Update from Stuart FL

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We have been here in Stuart Florida since Nov 14, 2022, and as we have always posted and said: “This is the BEST Place in the USA to winter your boat!” So here we have been here for nearly three months! We have no complaints.

svIslandSpirit on mooring ball #20 at Sunset Bay Marina, Stuart, FL.

What have we been doing?

That is a very good question, and the answer is, simply living on our boat in one of our favorite towns and upgrading and working on yacht systems. We had thought that all of the refit work we did this past summer in Rock Hall, MD, would have made our boat totally ready for her 5th winter in the Caribbean. Our destination was Bonaire this year, but with a busted KBW10 transmission, we lost a good month or more just with that issue

When you rip out your transmission and it is on the counter….not good.

So, let’s work on da boat!

With the transmission ripped out and sent back to Schooner Bay Marina for Alfred Holzer to review why his repair in June failed, we decided to focus on what else we could rip out. Ha Ha. Well, that led us to…..why not the sewer hoses, as we have not ripped them out in 7-8 years. Oh, that sounds like fun, yea, let’s take the Dremel tool and cut the sewer hoses out. Well, we did, and it took us 6-8 hours, one day only and we had all new sewer hoses and a new head. Now that was a quick turnaround.

New vented loop installed into the head cabinet.
Radeen and the 30 feet of new $$$ odor safe head hoses. KaChing

Well that was fun, what next?

Once the head and sewer were rebuilt and all brand new we decided to look into the water heater which was rusty and leaking. Nothing lasts in the saltwater, salty air of the yachting world. This water heater was installed in 2013 by the Island Packet factory when we gave them our yacht to explore the brilliant idea of creating the Island Packet Yacht Refit program. Well, after 6 months and a full refit yacht, the IPY factory said, NO THANKS, and shortly thereafter they went out of business.  Next, I present the idea of the IPY Refit program to Colin Mack, and being a smart businessman, he decided to go after the work. Today, 2023, I bought my new water heater from Colin because he has now built the ULTIMATE Island Packet Yacht service company. Every Island Packet Owner can no benefit from his work.  www.MackYachtServices.com

Radeen and her new water heater gift delivered by Colin…. also notice those new block!!!

So, with a newly delivered water heater, we went after that job and now we have a new system there:

Why Stop???

With the transmission still not back, and with it getting lost in the mega snowstorm over Christmas, I decided to take Colin Mack up on his new upgraded deck hardware. YUP, we bought all new deck hardware and removed our old 1994 blocks, and installed all new MYS blocks which are made by Garhaurar Marine custom for Mack Yacht Services. This Island Packet Yachts Refit program really seems to be a great idea I outlined back in 2013.  Colin was smart enough to take it up when the IPY factory said no. Great job Colin! Check out these new custom blocks.

Bling Bling $,$$$ new deck hardware for the yacht.

Who wants White sails? I do!

Again, since we were not going anywhere, we dropped the jib and the staysail and sent them over to Mack Sails for upgraded WHITE sun covers. I really do not like the color on the sails, we had blue for many years. I prefer white sun covers, so we had them changed up to white. I know, the white will not last as long as the blue, but I like white sails and so now we are back to all white. Thank you Travis.

White sails, Jib and Staysail now match the code zero.

We test sail the transmission!

Well, the transmission was found lost in a trucking center in Michigan, and it finally made it back to us at the end of December. It took me 3 hours to reinstall the transmission. I then hired Simply Yachts #1 mechanic Chris, to do an engine alignment, and off we went for a test sail.  On  Jan 1, Team Island Spirit was back on the launch pad ready to make her run for the Caribbean Sea…

All systems check out, and the transmission is back up and running.
Radeen is one happy sailor girl. She love to travel and she loves to sail….

Wait, did I tell you about the welded lifelines?

While waiting for the transmission in Nov Dec, we decided to hire the most creative and artistic metal fabricator and welder in the Stuart area. Alexander and his team replaced our top and bottom lifelines around the cockpit with custom hull-matching curved solid stainless steel bars. WOW, I never expected these to be curved to match the hull shape, and he said if they are straight, they do not look as good. Well, he is right. These curved hull matching bars are a work of art, and he is very proud of his work. We are thrilled and we love the added safety of these bars around the cockpit. Look at this work!

Top and bottom lifelines replaced with solid curved welded bars.
Alexander and his team are true artists, and I really admire their work

Did someone say STARLINK?

Well ok then, let’s add StarLink satellite high-speed internet to the boat.  Elon Muck and his company SpaceX have been launching 2 rockets a week with 55 satellites on each launch for a long time now. He has placed these Starlink low earth orbit satellites to provide internet around the world. Well, guess what? It really works and it works very well. It is not cheap, as the antenna and router cost $700 and the mobile RV service is $135/month. The RV version allows you to relocate and move to a new location.  Reports are that this works down the island and nearly everywhere, so we will give it a test run this March and April. We installed this into a standard fishing rod holder and clamped that onto the bimini frame. The power consumption is about 4 amps 12v, but it runs on 120-volt AC, so we have to run the inverter to power the outlets. 

Our Starlink antenna is mounted over the side of the Bimini. I plan to move to an aft location to prevent it from overlapping the solar panel.

So, here we are….on the launch pad

With all systems upgraded yet again, and with some new systems, we are once again on the launch pad and will be heading out soon. We always like to move to Miami and sail Biscayne Bay testing all systems.  There we will also fire up the Spectra watermaker and get that system running before sailing over to the Exumas. We plan to simply sail the Exumas this remaining season and then for a new process, we will store the yacht in-water at Brunswick Landing Marina, May 15-Nov 15. When we return we will set sail ASAP and as fast as we can to return to our Caribbean challenge. For now, Sunset Bay Marina is a dream stop.

Sunset Bay Marina, is our favorite winter home in the USA.

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6 Replies to “Update from Stuart FL”

  1. You forgot to mention how busy you both have been in assisting the Island Packet fleet by providing shuttles to shore and airports, advising on projects, visiting other cities, presenting seminars on South Florida anchorages.

  2. When I saw that you were still in Stuart, I thought, perhaps you had lost inertia.

    I should have known better.

    It’s hard to believe that your refit down at the IP factory was that long ago. Yikes!

    On the move, or on the anchor, I know you’ll keep enjoying each day to the max. Keep it up!

    Greg, Kate, and the Doodles.
    Land yachting, on the anchor, Yuma, Arizona.

  3. I enjoyed reading your update. You both do such nice work on Island Spirit. We are looking forward to hearing about your Bahamas adventures and how you like your Starlink. Safe travels!

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