Life in the Boatyard
We arrived back to the Chesapeake area on Sunday September 3rd. We flew into Baltimore and arrived around 1:30 pm. From Baltimore we have to take an Lyft to get to the boat in Deale, MD which is about 20 – 30 miles from Baltimore. Deale, MD is fairly remote and there really aren’t Ubers or Lyfts to get around the town once we are there and there is not a grocery store within walking distance, so we had the Lyft driver take us to a grocery store so I could grab a few things to tide us over until we could do a more major grocery shop and restock our supplies.
We arrived to the boat around 3 pm after our stops. The Lyft driver dropped us right at the boat so we could unload all our bags.
Our first look at Painkiller after 2 months of being away. We were quite disappointed to see that the boat had no bottom paint, no prop and still some work to be done to finalize the autopilot. The boat is scheduled to go in the water on Thursday morning. That’s 4 days from now, but with the labor day weekend, that only allows the workmen 2 working days to get all this done. Paint needs time to dry. By our calculations this is not looking good to stay on our timeline. First order of business, hunt around the yard for a ladder or some stairs to get aboard the boat. Mark found the stairs to wheel over so we could get aboard. Then we hauled our bags aboard and repacked the minimal amount of things we would need at the hotel into a smaller bag. Checked things out on the boat, batteries ok, etc.
Then we decided since we would be staying in the hotel for the next 4 nights it might be easier to get there by dinghy rather than walking everyday. It’s a 1.5 mile walk one way. So, we took the dinghy off the deck of the boat and lowered it down with our spare halyard. We positioned a dock cart on the front of the dinghy so that we could wheel it to the water. We realized that we were at low tide and the distance from the fixed docks to the water was at least 3 – 4 feet. We weren’t sure how we were going to get the dinghy down to the water. It weighs about 100 lbs. So, we looked at the marina map and noticed that there is a dinghy launch area…at the other end of the marina. Now this marina is HUGE! It’s at least a 1/2 mile to get to the dinghy launch area. So, we put our dinghy wheels on the back of the dinghy with the cart on the front and now we have a makeshift 3 wheeled vehicle of sorts to wheel the dinghy over to the launch area. We finally get the dinghy in the water. But we have to go back to the boat and get the outboard and the gas. We lower the outboard into a dock cart using our dinghy hoist and lower the gas tank from the deck. We brought this all over to the dinghy launch area and connected everything and tried to get the dinghy motor started. It would start but it was leaking gas at the connection and would not stay running. Tired and frustrated after 3 hours of work to get to this point, we decided to leave the dinghy and walk to the hotel as the sun was starting to set. We get to the hotel and thought we would brag a bite to eat at the boathouse next to the hotel but it was closed. The Boat House is pretty cool. It’s a bar/restaurant that is built around an old boat with all kinds of boat related items that are repurposed in the bar/restaurant.
At this point we are tired and hungry, so our only option was to have pizza delivered to the hotel room. We ate the whole thing and fell asleep.
The next day, we got up and walked to the great little breakfast place that is near the hotel called the South Country Cafe. They have great breakfast and coffee. Yes, we need coffee.
Our mission today is waxing the hull of the boat. We called the local hardware/rental center store in town before we left Minneapolis. The hardware store rents scaffolding so we can easily get up where we need to be to wax the boat. The best part is they also deliver! Since we have no car here, this is a bonus. The scaffolding was dropped off on Saturday and was waiting for us by the boat for our use today. So, first order of business, put together the scaffolding. Then we had to locate all the supplies that we needed to wax. Where is the wax? Where is the buffer? Everything on the boat takes twice as long. Once we got going, we were able to finish one side in a couple of hours. The boat was very dirty in the boat yard, so I had to wash the hull ahead of Mark coming along with the wax.
We took a break from the heat in the air conditioned boater’s lounge and had some lunch before we tackled the other side of the boat. That was about all we got done today and then we walked to the Happy Harbor Restaurant which is about halfway to the hotel. I, of course, got a crab cake. I know some of you heard me say that I was actually a bit tired of seafood at the end of our time in the Chesapeake before we headed ome. Well, after 2 months at home, I missed the seafood. That crab cake tasted delicious!
Tuesday morning was the day all the workers would be back at work. We made several phone calls and checked in with the vendors that we hired to do the work. They seemed to need a reminder that we planned to have the boat in the water on Thursday morning!! They still have a lot of work to be done. Now keep in mind that we are sort of acting as the general contractor in this scenario. All the vendors here are independent contractors from the marina and not controlled through the marina. So, we need to contact each person we want to hire for work to be done and work with each vendor directly, so we are doing a lot of coordination to juggle the 4 – 5 vendors we have hired to do work.
Tuesday was bag emptying day. We had 4 duffle bags full of clothes and stuff to empty and put away somewhere on the boat. As I said, everything takes twice as long on a boat. This is what we had to start with.
This is the mess that was our master cabin. In order to have people doing work on the boat, we needed to empty the 2 large lockers that we have in the cockpit of the boat so that they had access to install the new autopilot. So, imagine that we take the contents of your garage and put it in your bedroom. Yes, that what we have here. There is simply no other space to put anything so it has to go there. So in order to unpack and put clothes away, we first had to re-home all this stuff. So, yes unpacking 4 duffle bags took all day.
Wednesday September 7th – This was my view for most of the day today.
I did 3 loads of laundry. All the sheets, towels, etc on the boat. While I did all the laundry, Mark was busy putting all the mess of stuff that was in our master cabin back where it all belongs in the 2 lockers in our cockpit area. We also had a lot of workers on the boat today. They finished installing the autopilot. We have the 3 coats of barrier paint (grey) on the boat. The first coat of paint (red) and hopefully by the end of the day, we will have 1 of 2 coats of final paint (black). We also had the prop guy here today, reinstalling the prop. Busy day! At the end of the day we were exhausted!
Thursday September 8th – We were supposed to be in the water this morning, however that is not happening. We still have 2 more coats of paint to go before we can be in the water. We slept in a bit this morning since we have been working so hard. So, we didn’t get to the boat until almost 11 o’clock after stopping for breakfast. My job today – Putting white duct tape on the foam insulating boards we have in our fridge. We made some custom sized and cut foam boards to fit in the fridge and freezer to help provide more insulation and help reduce the amount of run time that the fridge and freezer needs to work. Originally, I painted the foam boards with a special primer that would not eat away the foam and then coated them with an appliance epoxy paint. This kinda worked, however I still had bits of foam crumbling off in the fridge and they were not wipeable or as durable as I hoped they would be. So, my solution now is to cover them in white duct tape to make them more durable and wipeable and cleaner. Meanwhile, Mark was down at the dinghy landing working on cleaning the carburetor of the outboard motor to try to get the dinghy up and running. And we also made the beds. We moved out of the hotel today and our plan is to sleep on the boat in the boat yard tonight and we will be put in the water tomorrow morning!!