Jan 272015

As of this writing I still have not heard any updates regarding moving the mooring.  It was the weekend and it has been windy.  But time is running very short.  The marina manager has been quite nice about all this and in fact would prefer I stay.  For the rent of course.  But we do get along and the marina does do short term, overnight and weekly slip rentals if I need to come in on occasion.  I did offer to build the marina an iPhone app in exchange for another month here but I doubt they will go for it.

Anyways, I am going ahead as planned with being out on the hook or mooring somehow next week.  As such I started to take care of some issues and I have found some nice and cheap solutions to said issues.

I need a tiller.  It comes in handy for steering the boat.  West Marine makes a nice laminated mahogany tiller for $130, which I do not have to spare at the moment.  So I perused some of the live aboard and sailing forums and found a usable and more cheaper replacement:  The handle off of a post hole digger.  It’s nearly the same size, right dimension, fits on the rudder, already is drilled, and costs $9 at Home Depot.  It won’t last as permanent replacement but it will work to get me out to the open water.  I can replace it later with the real deal.

Whilst there, I also picked up a couple of solar power LED garden lights.  At a cost of just under $5 each they will make perfect anchor lights.  And the ones I got have a loop on the top making it real easy to attach the light to the halyard and hoist it up, making me legal to anchor in the dark.

As you all well know, the internet connection issues I have been dealing with have been driving me insane, well more so than usual.  Finally, I believe I may have a solution.  Sprint offers some new plans going all the way up to 30GB a month for $110. You can either get a hotspot device or add a tether hotspot option to your iPhone, which is what I did.  Now I can get my internet directly off the iPhone which has way more better signal than that other “service provider” has.  And I won’t have to get an extra device.  I’m starting with the 6Gb for $50 and see how much I will need from there.  I can upgrade/downgrade at any time.   Been using it since I got home yesterday and so far it is working great.  I hope this is the last option I will need for a long while. Internet connectivity has been a constant problem and I am sick of dealing with it.

I still need to get rid of the fridge and ac unit.  And I will need to get a small cooler for ice.  But beyond that, I am pretty well set for the move.  Once I get out there and set up, a whole new set of issues will come up.

The computer will not run on battery.  I’ve tried every test and it keeps coming up that the battery and charger need replaced, about $200.  For $250 I could get an iPad, but I can’t code on the iPad, and even though I could get about $150 for the old computer, it will take a long while to be able to get a new one.  So I will go with the battery and charger.

But, I still need power on the boat.  I have perfect spot for a couple of solar panels and I’ve found some battery solutions that would take care of the issue, but affordability is the issue for now.  A small generator is an option although it will need gas and be noisy, but I will have to do something.  I’m scouting out all the restaurants/coffee shops, etc. for wifi and power outlets.  Most of the fast food places will work, and we have a couple of Starbucks on the island.  They will do for the short term but I will have to get something set up on the boat as quick as I can.

An engine and dinghy will also have priority.  If I can find a 3 to 5 hp motor I can power the sailboat as well as a dinghy.  Having done so, I can move over to the city mooring field, or back into the marina now and then, or go cruising.  I won’t be able to raise the cash for said motor and dinghy anytime soon so I am going to put my masterful bartering skills together and see if I can’t trade out an app or two for propulsion and dinghy.  All I will have for monthly bills are mainly food, Sprint, and the $100 a month for the mooring.  I do have some springtime bills coming up that will need tending too but it will be so much easier without that $720 rent bill coming in every month.

So, that is where things stand at the moment.  As I said, I still don’t know what the status is on the mooring.  No doubt it’s going to be a last minute pain in the ass deal but I am moving on as if it will all go as planned.  Once I get out and set up I will feel a whole lot more relieved and I can constipate on more important issues.  I’ll keep up with the postings this week but things may be sparse once I get out there until I get the power issues taken care of.  We will see what happens.

Capt. Fritter

  3 Responses to “Living Aboard: Finding Solutions…”

  1. I am @deneleaf on twitter. I just read as you directed your blog about your financial situation with the boat, mooring, etc. You do have an abundance of problematic situations I see. Don’t give up. I know you are not going to. For some reason you prefer to stay in Key West area, so keep thinking how to solve all the problems. You write well – grammar and all. I doubt if you are old enough to get a Social Security check. That would be a big help. Oh, what do you eat? And how many sails? I wish you would go to talk with Sonny McCoy on Hilton Haven Rd. He has a dock. He might want to help you. I always stay at Banana Bay Hotel on Hilton Haven, so I got to know the whole neighborhood there. I see the boats docked out in the bay from my hotel window. They come in on their dingy in the morning probably to go downtown to work. Then back to their boats at night. I look at their lifestyles with my binoculars. They wash their clothes and hang them out to dry on the boat. I would like to get to know all of those boat people, but it is highly unlikely. I will reading your tweets and blog hoping that you life will turn out without so many financial problems. Good luck, Captain.

    • The area you are over looking is the city mooring field, which I would gladly move to if I had a motor and dinghy. It’s $325 a month and includes showers/laundry at the dinghy dock. Only bad part is you rock a lot in a north wind. Beyond that, it’s not too bad.
      C. F.

      • I didn’t know that bay water belonged to the city. yes, the wind does blow a lot. where do the boat dwellers take their showers? what food do you eat – you cook it on board, you eat in kw restaurants or you buy hot deli food at winn dixie as i do?