Is a dry boat really necessary?

Ok so…. The boat is all settled in. She is on a mooring ball as we work on her. The frustration has mounted as we take 2 steps forward and 5 steps back. There is much more work than we anticipated. Oh boy is there more work. The leak elimination was going well. So we thought. For every leak we fix we find another. While fixing the window leak in the head it starts pouring. Turn your head and what do we see across the way? If you answered another leaky window, you are correct. We didn’t know about that one. Also we Fixed the leaky mast only to find out there is water coming from inside the mast as well. Oh the joy of a dry boat. She will most definitely be a very dry boat by the time we are done with her.
Surely you have seen hamsters running on a wheel. This how we are feeling about now. And yes at any given moment one of us may be ready to jump ship. The thought has crossed our minds a time or two. That isn’t happening though. We are in this together for the long haul. The rewards will be AMAZING. That is what keeps us chugging along one project at a time. We have accomplished a lot though . To stay motivated we have to look at the projects we have accomplished. She was an  1 1/2 hrs. away before so every trip was less productive than it is now. The engine is installed and running properly. That took a bit of work. Not much info available for that installation. Dennis is working on a post all about that project. The house batteries and solar panels are up and running. Sometimes things got done more than once. She has gotten a good scrubbing on the inside to get rid of mold and mildew. The bilge has been scrubbed and is now free of past diesel and whatever the hell else was in there. It stunk. The shower drain leads away from the mast and into our nice clean bilge now instead of water sitting at the bottom of the mast.  Several leaks have been repaired so she is getting drier each time we go out to work on her.
We need to take her out for a joy ride soon though. All work and no play makes for a grumpy crew.

Until next time,
Señora del Mar

 

How many engines does it take?

A journey that expectedly took longer than expected. Isn’t that the way it usually goes? First off we got  a late start from Titusville and didn’t quite make it as far as we had hoped. The wind was not blowing and our engine is not set up for a long journey so we used the dinghy with the 9.8 outboard. Everything was cruising along smoothly and we anchored for the night. It is such an AWESOME feeling when things go so well.

How short lived that was. The 9.8 dies because we ran out of oil, the shaft slips on the inboard and it is no longer operational. We are now left with old reliable, the little 5hp champion that seems to always save our asses. Oh but it always gets better. The sun is setting, we are cruising at a super slow speed and not sure if we have enough gas to get to the marina to dock for the night. There is no place to anchor and we are not prepared to sail at night. The universe was not going to completely kill our spirit, we did make it to the dock. Have I mentioned that I have never in my life brought a boat into a slip. With a dinghy no less. A bit of a struggle but we got tied up for the night.

Morning comes and we start the day with the breakfast of champions, ice cream. We set off for the last leg of our trip. The power boats are out in full force so rather than get upset because the wake tosses the boat every which way, there was DINGHY SURFING to be done. I do believe Murphy was done with us at this point. Our travels to St. Augustine were pretty uneventful. We were going to have to dock again though. There are no moorings till after the 4th. The engine needs to be repaired already. I am saying my prayers and pleading with the universe that it is an easy fix.

Until next time,
Señora del Mar

We found our sailboat

After passing our depressive state from the last boat we decided to pass on (Allied Seabreeze). Our impatience was growing so we couldn’t help but continue to look for “our boat”. From what we could tell the best deals seamed to be on craigslist, so we continued to do some hard window shopping. By this time we were in a much better financial situation as we had put together the money for our fourth and final kid’s braces and we have managed to pay our home off!!!!! (WooHOO!!!!). Now we felt like the timing was right.

I was particularly looking for a strong and worthy classic with a broken down engine (Clearance Sale!). It was slim pickings, but we ended up taking a look at a Bristol 29.9 in Cape Canaveral Fl. that had it’s engine removed (bonus!) and was being offered for $6,000. The seller just had the lower hull redone and painted and also just replaced the rudder stock and a couple of through holes.

Senora del Mar on the hard
Senora del Mar

We could not find a single bad review on this boat and although it was a little smaller than what we were looking for, it’s layout and beam made up the difference. Besides smaller is more affordable to maintain (more fun money!).

I must admit although it sounded like a fair deal, I still hesitated a bit knowing that once we said yes a financial hurricane would come our way. It did not disappoint!

So we did say yes to the deal after negotiating to $5,500 dinghy and 5.0 outboard motor included. Ok so we bought this boat so now what? The owner had now taken her off dry storage where he was getting ripped a new one and and had her docked at a friends house in  Cocoa Fl. while she waited for us to pick her up. Only 1 problem, she has no back up engine and I don’t currently have keel boat sailing experience, yikes!

After having an acquaintance bail out on me, another friend too busy at the time and looking into over water and out out of water transport fees I was a bit stressed and overwhelmed. How can we get this boat from Cocoa to St. Augustine, Fl. or at least Marineland Fl. safely without breaking the bank?

She Floats!!!!!!
She Floats!!!!!!

Stay tuned to the adventure. We will find a way to get her home. Surely it will be full of amusement for all.

Until next time,
Dennis

The Dangers of “Window Shopping” Boats on Craigslist

As I lie here this morning slightly depressed, my brain is still trying to “make it work” even though we already decided that it’s just not the right time yet.

We took a look at a 35’Allied Seabreeze that a gentleman was selling for next to nothing yesterday and drove a several hundred mile round trip with full intentions on purchasing her. The largest obstacle to get around was the fact that the Westerbeke diesel engine was not working. Between towing, mast destepping, lifting, trucking, lifting again and once again towing , along with whatever other adventures happen to pop up, the reality of the numbers were starting to unfold.

 

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She was a beautiful boat inside and out

 

My plan was to borrow from the nest egg account and pay it back after I finish getting braces on my youngest. In the mean time the boat would have to sit and wait until that financial obligation was taken care of. I still believe that we would have come out ahead in the end and we believe the boat was a perfect fit, but we just felt uncomfortable with the outlay of cash to make it happen. And we know to expect the unexpected surprises, and then what!

It was not all a loss as we learned a lot by speaking with the owner and made a friend, we just felt deep inside that it just wasn’t the right time.

Thanks for reading, until next time……

Dennis

Repairing the Broken Boat

Hi there,
Sorry it’s been a while. I was dealing with boat repairs and then came the holidays.

On the last blog, I had mentioned the damage that occurred to the boat. I ended up taking our 2 piece broken mast to an aluminum fabricator. He ended up reinforcing the broken area by putting a short aluminum rod on the inside of the mast, between the two pipes and the welding the mast back together.  The mast was previously broken and welded under the previous owners watch at the same location at some point. The cost was $50 for the repair and took less than an hour. The quick turn around was appreciated!

Next came the the forward shroud that had frayed. I ended up going to West Marine  as I heard they supply you with the tools to get the job done. Well, my first attempt was not so good. I’m sure it would have helped if they gave had given me the correct oval sleeve instead of a round stop sleeve. Talk about frustration….
I surrendered after an hour and a half of trying to put it all together with the help of the the West Marine associate.

Google and Youtube to the rescue! After doing some online research I went back and purchased the correct oval sleeve type and size from West Marine and went to work. After another hour and a half hand wrenching, wire bending / holding (not fun for a pro guitarist) and crimping with my arm pit, I was set. Very comical to watch I’m sure.  It would have been easier with 2 people, but I was just glad it finally came together. Not as neat looking as the previous one, but it will do.


Next part was the easiest. I had to rivet the two shroud attachments back onto the mast, reattach the chain plate on right side and also rivet the base of the mast back in place with some super long rivets that needed to special ordered online. Lesson. DON’T BE A DUMB ASS! Take your mast down as soon as you get the boat out of the water, even if you can’t find a parking spot.

She is finally ready for the water again. More adventures to come soon.

Happy New Year!!!!

Until Next Time,
Dennis Fermin

Redemption Sail / Mast Decapitation

I hope you all enjoyed the previous blog about our previous crazy Bus to RV conversion and travel adventures. If you haven’t seen the pics and crazy videos you can check them out here: https://wordpress.com/post/senoradelmar.wordpress.com/225

Below is a video clip of Stacey and I redeeming ourselves after our last sail during a rain storm. Not fun in a dinghy! The rain was coming down so hard that we couldn’t see a damn thing and had no idea what direction we were going in. Not to mention that the boat started taking on quite a bit of water. I strongly suggest not doing this in a smaller boat unless you have some type of navigational device and cover to use it under. Get your boat to shore or to the closest dock ASAP!!!!!!! My daughter (19) just happened to be on the boat this time, but I think she may be permanently traumatized by this experience. As usual I should have listened to my wife.

Redemption Sail:

 

Unfortunately, after a great sailing day we just happened to get into a little fight with a tree while moving the boat to an area so we could dismantle the mast. We lost the fight: the mast came down in 2 pieces, the front stay tore and two stays tore off the mast. OOOPS!!!! We will let you know how the repairs go on the next post. See you then!

Dennis Fermin

Help Support the Senora del Mar cause at:
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The Adventures Begin

It’s been a slow start after Hurricane Mathew hit. The local community has been doing a lot of cleaning up and damage assessing. Fortunately, the Fermin family faired well with Mathew. Our little sailboat survived! The worst was being without  internet for just over a week.

So here we are trying our hand at a different market lately here in st. Augustine, Fl. The Wednesday Market by the Pier. Wish us luck!

So as promised, I said last time that I would give you run down about our interesting travel adventures over the past several years that have brought us to where we are today. Several years back we were living In a 3,600 square foot home in Ga. until the economy bottomed out. At that time I was a full- time private music instructor. Anyway we figured that we had two choices: we could rent a smaller place without the guarantee of having enough income to pay rent or we could begin our crazy travel adventures. After gaining some knowledge and inspiration from youtube we decided to take on a school bus RV home conversion project and hit the road.

We purchased an older 35 foot dog nose diesel Bluebird built in Ga. and went to work!
It was a challenging, but fun project. Learned lots of new things from steel work to plumbing, constructing walls and bunk beds and all kinds of crazy stuff. We completely re-did the ceiling since it was previously ripped off. Also put in 12 volt and 110 volt wiring throughout. Bathroom, shower, convertible couch, you name it! Way too many detail to get into, but you can catch lots of pictures and videos here:

bus
http://ferminchaos.blogspot.com/p/bus.html

https://www.youtube.com/user/FerminChaos/videos

Although,  It was an interesting, exciting and educational project. I couldn’t quite figure out how to make ends meet and support a family of 6 doing music entertainment while part time traveling so we decided to moved on, parked and eventually sold the bus once we decided to call St. Augustine, Fl. our home (for the time being).

Somehow along the line we have developed a taste for the gypsy lifestyle and the thirst continues! More to come in the next Senora del Mar blog post!

Dennis Fermin
http://www.ferminspanishguitar.com/

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Stacey, my wife babysitting our learner sailboat (Squirt) recently while waiting to plucked out of the water.