The Prep List: Some to Do; Some to Scratch

“The Prep List” that all cruisers have.  Our list  grows on some days, two person vs one person projects, costly vs cheaply,  it becomes overwhelming. So we take the pencil to it, scratching off the maybes, niceties, and wannas, and associated costs;  leaving those as “oh well”.  We took other cruisers’ advice.  But honestly, there are some things that make the boat cruise ready that can’t be scratched off.  Our list will eat up four months, not everyday working, some design, paint drying, waiting for parts and vendors. We will have one month left over to rub our faces and wonder if there is room to spare on the boat.

I will call it the Double “P” List:  Project and Pie

We had two very old Seimens 50 watt panels that have discolored and diminished cells. Between the power hungry refrigerator, AIS – chartplotter, SSB, laptop, and other electronic gear we completed a usage calculation and decided 300 watts would be ideal. John did a lot of research, focusing on panel size, wattage, weight and mounts, and of course – cost. We settled on the Renogy marine 100 watt panels and a Blue Sky MPPT controller. We’re still working on mounts. Two will go on the aft SS lifelines and one probably on the dodger that is portable.  This is the Pecan pie job.  image

The dodger is tired and torn in a few places, rotted in the PNW cold rain. Patches, new zippers, re-sewn seams won’t hold up any longer. We’ve seen some very nice dodgers on Westsails. To name a few, Worldwind has a sturdy hard dodger that they made from fiberglass; Elizabeth Ann has a sweet light blue sunbrella dodger fashioned after Saraband’s frame, inset from the side of the cabin about 5″ on both sides to allow a step area on top to reach the boom. Albion WS43 has a stunning, custom wood dodger, George said he spent the last of his life’s savings on it, LOL.

Our dodger frame had to be redesigned. We too narrowed the frame, and made an allowance for more room between the dodger  and mast for the folded 8′ dinghy. The design brings the front of the dodger back towards the hatch by 7″, raising the forward frame and strata glass by 2″.   This allows short people like myself to see more than just the back of the windlass. I will be able to see beyond the bowsprit and actually view the waterline. I’m so elated to be able to stand in the cockpit and steer, it will much drier and safer than standing up on the stern deck with my arm and hand wrapped around the boom gallow stanchions while gripping the tiller with the other. We opted to upgrade from strata glass (vinyl) to Makrolon, polycarbonate. It’s very hard, looks like glass and is U.V. resistant. But over time, nothing is totally resistant and it will yellow, so covers are important.  Add another item to the sewing list.   No Pie for John.

Just keep baking pies and John will work really fast. My independent projects are smaller but having 110v  is motivation to get those done soon.

Stay tuned for the next pie, sounds sweeter doesn’t it?

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