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Posted by on Sunday, April 28, 2019 in Boat Projects, Moving, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Moving Back Onboard the Sandflea

November 26-28, 2019

Watch Episode 92 here!

It’s finally time to move back aboard the good ship Sandflea! In this post we rent a uHaul truck, fill it up with cruising gear and food, and make the 1-way trip to Florida.

We pack up the moving truck and get ready for the 7 hour drive to Green Cove.

We are greeted with a beautiful sunrise as we drive South to Green Cove Springs and the Sandflea.

The next day we finish unpacking the truck and getting everything onto the boat so we can return the moving truck. It’s so cold when we wake up!

Getting the boat organized!

November 29-30, 2019

Watch Episode 93 here!

I may have caused our Whale water pump to explode. Chalk it up to a rookie mistake, but when I replaced our water lines, I inadvertently attached a pressurized water line to the non-pressurized foot pump.

DOH!

A bit of drama occurred when I flipped on the water pressure breaker for the first time. A minor explosion and a bit of theatrical screaming was the result. The solution, however, is to run a new non-pressurized water line through a very inaccessible area of the boat. Ah the unexpected joys and surprises of boat life!

-Ben

We have a yummy pizza dinner and decorate the Christmas Pole.

After dinner, as we’re getting ready for bed, the water pump explodes all over the floor of the cabin. This is when we realize that Ben accidentally hooked the foot pump up to the pressure water pump coming from our water tanks!

The next day we go to Ace Hardware to get the supplies needed to fix the foot pump, and a new faucet for the galley sink. Molly sends a letter to Santa.

We get back to the boat, and get to work putting in the new lines from the water tank to the sink for the foot pump.

December 1-3, 2019

Watch Episode 94 here!

Molly, our resident swabby, installs our new CPT Autopilot.

Thank goodness there is such a talented engineer aboard our humble sailboat to handle such delicate installation projects.

Ben also handles the task of rewiring the mast lights and VHF antenna. There’s a good chance that everything will work correctly when he’s done, but we’ll see.

After this, the only thing left to do is to leave the dock, point our boat South, and start making our way towards the islands.

Oh man! I can almost feel the warm breeze now. It won’t be long at all until we’re back at our home-away-from-home…

THE BAHAMAS!

Molly helps Ben install the new CPT Auto Pilot, and he hooks up the VHF wire.

We get some rain, so the Swabby bails out the dinghy. The Sandflea is looking ready to leave the dock and start her new adventure!

We’ve had a successful move aboard the Sandflea, Molly celebrates with a juice. Ben installs the new grill, and we have a wonderful dinner with some new friends on SV Gogo.

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Posted by on Saturday, April 27, 2019 in Boat Projects, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Poli Glow and Sail Ready!

November 2-8, 2018:

Watch Episode 90 here!

Watch Episode 91 here!

FINALLY, after over a year of waiting and working, it’s time to splash the boat. The travel-lift raises Sandflea from her stands and slowly rolls her over to the water.

The boat is lowered to the water, checked for leaks, and then we commence with stepping the mast back onto the boat.

I was SOOOOOOOO nervous as the mast was being lifted above the boat with the crane! I had spent so much time and effort trying to get all of my measurements just right when I was replacing all of the standing rigging, and it all came down to a single very moment where I would know if I had done everything right.

Turns out that the mast went up without any problems at all.

Wow, Ben… you sure do know your stuff. Excellent work, Ben!

From here, there’s still a bit of prep work to do before we can actually depart, so we don’t waste anytime getting busy with our final projects.

New adventures await!

So, we tune the standing rigging with a Loos tension gauge, we get a new spray dodger, and we also discover an impromptu boat project that MUST be completed before we can sail.

This was our LAST boat work trip. The next trip we make to the boat will be to load up and GO SAILING!

-Ben

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Posted by on Saturday, March 9, 2019 in Boat Projects, Family Time, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Man Vs. Oil Filter and Family Time

October 2018- Ben makes another trip down to the boat. He changes the oil, installs the tracks for our seat cushions, works on the teak, and so much more!

Watch Episode 87 here!

The highlight of this particular video is probably the part where I do battle against a recalcitrant oil filter. For me, it kinda sucked, but for you – I imagine you’ll find it somewhat entertaining.

Oh – Tambi and Molly make an appearance in this one. Also, you’ll be seeing much more of the ladies from here on out… so that’s good news.

-Ben

After all his hard work, Ben meets Molly and I in Savannah for some fun family time! We hang out in Tybee Island for Pirates Fest, and tour Fort Pulaski. We also take a walk down Historic River Street in Savannah, where Molly gets some pizza and Ben and I sample some of the local beers. We also, eat some good food at our favorite restaurant, The Pirates House.

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Posted by on Saturday, March 9, 2019 in Boat Projects, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Boat Work and the Great Banana Challenge

August 2018- This time, Ben heads to the boat to continue the boat work and get the Sandflea ready to be put back in the water, which will happen in just a few short months!

Watch Episode 86 here!

Our new sailing adventures begin in November! That means that there is MUCH boat work to wrap up before then.

On this trip Ben installs a saltwater washdown pump and a shiny new Mantus anchor. He also repaints the binnacle, along with some other various projects.

Do try your luck at the Great Banana Challenge as you watch this video.

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Posted by on Saturday, March 9, 2019 in Boat Projects, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Installing New Rigging and Hurricane Prep

This post takes place over 3 different trips to the boat. One in March, one in May, and one in June of 2018.

We are getting the boat ready to go on the hard for hurricane season, and repairing the rigging that was damaged in Hurricane Irma.

Watch episode 83 here!

It’s time to replace the 38 year old standing rigging on our Endeavour 32 sailboat.

In this video, Ben will replace the 4 lower shrouds. Those are the wires that run from deck-level, up to the height of the spreaders.

Ever since buying this sailboat, I’ve had thoughts of replacing the standing rigging. The decision was made for me when some of the wires were damaged during hurricane Irma.

This will be the biggest project we’ve tackled yet, and we’ll be doing all of the work ourselves. Well, mostly Ben.

Watch Episode 84 here!

In this post, Molly and I join Ben in Greencove Springs, Florida. We unstep the mast and haul our sailboat out of the water. Then we get to work to prepare her for being on the hard for the next 6 months. 

To prepare Sandflea for hurricane season, we set out ant traps inside and outside the boat, we grease all the jack stands so bugs can’t crawl up them, we set out mouse traps and roach traps as well. We also put out damp-rid bags to keep the moisture at bay so no mold will grow inside while we’re away. We’ve done everything we can think of the keep her in good shape. 

The standing rigging replacement project will continue with the mast down while the boat is out of the water for the hurricane season.

It was our goal to complete the replacement of the standing rigging with the boat in the water. Unfortunately, I reached a point where I was not able to continue the project because the mast could not be effectively secured while upright. Ah… safety first, right?

Oh well – the boat is coming out of the water anyways, so it makes sense to go ahead and pull the mast down and finish the rigging project safely.

Watch Episode 85 here!

In this video, Ben will be installing Sta-Lok rigging terminals. These are great because they are assembled with simple hand tools instead of requiring a swage press.

Replacing the standing rigging on our sailboat is tough. It’s hot, mosquitos are everywhere, Ben’s fingers are bleeding, he nearly gets struck by 2 lightning bolts, and worst of all… his pale body is glistening from an over-enthusiastic application of Avon Skin-So-Soft.

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Posted by on Thursday, November 15, 2018 in Boat Projects, Florida, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Repairing the Water Tank Lid

In this post, Ben repairs the water tank lid on the Sandflea. This post links to 3 different episodes for this build. He does a fantastic job on our new lid. He also moves the filling port to the end so I don’t have to sleep on the pipe anymore! Yay! I do have a great hubby don’t I?!

Watch episode 79 here!

In this episode, I (Ben) repair the water tank aboard our Endeavour sailboat. After hurricane Irma, I noticed flakes of weird stuff are floating in our drinking water.

SOLUTION: Reseal the inside of our water tank with epoxy.

Simple, right? BwAHHahhAhahAhahAHHAAA!!!! Never.

It just doesn’t happen like that with boat projects. It’s way more interesting when the water tank lid won’t come off because it was installed with 3M 5200. That way you have to completely destroy the lid in order to access the water tank.

YIPPEEE!!!

Once you finally gain access to the tank’s interior, it’s covered in weird brown stuff that requires hours of laborious sanding to remove.

WHAHOOO!!!

It sure does feel good though once the work is done and the tank is freshly resealed in 2 coats of food-grade epoxy.

JOB DONE!!!

Oh… no not quite… now you’ve got to fabricate an entire new lid cuz you wrecked the original one, REMEMBER!??!

The fun never ends… not even when my exposed, sweat-drenched skin is covered in grayish-brownish water tank dust which gives my epidermis an unnatural tone that is reminiscent of a near-dead ET that Elliot just found in the river.

Watch episode 80 here!

In this episode, I’ll construct a brand new water tank lid for our Endeavour 32 sailboat. The old was tragically destroyed, by me, with a saw, while gaining access to the interior of the water tank.

The old lid was rotten anyways, so it’s not really as tragic as it sounds.

It’s my intent is for this new lid to be MUCH better than the original one. It will not only be stronger, but it will also be completely sealed from water intrusion so that rot will never be an issue again.

By the way, I know it’s hard to tell in the video, but this project took me nearly a full week of work to complete. Wow! I thought I’d be done with this lid in a couple days… nope. Silly me. Boat projects just don’t work like that, and when you forget that fact, the boat will remind you how it really works.

Watch episode 81 here!

Our Endeavour 32 sailboat gets a new water tank lid to replace the rotten one that was contaminating our drinking water.

This project, like all boat projects, took far longer than I thought it would.

In the end though, I think the results are worth the extra time that it took to construct the custom lid, and to ensure that it is installed properly.

Now, the big boat project on the list is the replacement of our standing rigging.

Oooooh boy.

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