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Old 16-12-2020, 11:17   #31
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

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Originally Posted by calmissile View Post
Peter,

Sounds encouraging. Sounds like you were doing close to 200 miles a day. What kind of SOG were you observing most of the time? What time of year was the trip and how was the sea state? Did you have a crew?

Doug
Hey Doug - There is a fairly predictable seasonal weather window along the central California coast (Cape Mendocino southward) that sets in for about 3-5 weeks starting sometime in mid-September and continuing through late October. A high pressure system sits above the central valley and just makes for gorgeous weather - its the same weather that gives SF a rare peek at summer conditions. Catch it right, and it's an easy run. As mentioned, Weebles was in pretty rough shape - the mast was a bit rotted and I couldn't get rid of it as it was the support for the radar, so I supported it with a set of jury-rig stays, one of which you can see in the bow-on picture attached.

I had two crew with me - my wife of 24-years, and my best sailing buddy of around 20-years. When I was a full-time delivery skipper along the coast, 'Brian' was my most frequent crew. We departed Emery Cove marina in Emeryville around 12PM noon on October 12th 2018, did a touch-and-go to drop Brian in San Diego so he could catch a flight home to Florida, and Cheryll (wife) and I continued to Ensenada, dropping dock lines at around 3-4PM or so. Right around 75 hours, and around 480 nms. Around 6-1/4 kt average, around 150 nm/day. We burned around 80-gallons of diesel on the Perkins 4.236 75 hp, which is probably what your C45 originally had in her belly.

Needless to say, it was a great run. I enjoy/prefer multi-day nonstop runs. Three people aboard is perfect. We each stood a single 2-hour watch overnight, and two 3-hour watches during the day. My boat is too small for a 4th person, but that would be fine too, but not really needed.

At any rate, if I were in your shoes, I'd do what I did - I'd put my effort into getting the running gear and fuel system reliable, then get her down the coast. She has to come eventually, better sooner than later (though the $650/mo slip rent is a buzz-kill). I personally would not deliver a boat unless it had radar and autopilot, and I'd still make those a pre-requisite, but to each their own.

Best success to you

Peter

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Old 16-12-2020, 12:34   #32
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

Peter,

Thanks for the response. It was very helpful.

The boat does have a working radar and a under the deck autopilot. I need to install the steering arm on the rudder post (ordered) and mount the actuator.
The rest of the autopilot system is installed and apparently working. (Raymarine).

I anticipate adding AIS Xmt and Rcv before departing. Unfortunately, the current chart plotter and radar MFD's will not display AIS data so am considering various options now.

I appreciate the info on the weather patterns you mentioned. I tried without success to try and find this kind of data on line. You mentioned bringing the boat down to Long Beach sooner rather than later. If I were to get the boat ready prior to Spring, would it be prudent to bring it down the coast earlier?

Doug
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Old 16-12-2020, 14:35   #33
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

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Originally Posted by calmissile View Post
I anticipate adding AIS Xmt and Rcv before departing. Unfortunately, the current chart plotter and radar MFD's will not display AIS data so am considering various options now.

I appreciate the info on the weather patterns you mentioned. I tried without success to try and find this kind of data on line. You mentioned bringing the boat down to Long Beach sooner rather than later. If I were to get the boat ready prior to Spring, would it be prudent to bring it down the coast earlier?

Doug
Hey Doug - every captain has to make his/her own decision. I can give you how I would approach it.

1. AIS - optional. Would be really handy in the Santa Barbara channel as you round Pt Conception, and getting into Long Beach has a lot of commercial traffic. Daytime transit helps. But coming down the coast, you will not encounter much commercial traffic, few will have AIS. If you have it great. But I wouldn't delay departure.

2. Weather. Big winter storms start diminishing in February or so. That doesn't mean weather is good, but it means the 20+ foot seas that spin down out of Alaska are less prevalent. North of Cape Mendocino, winds are frequently from the south so you'd have head-seas for the first couple days out of the Columbia. South of Cape Medocino you'll almost assuredly have winds over your stern. Your A/P will get a workout, but it will be fairly comfortable. The other issue is it's cold out there, especially sitting in a cockpit without much physical activity. It's a big reason I went from sail to power. But all considered, certainly beats headed north. In short, if it were me, I'd probably plan leaving no sooner than late February. From mid-May on, weather becomes fairly consistent so headed south is workable. Not saying seas are flat - far from it. But workable given the weather is from the NW.

My general coastal delivery strategy was to leave as long as I had a 2-3 day weather window. I'd plan bail-out points along the way within that window and make decisions whether I needed to stop or could continue on. Almost always worked out into non-stop trips, even headed north (which was 85% of my deliveries). For example, if it were me, I'd probabl stage at Astoria, and look for a 3-day weather window and have Yaquina/Newport (200 nms from Columbia River), then Crescent City CA (350nms from Columbia R) as bail-out points. Both are all-weather ports. Ft Bragg is next, etc.

Best to you

Peter
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Old 16-12-2020, 20:09   #34
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

Peter,

Thanks for the great advice. I think I will set a target to be ready in early May and see what the weather looks like.

As far as the cold, I already know what that's about. The last 2 weeks I was working on the boat it was just above freezing at night. In fact that experience is what put the diesel heater on my 'must do' list. I expect it to be operational for the trip.

Doug
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Old 28-12-2020, 08:54   #35
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

Ditto.... Peter said it best (and diplomatically too):
1. Time is money and tour precious commodity is time my friend.
Pay to fix the most important stuff and be ready for the sailing.
2. Get rig inspected in Portland before you sail in the Pacific unless you know it is new standing rigging. Very different than motorboat in this manner.
3. I have a ton of engineer friends that I love ó however my engineer friends tend to be cheap and proud of it. Good for them but at 78, the time to sail is now and if there were ever a time to pay someone else it is also now.
4. With an engineering degree and a career in middle industry you are likely not poor. Either sell the boat and chalk it up to experience and buy a newer boat in SoCal or pay the locals in Portland to get the boat ready.

Time truly is money ó especially at 78 with 17 hour one way drives to a project boat and no end in sight.

I bet you already know which way to go. Remember, this project is supposed to make you happy. A SoCal project would make you happy too, no?
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Old 28-12-2020, 09:16   #36
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

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Originally Posted by LLCoolDave View Post
A rigging inspection really only takes an hour or two so they aren't that expensive.

Just to qualify my comments. I bought a boat in average condition and I live on it so I fix things and learn as I go along. Personally I would cut bait and run on a project like this. A Columbia 45 is not really a desirable boat and after its all said and done you might get 30 cents on the dollar when you sell. Lots of people come to the forum with a similar story but with fewer qualifications and not many stick with it to completion. In the beginning everyone thinks they will finish.

But.....if you want to see it to completion I have a few ideas and more knowledgeable people will chime in. The bottom line is you are going to have to have the boat hauled out for bottom paint and most of the interior work. Get a good look at the rudder. Most marinas aren't going to allow a major refit at the dock. Then power and space won't be a problem. Whether its better to install the generator and motor (or if its even possible) while in the water, I don't know.

There are a couple wooden boat building schools and marine technical colleges in the PNW. I would call them and see if they have any recent graduates looking for work. Rent a two bedroom apt near the boat yard and offer this graduate room and board plus an hourly rate, maybe $40 an hour (?). Lots cheaper than the boatyard.

Its a little outside the box but it might work.
Wow-youíve had some hard core toys- even a helicopter?! My home yard is full of project boats that have been on the hard for years as their owners pick at em when they can find the time & money. Iím inclined to agree- Iíd sell it & cut my losses then find an operable vessel close to home...you seem like an exceptional person with keen abilities- ask yourself if youíd rather work on a boat or sail...when itís 15k southerly on a warm sunny day, itís tough to be on jacks instead of on the water... especially for years.
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Old 28-12-2020, 09:38   #37
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by calmissile View Post
Peter,

Thanks for the response. It was very helpful.

The boat does have a working radar and a under the deck autopilot. I need to install the steering arm on the rudder post (ordered) and mount the actuator.
The rest of the autopilot system is installed and apparently working. (Raymarine).

I anticipate adding AIS Xmt and Rcv before departing. Unfortunately, the current chart plotter and radar MFD's will not display AIS data so am considering various options now.

I appreciate the info on the weather patterns you mentioned. I tried without success to try and find this kind of data on line. You mentioned bringing the boat down to Long Beach sooner rather than later. If I were to get the boat ready prior to Spring, would it be prudent to bring it down the coast earlier?

Doug
Quick comment on installing the autopilot motor connection to the rudder. Make sure it has a quick release pin that is quickly accessible. I had a scare under autopilot when the voltage dropped on my electronics cut off the electrics at 20 knots wind on a broad reach. Went to helm by hand but the Raymarine drive motor clutch had not disengaged and the steering was locked solid. Managed to roll the Genoa but no way to drop the main so opted to drop the anchor in 20 ft of water to bring her head to wind. Later found the quick release pin on the link in case of need again. Hopefully will never happen to you and Raymarine could not explain it, but worth passing on to others just in case.
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Old 28-12-2020, 09:42   #38
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

I agree with Myweebles; age is always a consideration. If your real interest is fixing boats rather than sailing them, Great. There are a lot of folks in that category. Transitioning from power boats to sail demands one important additional attribute: that is agility which does not improve with age. Unless your goal in the boating world is to be a Mr Fixit, abandon the project and go back to power boating. Chronology is your challenge. I'm 82 and only too aware of it. On the other hand, I'm happy to be around puttering away.
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Old 28-12-2020, 09:53   #39
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

As talented as you are, Iím sorry but this just doesnít add up. What a nightmare. Thanks
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Old 28-12-2020, 10:18   #40
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

You could use a generator at your storage facility for power or get a set of cordless tools with extra battery packs.
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Old 28-12-2020, 11:30   #41
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

Hi Iím 75 yrs old have been living aboard and cruising full time for 20 yrs.
Hope this does not sound rude, however at 78 do you really want to go through
that aggravation? Itís one thing to start over boating, but how much of your time
do you want to spend working on a boat at this point of your life.
I do not know your background but sounds like you were successful enough
to purchase something that is ready to go, or at least close.
Just my opinion, but I am thinking as someone closer to your age.
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Old 28-12-2020, 12:59   #42
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

Calmissile, from your background and accomplishments you are obviously very bright and that may be part of the problem. At age 78 you indicate your desire to take on a new challenge; going from an experienced power boater to a sailor. I think it is great that you wish to take up sailing, but am having difficulty understanding why you purchased a 45 foot sailboat as your start point.

Are you sure your primary interest is sailing as opposed to simply accepting another challenge, that of rebuilding the boat and its systems? As if your real interest is sailing, my advice, as others have suggested, is that you sell your present sailboat (at a loss if necessary) and purchase a more reasonably size boat, closer to home, and take a few sailing lessons. As you have undoubtedly learned by now, purchasing the boat is the least expensive of the proposition. If "sailing" is really your primary interest (which I am having difficulty believing) then go sailing; do not waste precious time trying to keep your mind sharp by working a 45 foot sailboat. I am about to turn 80 and plan to continue sailing until they have to drag me off the boat. You talk about doing things "on my own schedule", but at our age exactly how much of a "schedule" can we control. Take the advice offered by Argonauta1, Rick Bertram, and Rive on this forum, not those who say avoid the "naysayers", and GO SAILING!
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Old 28-12-2020, 15:27   #43
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

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Originally Posted by calmissile View Post
I thought I would take a few moments to clear up and respond to some of the comments made on this thread.

The risk of posting details about your project on a forum is that the critics and naysayers come out of the woodwork to criticize what you are doing. Knowing this, I decided to start the thread anyway for several reasons. For one, I knew that there would be some tasks that I would need advice on and there is no sense reinventing the wheel. Inputs and advice from (experienced) others may be a big time saver for me. Second, setting aside the critics for a moment it was my belief that the camaraderie is likely to generate new friends and acquaintances for me that I otherwise would not have an opportunity to meet. This has already happened from other Columbia 45 owners. Thirdly, the forum has led to contacts with others that are experts in various fields of boat construction and boat repairs. By posting my questions and occasional difficulties along the way, I am hoping to get advice and responses from others that will save me time and perform the tasks in a more professional manner.

My response to the critics and naysayers is to ignore them and move on with my project. In some cases it is obvious they have not read the whole thread and are simply taking pot shots as a result of only reading one post or two.
To clear up any misinterpretations in my previous postings as well as defend my decisions up to this point, I will address some of the more egregious comments. Here are a few.....

"my 2 cents would be to pay a couple hundred bucks for a rigger to inspect the rig. It would be a shame to install a new engine and generator only to have the rig fail and you lose the mast."
I don't know how someone in Guatemala knows that it would only cost a couple hundred bucks to have the rigging inspected in Portland, Oregon. I am still waiting for him to provide me the name and phone number of the rigger and I will be very happy to call on him when I am ready for the inspection.
Secondly, the mast was re-stepped and new rigging installed not long ago, so I don't expect the rigging to fail especially if I motor the boat down the coast.

"My 2 cents. Pay to have the boat moved south and pay to have it stored on the hard. You can work up a quote here. get a couple and compare. Boat Hauling Rates"

I probably spent 30 - 40 man hours researching the option of having it hauled. This includes the various complications of the height of the boat above the limits of various states, pilot cars, and the complications involved with the boat yards at both ends in disassembling the masts and reassembling them as well as the re-rigging.

Some of the haulers could not answer questions and there was always a caveat that unforeseen costs would be on me. There was also an issue about getting the boat out of the existing marina due to a very steep grade and sharp turn. Only some types of trailers could do the job and only one hauler knew anything about the limitations getting access to the highway.

I had to make the tough choice and it is still not cast in concrete. My choice was to attempt to get the boat seaworthy in it's present location and motor it down the coast to Long Beach. If that doesn't work, I always can exercise the option to have it hauled by truck.

"A Columbia 45 is not really a desirable boat and after its all said and done you might get 30 cents on the dollar when you sell."

First of all, I doubt the poster has ever owned a C45, sailed on a C45, or knows anyone that has. I spent hundreds of hours researching different boats and had made a decision to purchase the best value I could find in a low cost boat that would serve my sailing, cruising, and fishing needs.

The fact that I would need to do a lot of work on the chosen boat was a given. The most credible reviews I looked at were from present and former owners of C45's. As it turns out there are quite a few. For example... https://www.sailnet.com/threads/is-t...-worthy.70171/.

I have since had long conversations with Jim from SV NWTrader as well as two other C45 owners. As best as I can tell, the skeptics have never owned or sailed on a C45.

Lastly, I have never bought anything based up the resale value (except maybe my home). I make purchases based upon what I want for my needs and what the ultimate cost will be and whether I want it bad enough to pay that amount. Selling something doesn't even enter my mind. I don't consider it a transient event.

As far as this boat goes, the attraction was a solid sturdy hull and nearly everything on it was brand new (albeit not completely installed). I reasoned that the sweat equity I put into it will more than make up the difference in price between this outcome and purchasing a 'ready to go' boat with the same equipment.

As far as the 30 cents on the dollar at resale, I don't even think about It, but don't know how someone that does not know the inventory of the equipment on the boat, nor the purchase price can make such a claim. It really doesn't matter. If I get the enjoyment I expect from the boat over the time I own it, it doesn't matter what the resale value is.

Same is true about my vehicles, former airplanes, helicopter, test equipment, machine shop equipment, etc. If I looked at these purchases as investments for resale I probably would not buy anything.

" You should have done your homework before purchasing the boat as to the cost of what it might need."

In fact I did as much research prior to the purchase as I could but obviously fell short in some areas. There were some surprises!

The cost and complexity of shipping by truck,

Throughout Multnomah County (Portland) no one can work on their own boat in a boatyard. County wide restriction. Nice for the boatyards though ,

Restrictions on living aboard while working on your boat while in the marina (add motel costs),

Difficulty in finding local help (even unskilled) for a reasonable price,

Unforeseen complications in the refit such as a new exhaust system with some unexpected restrictions,

Some existing installations that need to be redesigned and done differently.

Yes, there were unexpected surprises, but in reading throughout the boating forums it seems to go with the territory. If I were perfect I would have the money to buy a super-yacht and not care what anyone else thinks.
I don't see any of these obstacles to be catastrophic.

So let's put it into perspective. I pay about $200/month for the boat to sit in a slip in a nice marina that is well guarded and protected. Has restrooms and showers. The marina owner would like to have his boat yard do all the work but knows I cannot afford that and allows you to work on your boats in the slip.

I am in no panic to get the boat completed. It would be nice to get it seaworthy and ready to sail/motor by Spring. The weather will be nicer for the trip at that time anyway.

The slip in Long Beach (Wilmington) is about $650/month and I am not having to pay for it until I arrive.

I plan to tackle each obstacle as they come and hopefully be ready in Spring. I also have an old sea dog (my age) at the marina that keeps an eye on my boat and calls me periodically. We might even do some sailing together in the future.

As far as abandoning the project.... NOT! I have experienced far greater challenges and odds and have overcome them in the past. I think the SBA gave me odds of 50,000:! of not succeeding when I started my business. Past that hurdle with flying colors.

The complete tear-down and overhaul of the helicopter took several months and was a success. I am not worried about this project, nor the skeptics and critics opinions.
https://i.imgur.com/y6muhia.jpg
https://imgur.com/OXi371N
https://imgur.com/TwC9vUH
Could be some OPS are rather jealous of you-coud be. lol
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Old 28-12-2020, 15:44   #44
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

Fascinating thread! So- bottom line, like it or not, is Oxidation & Gravity are taking us all down. So- the question is: would you rather spend your remaining years sailing, or working on a boat? I chose sailing- others would enjoy the tinkering. Your call- no winners/losers or otherwise 👍
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Old 28-12-2020, 17:16   #45
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

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First of all, I am 78. I have had a wonderful life. For the better part of 60 years I have been an Aerospace Engineer most of which was spent with TRW in the ICBM missile field. Within that 60 years I also started from scratch an Avionics company and owned and managed it for 12 years.

During most of my life I have had power boats. I also have owned airplanes (Mooney M20E), helicopter (Brantly B-2) and misc motorcycles and other vehicles. My favorite boat was a Trojan 27 ft. Sportfisher w/ flybridge. I wintered the boat in a Morrow Bay slip and summered it at Port San Luis Obispo, Ca.

The most relaxing hours of my life were alone on my boat salmon and albacore fishing off Port San Luis. My employer transferred me from Vandenberg AFB to Norton AFB in San Bernardino, Ca. So long to the ocean boating. We are about 1 1/2 hour away from the marinas and the slip costs are so high in So Cal that I never gave any thought to owning another ocean going boat.

In the mean time I have built up a large electronics lab in my home to support my current employment (Director of Engineering at a local Avionics company) and also as a hobby I built up a complete CNC machine shop in my garage.

After having watched sailing Vblogs for about a year, I GOT THE BUG. I have never sailed but had years of experience of power boating, so thought there is a new challenge I have not attempted.

Since most of my engineering has been hands on rather than theoretical and have overhauled nearly everything I have owned, I thought fixing up a sailboat that could be purchased fairly inexpensively would be a piece of cake. NOT!

I ended up purchasing a Columbia 45 Center Cockpit sailboat that is in Portland, Oregon some 800 miles away. While my employer is very flexible with me taking time off to work on the boat, it is a 17 hours drive in each direction which I have made about 5 times so far. The boat was purchased 'as is - where is' and is sitting in a slip.

The previous owner had a passion for doing the work himself. Due to health reasons he had to abandon his dream and sell the boat......or should I say project. As it turns out he had the means to buy the most expensive replacement items for the boat but did not have anything installed. This includes the brand new Perkins 95 HP engine that is just sitting in the bilge and a brand new MASE 7 KW generator that is sitting in the salon. This project quickly turned into a much larger effort than I initially imagined. I still have no doubt I have the capability to complete the installation/refit it is going to take longer than expected.

The logistics is a nightmare. I considered having the boat trucked from Portland to Long Beach where I have a slip reserved, but the cost was over $12K and there were questions about the shipping that the trucking company did not adequately answer. I did not feel comfortable with shipping it for a number of reasons. The boat yard in Portland indicated that I would have to cut all the wires to the main mast and radar mast and disassemble the SS dodger and bimini myself. The boat yard at this end was not sure he could lift the boat without knowing the exact weight. He also indicated that installing the rigging would be $175/hr with no estimate in sight. All in all I decided to not ship it by truck even though it would be much more convenient to work on it at this end closer to home.

Instead, my decision was to finish the engine and generator installation in Portland, make it seaworthy and sail or motor it down to Long Beach. Once here I can take my time to finish all the loose ends and improvements on my own time schedule.


As it turned out, the trips to Portland to work on the boat have been far less productive than I imagined. The owner had a garage full of parts and materials for the boat which I ended up having to rent two storage units to put them in. I found it so difficult to find any help to assist me that I was nearly ready to find a homeless guy in desperation. The boat yard that is part of the marina charges extremely high prices and will not work on the boat while it is in the slip. Also, when on the hard you are not allowed to stay or work on your own boat. What a bummer!

After talking to another C45 owner, I was convinced that my original plan to make it seaworthy in Portland and sail/power it down the coast is still the best plan.

After the last 5 week trip to Portland, the weather got cold and rainy. I finally was tired out and decided to come back home and take a break. This gives me the time to do the engineering for the engine and generator installation, have some custom motor mounts made and source the parts for the missing exhaust systems.

Would I have done this again knowing what I know now? Probably not. It is not because the monetary value is not there, nearly everything new is an attractive element. It is because of the logistics of being able to do the work far away from home and your tools. Not finding any help to hire is also a deterrent.

I will probably make some more trips to the boat and continue the installations and look to Spring bring it down the coast. The weather absolutely sucks in Portland this time of year for working on the boat.

Wish me luck.
I don't think a cruising sail boat is the right vehicle for a person at 78 years.
No matter how well you exercise, you grow weaker (as lab tests have verified). No doubt the vessel you have has value, and will have more value if completed, so ideally, I hope you can finish it to sellable condition. It seems to me that a cruising power boat makes considerably less demands on an old man, so that may be a better choice for you.
(I am older than you, by the way)
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