Small town, big boating scene

Sea Change's makeover  - a coat of primer going on.on_the_hardDeltaville, VA is a small town with a big boating community. The permanent population of the town is one thousand but there are up to two thousand boats, a West Marine, several canvas shops and at least a dozen marinas and boat yards.

All this work means we have a little extra money to spend on home improvements.We have been on the hard at Chesapeake Boat Works the since last Monday so do some maintenance and improvements on the boat. Our fixed monthly income covers our living expenses, but the money for maintenance and improvements comes from additional work we do every month. This month I have been busy with Farm Show and SpEd Forms programming. Starting on September 27th, Mary will be spending three weeks working at the Annapolis boat shows.

  • At the top of the list was a “bimini”. A bimini is a shade for the cockpit which makes life on board the boat a lot more bearable. We had thought we might be able to make one ourseleves, but find it can be almost impossible to get a project like this done with a three year old aboard while also trying to get consulting work done. We have handed the job onto Ship’s Tailor, a Deltaville cavas shop.
  • Fans. I purchased three expensive Hella boat fans almost a month ago and finally had time to install them. Their flmisy plastic construction is a disappointment, but their low power consumption is not.
  • Another solar panel. Since leaving Duluth we have added several power hungry “neccessities”. Our 85W solar panel can no longer keep up.  At anchor we have been finding we need to run the engine every two or three days to keep our batteries charged. Our new solar panel doubles our solar capacity to 190W which should be adequate for our needs… for now.
  • Paint job. Our topside paint was so oxidized, faded and splotchy we felt our home needed some brightening. I found a boatyard (Chesapeake Boat Works) which would let me do all the prep work and then spray the boat for me. Like all paint jobs, prep is most of the work so I maanged to cut the cost of a paint job from about $6000 to $2200.

The boat primer was applied yesterday. I will sand the primer one more time before the final coats are applied. We hope to have the final coats applied on Monday and the boat back in the water next Friday.

Sailor-readers of this blog read through the list and notice none of the improvements actually make our boat more seaworthy. This time around we have been spending money on cosmetics and creature comforts. But in their own way, the cosmetics and creature comforts do make the boat more seaworthy. A happy crew is a safer crew, and more power will help me get more programming work done which in turn allow us to spend money on improvements that do make the boat more seaworthy.  That’s my story and I am sticking to it.:)