Thursday, March 24, 2016


Thursday, March 24th, 2016
Sunrise over the Gulf this morning.

I have spent the last two days spreading epoxy, tomorrow will be the last... on the plywood.
We stacked the wet plywood because we have 18 sheets and need to get two coats on both sides and don't have a lot of room.

Christine is lofting templates. Since we are building two boats, this is faster.

These two strongbacks are ready for construction. We should be able to start cutting in a couple days.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


For my new followers, I am traveling to Farley's Boat Works in Port Aransas, Texas to help build a couple of loaner boats for the 2016 Texas 200. 

Like most of my travels lately, this one too has been an adventure. I wanted to use my Southwest Rapid Rewards that have been piling up for the last three years. But in order to do that, I would have to book a flight out of Ft. Lauderdale, a city nearly four hours from Key West. I thought it would be worth the savings, so I booked my flight. When the total airfare came to $11.20, I was ecstatic. I thought this is going to be a cheap trip. Okay, but how am I going to get to Ft. Lauderdale? There is a shuttle that runs from Key West to the airports in both Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. That would be simple and i heard they are cheap. NOT. $100 each way, and my outgoing flight leaves too early to get there on time by shuttle. I had a coupon for discounted car rental with Budget: $43.00. I thought that was a good deal, until I went to pick up the car and my charge was $43 PLUS this and that, which brought it over $100. Crap, this is not looking like a very cheap trip after all.

My flight leaves at 6 am, so I left my house at 11:30 pm to give me plenty of time for the four hour drive and delays along the way. Thirty minutes from home and a sheriff’s car pulls in behind me and turns on those dreaded blinky lights of his. Apparently I’m not accustomed to cars with new fandangled knobs, because my tails lights were not on. The headlights came on, so I assumed the tail lights did also. I was unaware that there is a knob you have to turn on the tail lights too. Well, that’s just stupid, and the policeman probably thought that about me. That was my first hiccup.

Another couple hours down the road, and a dump truck comes barreling up behind me on a one lane road. He’s right on my bumper and I’m getting concerned. All the sudden he gets even closer, pulls the left like he is going to pass me, but there is not enough room between me and the divider. At that moment I’m thinking it’s a good thing I went a head and bought their insurance, because this truck is about to flatten this Ford Focus. Pulling back, he waits for another mile or so for the second lane, and then passes me. That was my second hiccup.

A little farther down the road, on the Florida Turnpike, a car comes roaring up in the lane to the right of me. When he gets just past me, he slows down then drops back behind me. He does this three more times. Now I’m thinking that $100 shuttle wasn’t such a bad idea. I could let someone else do the driving, drop me off at the airport door, and I wouldn’t have all these “hiccups”. 

Well, I did want more adventures this year, and so far.. it has been.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


It's Copper Kettle, because I don't like orange. Anyway, I got the first coat on the hull.

The trailer still needs a little work, but all work is put on hold for the next two weeks. Because I will be in Port Aransas, Texas helping build the Saturday Night Specials that will sail in this year's Texas 200. I am excited!

Monday, March 14, 2016



Last week I finally took my vehicle to get new tires. I was running on three bald and one with a little tread left. It was time. After they were installed, I was informed that the alignment could not be done because the front end needed parts: ball joints, tie rod... and something else. The quote I was given was $1476. After I picked myself up off the floor, I paid the $520 tire bill and headed straight to my mechanic, Shifting Gears. They were able to get me in two days later, fixed my problems and saved me $500.

I was feeling pretty good about my Explorer. The feeling that I might get stranded with a flat tire, and the horrific squeak was gone. A couple days later I pulled into the boatyard where I work, proceeded to pull around behind the work truck to park... and the boatyard employee started to backup and slammed into me. Obscenities were loudly shouted (by me) and I jumped out to find a deep gouge in my driver side rear quarter panel. My vehicle is far from new and it does have a lot of character, but it didn't have dents, until now. And I wanted it FIXED, so the boatyard manager told me to go get a couple repair quotes.

Bodywork is expensive. The next day I received a phone call from boatyard letting me know they had a check for me and could I pick it up before 5:00. When I got the check, I looked at the dent and thought to myself, "it doesn't look THAT bad". Okay, do I spend all that money on getting the dent fixed and being without a car for 5 to 7 days, or do I just pocket that money that would more than reimburse me for the tires and front end repair?  I've decided to pocket the money and do the repair myself. I'll pound out the dent as much as possible and then the paint job will be unique. I just haven't decided what to paint on it. Flower? No. Maybe a fish... a swordfish! Maybe.

Friday, March 11, 2016


The first coat on the decks was applied today. Glidden Porch & Floor, water based paint is what I used to paint the storage compartments. When I returned for another gallon, I was told that Glidden discontinued their water based paint, I would have to go with Behr. So, I picked out an off white and started painting. I believe this might be a better paint. It does not wash off as easy as the Glidden. Guess that's a good thing.

I need to start thinking of the rigging. Oh my! I'm getting close to seeing her float!
Everyone at the Sailing Club was disappointed that they will not see the splash. That will be a private event. I don't want an audience when I'm figuring out the sail position, and how this boat will act. I promised to bring her down on a Sunday, when the regulars gather.

Sunday, March 6, 2016


Boat trailers are hard to find in Key West. The trailers you do find, usually need just about everything replaced, or they are too big and expensive. On my trailer quest for my boat, I found either twice the size I needed or the remains of a boat trailer.

Chuck had a trailer that held two non-running jet skis. He donated the jet skis to a guy that thought he needed a project, and donated the trailer to my cause. But, it too needed work. The usual boat trailer parts were replaced: wheel bearings, lights, jack stand. The bunks will be custom cut to fit... later.

My Sweetie has been wonderful in this whole process!
Today was the move date. She is no longer at the Sailing Club. It became hard to work on her; the work bench was removed and the kayaks were moved into my build space. And the fact there wasn't cover to keep the rain out. We have had a LOT of rain lately.

My boat is behind all these boats, so the first think I did was start moving these out of the way. Several guys joined in the rearranging to clear a path for my trailer. The big question was did I have enough hands to get my boat moved onto the trailer. It is heavy, with all the fiberglass and epoxy I laid on her.
The trailer still doesn't have a winch stand, so Chuck tied her nose and stern down. She was not going to become a projectile going down the highway.
Heading out with the mast strapped to my vehicle.
My daughter and son-in-law live within spitting distance from me now. They let me bring my boat to their home to finish it. I have the BEST son-in-law!!!
Under cover and so close, the rest of the build should go fast. Plus I have a lot of extra time right now.
Chuck, my Sweetie, has been wonderful in the whole trailer work and the move. He is so busy at work right now, but he took time to help me. He is wonderful to me!!