Directions

Our latest entry always comes up first...

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning of our trip from
South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

If you want to see the story of our 2 1/2 year project getting
Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:
FIRST "REFIT" BLOG ENTRY - March 2011

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Painting...

Today was a really cool day.... but not so bad that we were able to get a fair bit done. Ed got the midship bunks put back together and re-installed a bunch of doors.


I have installed a new thermostat on the fridge and it seems to be great...


Today I also got the dive shop painted... The compressor and generator are now installed and working great. Yesterday I got a guy at the Mufflerman to make me a custom exhaust for the generator.... what a great job! and are you ready fior the price.... $75.00 ... there are good people left in the world....


Also today I bit the bullet and ordered the new radar/chartplotter unit for the boat. We are now the owners of an 18" HD Raydome and a c95 chartplotter from Raymarine. Defender Industries in Connecticut is having their huge anual warehouse sale and we saved over $1000 over their regular price... This unit is set up with blue tooth so I can use my iPad as a second screen at the lower nav station... this unit is SO cool. check it out:


257908 Raymarine RD418 HD 4KW Digital Radome
259101    Raymarine C95 Multifunction Navigation Display

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Busy Saturday...

My father-in-law (Ed) came to the house a little after 8 this morning.  Together we went to the boat and got in a full day...

Dad finished the panels for the aft cabin and did about half a dozen other small carpentry jobs including some shelves for the utility room where the scuba compressor will be.


Speaking of scuba compressor, today I ran the compressor and everything worked great.  As soon as I have a muffler for the generator I will try to fill a tank completely.  Today though, I just ran the system pressure to 2000 psi and everything worked great!  At least we know it works!

Today Gary came back and finished the plumbing!!!  That's right - There is one job COMPLETELY FINISHED!!! Whoo-hoo...

I putzed around with a number of small jobs, including the installation of the chart drawers, the new helm seat, and put the lower helm back together...

Tonight when I got home I covered the panels that dad made today with some marine vinyl... They are looking great.  As soon as the headline carpet gets installed we can finish putting the aft cabin back together...

All in all a great day!

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Busy Week....

It's been a really busy week at work, but I have had some time to get a few things done...

Yesterday, Derrick (my refrigeration guy), came by after work and got my refrigerator working! Another job DONE....

While he was doing his thing, I got a little more done on the generator.

This morning we went to our US mailbox and picked up our new mattresses and headliner material... all looks great! Tonight we are going to sleep on our new mattress... Our daughter thinks we are nuts, but with this investment, we want to be absolutely sure is is the way we want it...

Tonight I went to the boat for a few hours and got the waste holding tank connected and the macerater installed. I ended the night getting most of the scuba compressor installed... tomorrow I will test it....

The best part of today was I got to see our granddaughter for a few hours.... What an Angel.... she was checking out our new mattress...







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Monday, March 19, 2012

A Quick Update....

Just a quick update to say that today I got the diesel generator running in the boat!!! Now I just have to figure out a way to put and exhaust/muffler system in place.....

Shelley and I got some of the boat tidied up and she was able to get some of the carpet remnants scraped out of the aft head cupboards...

Not bad for a few hours work on the boat after work.......

Early this morning I picked up 100 stainless steel fasteners (screws) at Fastenal and after I got back in the Jeep I realized that I just paid almost $90!!!! After I got to work, I called the manager, Rich, and not only did he fix the mistake, he has added a significant discount to my account so I can save a little money.... Thanks Fastenal!

Tonight I returned my phone gizmo to Rogers (phone company) and we are now officially WITHOUT a home phone!!!! Welcome tot he 21st century and goodbye to all those annoying telemarketers....

Cheers....

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Great Saturday!

This morning I arrived at the boat and there was quite a bit of fog...  Not to be discouraged, I knew that a friend Gary, from church was coming by today who just happened to a plumber....  Just the kind of friend I was looking for...

I laid out all the toilets and accessories and we got started...

A little while later we heard someone boarding the boat, and found that Bill had come by with a trailer full of scaffolding. He was there to figure out a way to get the diesel generator from the trailer to the lazerette...







Within an hour, the generator was in the lazerette and Bill was busy wiring it in.  Gary and I spent the rest of the day getting about half of the plumbing done...  The aft head (toilet) is now complete and we have run the waste line from the aft head to the holding tank.


All that is left is to install the forward head (toilet), connect both waste lines to the holding tank, and install the maserator...  When this is all done the waste system on the boat will be "legal" for the for the Great Lakes and any other inland waterway...  Plus we will have the option when off shore to handle our own waste disposal...

A GREAT DAY!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lots Done Today.....

Today Bill S. came to help... This incredibly wonderful weather day started with us removing what was left of the winter cover and frame.... From now on we will just cover the boat with a tarp each night.

After cleaning the yard up a little we got to work re-filling the Hydraulic steering system. There seems to be a few air bubbles still in it, but otherwise the steering seems to be working great...

After a little break, we ran the fuel lines for the generator and then built a shelf the hold the generator.

Last night I went to Home Depot and picked up some 1/4" stainless steel staples and covered the aft cabin wall panels with marine vinyl. After we install the headliner carpet we can re-install these panels....




After I got home today I finally got the main traveller apart so I can repair the turning blocks. Today Shelley spent a few hours sorting out all the boat stuff we have at the house... A very productive day....



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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A BEAUTIFUL Day!!!

Today reminds me why I love life so much!  Not too cold... Not too hot...   and just the right amount of SUNSHINE!

Today dad and I spent a few hours working at the boat...  Dad got some more work done on the aft cabin and I wired in the engine alarms, the refrigeration unit, the wind generator...etc...etc...  Lots done, but not much to show...




I did start the engine today and it started after just a second... not bad for sitting all winter.... I also pulled the inspection plate off the impeller and found the impeller looking just great....  The bad news is that when I do have to change the impeller I will have to remove the whole pump to get at the impeller...  I miss the impeller on the Catalina.... 4 screws and you are done....  oh well.....

Tonight Shelley and I picked up the fuel line and the fittings that I need to finish installing the generator...  A GREAT sunny day!
Cheers!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dad Makes A Fall....

If there was an award for tenacity, My father-in-law would win it for sure.... Yesterday we spent a few hours working at the boat. While he was man-handling 2 pieces of 1/4 inch plywood into place he took a nasty fall... Ever the trooper, he kept going and is making the aft cabin look incredible.




We also tackled the big job of running the cables to and from the diesel generator that we are going to put in the lazerette and the scuba compressor in the starboard midship cabin...

I now have to run a fuel line and figure out how to exhaust the generator...
The last job was to install our new wind speed and direction indicator...




Other than a little rain we felt the first warm day of the year... more soon...

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Binnacle Is Back....

Friday was a very productive day... My friends, Dave and Bill came by and gave of themselves and their talents... Bill took care of the installation of the pump that will water cool the refrigeration unit. He did an awesome job...



Dave helped me and together we re-installed the binnacle... this was a big job, but after a couple of hours we succeeded in getting it back where it belongs and got the hydraulic hoses re-connected. We will now wait for a warmer day to fill and purge to hydraulic steering system.... The people at the Fluid Power House were able to extend the banjo fittings on the aft helm steering unit so the line now can travel under the deck on the ceiling of the aft cabin instead of through a wooden tee-pee contraption on the deck and under foot every time you stand at the helm.... I'm thinkin' it looks pretty good.




The wind instruments came today and I will try to get them installed in the next week or so. I need to build a bracket for the one that will be at the nav station helm and re-cut the hole for the one that will be at the aft helm...




I also measured the booms today so this weekend I am ordering the "Mack Packs" for the main and the mizzen. On Friday I also ordered the headliner carpet for the aft cabin after getting approval from the boss (Shelley) to use carpet on the ceiling of our aft cabin.



I ended the day by making some aluminum tracks that will go along the ceiling of the aft cabin.  Inside this track I will hide the 3 hydraulic lines and all the wires that travel to the binnacle and the helm... they should look great when they are installed. I also made an aluminum bracket for the wind instrument that will be at the nav station helm.  All in all... a great couple of days...


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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back Cabin is Coming Along.....

Today my father-in-law yet again, did a great job finishing the bed in the aft cabin.... The next time he comes we will try to get things together on the walls...


Yesterday Shelley ordered new mattresses for the double bed in the aft cabin and the 2 bunks, amidship. The are made up with regular and memory foam glued together. We bought them from the same company in Michigan that made the foam to replace the outside cushions on our old boat. Yet again, we are thankful for our US mailbox, they offer free shipping to a US address and charge $200 to ship to Canada...
Today I found some time to re-cover the panels that my son and I cleaned up the other night... I think They look GREAT!
Before:

After:

On Monday this week I purchased a used scuba compressor for $1000 on Craig's List. I was a little worried about finding spare parts for it, until I found this really neat guy in Kansas who sold me a spare head unit and all the filters I will need to make breathable air for scuba diving... Another $600 that now gets us up and running for less than half the cost of a new one... Yippee!
One last purchase today was at the metal supermarket where I purchased aluminum U channel and 4" aluminum cover plate. I will install all of this on the ceiling of the aft cabin to run the hydraulic lines and wires to the binnacle...
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Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Great Day in the Aft Cabin.....

Thanks to my amazing father-in-law, we were able to get a big chunk of our new aft cabin done today... More on that in a minute. But first I have to tell you about the freaking WIND!!!
Holy smokes! was it blowing over the last 24 hours... Steady 50kph winds with gusts to 90... When we arrived this morning, almost the whole cover at the back of the boat was in tatters. I am so glad Ed was with me so together we could get things tied down and re-covered... This took us almost an hour.
Last night, my son Steve dropped by and I put him to work in our garage and we stripped the 2 light/curtain panels that were in the aft cabin. I need to repair one corner of the port panel with some epoxy, then I can re-cover them with some marine vinyl, then install some recessed LED lights and curtain rods and the little clips that hold up the open ports... When all of that is done they can go back to the boat to be re-installed in the aft cabin...

Back to the new double bed we are building in the aft cabin... it looks amazing so far. First we made a sub floor that will become the floor area of a big storage area under the bed. I have calculated that will be about 30 cubic feet of dry storage area. Then we added a removable door panel to the front of the foot board on the bed which will eventually access another storage area of about 6 cubic feet. This whole bed is glued and screwed so it will take a small charge of dynamite to change it after we are finished.


 
Next time we are together, I hope to prime and paint the inside of these lockers before we add the plywood top to the bed. This week we also hope to get to Len's Mills (a local millenary store). to acquire a piece of 54x75x4 in regular foam and a 54x75x4 inch piece of memory foam that we will glue together to make our 8" thick comfy mattress....
Ed was also able to help me figure out a great way to make a channel for the hydraulic hoses and other miscellaneous wires that we need to move along our ceiling....
Shelley was kind enough to bring us a great lunch today and she stayed an hour or so and worked away at scraping the ceiling in the main salon... we still are not too sure how we are going the fix that ceiling up yet....
Anyway, in spite of the wind, it was a very productive day....
One last thing... Yesterday I ordered the wind instruments from a company called VMG Marine... We met him at the boat show and found him to be a friendly and knowledgeable man who was selling instruments made in the United Kingdom, and retail for less than half of the same equipment from Raymarine... Now, the truth is, I really think that Raymarine makes awesome gear, but I can replace this stuff twice before I could justify the price of the RM gear.... 
 http://www.vmg-marine.com/Clipper-Wind.html

We also made the decision yesterday to go with the "MACK PACK" lazy jack and sail covers. They have some show specials on right now, so it looks like a good time to buy.
http://macksails.com/mackpack.htm

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Galley Looks Done... The Aft Cabin is Starting....

Today it was warm enough that I was able to grout the backsplash in the galley. with that job done, it looks like we are almost finished the galley. Just a few odds and ends to tidy up and the galley can be taken off the "to-do" list... I think it is looking really good....








Today I also finished wiring the wind generator and removed the last of the old woodwork from the aft cabin. I then placed some lumber where the new bed will go to try to figure out how to build it. I really don't feel very confident in my ability to build this bed so I hope someone with some carpentry skills can help out in the next little while...




All in all, a good day....


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