Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Break 2014 Cape Coral, Florida

My son and I headed to Florida during Spring Break this year to escape the cold and do a little sailing.  He is a Freshman at the University of South Dakota.  It is kind of cool that he still likes to hang out with his Dad at his age.  Most kids would be off chasing things around the beach and partying all night like rocks stars.

This winter, as most of you know, has been a cold and miserable one in the Midwest and around the country.  Records show that this was the 7th coldest winter on record in South Dakota. We had 66 days below zero and 45 day below -10 degrees Fahrenheit. So it was nice to get a break from the cold and see a little sunshine. Temps were near 80 degrees every day while we were there.

We had a great flight down and were able to take a few shots of the Tampa and St. Petersburg areas as we past by overhead. We have many great memories of the Tampa/St. Peter area.  The boat was actually purchased in Bradenton and moved to a boat yard in Tampa where the refit started.  After it was back in the water it spent a few seasons in a marina in St. Pete before we moved it to Cape Coral.

Tampa/ St Pete



Cape Coral
We worked on a few projects on the interior of the boat and got it rigged for sailing.  A lightning storm has taken out the solar charger so it was replaced and back in action.  The interior work continues with the assembly of the new heads and cabinetry. A lot of work has been done on the headliner this winter.  Last winter the deck and caprail were re-glassed and it turned out awesome.  The new deck now has an easy to clean nonskid surface. The caprail is now water tight and gives the boat a sleeker cleaner look.
Brother Brad is still working part time at his day job so work is progressing. Nothing like working on your boat in the canal behind your house. A nice short commute.  Here are a few shots of us cruising the canals of Cape Coral, the boat and us out sailing.  Winds were pretty light but it was good to get out on the water and make sure everything was working properly.



Hope to get back down in the next few months to help work on the interior. Most of the aft cabin is done. The pilot house chart table area needs completing and the main salon walls need to be tambered. Plenty of work to do but at least we can now see an end to it.
~~~ Sail On ~~~ /)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Headliner Progress

My brother Brad is down in Florida for the Winter and is hard at work enjoying the Florida warmth and sunshine.  He has had time however to rough out some of the headliner in the main salon and pilothouse.

The old headliner was made out of sheets of 1/4 inch lauan paneling with a vinyl covering.  The sheets were large and you had to take down half of the ceiling to install any deck fittings.  The wood and vinyl were nothing but magnets for moisture and mold.  The new headliner is made of 1/4 Sintra.  This is a plastic material that comes in 4ft by 8ft sheets which will not take on moisture, rot or mold.  The groove was custom cut at a wood working shop. The idea was to give it that slatted look like the classic yacht interiors build by the TaShing boat yard.

Slats first had to be secured to the under side of the cabin top. These will serve as a secure base to screw the headliner panels to.  Sheets of self adhesive foam insulation were placed in all the open area to keep out the heat.  New wiring was also run for the overhead cabin lights and fans. Teak slats are then placed over the top of the headliner to secure them in place and cover the seams.  The panels were kept small to allow them to be taken down if deck fittings needed to be added or modified.

Some latest pics of the pilothouse and head ceiling below.

~~~ Sail On ~~~ /)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Wildthing Bottom Paint

WildThing has a few mile under her keel and it was time to give the bottom a new coat of anti-fouling bottom paint.  Brad had reworked the heads and holding tanks and needed to also put in a few new thru-hulls for the new head design. 

There weren't that many places in the Cape Coral/Fort Meyers area to have it done.  The boat weighs 34,000 lbs, draws 6ft and has a 62ft mast so you can't just pull it into any yard.

Brad found the Fort Myers Boat Club not to far from his home in Cape Coral. It was basically a little ways up Caloosahatchee River from the Tarpon Point Marina.  The travel lift and services there worked out great and they were kind enough to park the boat on a concrete section of the yard.

It is always exciting to see the boat come out of the water. You realize just how big they are. It is important to work with the travel lift operator to make sure they know where to lift the boat. The Pan Oceanic's have a Brewer's bite on the back part of the keel.  This is a good placement point for the aft lift strap.

The bottom paint was very thin and completely gone in some areas. A light sanding and some epoxy primer was applied before a couple of coats of bottom paint.




While the boat was out of the water, it is a good time the replace all your zincs on the rudder, prop and shaft.  There are two copper plates one for SSB and the other for mast grounding.  These were both cleaned and serviced too. Everything else checked out ok, and the boat was put back in the water.

~~~Sail On~~~ /)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

WildThing Sails Again

It has been a long road during the refit of WildThing. It is alot like sailing in that it is not about the destination so much as the journey on the way to getting the boat completed.  The boat was actually purchased in 2003 in Bradenton Florida.  It spent a few years in a boat yard where it received new paint on the topsides and bottom.  We removed the old teak decks and the rest has been done pretty much by my brother Brad his wife Carla and I.  It pays to be handy!

I would meet my brother in Florida for a week or two at a time and we would work hard all day and then go out to eat at night at some local fish joint. There are many of them in St. Pete and we tried them all. The Wharf and Dockside Daves stick in my memory as some of the most colorful. As I said, the time spent working on the boat was hard but, it was also an excuse for me to get down and spend time with my brother. You would be surprised at the number of world problems we solved over a Grouper sandwich and a few beers. 

My wife actually came down to see the boat one year because she did not believe there was one. She could not understand the scope of the project and all the work that went into redoing the boat.  She though we were just spending time at the beach all day.

Yes honey, there is a boat and it is still under construction. We have it to the point where we can sail it and have had it out on the water for numerous day sails.  We are somewhat scared to finish it because it may put an end our yearly getaways to work on the boat.

The refit has taken many years, you name it, we have replaced it. New topside and bottom paint, removed teak decks, new engine and starter panels, fuel tanks, fuel polishing system, exhaust, shaft, fuel system, AC/DC panels, solar panels and charger, AC/DC wiring, windlass, standing and running rigging, chain plates, thru hulls, battery charger, inverter, holding tanks, plumbing, water pressure pump, holding tanks, heads, custom hard top, refrigeration, cushions, custom cockpit hatches, insulation, remove cap rail and fiberglassed it, 10 new custom pilothouse widows, new helm station, deck wash and cockpit shower, all hatches and hardware re-bedded, new main traveler, running lights, fabricated new fiberglass cockpit hatches, new interior cabinets, flooring, headliner, new cockpit steering pedestal, hydraulic pilot house steering, hydraulic hoses and autopilot.

I was down for a week this spring to check on the latest progress and do some sailing.  Last fall Brad had hired a carpenter to rebuilt most of the galley and salon cabinets.   The cabinets are in the process of being varnished and will be put back in place on our next trip.

My brother has been doing a bit of consulting so he has not been able to devote working full time on the boat.  He has completed a number of smaller items on the interior and added most of the hardware back onto the deck and cockpit areas.
Chainplate covers

Deck wash and windlass controls

New Main traveller and sheets
Genoa Tracks
New composite flooring in aft cabin and pilothouse
Pilothouse flooring
Hot and cold shower plumbed into the cockpit
New pilothouse cushions
New Sintra plastic headliner
New headliner
More headliner
Stern view

Brad and Carla

Lauren and Mark

Carla and Lauren



Lauren catching some spring sunshine
RumRunners at Cape Harbour

Cape Harbour
There is still a long list or projects to be completed so I guess I should start planning my next trip to Florida. This time I think I will take my wife. Now that she knows we are actually working she is a little more understanding.