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Sunday, March 10, 2013

More boat plans



I never get tired of messing around with boats, even if it's just thinking about them. My lovely wife and I spent a few hours looking at new boat specs. There's a lot of information out there if one is willing to look, but not all of it is good information. We feel we've been on the water just enough to be able to sort out the wheat from the chafe.

One thing we are not willing to do is to break the budget. As second thing we aren't willing to do is skip our planned sailing adventures. There's a chance we'll find a bigger boat in our price range before the fall, but we aren't going to do anything hasty. There are some things we can do with our current boat, for small money, that will improve its comfort.

We currently own an old Oday 19. We can comfortably stay on it for about a week at a time. That's pretty good for a boat few people would even overnight on. Still, we can do better.

During bad weather, the cabin can get pretty cramped. A boom tent stretched over the cockpit will help a lot. It will be more dry area on a rainy day at anchor, but will also block the sun when it's too hot. We sketched out some preliminary ideas, literally on the back of an envelope.

Coolers are fine but looking for ice is a pain. If they've got a drain plug, eventually that plug will come loose and icy water will pour into the boat. Without a drain plug, odds are some food will be lost to the watery goop in the bottom. Efficient, marine quality refrigerators often cost more than what I paid for the boat.

The solution is build a custom cooler. I can build a super insulated cooler that will fit my storage area.
There's an old thermoelectric cooler in my basement that I can take the working parts out of. It's too big to fit my boat and isn't insulated enough anyway. Thermoelectric coolers run on 12 volts. I've a very large deep storage battery on my boat. Between the alternator on the outboard, a solar panel, and the occasional connection to shore power, it should stay charged.

We put together a list of projects that would improve life on the boat. The old shelves have seen better days, so might as well build new ones. A removable bug screen for the front hatch would be nice. There's room for a bigger fuel tank. After running out of fuel in the dark that's become a priority. Some hardware should be rebedded. The bottom needs another coat of antifouling paint -and so on.

There's nothing on the list that's very expensive, but they will improve livability. Knowing that we have a boat ready to go takes the pressure off. We can take our time looking for a good deal on a bigger boat.

-Sixbears

13 comments:

  1. Often the best boat is the one you already have. That not being so, the best boat to have is the smallest and the simplest that will do the job for you.
    But I'm sure you and your wife know that.
    And then there's the KISS principle.
    It's THE THING that should never be forgotten.
    And I'm sure you and your wife know that too...

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    1. We know it, but it never hurts to be reminded. The new and pretty things can be distracting.

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  2. When you were speaking of building one, I seemed to remember reading that jean Lafitte had some flat-bottomed sailing craft that did well in shallow waters, yet were pretty sea-worthy, too. I don't know if that's fact, though, or just folk lore.

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    1. There are flat bottomed sea worthy boats. In fact, there's a very long history of them. I'm still building my boat, but it's only going to be 12 feet long. Not really for long distance cruising with the family.

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  3. I'll keep my eyes open down here. As you know there is no shortage of water born sinkholes in this area.

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    1. True. Thanks. I've a good selection here too. By the end of summer, the amazing deals appear as people can't leave their boats in the water once the cold sets in.

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  4. Don't get too big a boat, then you will not have a good excuse not to take other people weith you (grin).

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    1. Many are happy to day trip, few are willing to "camp on a boat." I'm cool that. Those willing to "rough it" would be welcome.

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    2. Look at a MacGregor 26. At 26-feet it has plenty of room and has an enclosed head with sink. It uses water ballast and a retractable keel for sailing but is also a cruiser and can take a 50hp outboard. I had one for 12 years with a 50hp Honda that would cruise at 20+ knots and used very little fuel.

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    3. Just watched their promotional DVD yesterday.

      People seem to either love them or hate them. Where did you sail yours?

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    4. MacGregor sailboats are a motorboat which happens to have a sail. They are very poor sailboats ! Not a wise choice for someone like you Bear whom loves the sailing aspect.

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    5. Thanks Spud. Hope to try out some boats on the water see what works for us.

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  5. We were out on spring break ths past week and I found a book by a man named Robinson (Cruising the Easy Way) at a thrift store for $1.00. I know bupkus about boats, so I'm learning by reading and lurking at small boat sailing sites.

    I'm not sure I'll ever own a boat, but learning about them may be handy knowledge. With the price of- gas so high, RV travel is pretty high. Having a boat ties you to waterways, but at least it travel. And you carry the essentials with you - cool!

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