December Report

We arrived at the boat finally on Nov 4th. After much polishing and painting plus complete cleaning of the inside of the boat, we were launched on Nov 12th. Then the real work started.

Murray thought about the autopilot installation for a few days, taking measurements and muttering to himself. Then, he spent 2 weeks on his knees behind the pedestal with his head in the the space behind the helm seat. The autopilot was mounted on the cockpit sole, so everything was upside down. Finally, all was installed and we ran the wiring through the lockers etc to wire the controls. Time to test the unit – and it doesn’t work. After checking all of our installation and many phone calls to the company, the problem was traced to a faulty circuit board. Send that back for repairs.

In the meantime, I was sewing up a storm. Repairs to the mainsail, mainsail cover and cockpit cushions. Made new screens for companionway and forward hatches. A new seat cushion for the nav station. Fit a new sheet for the vee-berth. Shorten some trousers for Murray. Every time I thought I was finished sewing and put the machine away, another job would turn up! But, I am certainly glad to have the machine aboard to do these jobs.

The speed/log unit that plagued us all last winter was sent away for repair as soon as we got to the boat. The day after we ran the wires for the autopilot and put the floor back together from that job, guess what arrived? You are right – the repaired speed/log. Tear the floor up once again – thank goodness Murray had put messenger lines in the most difficult sections! So, that was installed and appears to work.

During the cleaning process, we discovered that the galley sink was leaking. Murray made a few tries to repair it while I studied catalogues. The prices were crazy – over $500US. Off we went to the Sailor’s Exchange in St Augustine where we found a lovely deep double sink that was only slightly larger than the hole and only slightly dented. For $75! Now I have a beautiful shiny sink and I just love it.

While here at the dock, I was introduced to canning meat. In actual cans, not glass jars. There is a community cannery in Jacksonville where the boaters go with their winter’s supply of meat. I have done chicken breasts, pork, beef, hamburger and sausage. The cost is much less than commercially available meats. We haven’t tried any of it yet, but are looking forward to many good meals from these cans.

We have re-painted and installed new seals on all of the small hatches on the boat. Now we are working on the forward hatch which will also get a new lens as well.

So, the boat is looking great. The work is almost done – just a few more lockers to fill. After a brief visit to Ontario to meet our new grandson, we will cast off our lines and point the bow south -likely shortly after the first of the year.

Merry Christmas to all and have a very Happy New Year.

Murray & Heather aboard Windswept IV