on a Sea Bag at the boat show and loved the concept. They salvage tons of old sails every year and recycle them into wildly functional, water/weather resistant bags for a variety of uses. Tote bags, duffle bags, hand bags and so on. Naturally, I was super excited to donate our old sail and get a bag for us! They go into all the details on the program on their website if you are curious or have old sails that need to be recycled: seabags.com/info/sea-bags-sail-trade-program.html

Once we get our bag I will make sure to give you an update on the process and what bag we end up with and how our design turns out! We thought about making a limited run of bags from our sail with our design, could be a neat thing to offer to our faithful readers and Patreon’s.

Iridium Go

Staying connected while coastal cruising in the good ol’ USA didn’t require any special offshore satellite gear. We’ve used our cell phones as hotspots the same as while traveling in the RV. (There’s a lot of cross over gear between the RV and boating worlds.) Even 5-10 miles off shore we were still connected, especially so after we installed the same boosters we had in the RV (WeBoost and WiFi Ranger). We will share more detailed information on our full set up later…

Now that we are heading away from the USA and traveling much further out into the ocean we need a way to stay connected, receive current weather information and call for help if needed. I dug deep into the internet searching for options.

Turns out if we had oodles of money, we could stay so connected we could live stream from anywhere in the world and even outside of the earth’s atmosphere. Satellites are amazing. We don’t have oodles of money so I kept digging. There are some affordable options that exist but nothing nearly as exciting as the oodles of money options…but things are looking promising in the coming years.

Iridium Go was hands down the most logical and affordable option. It has the most bang for the buck and is used and reviewed by a wide range of world traveling sailors. So, there’s plenty of practical, real world experience to show its truly a reasonable option. It covers the things we were most concerned about: getting up to date weather info and the ability to communicate while offshore.

We’ve been using the Predict Wind app to plan our sailing days and their offshore app works with the Iridium Go. Predict Wind also offers the most appealing Iridium Go package/monthly service plans. We will go into much more detail on thisdevice later (once we’ve figured it out and have a chance to test the features). For now, I can tell you we went for the marine package, installed the equipment successfully and after a few cocktails, curse words and a couple of days of being tied to the computer for setup, everything is functioning. We won’t truly know it works until we are out at sea and using the device. I will follow up on all of this soon but I am excited! Something about sending a tweet when the nearest rock is 2,000 feet below water seems thrilling. I know, what a millennial statement!

Boat Cleaning

After a few weeks at the marina, endless projects, a hurricane, being hauled out and sitting on the hard…our boat was looking like it had been ridden hard and hung up wet. It took a solid 2-3 days of cleaning and organizing to get everything seaworthy again. Good news is, once she’s all cleaned up, it’s not hard keeping her that way when we’re away from the boat yard.

Dirty catamaran

A Tax Extension

Now it’s time for the adventures to begin! We were supposed to be out of Florida by October 20th but unfortunately Mother Nature didn’t agree (20-30 knots of north winds and high seas make the gulf stream ugly). We called our documenter Kimberly and asked what to do. She put us in contact with the head honcho in the tax office, I’m talking the guy. Kimberly warned “don’t beat around the bush and don’t tell him it’s service related because he won’t care, however he has been known to temporarily extend for weather related purposes.” Thankfully he was friendly, understanding and told us to wait for a safe weather window before crossing over and not to worry about rushing out.

November 4, 2016:  Our weather window has finally arrived!!! We’re pulling away from the dock at 3am to start our Bahamas crossing. It’s been a crazy six months of learning, sailing and preparing but we feel 100% ready to cross that proverbial line in the water. We surely hope this is our last service stop for a while. Of course, the boat isn’t 100% perfect, but if we waited for perfection we would never leave the dock.

Thanks for hanging with us, we’re super happy you are here! If you like what we’re up to and want to and want to show us some virtual love, we’ve listed a bunch of ways you can do that here: Say Thanks