Settling in for the Long Haul? (in Beaufort, SC)

I realize that as soon as I say something like “for the long haul” I probably jinx any semblance of a plan. Not that anyone is making plans these days!

We’re pretty lucky in that we’re already used to working remotely and spending 24 hrs/day together in a small space. Social distancing isn’t that different from cruising life anyways, and we’re super lucky to have boat neighbors with kiddos for Zephyr to play with.

Also happy to be ‘planted’ in a marina that we love, with a green grassy space to stretch our legs, great workshop, socially-distant-but-friendly-community, nice day-sailing opportunities (wishful thinking??), and frequent dolphin visitors!

Annnnd we just happen to have an extraordinarily long project-list that we weren’t sure we’d be able to really tackle this year… Staying put is giving us LOTS of opportunity to dig in. Our neighbors tease us that they’ve never seen anyone drill holes in their deck so happily 😉

The current biggie is the cabin top. Brio II leaks – like, a LOT – and has some deck rot. We knew this going in, so we’ve actually been pleasantly surprised to find that not ALL of the deck is rotten. Woohoo!

We pulled the headliner down (previous owner was a cigar aficionado, and we have the stained headliner to prove it), thinking that could be a relatively simple “improvement” to make.

That, of course, led to a closer examination of all the deck leaking… which led to stripping the cabin-top winches, cleats and jammers (we’re moving everything back to the cockpit anyways) and filling those holes, and then removing all the hatches (there are EIGHT hatches on this boat — 2 large, 6 small!) to replace the lexan and polish them up before we rebed…

But then once we had everything off, we started talking about how we plan to repaint the decks anyways (mostly due to the rotten deck repair which will be easier to fair and fix with new paint, but also to help beef up the very tired nonskid)…

So now we’re refurbing the little hatches, replacing the big ones, painting the decks, filling holes where old hardware was that we’re not putting back, removing and maybe replacing the handrails, attacking all the cabintop leaks we can possibly find… and – oh ya – replacing the headliner 😉

Once the cabin-top is done (painted & reinstalled!), we’ll tackle the side decks where the worst of the rot seems to be. We’re going to save the cockpit for last 🙂

This work happens in fits and starts, of course — interrupted constantly by dinghy explorations, potty training, income-generating-work-work, weather, and all that other general “life” stuff.

Zephyr’s birthday afternoon was a comical scene of pots and pans scattered around the inside of the boat, trying to catch all of the leaks from the *very intense* rainstorm. A deck full of holes is not great in a rainstorm 🙂

But we’re happy, we’re healthy, the air conditioning is running, and we’re kind of excited about what we might accomplish with a longer term stint of staying put… a dry boat is an alluring prospect!!

– LMK

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