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.