The pace is picking up this week as time seeps into June. Today, poured over the two moving company estimates trying to compare apples to oranges, and on Thursday and Friday will visit their storage facilities to inform our selection decision before week’s end. The two companies have different labor rates, different approaches to insurance coverage and storage, monthly storage rates and different ways for packing assistance and self packing rules. While one company charges about 15% less for packing and moving, it has a 15% higher monthly storage charge. Chicken and eggs or eggs and chicken? In the end, we think our like or dislike of the storage facilities will be the tipping point for our selection.
August 25 or 26 will be our move date. Luckily, we planned mover research and selection early enough s that the companies and our building service elevator have room in their calendars. Waiting any longer could have spelled headaches for all if we had to work around multiple over scheduled calendars.
On the boat repair front, the weather has finally been good enough to finish laying in fiberglass where the strut that holds the drive shaft to the hull as pictured on the left is bolted. The technician put down 8 thin layers and then, yesterday, laid in the last layer, a thicker layer. Once the struct is bolted to the hull, the fuel tank can be returned to its cozy location under the aft cabin bed and the exhaust hoses and fuel cables can be reattached along with the installation of the new stuffing box when the drive shaft is inserted. Obviously, this is a case of TMI for most of my readers, but it does demonstrate that (1) it’s a complex job to realign the drive shaft with an engine that sits in an engine room with little wiggle room for an alignment the easy and inexpensive way, and (2) that I know much more about boat innards than I ever expected. I can add this knowledge to what I learned from adding a wind generator, extra batteries, an electro-scan waste management system and updating our electrical distribution panel. In my next life I can be a boat technician — electrical, plumbing, diesel engines or structural. Such choices!
Our new 200′ chain & 100′ line (rode) and very cool 55 lb. Rocna anchor are in place along side our old anchor attached to the original chain & rode, which we hope will not be needed very often.
With good weather breaking out like acne on a teenager, John and I got back on the boat to start some interior adjustments. We almost finished replacing all the halogen lights with LED lights this week, the fiberglass resin fumes driving us out before we could finish the task. These LEDs (in both red and white light) will save us many hours of battery power and keep the cabin cooler when the lights are on. Just call us the Green Team.
See those portlight openings in the picture above and to the right of John? We have 17 of them. Unlike hatches on the deck which can be shaded easily with canvas covers, these portlights are a challenge. Without covers or curtains of some sort, heat and UV rays will stream into the cabins forward, aft and middle. Not good for full time living aboard. At night we’ll be sharing our private time with voyeurs passing by. This is not a good idea for us or for the voyeurs.
Finding covers that aren’t clunky or dorky looking is difficult for an older boat like Dolce Vento. In desperation, after looking at all the logical marine part websites, I trolled the internet and, to my joyful surprise, found these clever shades that are made to fit right onto the glass of a portlight. Cheap? No. But beautiful, yes! Functional, yes! I just make a pattern using freezer paper, send in the paper and wala! In two to three weeks, we’ve got modernizing close-able shades, not dorky at all, that provide soft light and block UV rays.
We’ll be going to the boat almost every day next week, as there is much to do. Hopefully, we’ll launch Dolce Vento before June 20th. Keep your fingers crossed and think balmy weather thoughts.