Saturday, August 29, 2015

Dodged the Bullet... Now, Back to Work

The last five days I'll call crazy... actually, let's call her by her official name, "Erika."

At first she was just a question mark way, way out in the Atlantic... then, she started to gain some strength and take a course - a course that looked like it was going to bring her right through the Fort Pierce Inlet.

For about two days it was prophesied that she was going to visit me personally here in Fort Pierce and honestly, I was nervous. I'm new to this whole boat/sailing thing and have no idea how to prepare for a tropical storm, much less a possible hurricane!

Fortunately, my slip neighbor, Jack on s/v Drifter does have experience with this type of thing and because he had to go out of town, he storm prepped his vessel well in advance and left me a visual cheat sheet on how Annie should be secured.

Then... time... slowly... advanced... and updates came... Erika was changing her mind... plotting a different course. She was swinging further south.

With her change in course she also was losing strength. Now the Keys were threatened but she was not going to reach hurricane status. I would still get lots of wind and rain, but it would not be close to a direct hit of a Cat 1 hurricane... my stress level lowered.

Then... time... slowly... advanced... and more updates came... Erika was still changing her mind... another course correction...

It looked like Erika had decided she preferred the West coast of Florida instead of the Right Coast... frankly I was relieved.

As of this morning, Erika's course has changed again, (and probably will do so a couple of more times before she makes US landfall), it appears Cuba will reroute her and take most of the wind out of her sails.

So, it appears I have dodged a bullet... Now, BACK TO WORK.

I have to ready my icebox for icebox stuff. I am tired of buying blocks of ice every three days and it's time to install a DC refrigeration system. At this point, I'm not sure which way I'm going to go as to the type system but I'm going to go some way... (I'm considering the NORCOLD SCQT-4408 Icebox Conversion Kit, so if anyone has any recommendations, please speak up). For now, until I decide, I can run the power line to the planned compressor location and then I will install the system myself.
NORCOLD SCQT-4408 Icebox Conversion Kit

So, "Hasta la vista" Erika and let's get back to work.

Fair seas and God bless!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

What Refitting Often Feels Like...

Some dear friends sent me this via snail mail and a friend scanned it for me... Thought all the re-fitters would appreciate it... Thanks Mr. Aubrey and Ms. Andrea.

Fair seas and God bless!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

"Home Sweet Home"

The longer I live aboard Annie, the more she feels like home - "Home Sweet Home."

Before my son and grandsons came to visit I decided the thousand pound staircase I built for my old friend Fuji had to go. It was awkward, heavy, and prevented exit when it was pulled up. So, as with many things on a boat, I had to go back to the drawing board. 

My solution was delivered via the internet and UPS... "Pet Loader."

Fuji needed the six step set but it works perfect
Because of the height of the companionway, I had to get the six-step version.

The company,, namely Evonne, was great. I first ordered the five-step version, 14.5" wide and discovered upon arrival that the steps were not high enough and they were too wide to fully extend, (the 14.5" version hit the built-in DC Cooler). Once I realized the set of steps I ordered would not work, I called Pet Loader and Evonne immediately sent me the 12" wide - six step version without waiting for receipt of the five-step set I had received and was to send back. She just trusted me to send it back... and I did. What a great company!

After modifying my companionway ladder and building a top step the Pet Loader could rest on, it worked perfectly. I simply put the steps up when Fuji needs out... he goes up and I take the steps down, (they are very light but will support 250 lbs.), and I ascend the companionway ladder normally. When Fuji needs down into the cabin, we reverse the process.

The next issue that had to be addressed was the WI-FI system. I had issues with a consistent connection to the marina WI-FI. My buddy, Jack Webb from s/v Drifter instructed me as to the equipment I needed, (an Ubiquity Bullet, a POE device, a marine antenna, RJ45 cable, water proof stainless steel cable entry port, an N Class router and a boatload of patience)... so I ordered everything but the patience - Amazon doesn't carry that. 

Once everything was installed, and after my patience had run out, Jack came over and after hours of programming and troubleshooting, Jack had me online. Thanks Jack, you're a good man... I don't care what Denis says about you... LOL.

So now, the ROKU is working... NetFlix and Amazon are streaming... DVD's are playing... Facebook... all streaming at high speed. All my devices on the boat can now wirelessly access the internet and that makes for all the comforts of home. (Hey Jer, no more tethering to your phone).

Again, living aboard a small boat is a lot of trial and error. My pull-up table was fine but lacked the flexibility I needed to be comfortable... so... Amazon to the rescue. I bought a laptop swing-arm mount and it is perfect. It provides me with quick ingress/egress and offers a variety of positions to work on my computer.
By not installing the table clamp mount, it worked great

Again, I am discovering the living on a boat is a lot of trial and error... but the more you trial, the more your boat starts feeling like "Home Sweet Home." Fuji thinks so...

The berth was not completely pulled out here so he was hanging off a

Fair seas and God bless!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Pull-Out Berth

Sorry I haven't posted for a while but I've been on vacation.

Specifically, my son and two grandsons came to visit me for a week and we all stayed on Annie. We had a blast... but my son was forced to sleep on the starboard berth and enjoyed/endured only about 18 inches of sleeping space, (width wise). After they left, I decided to install a pull-out berth that would not only make it more comfortable for future visitors, but would also get Fuji off the floor and provide me with more "moving about the cabin" room.

Hey Jeremy, next time you'll sleep better!

My neighbor, Jack Webb - s/v/ Drifter, helped me by building the sliders for the pull-out berth and within a day or so, it was complete. Next to Bud Taplin AKA "Mr. Westsail," Jack probably knows as much or more than anyone else about Westsails). S/V Drifter has a similar pull out berth Jack installed during Drifter's refit. Thanks Jack for your help - You are a gentleman and a scholar... well... a scholar... LOL.

Here are some pics...

Fair seas and God bless!