Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chapter 3

If you have been following for the last few years, you have probably noticed a lot of project posts...a lot. There was a few weeks of sailing mixed in as we brought Skylark down from Washington, NC to Jacksonville, FL, but that chapter was a quick one and ended way too fast for my liking. Don't get me wrong, I have truly enjoyed all of the feedback and had a lot of fun talking to folks out there working on similar projects. I have learned a tremendous amount about the boat and myself along the way, as well as the ups and downs of a full classic sailboat refit. I have a lot of thoughts on the matter now that it's done (you are never really done, just in a spot to start enjoying the fruits of your labor) but I will save that for another time. I am happy though to be turning the page and moving to the next chapter.

Since we have finished Chapter 1, The Refit and Chapter 2, The Short Journey Home, it is now time for Chapter 3, Skylark is Finally Out There. So unless there is something specific that you would like to see or hear about in more detail from a project perspective, I will start gearing my posts to what this Blog was always meant to be, Sailing Adventures on a Cal 34. Let the games and nightmares begin!

I think Chapter 3 will start off with a nice shakedown cruise north to Cumberland Island, GA. It's a wonderful place to anchor out and enjoy for a week or so making sure all of the systems are working as expected. Zachary and I will make the trip at the beginning of July, weather permitting. There is a good chance one of my friends and his sons will be buddy boating with us from the marina. I am very much looking forward to getting away from the dock and getting back out to sea.

It's time.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

So Let's Review...

Over the last 4 months, we have gotten more done on Skylark than over the last 3 years. It's been hectic yet extremely rewarding to see the transformation happen. I couldn't be happier with how things came out. Ralph is certainly a master of his trade and did everything exactly as it should be done, period. Again, I couldn't be happier.

Tomorrow, I will be heading back to NC for a little while, then up to visit with the family in New York. Yesterday was Zachary's last day of school, so he too is looking forward to some time up north. In late June, we will be back in FL ready to take a trip up to Cumberland, GA on Skylark for a week or so. Needless to say, I will be looking forward to that.

I have posted quite a few of the projects as we went a long, but I thought a list of the completed jobs would be fun to see. If anyone has questions on anything I did, please let me know, I will be happy to send pics or pass along any tips.

What did we do?
  1. Water tank - Built access hatches to the water tank under the V-birth. Removed tank and cleaned. Installed all new fresh water hoses to the faucets in the galley and head. Replaced both faucets.
  2. Cold Plates - Converted the icebox to refrigerator with Norcold cold plates. (There is a post on this)
  3. Sea Hood - Customized an existing sea hood found at Sailors Exchange to fit over the sliding hatch over the companion way. (There is a post on this)
  4. Deck Paint - Painted the decks white on white. (There is a post on this)
  5. New Navigation Station - Have not posted the full project yet, but will soon. We custom built a navigation station above the starboard shelf over the aft quarter-birth. Ran all new 12v and 110 wire through out the boat including all wires in the engine harness. Built new panel to cover where the old electric switches were.
  6. New House Battery Bank - Replaced existing 2 group 27 batteries with 4 6volt golf cart batteries totaling 430 amp hours. Moved the starting battery into the engine compartment and is charged as a separate bank.
  7. Bow Roller Install - Moved the deck mounted navigation lights and installed a heavy duty bow roller and cleat. Added a 22 pound Bruce anchor to the roller and kept the Danforth on the deck.
  8. Headliner - Insulated with quarter inch sheets and then stained and polyethylened wood.  (There is a post on this)
  9. Propane Locker - Glassed in a 20 pound tank "tub" under the aft seat, installed an access hatch and ran a spill hose out a through-hull below the aft transom. Installed a solanoid control switch in the galley and a solanoid on the propane tank.
  10. Wind Generator - Installed 400w AirX wind generator that is controlled through the main panel and can charge either or both banks at the turn of a switch. 
  11. Bilge Pump Configuration - Removed the original 500 gallon per hour pump and replaced with a 1500 gallon per hour pump and automatic float switch. Removed the old hose that emptied the bilge water into the cockpit and ran a hose to the aft where a through-hull was installed below the transom. Cleaned the bilge of all dirt, oil and debris.
  12. Bow Navigation Lights - Removed bow rail and welded a flat piece of stainless so lights could be mounted. Ran the wires through the bow rail tubes and then below decks.
  13. Engine - Finished install of new engine. Took carburetor off for a complete cleaning, replaced all electrical components. Ran all new wires to and from batteries, switches and gauges. Installed new muffler and built new water exhaust elbow. Ran all new tubing for blower.
A few things that will be done before I get back.

  1. Solar Panel - Install a 100w solar panel and charge controller.
  2. Tiller - Reinforce tiller in the new bracket. Install tiller pilot.
Well, I told you we were busy. :) It has been a lot of work, but Skylark is really looking good!
Have a good June, I hope to see you out on the water soon.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Very Cool Blog, Very Cool People

If you haven't had a chance yet to take a look at the adventures of Windtraveler, now is the time. I have been following for a while and look forward to the next chapter of their journey including a new boat and a new crew member.
Check them out