Rob and I have been steadily working on the boat to get it ready. Most of the projects are small but they do seem to take a long time to complete.
Catherine the owner of the Zoe’s Coffee Shop near our marina loaned me her sewing machine and I’ve been sewing different projects with our blue sailcloth as best as I can with a sewing machine that was finicky to begin with! None of our portholes had any curtains or coverings and that was the first project I tackled. I decided to make porthole covers instead of curtains as I figured they would work better than a curtain when the portholes are open or close. The covers are called shower caps and seriously they look like shower caps!
Next, I worked on creating an interior hatch cover for the v-berth. This was desperately needed as we are sleeping in the v-berth and needed something to cut out the early morning light. It is a simple square piece that has two strings at the end to keep it in place when we roll it up in the mornings but the tricky part was attaching the snaps and Rob helped me out with those. He spent some time hammering the snaps into place on the dock (and loosing a tool in the process). The cover works out amazingly and it is remarkable how a simple piece of cloth can help with a good night sleep by blocking out the sun. I’ve also completed the winch covers that Rob started last year but was abandoned when our own sewing machine broke down. Rob came up with the winch design for the interior of the cover using two straps to the interior top part and then looped through a bungee cord. The cord is placed over the middle part of the winch and that will keep the covers in place over our new Hutton winches. A KISS (Keep IT Simple Silly) philosophy for the boat! The hard part was trying to sew the pieces together using a borrowed sewing machine that came with the caveat to kick it if it acted up. Great!
I’ve also started sewing storage wall hanging pockets. The idea came from sailors, Sara and Pete who had us over for coffee one morning on their boat Riki Tiki Tavi when they stopped in our marina for 2 nights. The idea is to sew pockets and use it to store all sort of items. The first one I made was storage for our cutlery. We had some ‘wall’ space on a cupboard in the galley and I was able to create a three-pocket storage hanging. This moved our cutlery from a cup holder into a more accessible area for when we are cooking. I’m planning on making a few more of these; potentially one to be used as a spice holder and one for the v-berth for our glasses, a book and maybe a sweater. Oh, the possibilities with this design! You can also check out more canvas ideas on s/v Stella Blue’s website.
While not sewing, I’ve also been busy cleaning up our main hatch and covered all possible cracks with silicone to see if this would prevent the leaks coming into the boat. It is quick fix solution for now but it actually worked as we have no more leaks!
Rob on the other hand has been busy doing ‘blue’ jobs. He has been steadily working on trying to put together the head after I painted it. He had to build two new shelves to accommodate our new fuel tank that he has put in place after discovering it was leaking last year from the welds. Cowichan Bay has a wood boat society and an awesome woodshop that allows members to use the shop and that is what Rob has been doing for the last three to four days working on all the wood projects for the boat. While waiting for the last shelf to cure, Rob decided that it was time to tackle the galley.
The saltwater tap has not worked since we bought the boat (not that we would want to use it while in the marina), so he decided that we should move both the saltwater and freshwater taps to a more convenient location in the galley. We decided that the best location would be behind the sink instead of on the port side, which seems to be the usual for most Westsails. Eventually, we were hoping to replace the sink with a double sink with the second one located in the cupboard section facing the engine compartment. Unfortunately, Rob found out that moving both taps would not be possible and any future re-design of the galley would be very limited. While pulling the taps and trying to move them to their ‘new’ location, Rob discovered that the previous owner(s) placed the fuel tank right up to the bulkhead of the galley which means that we won’t be able to put the taps behind the sink and they had to go back to where they came from. Rob also decided to pull the sink out while he was in the galley as the screws on the bolts came off at some point and water has been seeping underneath the sink, causing mold and mildew to form between the sink and the wood counter. While he was cleaning the sink and scraping of the black gunk off from the sink, the gasket fell off. Whoever installed or replaced the sink used plywood as a gasket underneath and it all crumpled while being removed from the galley! This of course happened at 9 pm two nights ago and we ended up with a big mess in the galley and no running water. We could have used the sink in the head, except we have not figured out yet why the tap is not working. Rob replaced the previous foot pump tap with a hand pump in June last year and it only worked briefly and then stopped. So after re-investigating the problem by myself first, and then Rob, it was discovered that the NEW check valve that was installed last June, crapped out at some point. A new one was installed and all is working and there is peace in the universe once again …. or so Rob thinks because now the tap is leaking! ~ Sophia