Shhh. Galapagos is sleeping. She’s hibernating during this very cold part of the winter, just trying to conserve energy for the sailing season that is right around the corner; when the sun comes back to stay in the sky for longer and the weather gets above freezing. That’s right. We tiptoe around the subject of boat ownership in the winter. We don’t want to stir that pot too much. It’s not a very satisfying time to own a boat; those months between fall and spring. These are the times when you just write that moorage check and look the other way.
In terms of boat work, Mike has been a more dedicated soul than I have. I check on her during the week to be sure she is well tied and safe. He trudges down to the marina on the weekends and does a little of this and a little of that. This week he finished a small project that had been nagging at him for awhile. He had replaced the fuel gauge and the new one was smaller than the old one so you know what that means. Right. The existing hole was too big for the new unit. He hemmed and hawed for awhile about how to mount the thing where it would look decent in the cockpit and keep water out of the cabin. Star Board? Sure, if you want to buy a big piece. He didn’t. Wood? Yeah, we don’t really have the right tools/skills for that. No go. The solution came to him during a nap. Mike does some of his most creative thinking during his naps. You get to benefit from his solution.
You know those round plastic discs that people put on the wall where a door handle would hit? They protect the wall from being injured by people flinging doors around indiscriminately. They also do a dandy job of becoming a mounting plate for a fuel gauge. Just drill a hole for the gauge and Bob’s Your Uncle, there you go. Cost: about 3$, and available at any local hardware store. He’s a smart man.
I gave up on my boat project for the winter because it’s too damn cold. And this is bitter irony because my boat project involved insulating the hull. Only problem is the materials I want to use to not do very well in cold weather. As an experiment I painted the hull inside some of the stowage spaces in the salon. Three days later, they were still wet, even though I was running a heater, blowing directly into the space.
I used some heat and noise reducing paint called Al’s HNR, which I ordered from Amazon. It’s got those 3M microspheres already mixed in. Yes, I know I can buy a bag of those spheres for 10$ and mix them myself. I’ve got that bag. This is easier in terms of experimenting because I don’t need to protect my lungs in order to use it. If you mix your own, you need to wear a respirator to keep the little microscopic spheres from entering your lung tissue. If this turned out to be worth it, then I’d mix my own.
Anyhoo, the paint goes on like whipped cream, smooth and silky. But it’s too cold for it to dry. I’m still interested in experimenting with how much of an actual difference it would make, but I’m not interested in surfaces that won’t dry because the weather isn’t warm enough and the hull is 43F, a fact which I know because Mike bought himself a nice little hand held temperature meter and I stole it from him.
My plan was to paint the hull inside the cabinets with this stuff a couple of times, then use hull liner over that. I got a screaming deal on some very nice fuzzy hull liner at the local foam and fabric place. It will make the interior of these cabinets quiet and hopefully condensation free. It goes on with spray adhesive. It’s probably too cold to use that, too. And, maybe it’s just me, but the idea of using a spray adhesive when I’m using electric heat to keep the cabin warm enough to live in just sounds like a stupid idea. So this winter project is an epic fail. It will wait.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch house, we had the gift giving holiday and Mike gave me a nifty one-touch winch handle and a waterproof case for electronics. Sweet! It must be love.
Want to see what I got him? This.
And, in keeping with the decorating theme, I felt like the Man Cave on board Galapagos could use some decor.
And this for the engine room:
I know what you must be thinking. “They have that big blue boat they are refitting and THIS is the stuff they get for Christmas?” . Hey, we can’t all be married to Mark over at Our Life with Ceol Mor; Mark, who bought his wife, Cidnie, brand spanking new Lewmar 55 winches for Christmas. No way. We can’t all be married to him. And that’s just fine I tell you! Because guess what? We have already purchased our tickets for the boat show later this month and Mike says we are taking our credit card this year! You know what that means? It means Merry Cruising Christmas to us because we are shopping for refrigeration, among other things! Oh yeah, baby, there are boat projects coming this year.
So we’re saving all our energy for the next big push, which will be this spring before we take off for our 4-5 week (Holy Extended Vacation, Batman!) cruise in July. Mike wants to have another go at the west coast of Vancouver Island.