After several months searching from Canada
I took the plunge and bought a 1983 Bruce Roberts
Spray 36A steel cutter
. The entire inside is visible and looks sound. I had a thorough survey
done by Dave Huffman - excellent! I learned so much in 8+ hours of sweating in a 110*F cabin
After a week living on the boat, sleeping in the cockpit
with mosquitos and Florida
heat, I have returned to finish out my third summer in my suburban permaculture homestead in Kirksville, Missouri. Suggestions are welcome in regards to preparing the house and car for winter storage
I am having fun trying all the canned and dehydrated food
I can stand. I intend to return to work on the boat at the end of this month (September 2013) and sea trial the Bahamas
this winter (November 2013 - June 2014). The Plan is to sail clockwise around the Gulf of Mexico
, around Florida's Keys, then up the western Atlantic and across to the Mediterranean
and/or Britain and Scandinavia.
Long range plan is to pass through the Panama Canal
, enjoy the South Pacific
islands, NZ, AU, and across the Indian Ocean
to S Africa
or, if I really feel solid, round the Capes non-stop saying "arrrh!" the whole way. That would be something to write about.
Well, back to the present, the boat has blisters
. Yep. Though the inside of the hull
is spotless the surveyor's sonogram showed 20% metal deterioration in places. Naturally, I have had my moments of sheer terror and buyer's remorse a-go-go. Just this morning in fact.
I'm handy and like DIY projects but, after 47 years of intermittent exposure to unthinkably toxic products I am willing to pay others that I might live a few extra days in apparent health
. Steiner Shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Alabama
(near Mobile) is the only yard from St Petersburg, FL to Mobile, AL that seems obviously competent quoted $4,700 to sandblast to bare metal and spray 2 coats of PPG primer and 2 coats of bottom paint
. They are a union shipyard so no chance of any DIY here. $600 to haul and block. $3300 to blast and paint
Sterling Marina in Hernando Beach, FL is DIY only. They could not be closer to where the boat is now. And they are the most affordable. $175 to haul and block and relaunch. $10/day to work on the boat. And just good people.
By the way, the alternator
was not charging
. Every shop I called and visited wanted to sell a new one, $250 - $750 for a Perkins
4-108 72 amp alternator
. Dave Huffman, the surveyor
continues to coach me along the right path. He assured me it was probably a hundred dollar repair, a burned diode. Advanced Alternator in Clearwater proved him right - what a relief and sense of accomplishment.
I appreciate the threads I've read so far on: steel
boats, engines, jacklines
, the Bahamas
- keep up the good effort!