Getting ready for sea, well sort of.

It’s Tuesday morning and it’s still dark out as I sit down to begin this post.  I seem to be waking early these days as there are so many details to be worked out prior to beginning our run north with our “new” Pandora. 

After a number of posts about what’s on the horizon with “new” it’s pretty clear that different names for the boats, beyond old and new, would certainly be easier.  However, I am not a particular fan of the designation of “1, 2 or heaven forbid 7” as a designation on how to keep track of the progression or yachts.  However, it would certainly be easier if our new “Pandora” was named something, well new, like “Fred”.  Then the distinction of which boat I am talking about would certainly be easier to follow.

So, for now, let’s try to just go with Pandora as the “boat of the moment”.  The “old” Pandora, well, I’ll just remain silent on that one for now.  Ok, here goes.

A boat like Pandora, an Aerodyne 47, is a much more complex than anything that we have ever owned and I have to say that it is going to be a while until I get used to that.  Right now, I am feeling pretty overwhelmed by all of the systems.  We have never had air conditioning on a boat and this one has two zones, one for the main cabin and a second for the master cabin.  That’s nice but it means that everything is duplicated. How do I reprogram the AIS?  It currently says “Ariel”.  I have no idea but am pretty sure that it involves my laptop.   And, the number of hoses and wires going every which way, is staggering.

As I mentioned in a prior post, the surveyor uncovered a few issues when he went over the boat but fortunately, none will be a particularly big deal.  The biggest one, that we found, and I am sure that the owner had no idea about this, had to do with a leaking muffler.  The surveyor pointed out a slow but consistent drip from the front of the muffler that didn’t look to bad.  However, when I “cleaned” up the area with a wire brush, the drip turned into a gusher as the hole gradually grew large enough to fit three fingers.    I expect that the owner had no idea of the problem as it was buried in an area that was very tough to see.

Some suggest that a boat should be professionally surveyed every 8-10 years and seeing the muffler problem has certainly convinced me that having someone go over things periodically is a very good idea.  It’s pretty clear that more time we spend with something, boat, house, car, the easier it is to overlook certain details that somehow blend into the woodwork over time.   However, had the rusted area in the muffler been missed and broken through…  Well, let’s just say that a LOT of water goes through a muffler.   No doubt, we’d be “dead in the water”  with an engine pumping hundreds of gallons of water per hour along with loads of hot and smoky exhaust.  And, just try getting into an inlet, against the tide, with no motor.  I don’t want to think about that.  Can you say
“Boat US unlimited towing”?  Check!

There are other minor issues that have cropped up like a small leak from the washer/dryer that I expect will be quite tough to fix, if it can be fixed at all, as the unit is shoehorned into the cabin.    And, there is a minor water leak, perhaps best called a “weep” in the water heater.  I suspect, or at least hope, that it’s around a fitting and not something more substantial.   However, over all, Pandora passed her survey with excellent marks.  In fact, at the end of the day I asked the surveyor, a very nice Australian guy, how this boat compared to the many others that he had reviewed over the years.  His answer, “one of the best I’ve seen”, and then he added, “and I have to admit that I am a bit jealous”.   As I was about to take a huge financial leap, that was good to hear.

However, as I struggled, over the last two days, to get a very recalcitrant muffler loose and out, I expect that there aren’t many that would envy me tackling that project.  Happily, the muffler is now out, with a bit of help from a $75/hr guy and an electric saw.   Well, “muffler woes”  should be behind me later today when I install the new one.  Let’s hope that assembly is easier than the demolition. Fingers crossed…  (Ever notice how often that phrase comes up in boat ownership?)   Yes, I am hoping to exclaim as I put on the last clamp, “now, wasn’t that easy?”   Wish me luck.

A few years  ago, I wrote about Tanya and Jay who live aboard their big cat, Take Two, with their 5, count them 5 children.   Well, they are here in the marina and tied up just behind me on the dock.  They are spending a few months here at the marina while Jay and the rest of the family do some work on their boat.  It has been fun to catch up with the “clan” and see how things are going.

I have talked about our plans to head to the Caribbean next winter and I understand that the Take Two gang will be going there as well.  However, their run will be for several years and will take them to South America, the western Caribbean and Panama prior to returning to the US.   I do hope that our paths cross again soon.

As Brenda has headed home to CT, I am alone aboard and anyone that knows me knows that I am not too big on the “alone thing”.    I was also thinking that it might be tough for Tanya and Jay to find someone to watch five kids so that they can get some alone time.  Yes, their oldest Ely, is old enough to watch the younger ones, but with me on the scene the parents could go a bit further afield and enjoy a night on the town “grownup style”.  Anyway, I offered to have the five kids over for a movie night on Sunday.  It was a real treat, let me tell you.

We watched a movie, one of only two that I have that are rated for a “G” audience.   I even provided chocolate candy that won rave reviews from all.   When I passed around the bowl of chocolates it was very cute as each carefully chose a single piece and passed the bowl.  Then one of them tentatively chirped, “can we have more than one?” “Yes,of course, eat as much as you want but not so much that you make yourself sick.  I don’t want your mom to be angry with me”.

They ate everything except the Almond Joy.  I guess that coconut wasn’t their favorite.   That’s good for me.

What a nice group of kids in rapt attention.The youngest, Rachel, born after they moved aboard, is getting big.  She still reminds me of Dr. Seuss’s, Cindy Lou Hoo.   Very cute.  I wrote about the Take Two gang back in 2012, when I last saw them.   A very nice family. 

One more thing before I break.  I saw this manatee sleeping near a boat the other evening.  There are several living in the area but this one should certainly be easy to spot with the “prop scars” on his back.  He’s nearly 10’ long.  Huge.  With all the boat traffic in their home waters, it’s remarkable that any survive. Well, I guess that’s about all I have today but there’s plenty to keep me occupied between now and Sunday when my crew arrives, to get the boat ready for the run north.  Let’s hope I can get everything done in time. 

Next, we’ll need a good weather window.

2 responses to “Getting ready for sea, well sort of.

  1. Bob,
    Coming from buying Adesso, a Belgium-registered AIS-equipped boat, I have an ounce of experience. You can change the name on the AIS panel if you have one. That way you do not need to use the old name when hailing another vessel – that’s the GOOD news. A dealer might be able to do that, otherwise it is return to factory. Don’t forget about the EPIRBs also. VHF’s are usually easy,
    One final comment: If you travel internationally you need an FCC issued MMSI number ($160) , not the free BoatUS one that is only good in the US [database-wise]. – Tom

  2. George Hallenbeck

    We will watch for the next chapter.

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