Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Plans, Plans, Plans

Right now we are in the "planning to plan" stages of going cruising. We have our vessel, we have a vision and  we are working on a plan to get us there. This is harder than it seems: deciding to take a complete 180 from everything you know and setting off for distant shores. Sound scary? That's the best thing about it! First and foremost there is no clear and cut path to this type of life. There are books, blogs and forums written by others that have done it before but they are still only the few. None of the seem to say exactly how they broke away. Some say how easy it is and some say "just go!" but is it the honest truth...or glossed-over hindsight? 
First mate and I have chosen to take a path less followed. Life is a very finite entity. We decided working day in and day out, each day so similar to the last that it seems like sleepwalking until days blend into years and years become old age, is not for us. We have been fortunate enough to travel the world together once already. We have seen the beauty of  east and west coasts of USA, Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Israel, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Turkey.....we have been many places and met many wonderful and interesting people. We want to keep going. There is still a whole world out there to explore and we want to experience it. 
Getting Sal ready to take us on such journeys will take time and dedication to the project, but won't be the hard part. While the work itself will be difficult to get done, there are many books, blogs and parts available out there to make her a safe voyaging vessel. 
As I write this I am passing ideas around in my brain on ways to make a living while we're out there. This is the hard part...figuring out what we will do to maintain this lifestyle. We want to eventually be live-aboards on the west coast. That to me is easy and attainable. I can work while living aboard. But we also want to cruise. Can we save up enough money while stateside to leave for years at a time? My guess is no. We want to visit many foreign places but we know we will need income. How will that income be earned? This is the great question and the hardest to answer. All of my money making experience tells me I need to trade my skills and efforts for cash. Can one just cruise up to a foreign country and get a job? Probably not. So what will we do? 
This is where I am right now, trying to formulate a plan and a good one to keep us moving toward our goal of enjoying the life we were given and not waiting for the golden years. We are working hard at the moment and that is all that matters. We are continuing to plan...while moving forward with our plan.

Flying the drifter in 2012

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year = Alberg 30 Refit, or something like that

With this new year coming in with quite a chill I thought I'd take the the time to let everyone know what 2014 has in store for us and Sal. 
    We will continue to go to work and live everyday life (EXTREMELY frugally). This will help us move towards freeing ourselves of the soul-crushing imprisonment of debt. It will also give us time to work on skills that will help us sustain our cruising lifestyle when we finally do go. First mate is now a 200-hour Registered Yoga Instructor and she will spend 2014 sharpening her teaching skills. We hope she can use this to earn an income while cruising. I will be working on finishing my documentation and submitting my 100-Ton Master package to the USCG. I will also be busy..very busy....because:
   We are pulling our Salacia out of the water and putting her on the hard here at the house to begin a refit. (The neighbors are going to love it) <*snicker*>. As with any other plastic classic, Sal has some issues that need to be addressed. And beyond that she was never meant to be lived on, so we will be working to turn her into a capable cruiser/live-aboard vessel for the two of us. We will not be completely gutting her and starting over but rather working with what is already there, as she is still in fairly good condition. 

The last time we had her hauled nearly 3 years ago

Some of the major concerns and minuses:
  • Delamination and soft deck issues, needs new electrical, she has some compression in mast beam area from water intrusion
  •    Strengthening of forward chainplate knees
  •    Water Tankage
  •    Rebuilding and mounting our Lofrans Manual windlass
  •    Adding inner forestay and running backstays
  •    Rebuilding Toe rails and securing hull to deck seam
  •    Painting and freshening up of all areas
  •    Dodger/sun shade for cockpit
  •    NO SAILING : (
  •    Add Boom Gallows
  •    Upgrade ground tackle
  •    Mounting chainplates for drogue
  •    Add ventilation
  •    Recondition original 4 forward opening portlights
  •    Adding heat source
  •    Build deck chocks for our dingly

Some areas that are pluses or already done:
  •    Rigging- Both standing and running rigging are only 2 yrs old
  •    Already reconditioned mast and mast hardware
  •    Head- fairly new Lavoc with a new holding tank
  •    Electronics are new and not even installed yet
  •    Own dodger 
  •    Own windlass
  •    I can do almost 99% of the work myself
  •    Save money on slip fees
  •    Build or sew a drogue
  •    Already own new ground tackle, just need to build anchor storage on Sals bow-maybe a small bowsprit.
  •    Already own  new ABI porlights
  •    Own trailer
  •    Aux power-while gas, like new including shaft, cutlass bearing and prop
  •    Have Dingy
As you can see, this list is quite extensive and lots of work will be involved. This is one reason we decided to refit her at the house. Traveling to and from the marina wasted time and fuel. I was able to purchase a trailer that I will modify for her. That project is now under way and I will be updating you all on the blog here soon.
I am also going to try to be more attentive to the blog. I am hoping that you all can provide some constructive feedback as I know some of you have experienced a refitting.
Picking up trailer and towing it home about 45 miles. She is made with 2 6,000 lb axles and 4x6 x.375 steel angle. Plenty strong to hold and carry Sals 9,000 lb bottom

I will be adding a keel support and boat stands to keep her upright. 

One other important thing to note is that we know the work involved, I have the time for such work and we have no rigid deadline. I have a goal of 12-18 months but if it takes longer so be it.

Please stay tuned and follow along!