Apr 022014

Now that I have moved and things look fairly stable for a little while, you are probably wondering what the status is of the Spirit.  What kind of work does it still need and what is going to happen?  Well, here is a run down of what is left to do, repair/maintenance wise.

Let’s start off with the motor.  All I asked of that Briggs & Stratton 5 hp air cooled, fresh water use only, lawnmower with a prop was to get me from point A to point 2 last Saturday.  And it did.  I was scared that at some point in the journey the engine would die on me and strand me in a very not so nice place.  Out at sea, in the middle of the channel, aground, but the noisy, vibrating sucker held on and did it’s job. And now it is time to part ways.

I do not like the engine, despite how well it ran.  It is made for not running in salt water and it’s just a matter of time before something happens.  So, later this month I will put it up for sale.  Get what I can for it and move on.  As too what?  Well, unless I come across a really good deal I do not want another infernal combustion engine.  I choked when I had to buy gas for the damn thing, even though it was only 3 gallons.  So I am looking at alternatives.

Electric is the first that comes to mind.  A true electric engine is cost prohibitive.  The Torqueedo, one of the better ones is $4000, plus you need batteries.  I may be able to get by, however, with a higher end trolling motor.  It won’t be much good in the open ocean or heavy currents but it will get me in and out of the marina.  A couple of batteries will suffice for power.  This is assuming I have no plans to do any real sailing anywhere, which for the immediate future, I don’t.  Electric engines are clean, quiet, and low maintenance.  Keep the battery charged and you can move.  I am looking at those options first.

Something new and intriguing has hit the market recently and it has piqued my interest even though the cost is out of my range.  Lehr has come out with a nice line of propane powered outboards.  There is a 2.5 hp, 5 hp, and 9.9 hp.  The 5 would suit me best and according to reports you can run about an hour or so just using those green propane grenades that I cook with.  Not much cheaper than gas but cleaner and quieter.  If I were to come into some real money, the propane outboard would be a real consideration.

No matter what I end up with, the current power plant will have to go.  That much is sure.  I’ll probably just add a trolling motor to suit the marina and be done with it.

As for the Spirit itself there are some bits to take care of.  Most of it’s cosmetic.  Before I moved I started sanding the wood trim down with the intention of teak oiling it.  I didn’t get it all and found at least one piece that will need replacing.  I can’t do any sanding in the marina so this project will have to wait.

The forward hatch needs some work.  The lower wood flange has rotted away.  I have a fix in mind and it’s just a matter of getting the material and doing it.

The bottom picked up a lot of growth at the, “other place”.  I have a nice batch of strange marine life growing underneath.  I can get the bottom scraped or at some point, haul out and do a complete bottom job.  It’s expensive but unless I decide on some real sailing, it can wait.  While I’m at it, the hull above the waterline could use some paint too.  All in due time.

I need to replace some hardware on the mast stays and the base plate for the mast.  It got bent when my, “help” dropped it.  This is just a matter of getting the right hardware and doing some screwing around.

Still need a house battery and a solar panel would be nice.  I need to see what works and what doesn’t with the lights.

With the new non metered electric I don’t have to be so conservative with the power so I may add in a small fridge again, and an ac unit is a must with summer coming.

Finally I still need a tiller for the rudder.  I’ve found a few solutions, it’s just a matter of getting the funds together to do it.

So for now, those are the main projects I still have to contend with.  The motor issue will be the priority.  None of it needs done right this minute.  Which is good and will give me some time to think about the future.

As nice as it seems to be here at the new marina, I am always, always looking for a more better situation.  Before the move I was looking hard at other options, most of which meant selling the boat and moving back on land.  That is still a consideration, there is just not a big deadline now, so I can afford to be choosy.  Don’t get me wrong, nothing wrong with the boat, I’m just always in the market for something else.  That something else could be staying put, moving into an apartment, moving into an rv, moving to another island, even moving onto another boat.  (Here in the marina there is a Gemini catamaran, my dream boat.  It sits there, taunting me.  I can hear it laugh when I walk by.  Perhaps someday).  Anyways, all options are on the table and I will be looking at all times for just that right deal.  There is always something that comes along that works to one’s advantage.  All you need to do is spot it.

But for now, it’s all good.  I’m more better cautiously optimistic about the new marina.  It appears that it will suffice for the moment.  I’ll do what I can to the Spirit when finances allow.   I really need to just settle down, get my mental state back to what passes for normal on this island, get the budget under control, and start making some income.  If I can do that, making any changes will come by a lot easier.  The worst is over.  I’m more better cautiously optimistic about the rest of the year.

Capt. Fritter

  3 Responses to “Living Aboard: So What About The Spirit?”

  1. wow.
    clicked on the gemini link in your post.
    the galley on the one shown there has more counter space than I do in my apartment kitchen.
    what a gorgeous sleek boat it is for sure.
    the spirit has her own charm. and after a fresh coat of paint where it needs it …. and oiling the teak… well.