Sunset Bay Mooring Ball Refit

…the Apex Marine Dock we worked off of….

We last were in Apex Marine, Stuart Florida where Mack Sails installed our new 4G B&G Radar antenna and our new digital anemometer on top of the mast. After a day there, we moved around the corner to Sunset Bay Marina where we secured a mooring ball to continue our refit #3 work. This is a great location and Stuart Florida in Martin County could become one of our new favorite locations along the USA East Coast. The town is great, the county has manged it well in respect to development and planning and there are many services here.

We installed new Mack Sails while here, beautiful

The main reason we are here is the Mack Sails company., Colin Mack has been our connection along with his brother, Travis, both of whom run a fantastic business. They are fully on top of their customer service and support. We have worked with many yacht service companies and Mack Sails is currently one of the top by far. We have a lot more work to complete and are really thrilled to be working with this team. Mack Sails is THE place for any of your boat’s needs.

One of the seminars we attended
The French Canals and Waterways!

While here, we decided to take a break from working on the boat and drive up to Melbourne for the GAM. It was really fun to meet some amazing world sailors and Caribbean sailors. We had lunch with several people who have spent many years in the western Caribbean, our current goal. What a wonderful event with seminars, lunch gatherings, and exhibitor displays. Radeen and I really enjoyed attending for two of the four days. If you are ever in Melbourne FL in the beginning of Nov, then this is a must attend event.

Triton2 the new B&G gear is powered up

After two days at the GAM, Fri and Sat, we drove back to the boat to get back to work on the refit. The first challenge was to finish the NMEA 2000 backbone wiring with the mast work and the radar and wind sensor. Then we needed to add a 12 volt power tap into the electrical connections so that when we turn on the “Instruments” switch, our new B&G electronics will be powered up. We removed the old wiring and then installed the new wiring and on Sunday morning we flipped the switch and there it was….a NEW B&G Triton2 display up and running. WOW, what a great piece of programming and software. The new Triton2 configured itself and found all the other new equipment plugged into the network. All I had to do was press enter, enter, enter and watch it fire up. We are able to click through 15 various screens of data all coming from the many sensors installed on the boat. WOW, what great gear. So far, we are delighted with the appearance of the display and the ease of use.

Our next task is to install the new NavPod at the helm, as soon as it is delivered, and then plug into the backbone a new Zeus2, a pilot controller, and another Triton2 display right at the helm. All the wiring has been run and all we need to do is to cut holes into the NavPod for the displays and then plug them into the backbone.  Our old VHF will be replaced with a new Standard Explorer integrated GPS VHF with a RAM mic. Once again, our ram mic is old, the wires are frayed and worn, so we want to make sure we have a very dependable VHF. That will be the final install. Then we will need to commission the new pilot and the new compass, but that is relatively easy. So, one week into the new install and we are nearly finished. This has gone far better than expected. B&G Triton2 gear is amazing!

Here are more photos.

This is the APEX Marine work dock. We are to the left of the large blue boat.

Our 180 degree view from our mooring ball in the front row at Sunset Bay Marina. Dinghy dock to the right.
Island Spirit on the mooring ball

We took a quick 1hr drive with Terri of IP38 Sailbatical to visit Blaine Parks when he sailed into Vero.
He was on a delivery with a new crew member, Al.

The JAM session at the SSCA GAM, always fun to hear these guys
Radeen and Hayden with their bags as we depart the hotel room

We scored some great cruising guides given out by Colombia and Panama!

Our dear friend, Bob Wiley, IP380 Judith III, is always here for us when we sail or drive into Florida.
We also enjoyed visiting with Terri of IP38 Sailbatical, Ceal, former IP owner, Dick and Carol of IP44 Gusto and their amazing single handed sailing friends, Ann, Judy and Arlene. Finally, we enjoyed an excellent presentation by Bill and Amy of IP38 Estralita about sailing in Southeast Asia during their circumnavigation. What a great time!

We bought some cruising guides to the Western Caribbean as well.

Back onboard, we hooked up the Radar interface into the backbone

We removed old wiring and ran some new wiring

There it is, the new B&G Triton2 powered up and working

Walking around the town of Stuart, FL, a great location to live

Typical town condos

We are the sailboat to the right

Every night the marina has a fire pit to gather around, very nice

The SUPER MOON rises off our stern in beautiful weather.

 Tomorrow, Monday, we will remove our boom and take it to Mack Sails where it will be modified for a simple single line reefing system. We will be removing the shuttle cars in the boom as they are a bad design and always bind up. Bye bye to them. Refit #3 moving along.

On Anchor off Apex Marine

…anchored out, our first night…

Immediately after we launched yesterday, we had to drive out of the Hinckley Marina because they had no slip for us. This was really unusual, but we are fine with it. We drove the boat about 8 miles around the town of Stuart Florida and dropped the anchor off Apex Marine. This is one of the marina yards where Mack Sails works on yachts. So we decided to drop anchor off the marina and deal with stowing and organizing all the stuff onboard. We have no dinghy running, we have no car here yet, we are out in the middle of the creek and you know what…..that is just fine with us.

I made a quick LED anchor light as ours was burned out

We are monitoring the presidential election on our 32″ Samsung HDTV with digital antenna. We receive 40 digital stations, of course, most are junk, but we get ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS. We are living off solar and wind power, with no need to run the engine for power because the wind is blowing 15-20 and it is also sunny, so we have lots of power. It is a simple peaceful day with lots going on and with no where to go and no way to get there anyway. Imagine that.

Lifting the dinghy off the deck with the jib halyard

Today we needed to rerun the halyards, jib, main, staysail, and spare. These were all pulled down in May and run with cheap chase lines, allowing us to pull them back up now. The reason you take down your halyards is to protect them from UV damage and also to reduce a little windage for storms. With the halyards now rerun, we used the jib halyard to lift the 120 lb 10 ft dinghy off the deck and over the side. This is our transportation and we need to get it back in service. It is our car, our ride to shore, the grocery store, the cocktail parties, it is the way we all get around out here. So, we lifted it off the deck and pushed her over the side and lowered her into the water. BUNS II, as we call her, was happy to be splashed as well. She is a fun expedition explorer vehicle and we love taking her to the beaches and the reefs. Fun times ahead for sure!

A new bubbly to try. We like Gruet from New Mesico or Moet & Chandon from France.
This is reported to be similar.
We will see if this new bubbly is any good

This is an AB 10VL dinghy. It is 120 lbs 10 feet long.
It fits on the foredeck of an IP35 fully inflated.

We added padding with life jackets on top of the forward hatch.
The dinghy seat rests on this spot, so it is perfect.

Radeen assisted as we lowered  BUNS II into the water.

There we go, the foredeck is clear. Now we can see forward and we can work on the mast.

Buns II in the davits with new “trucker straps” 

Radeen designed new bed quilt comforters for the v-berth bunk and the aft quarter berth bunk and I did the sewing on our Sailrite sewing machine. They are much lighter in weight, since we are going to warmer climates. Now, she is in search of new rugs.

V-berth as arranged by Radeen

V-berth as arranged by Hayden

Why is it so much fun just messing around with a boat? Why? I am not really sure, but it is. We are out here on anchor with no real easy way to get off this boat and we are loving it. We have power, internet, TV, food, water, wine and best of all CHAMPAGNE which gets popped tonight. Year #6 is off to a great beginning. Thanks for sharing this with us. It means so much knowing our friends and family are along.

Launch Day We are IN the Water

…Island Spirit heads for the water…

It has been 12 days of living out of the car, hotel rooms and a time share condo. Today the Hinckley Yard launched our boat! These transitions from land to water are always exciting and always full of action. This launch was most unusual because once we hit the water, there was no place for us to go, no dock for us to move into, as all were full. That meant we had to have the boat ready to live on right away at anchor.

Radeen sending bags up to the Deck

This meant hauling all our bags, food, propane, dinghy gas, and various items up from the car, up the 8 foot stern ladder and onto the deck! Some of this loading we did using ropes. Radeen would tie the lifting canvas bags to the rope I tossed down to her and then I would pull it up to the deck, We have never had to do this before! Imagine, all your food, clothes and travel gear is in your car, on the ground. The boat deck in a parking lot is 8 feet off the ground. Now, move everything onboard! WHAT? You see, normally you launch a boat and then move it into a slip and then pull your car nearby and load it all into a dock cart and you wheelbarrow it down to dock and walk it onto the boat. Not this time! One minute after the boat was launched, we boarded the bow in the haul out slip, started the engine, backed out, spun around and drove off. We ran 8 miles west, around the town of Stuart, and dropped the anchor in the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. We watched the sunset, had a great dinner onboard and we should sleep well tonight!

Living out of the car for 12 days, a challenge

Tomorrow, we need to get the dinghy off the deck, add the 15hp outboard, add the 6 gallon fuel tank and fire it up so we can get back to shore. That will be Tue. Then Wed we move to the service dock at Apex Marine where Mack Sails will be working on our mast, installing the new 4G digital radar antenna and new B&G anemometer. We hope to have this electronics package up and running soon for testing. But first, let’s make this boat livable….

Hear are some photos.

Getting propane, we need coffee in the AM

Here is the process of how a boat is launched.
(That is, a boat that cannot be towed with a car or truck)
This service is included with the storage fee.

The travel lift arrives, notice it is U shaped at the top.

The travel lift backs over and around the boat

The lift operators run lifting straps under the boat
These slings are then pinned together with a very large bar

The lifting straps are tightened and then pick up the boat

Once lifted, the jack stands are removed

The left over bottom paint is used to touch up where the boat was resting on blocks

The travel lift operator drives the lift with the boat to the water

They keep the boat only a foot off the ground
so if the hydraulics fail then it does not fall too far, but damage would still be bad
This boat weighs in at about 18,000 lbs

Radeen looks back as Island Spirit slowly heads to the water

There she is, hanging over the water, and then will be lowered down
We climbed on over the bow

YEAR #6 Selfie, we love this cruising life and cannot believe it has been 5 years!

Our first sunset at anchor, cool and breezy….perfect!

Sunset off the stern of Island Spirit on anchor, Stuart, Florida

Our first job in the morning will be to get the dinghy off the deck and rigged and running. Then we will have transportation to get to shore. Wednesday, our new 4G radar will be installed. Exciting times, Refit #3. Thank you for sailing along.

Final Prep Before Launch

… a frog visits Island Spirit…

Our final prep for launch is wrapped up and, as every boater knows, you are never ready and you are never finished working on the boat. Maybe that is what makes boating so interesting, you always have something to work on, something to fix, something to shop for, something to solve, something to design, on and on and on it goes. Bottom line, you need to set a schedule, set dates and simply move on. If you do not, you will never get out of this “working on the boat” endless loop. We did move our launch date back from Wed to Friday, then to Monday and now we are going, no more delay. Island Spirit is meant to be in the water, she loves to sail, and she loves to keep us safe. She is a wonderful boat and we really put our life in her hands and we trust her. We also know her very well. Our good luck frog was found in the cockpit under a life jacket while we were putting things away in the sail locker. This beautiful frog was rescued and moved off the boat and onto the lawn where it happily hopped away.

Below decks getting better

Below decks, we still have lots of work to do. We need to fire up the refrigerator.  We need to move our bags onboard and set up home. We need to set up the network, WiFi, the Router, Printer/Scanner and the Internet. One challenge we may have is the fact that Hinckley may not have a dock for us to move into once we launch. We are supposed to have a dock for two days after launch. This would allow us to wash the decks and to load our bags, food, sewing machine and clothes, plus water, propane and dinghy gas! Knowing we may be launched and then must drive off into the sunset, we are trying to figure out how this will all work. We will move 3 hours around to the other side of the harbor at Sunset Bay Marina where we will take a mooring ball to continue our refit #3. We are really hoping that we can move to a Hinckley dock to load up and clean up before we motor out.

Line cutter added to propeller

Over the past couple of days, since out NMEA 2000 network has been installed and connected, we focused on finishing up that install and then re-stowing all the gear back into the sail locker. We used up the left over quart of Petit Trinidad paint which is very expensive and we could not let it go, so we rolled on a second coat around the waterline, like we always do. We also added a line cutter called a Shaft Shark to the propeller shaft. This device is meant to cut off any lines that wrap around the propeller.

Repacking the propeller shaft…errrrrrr

The final job was to repack the “stuffing box” which is really a cap nut around the propeller shaft. This cap nut is hollow and needs to be filled with a packing material. When this cap nut is threaded down against the fixed stern tube, it makes a water tight seal between the boat bilge and the spinning propeller shaft. This job requires you to loosen the cap nut, then, using dental picks, extract the old packing material, clean the area and then install new packing material. This all takes about 1-2 hours and it also brings out the most creative vocabulary due to the terrible working conditions. You need to be face down with your arms fully extended down into the bilge and there you work with tools and picks and wrenches repacking the “stuffing box!” What a pain in the butt. Next to rebuilding the head or sewer holding tank, THIS is one of the toughest jobs on a boat. We did it and it is finished.

So, we are as ready as we can be, we are in the middle of a full refit, but we will launch this boat Monday and we will be back onboard…..finally….

Here are some photos….

Our bed, yup, we still have some rearranging to do  here !!!


Repacking the Stuffing Box. This is how far the cap nut will thread up with two rings of GFO added.

This would be the third ring, if added it would allow only a few threads
So, we only used two rings of GFO Gore-Tex Packing

This is back together……this took over 3 hours of work.

This is the stuffing box. Cap nut, lock nut, rubber clamped seal, stern tube, hull

Our antenna farm: AIS, Sat Radio, 3G/4G Cell, Bullet with 12db gain

Solar roof and wind machine
350 watts of solar, 450 watts of wind, which gives us about 100 amp hrs/day

New B&G GPS just over the solar panels

Our quarter berth rtern wall extra access cut out. It helps with all this work.

Radeen, poses at the beam of Island Spirit

Looking EAST, towards the Bahamas.

Radeen with “Goldie” 2our 003 Taurus with our Vero Beach sticker

Every day we go to Home Depot, errrrrr

Every day we go to West Marine $$$$$$

Our prop with fresh Petit Prop Paint and the new Shaft Shark line cutter

Our beautiful Island Packet 35, Island Spirit

She is ready to go

Our 8,000 lb full keel, this keeps the boat upright at sea

Hayden’s selfie at the bow of Island Spirit

Looking from the bow up past the anchors to the 50 foot mast, always interesting

Island Spirit is READY, she will take us to the Caribbean

We are excited, we know we have more work to do, but we are living a lifetime dream and we recognize this. We fully appreciate our ability to be living this cruising life. We are on the launch pad for a new adventure and we are excited with our goal of sailing beyond the Bahamas and sailing onto the Caribbean. Thank you for sailing along.

NAC-3 B&G Autopilot Computer Installed

…The B&G NAC-3 Autopilot Computer…

Today was day three of our rebuild / installation work and we spent all day on the NAC-3 autopilot computer installation. This required making all the connections in the sail locker while crouched in a seated position leaning back at about a 45 degree angle. The sail locker is under the cockpit seats and to get into this space you first have to empty the locker. Then once all the stuff is out and scattered around the cockpit, you climb over that stuff and drop down into the locker which is about 7 feet long, 4 feet wide and maybe 4.5 feet deep. The floor slopes downward because you are against the hull. Each time I go inside, I realize I forgot some necessary tool. Not to worry, that is where Radeen jumps in. She is a great assistant grabbing tools and providing uplifting moral support. We are doing all this install work together, as a team, and that way we both know exactly how it is built. Today we were excited when we made the final Tee connection for the GPS drop and the rudder reference and the compass9.

Setting up the tees and preparing for backbone in the sail locker

Our next task is to set up the entire NMEA 2000 backbone which will start at the top of the mast, come down the mast to the mast base below the floor outside the head where it will connect to the wind anemometer and the radar. Then it will run under the head floor and down the port side to the nav desk where it will pick up the AIS transceiver and the Triton2 display. From there, it will run under the floor to the quarterberth floor and pick up the DST 800, the depth, speed, temperature sensor. Then off into the engine room and around the corner into the sail locker connecting to the four Tees at the NAC-3. Next, it will go under the cockpit floor and turn up into the helm guard tubing and run up to the NavPod at the helm. There it will tee into the Zeus2 Chartplotter and radar screen, the Autopilot Controller and one more Triton2 display head. The backbone will then terminate in the navPod. The other resister that terminates the backbone will be in the mast head built into the wind anemometer. This backbone run should be the easiest part because we pulled chase ropes when we pulled out all the old wires. That was a smart move. So, onward we push as we build the backbone and learn about the system.

Here are some photos….

The computer and all the connections
Notice the drawing is backwards with the screws on the top….errror.
My wiring is correct and the part is correct, I need to alert B&G.

I wired the NAC-3 upside down as it was easier to make the connections.

There it is, all connected. the power, drive ram, ground wire and NMEA 2000

The diagram on the NAC-3 door

Working in the sail locker on my back with NAC-3 on my knee

Once wired, we mounted it to the wall where the old ACP-1 was located

This is a NMEA 2000 Maretron Wire bundle, pairs are shielded

We had to cut one end of the GPS feed and install our own NMEA 2000 end

4 wires with one screen, Red/Black & White/Blue + Screen

The end fitting installed

The end was needed to make our GPS connection to the network.

We have never built a NMEA 2000 network before, but now we can see WHY it was developed. Using a backbone design and using Tees to connect devices to the network, the network topology is really simple. You can tee in up to 50 devices on one NMEA 2000 backbone. We will have 13 devices total, so we are nowhere near capacity of this network. We are learning a lot and it is exciting to be setting up and installing all this new gear. Again, thanks goes to Colin Mack of Mack Sails. We bought everything from him and we would do it again in a heartbeat.  He is so great to deal with and he is very helpful.  Take a look at some of their work here www, Thank you, Colin!

B&G Triton2 Install Day 2

…The new Digital Rudder Reference…

Our second day of installing our new B&G Triton2 network is going well. Today, during the rain, we worked down below as working in the sail locker was not an option since it would rain into there and we did not want to deal with that. So we worked below decks and installed the digital rudder reference which uses a push rod to read the rotation and angle of the rudder. This information is sent to the autopilot computer, which then uses that information to help steer the boat.

The Compass 9 aft the qtr berth in the stern

Along with that, we installed the new nine-axis autopilot compass 9. In the words of B&G: With NMEA 2000® output, the Precision-9 Compass provides heading, Rate Of Turn (ROT), roll and pitch information to connected equipment including autopilot, instruments, radar, multifunction displays, and other navigational systems. So, with these two new digital tools, the new NAC-3 autopilot computer will really be smart. What we have seen with our old pilot is that a B&G autopilot computer learns the sea state and wave patterns and then, after a few minutes, the pilot will anticipate the waves and make the needed helm adjustments to keep on track. These pilots are so smart and we love sailing with ours. We actually sail 99% of the time under autopilot because it can do a much better job than we can for hours on end, day after day after day!

Pettit Trinidad 75 Bottom Paint

While we were working on our electronics installations, the Hinckley Yard Employee painted the bottom with our supplied Pettit Trinidad 75. This is the BEST PAINT money can buy! It is expensive because it has 75% cuprous oxide which means it is HEAVY and it is EXPENSIVE, copper is pricey. We bought this via our Port Supply account and it still was $260.00 per gallon, we needed two gallon$$$.

The inboard position of Crew Triton2

The next task was placing the new Triton2 crew position cockpit display. Back in 1994 when this Island Packet 35 was shipped to Rock Hall MM for the 1993 Annapolis Boat Show, the dealer installed the Wind, Speed and Depth instruments in the front starboard side of the cockpit. This is an easy place to install instruments because the factory designed an open area here with a cabinet and a door giving easy access to this cavity. The problem is that every crew member that sits on starboard will eventually lean back against these three instruments making them impossible to see, plus it is hard on the instrument glazing.
The better place to install these is over the companionway but that makes for a difficult wiring run.

We decided to place one Triton2 in the same position but keep it as far inboard as possible. This will allow for the crew to lean back into this corner and NOT be on the face of the instrument. It will also allow for easy wire runs. We wanted one in this position because the Triton2 screens have 15+ screens of information and the crew will be scrolling through various screens.  This keeps the instrument in easy reach, unlike over the companionway, so we placed it here.

Using our dremel to cut the cockpit fiberglass

Using our onboard dremel tool and cordless drill, we first taped the template positioning the instrument into the lines of the cockpit. At first we wanted to install it plumb and vertical, but when we set it up like that, it looked odd. So we aligned the instrument to fit better into the lines of the cockpit. It worked.

We also made sure it was not too high like our last instruments which caused a problem when you would brace your palm onto the corner of the cockpit. Over all, we took out time laying this out, then the drilling and cutting was a breeze. It was far easier to cut into this fiberglass that it was to cut the 3/4″ plywood at the nav desk. So, our Triton2 crew position instrument is installed. Looking good.

Here are a few more photos of the process. Thanks for following along.

Island Spirit with her new Pettit Trinidad 75 Bottom Paint

We made sure this instrument was NOT too high
This allows us to brace ourselves against this corner.

After drilling 1/2″ corner holes, we cut out the square

These front tiny bezels of the Triton2 are very hard to separate

The bezel provides cover for the corner screws that install the Triton2

There it is, the finished install, looking good.
Pay no attention to the blue tape, we will fiberglass the holes

The corner position allows for bracing against this area

The finished install. Now we need to fiberglass
the old holes and gelcoat that area

Right NOW, we are ahead of schedule as we had this all planned for next week, the week of Nov 7. Here it is Nov 2 and it is the end of Day 2 installation and we are moving along. Tomorrow, if it is not raining, we will install the NAC-3 autopilot computer in the sail locker and connect the Type 1 Drive Ram, the 12 Volt Power and ground, the Rudder Reference, Compass9 and the GPS. Fun Fun Fun…..

B&G Triton2 Install Day 1

…There it is, our NEW B&G Triton2 Display…

Today, after 3 days of uninstalling all our original B and G gear, we cut in and installed our first Triton2 display head at the navigation desk. What a challenging install with only 1/4″ overlap of the instrument to the cutout, so there was no room for any mistakes. Using a Dremel tool, we cut it in and we are happy with the first install.

Radeen checks out the pool at Turtle Reef Club

First allow me to describe our days. We are staying in a timeshare condo which is about 12 miles away on Hutchinson Island near Jensen Beach, FL. We drive into the Hinckley Stuart Boat yard in the morning any time between 7 to 9 am and begin the day. The boat, on the “hard” is totally torn apart with the v-berth full of boxes, bags and radar parts. The galley counter top is covered with all the removed gear and all the old wiring. The quarter berth is torn apart so we can have access to the stern for running wires and pulling chase lines for new wires. The sofas are stacked up with tools and gear as we try to work around all this stuff while not blocking access to any locker or cabinet where we need to work. This is why we never stay aboard while commissioning the boat. The boat is a wreck and it is really a challenge to work there, much less live there.

This is our galley counter top with all the old gear

Since the boat is on the “hard” which means in a parking lot and the deck is 8 feet above the parking lot, we park our car under the boat and then carry all tools, boxes, clothing and gear up an 8 foot ladder leaned against the stern to climb into the cockpit. Then we haul the gear down into the boat. As for the cockpit, oh, yeah, that too is a wreck because the entire sail locker has been emptied to the cockpit so that we can pull wires and install the new NAC-3 autopilot computer and pilot sensors.

Radeen keeps us focused and on task
and with a positive attitude!

Radeen really handles this chaos far better than I do, (Hayden) because I cannot stand when things are out of order. It simply stresses me out, I like every thing lined up and in perfect order, so to be working daily in this chaotic setting is a real challenge. Thank goodness Radeen helps keep our perspective focused on the job and the fun. Yes, perspective…we are very lucky and very fortunate to be setting up our boat for the third time. We are refitting her  with the latest digital navigation gear with the plans and the dreams of sailing south beyond the Bahamas this year and into the Caribbean Sea. That is the goal and THAT is why we are doing refit number three.

Thank you for following along, we are happy to share the dream and the adventure…

That is the new B and G gear in boxes loaded on the nav desk.

Here we go, let’s cut in a Triton2 display head

The owner’s manual on how to use this gear
Our beach at the condo, Turtle Reef Club
Radeen walking around the pool, it is 80 degrees, warm and windy on Nov 1.
Look how easy NMEA 2000 connections are to use.
These tees connect individual devices to the backbone.

The tee on the left is a 12 volt power feed.
The other tees will go to the nav desk Triton2 and the AIS radio.
This is the new NAC-3 Autopilot Computer
It will learn wave patterns and steer to wind angles
and steer to navigation points.
It is guided by GPS, a Rudder Reference and a Digital 9 axis Compass.
B&G makes the BEST autopilots!
What a FUN lunch! We finally met Carol and Dick, owners of IP44 GUSTO.
They have lived aboard for 20 years and sail to the Bahamas every year.

Here we go, let’s cut this display into the panel at the nav desk.

I taped plastic over all electronics inside and outside to protect them from sawdust.

Drill the corners with a 1/2″ bit.

Cut out the opening with a Dremel and also use it to sand the edges.

Remove the very, very thin bezel to access the mounting screws.

Snap on the screw covering bezel and there you go.
Installation complete!
This is our salon. The table and sofas are covered with tools and boxes.
This is our V-berth, our bed. It is filled with radar and the wind sensor and other stuff.

The boat looking in from the steps, ugh. Note the dehumidifier over the sink. It works great!
Ahhhhh, the reward on the drive home. Always keep a spoon in your car 🙂

Tomorrow we hope to install the next Triton2 into the forward bulkhead for the crew’s view. Then we’ll move into the sail locker and install the NAC-3 autopilot and the then into the quarter-berth to install the compass and the rudder reference. We are ahead of schedule, as we thought this would not start until NEXT week, so we are feeling good. The boat will be launched Friday or Saturday, then we move aboard and the mast work begins….for now, Day One of installation was a total success!

Refit #3 New B&G Triton2

…All electronics removed and for sale…

We bought our boat in 2001 and first commissioned her with our dear friend, Rob, one of the best there is in the business. Rob spent 10 weeks full time installing all our gear, which is same gear that has run us tens of thousands of miles over last the 15 years. It has been fantastic. So, with our new goal of sailing beyond the Bahamas and into the Caribbean, we thought it was time to upgrade our electronics and radar to new digital NMEA 2000 gear. We are doing all of this with the oversight of Colin Mack, owner of Mack Sails. I am very impressed with the way he runs his business. Colin has been so helpful! We decided to buy all our new items, including new head sails, from Mack Sails. I did not know that they can do it all; electronics, rigging, sails, watermakers, chain plates, etc. I am really impressed.Thank you, Colin, for all your guidance.

Old White B&G Depth transducer 1.75″
New Triton2 is 2″

Today, Oct 29, 2016, our third day at the boat, we are working on the hard at  the Hinckley Stuart, FL yard. Unknown to us, we needed to replace a B&G thru hull because the new Triton2 sensors need a larger thru hull. Lucky for us, this turned out not be a big deal. Colin advised me on how to easily run a 1.75″ hole saw inside of a 2″ hole saw and simply drill it out. Drilling took all of about 5 minutes! Amazing. So now with that job completed we could focus on removing all our electronics.

B&G Network Speed, Wind, Depth working well

This ripping out was really difficult in nature because all our B and G electronics were in working order. Nothing was broken. I took photos because I plan to eBay this gear as it is in high demand for repairing old installed B&G networks. This network gear was installed in 1994 and it has never failed. We replaced the wind anemometer and the speed sensor but other than that, it simply works great. So why are we replacing it all? We wanted the new digital 4G radar so we can see better at night. This first purchase of 4G Radar and a Zeus2  9″ screen then kicked off the issue of trying to drive 1994 electronics with 2016 electronics. We decided to not do that. So, we committed fully to replacing the entire system. Then, at the Annapolis Boat show, Navico released the Triton2 B&G gear and we chose that over the Triton1 gear. Once we replaced Wind, Speed and Depth, we needed to replace the 2001 Autopilot brain, which then needed a new autopilot compass, which then needed a new rudder reference, which then is best driven with a new GPS. WHAT????? YUP, it just kept adding up until we needed to remove ALL our old analog gear because we went all digital. This lead to also needing a new NMEA 2000 backbone network to plug it all into. So, we are pulling out all our Rob-installed 2001 wire and gear and installing everything new. We are very excited!

Our RL70C Chartplotter and Autopilot Head

So, in one day of work, all the gear is out, Wind, Speed, Depth, Radar, Chartplotter, Data Repeater and the NavPOD. Next up, remove all the wire runs and pull chase lines to guide new NMEA 2000 wire. Next week, we will begin to install the new gear. It is all arrived on Friday and is ready to go! Thank you for following along, we enjoy the sharing aspect of our blog.

Here are some photos, we are back to blogging and sharing…

Look at Radeen’s smile. Even with the boat a wreck, she LOVES THIS LIFE!
The best tool on our boat, a 30″ standard crow bar used to lever out the old thru hull fitting.

We are living with all our stuff in the car, how crazy!

THE GOAL….the Caribbean Sea in Spring 2017

B&G Network Data repeater at the nav desk, removed.

Raymarine RL70C Color Chartplotter, removed.
Our chartplotter also displayed our 48 mile radar.
Drilling an existing 1.75″ hole to become a 2″ hole

Nest the hole saws together and thread them on.

This worked great!

Drilling took about 1 minute, easy!

YUP, that is a 2″ hole in the boat under the floor. It would sink the boat very quickly!

Radeen took this shot as we installed the new thru hull fitting.

Thru hull installed. Next, epoxy paint and then bottom paint.

Our log from last year….2,354 nautical miles.

Our Ship’s log, 32,074 nautical miles

The NavPod taken apart, Radar, Chartplotter and Pilot head

All these wires needed to be pulled out.
The bottom of the helm, excellent work by Rob, now removed 🙁

Rudder Reference under cockpit floor beneath the helm to be removed, new digital one going in.

B&G ACP1 Autopilot Computer. This is the brains of the system, works great, now removed.

This is what has driven our boat for the last 15 years.

Cut it out, remove it?…OUCH, that hurt for sure.

There it is, the helm is stripped.

NavPod is empty. Next, install a slightly larger Navpod and B&G Zeus2.

Thank you for following along with this exciting new adventure.  We hope to have all this installation work completed in 2 weeks, but who knows. We will see how it goes. We are doing most of the install work ourselves: that way we will know the system very well.

Departure is a challenge

Vacuum pack bags have made this possible!

It would seem easy to move out of your house, get in your car and drive away, not returning for 6 months or more. This is year #6 that we have lived this cruising lifestyle. Maybe it is the fact that we have been here, done this, and we know exactly what we need to do to “get out!” Don’t get us wrong, this is a very exciting adventurous lifestyle, we still LOVE IT. It is simply a major task shutting down the house and planning to not come back for 6 months! Off we go, let’s get this adventure started up again…..

Sabrina the Sailrite Machine was pressed into service

We made new light weight quilts in tan and blue with seashells

Our absentee ballots arrived with only one day to spare.
We had requested them in August!

Packing of the trunk begins….Sabrina on the left and our new B and G 4G digital radar on the right.

One of our favorite destinations! This should be our first stop this year!
This could be Goldie’s last trip to FL. Long may she run!

We ran 13.5 hours on day one, then we took our time

We are now in Stuart Florida where we will be working on our Refit #3 installing new sails, new Spectra Ventura 200t watermaker, new B7G Triton2 electronics, new 4G B&G Radar and a 9″ Zeus2 screen at the helm. We plan to install this in the first two weeks of November all with the helpful team at Mack Sails. If you need anything, simply check with Mack Sails first, they are a great company to work with. Thank you Colin Mack!

Weddings are Beautiful

We were so honored to be invited to Dave and Joyce’s wedding! These are fellow Island Packet Yacht owners whom we first met a few years ago at the Annapolis Boat Show. We had such a great time meeting their family and friends in Virginia at this wonderful event. The outdoor venue overlooking the pond and the planned community of Reston was a really beautiful setting.

I want to ask Dave and Joyce to send us their vows because they were so beautiful and so heartfelt. I would love to read them and review them again. Thank you so much for including us in your special day. We really enjoyed sharing in your love and joy!

The Bridal Party listening to the Bride’s father’s reading
Hayden & Radeen celebrating with Joyce, Dave and son Dylan

The new Mother-in-Law and Son-in-Law

Left to right:  Best Man, Bride’s Mom, Happy Groom and his Son

The groom’s sister with her daughter and god daughter.

The happy family celebrating!

Even after the fun was over, we couldn’t stop smiling!

After this lovely wedding, we stopped in for a fun visit with our niece, Erinn, and her husband, Dave, and their toddler, Parker, in their beautiful new home. Our niece, Kelly, and her husband, Bill, and their children, Alex & Baby Claire, were visiting from PA, along with Hayden’s sister, Raymeta. Call it a Bonus Brunch! We feel so fortunate….thank you for having us!

Claire is 4 months old!

Parker is two!

And Alex is three!