Selkie’s afloat now! That means we should be sailing off into the sunset in a few days, right? Ahhh…we wish. Alas, now we get to move on to the other list of projects – the ones that didn’t require dry dock. This list is long as well, but now we’re working on Selkie in her environment – and one that suits us better too – the beautiful salty sea!
The list is long, with the big one replacing some of the standing rigging, the wire rope that essentially hold the mast up. According to the rigging survey that we paid for prior to purchasing the boat, the standing rigging was in ‘excellent’ condition. Unfortunately, that was not what we found when we arrived… We can visually see from the deck that 3 of the 9 wire ropes have broken strands. This means they need replacement now. If we had extra room in the budget, we’d just replace everything…..but that’s simply not the case. Our plan is to go aloft to inspect the remaining 6 wires and hope that the ‘excellent’ condition was referring to these. Then, we’ll order wire rope and terminal fittings, try to finagle a way to get the shipment down to San Carlos (anybody driving down in the next few weeks?), then replace them one by one with the mast still up. Another adventure in itself!
In addition to the standing rigging, we have a laundry list of other smaller, lower priority projects such as:
* Icebox: currently there is no refrigeration on Selkie of any kind. Warm beer? Never!
* Installing a new secondary stern anchor: this will give us another level of safety and further options when anchoring out
* Rebedding a number of deck and mast fittings: water in a balsa cored deck and corrosion on the mast is bad, keeping ahead of the curve here is good
* Gel coat repair: mostly cosmetic, but it’s time
* Carpentry projects: there are a number of projects that will make our life afloat more comfortable, such as a cockpit table
* Teak work: Selkie will soon have her teak shining with a new coat of cetol
* Etc: the list goes on and on….she is a boat after all!
As far as our longer term plans go, we’re planning to stick around the San Carlos area for the summer until the meat of hurricane season is behind us, somewhere between mid-October to November. In the meantime, we’ll do day sails, overnighters and some longer shakedown cruises to learn the boat, assess what additional gear we feel we need, etc. Come fall, we plan to cross the Sea of Cortez and perhaps head north to Bahia de Los Angeles. The general plan then is to follow the Baja coastline south to La Paz and then….?
As of now, our budget puts us running out of funds around June, at which point we will decide whether we put Selkie on hold in order to find work to replenish the sailing kitty – or move home to Montana and start the next land based chapter of our lives. Who knows what the cards will hold? That’s part of the fun and adventure of this experience. Here’s a link to a post that we wrote at the beginning of the blog outlining our reasoning for doing what we’re doing. It’s a beautiful feeling looking back and seeing how far we’ve come once that seed was planted, and now knowing we’re just a few short months away from casting off the lines….
Back to Montana? wtf? You’re just getting started on the ocean part and I’m living vicariously through you…so pull on your foulies and sail around the world! Or at least make the passage out here to Hawaii for a visit…it’s only a couple thousand miles downwind from where you’re at. Montana?? Anyway, have fun : )
Ha! Man, we’d love to! We’ll see how long the money holds out….but we’re certainly going to have to replenish from time to time. That, or start buying some lottery tickets…..
Katie and Mark
I’d be very cautious with the standing rigging. If the wires were replaced at the same time, they’re likely to fail at the same time. Of course, if the previous owner didn’t replace them all at the same time, you might be in luck. Inspect near the terminals with extra awareness. It’s worth being careful here. You can get good, free advice at Brion Toss’s Spartalk forum.
Thanks so much for your words of advice. After careful thought, we’ve decided to replace all the standing rigging. The remaining 4 shrouds/stays ‘looked’ okay, but just as you said, they are likely ready to fail any moment. Also thanks for the Brion Toss Spartalk forum advice – we’ve already taken away some valuable information from it.
Katie and Mark