Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Patron Saint Of Boat Projects - Part III

OK, let's wrap this boring stuff up so that I can get on with the fun stuff... We HAVE done some fun stuff... otherwise we would be DULL... well, maybe we are a little bit dull...

But this is not a post about that.  This is the third and final post about the work we've done while here in St. Martin... hereby dubbed by me as the Patron Saint of Boat Projects for obvious reasons.

And in case it is not yet obvious... I will clear that up.  The island of St. Martin/Sint Maarten is duty free.  You would not believe the prices of things here due to there being no tax or duty on things that are imported... It has become a boating hub for all kinds of boat work.  I would find it difficult to believe if there is anything that you can't get done here...  And if you can't get what you need... you can have it sent here very inexpensively and easily, by Caribbean standards.

One annoying thing on our To-Do list was to mail a camera I bought in Puerto Rico back to the US for warranty repair.  Unfortunately it kept getting bumped to the bottom of the list, or I would have it back with me now instead of it going to my daughter's house.  FYI, if you need to send anything relatively small and you have a receipt to show the value of it, you can mail it out of the post office in Phillipsburg, trackable and insured very reasonably.  This package cost $23 US and it took a little over a week to get to its destination.

We also had good luck having things shipped to us here through a place called Business Point.  They have a temporary mailbox service where for $20 per month you can have things mailed to a Miami address, then they are shipped to St. Martin on a boat once a week for $3.99 per lb.  We had quite a few lightweight items shipped to us here and only one was delayed a week...

Moving on.  One morning as I was cleaning the enclosure and cockpit, I noticed that the plastic in the aft panels was beginning to split in places.  It wouldn't be long before it deteriorated further and they were already partially covered with something that looked like a fungus that will not wash off...

This started the wheels spinning in my head... Most of the time we don't close them while we're on the boat, even when it's raining.  Rain seldom comes in unless we are in a marina and not head-to-weather.  I've got a roll of greenhouse shade that's just sitting there.  It would be really easy to replace the grungie plastic with nice, breathable sunshade.

See how easily things get added to the list?

We. Love. It!  It makes the cockpit much cooler when we've left it zipped up while off the boat.  It's nice to not have to put the sunshade up because we're lazy like that... and I've found that it's even great when we're sailing.  I can roll one side up so that I can see out, but still sit behind the other side... much cooler when we're sailing away from the sun... or EAST... which is the direction we're always sailing!

It's so nice when a project makes our lives better!  Unlike stuff like changing the oil in the generators... which we also did.  And that generates another job... cleaning up oil that has dribbled onto the gelcoat...

Not a pleasant job at all.  Nor was taking Jezabelle to the vet... Which we also did.  She needed to have her vaccine boosters.  It was a lucky break that we happened to be someplace easy when they came due.  We called a Veterinarian on the Dutch side and she said it was no problem if we hadn't cleared her into that side.  They really do not seem to care!  So we loaded Jezzer up into the carrier and took a little dinghy ride.

Big surprise, she is not a fan of dinghy rides. But she was VERY good.  There were no accidents and she made very little noise.  She was awesome at the Vet's office.  Unfortunately I think the stress gave her a little bit of a UTI so two days later we had to return to the office to take in a urine specimen and pick up some antibiotic.  Add "stuff liquid antibiotic down the cat's throat twice a day for a week" to the To-Do list.  Put it on the unpleasant side!

We rented a cute little car to take her to the vet so when we were done with that, we made a major provisioning run and loaded that thing down!  Eventually we will leave here and groceries are CHEAP!

Putting all of that stuff away was another list item...  Amazing that a few letters on a page could take you an entire day or more to check off!

We marked cans with sharpie and stripped off the labels... we repacked meat into individual meal-sized baggies... we repackaged dry goods... then we had to find places to put all of the new stuff...

And of course all of those storage cubbies had to be CLEANED!

Finding space for large amounts of groceries is not easy on a boat...  And while we're on the subject of space... try finding a good flat area to cut fabric for a sewing project.  Anyone can sew... but not just anyone can sew on a BOAT!

Remember that new generator I told you about recently?  The Donald?  Well, he needed a waterproof cover so that he could be left on deck sometimes.  Bruce has high regard for my sewing abilities... either that or he just BS's his way into getting me to make things for him...

I used the leftover bits of plastic I took off of the aft enclosure panels to make an interior waterproof lining, which I then covered with an external sunbrella cloth shell.  I been carrying our old mainsail cover around since two summers ago... (packrat)... to use for making covers for things... This is the first time I've actually DONE it!

I have a helper...

It took me a couple of days to make this project because sewing the plastic was so awkward and then making the outer shell fit the inner shell closely took extra time because I had to alter it several times.  But eventually I was done.  I used shock cord as elastic to make the bottom edge snug around the generator so it won't blow away.

And there you have it.  I'm sure I've forgotten something because I've lost my master list... Oh well, whatever is on it will either re-present itself or be forever forgotten.

We did a lot of stuff these past two months... no wonder Bruce balked! But now we've called it quits and will have only fun until we get to our next major stop... which will probably be Grenada.  Thanks for hanging in through all of that!


  1. I am impressed with your sewing skills, and also the fact that you had an entire ROLL? of shade cloth stowed somewhere on your boat. And that you could find it. We have to get our canvas redone in Mexico. I'm considering shade cloth. Also, your little furry helper is extra cute.

    1. Thanks! It's like I have a Muse or something. (Not the furry helper) When she isn't here...forget it. But when she comes, I begin thinking about a project and it just happens. Can't force it and I don't decide. And yes I'm a pack rat. I recently gave away my leftover flag material to another cruiser. You wouldn't believe how hard it was. I know the Flag Muse will return some day looking for it... All of that stuff lives in our "Rumpus Room"! Not much rumpssing going on in there!