August 1-14, 2008 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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August 4 - My back hurts. Ok, that's what happens when you are working in weird positions. I've been sewing and sewing and sewing. On top of that, we took off on Friday and our stainless steel was delivered to West Marine in Nashville. Why Nashville? It has to do with the price of gas and it is only a little over two hours to the Nashville West Marine verses three and a half hours to St. Louis. So off we went. We had lunch in downtown and then saw Fort Nashborough.

Even though Deb just hates Forts at this point, I just had to go through it because it was a self guided tour and that means we could hit it pretty quickly. Overall, it was pretty cool because it sat on top of a bluff looking down at the river. They have done a nice job recreating the Fort in this area. Of course we were quickly reminded that we were in a large town because we had people begging us for money. That doesn't bother me anymore because I just tell them that I don't have a job either and sorry but I can't contribute. I keep wanting to ask them if they are getting a good return and if I can join them in the begging. After all, that might be easier than sewing and then I could pay someone.

In a Fort, you must be self sufficient so up comes the weaving machine and of course another one was the forge. Sometimes I think we lead a fairly tough life in our confined space, however, it is nothing compared to what our forefathers did.

Off we went to West Marine where I had 4 pieces of 12 foot 7/8" tubing and a 20 foot piece of 1" tubing. I showed up pretty confident with my cool stainless tubing cutter which ended up not working. Great! Next I asked some questions and was off to the Home Depot so I could purchase a saber saw and some bosch blades to cut the stainless steel tubing. Afterall, I'm driving a Beetle and 12 and 20 foot tubing doesn't fit inside a Beetle. In the end, I got it cut to the right lengths and it all fit in the Bug along with the other stuff I bought.

Oops, I forgot that on Thursday night I got to play at the Yacht Club. It was a great time and my new amplifier worked wonderfully. Everyone had a great time and I was just stopping when a couple walked in and they wanted me to play some more. So I couldn't resist. After I ate, I played another set. Everyone had a good time.

To the right you can see the "paddle wheeler" that runs up and down the river with cruises.

We arrived back at the boat and then unloaded all the junk I bought. For the last few days, I have been working on the solar panel arch (partially completed and waiting on fittings), and the main window shade which is complete with the stainless portion. However, I am waiting on more stainless fittings and also some more material. It seems things have been on backorder. Hopefully, everything will be here by Tuesday of next week. I guess we will see.

I already feel like I'm running out of time. I'm just hoping that I have thought all the projects through so that when this next delivery comes in that I will have everything I need. I guess I will see.

I'll give you pictures of the projects as they are completed. I only have two more cushions to complete and the rear cushions will have all new fabric on the tops. By the way, that is a very painful project.

Enough complaining. I did get the new turning block installed for the steering and it works wonderfully. Remember to lubricate these blocks otherwise you will be standing on your head changing them out.

All in all, we are just working. I'm looking forward to getting back to cruising and I'm sure you are ready for us to have some adventures too.

 August 6 - The word for today is "Sweat." Yes, if you are outside in Kentucky, you are sweating or for the women should I say glisten. However, no complaints here.

We just can't seem to get a project completed. It isn't for trying, it is because of a lack of parts. Supposedly, my material for the new shade cover and a couple of zippers will arrive either Friday or Monday and the rest of my stainless fittings should arrive on Monday or Tuesday. So given the lack of parts, what have we been doing. Should I say sweating? I cut out the material for our front window cover from our old shade cover and also measured a friends boat to see if we will have enough material left over for a vee cover for him. It is questionable but we will see when he arrives tomorrow. On top of that, I fabricated the solar panel mounts that will fit the 1" stainless tubing and was able to get the solar panel attached to the mount. However, since I don't have the braces installed, it isn't finished so no pictures. I decided to fabricate the mount from starboard since I had the starboard and only paid $125 for the hard solar panel. It really isn't worth purchasing commercial mounts for a garage sale solar panel. Now all I need are those fittings and a charge controller to finish the project. I also washed the boat today because of spider poop. I do have this love hate relationship with marinas. I love the convince and hate the dirt. You get dirtier in one week at a marina than you do in a month at anchor.

The real news is that we had a person over this morning that was recommended by the marina owners to replace the interior fabric in the salon. Our material is 12 years old and showing the wear of being lived aboard for almost 6 of the 12 years. The good news is that we will get all of the fabric replaced in the settee area and the cushion above the air conditioner along with seven, yes seven, custom pillows for a total of $1,445. This is a pretty good deal since we priced it in Annapolis and it was much higher. Of course I have to take everything out so look forward to the pictures of that project. By the way, she can do it the week we are in St. Louis so that means I will be removing the upholstery on Wednesday of next week and she will pick it up the next day. Then we will leave for the week in St. Louis. The wonderful part of this is that it will be ready when we return so that means I will be putting it in on Monday the 25th. Deb picked out the material and here's hoping it looks good when it is done!

I think I've said this before but we have "married" this boat because it is truly a wonderful boat to cruise on a budget. Two people can live very nicely on the boat and I just don't know how you can get more bang for the buck. Therefore this is the summer we try to get everything we want upgraded finished so we can enjoy it for at least 4 or more years of cruising. We have decided that we won't put the watermaker on this year because we are waiting for the economy to come back before we go to Mexico. There really isn't a need for a watermaker if you are cruising the US or the Bahamas. Of course we are pretty sure that when the dollar gets strong, we will ship the boat to the Mediterranean to cruise that area. The concept of being there is just too cool to pass up. And of course there is that idea of going to the Sea of Cortez. Did I say at least four years? I guess we will just have to see what happens and for you, that means stay tuned. Tomorrow, back to sweating...... Sorry about the boredom of being in dock.

Aug 8 - Yesterday I got up and fixed both of the bicycles shifters. I lucked out and the bike shop here in town had a six speed shifter assembly that had broken on both of our bikes. As I was replacing them, I also took the opportunity to lube everything and get them ready to go again. Right now they are locked ashore and since they are fixed, I'll start riding mine every morning to try and get back in shape. In addition, we haven't received any shipments so I called the material supplier and found out they were out of the zippers I needed and the top stops for the zippers. I had them ship what they could and found the top stops elsewhere. Now I'm running out of things to sew. Oops, I found something. With the old sunbrella that I took off the boat from the old shade cover, I sewed my friends Tom and Diane a new foredeck cover so it will cover their through the hatch air conditioner. It came out pretty good too but I forgot to take a picture. I guess that will come later. In addition, we celebrated my birthday yesterday by going up to the Yacht Club and having dinner with my friend Tom. Deb and I split a dish and figured that if the boat is on a diet, we should be too. The rest of the time, I have also taken the time to go through some more spaces and either throw away or give away items. In addition, I have some that I'm saving to put in our trailer. However, I've weighed everything taken off so far and I'm up to 187.5 pounds on our boat diet. Of course I've also put some weight on the boat with the projects and it amounts to about 30 pounds. That doesn't include the rear enclosure because I can't sew it yet without parts. Regardless, we are working through storage spaces to try and come up with more things to either store, sell, or toss. So far, no noticeable difference in the water line but we do have more space in our storage areas in the boat! It looks like we will be on this weight loss program for awhile. I haven't found anyone to buy our 33 pound bruce/claw, 22 pound danforth, and 25 feet of 3/8ths chain. Once those are gone, I will buy a large fortress that I hope I only have to use occasionally but should net out a weight savings of about 75 or so pounds.

Tonight we have been invited to go to a sailing club cookout and tomorrow, I'm playing for the Marina Days celebration. I promise pictures after tomorrow. I've even picked up a couple of "roadies" to help me move my equipment. Brice and Brandon are a couple of the nicest kids and they have been volunteered to help me tomorrow. So here is to being a significant enough entertainer to have roadies even if they are 7 and 9 years old.

 Aug 10 - Remember that cover I said I made for my friend Tom? He put it up for the evening and it appears I have another one to make for someone else on the dock now as long as they get the material. Tom and the members of the sailing club had gone out today for a race but there wasn't any wind on the lake. Darn that August weather. They all ended up back at the dock ready to continue festivities after the race was called off and they went for a swim.

There were quite a few boats that were grilling and food seemed to be abundant so we stuck around and ate a brat that Tom provided and of course enjoyed lots of great company.


 Tom is on the right and on the left is one of the parents of a girl that will be in Tom's 6th grade class this year. He was down to crew for the race but I guess Tom turned him into the grill master and he did a wonderful job too.

Previously in the afternoon, I played at the marina days celebration. What was really funny about the entire event was the lady who was the marketing director didn't really know I was playing until I started. So, the person who asked me to play told her I was Bill's friend Jim. She thought I was Jim Morris who is actually a well known performer in Florida who came up to play for Bill and Bette. It wasn't until after I was finished when I saw what was on the sign that she put up. We all got a great laugh out of it when we were finished and it seems that it will be a funny write-up on their blog too.

That evening, one of the couples from Jetty, oops I mean Pier 1 came over before the fireworks. Deb showed her some of the jewelry she has been making and made her first sale. The piece she sold is the one Lisa on the left, is wearing with at big coral looking piece hanging from it. Here's to Deb's first sale.


 Then at 9 pm the fireworks began to culminate the Green Turtle Bay Marina and Resort Marina Days Celebration. It was a very nice show and I know everyone there appreciated the effort and the result.

Overall, we had a wonderful day and once again enjoyed all of the great company.

Hopefully, some materials will start showing up this next week so I can get some of these projects finished. Otherwise, we will have to run off to Paducah to watch the new X-Files movie that Deb has been wanting to see.

 August 14 - Yesterday was a busy day. Finally some productivity with some projects coming to an end. To the right is a bag  I sewed up actually two days ago for the total purpose of holding my secondary anchor's chain. Why? Because every time I go to use it, I have to take all the chain out and put it on the deck to deploy the anchor. So, why not simply put it in a mesh bag and then I can either take it aft, deploy the anchor over the side or even over the front if I want without dragging chain on the deck. I guess we will see if it works well or not when we get back into the areas where we have to deploy two anchors.  

 I also threw together this universal shade cover. It is made with some mesh that blocks about 50 percent of the sun. I like it because it is black and you can see through it nicely.

Since you are also looking through it, you will see the storage compartment open inside of the cockpit. I touched up the paint because the tanks had rusted and after cleaning and painting the compartment, I also painted the propane tanks. They now look nice again. All they are waiting for is the salt water so they can get back to rusting again. I really think that is their mission in life.

This project took me two days. I already had a shade cover but it covered practically the entire boat. Also, I had made the earlier one from sunbrella. There were two problems with it. First, it was too big and too much of a problem to put up. Second, it was heavy and I have this boat on a diet. So, I fixed both problems.

I made this from half ounce Denier Nylon, one inch webbing at each seam and around the outside to take up stress, and I sewed the bungee cords to the bottom of the shade cover so it is almost automatic putting it up. The "fun" part was installing the zippers at each opening ant at the front.

You can see my detailed plans for the project at the lower right. Essentially, I just sketch up a rough draft of my project and then visualize the process of sewing it before I start. Of course I had to do this before I ordered the material and hope I wasn't having a bad dream in that visualization process.

It came out just the way I wanted it to and we will put it back up when we return to keep the boat cooler in August.

I replaced our windows two years ago. Unfortunately, I made some phifertex screens to put on them which have more sun block than the screen I showed you earlier. Why was that unfortunate? Well, now I have to replace the two forward facing windows again.

It seems that the phifertex concentrates the uv rays or rubs on the windows because you can see the pattern of the screen in the windows. I tried to buff it out to no avail so I will just replace the windows again. However, I'm not going to do it a third time. So, I decided that I would build a main window cover that would shade the main window but would also allow us to see out. I saw someone had done this project a few years ago but never got the details so I made them up myself. I thought is wasn't very aesthetic until I got the white cover on it and now it just kind of disappears into the fiberglass when looking at it. One of the big benefits is the new hand rail that I have forward of the bimini. The new model boats have a handrail and we really did need it in rough water if you have to go to the mast. So, hopefully I have two problems solved and a benefit of having a view too. Now to replace those windows. (Parts are ordered.)

I mentioned that we were replacing our upholstery. In the picture to the right you can see some of the threads that are hanging. Deb has done a good job of using super glue and gluing threads back down almost monthly. Bottom line is that the material is showing significant wear after having people live on the boat for a total of five and a half years not counting the weekending.

I took some before pictures for two reasons. First, my brother has been bugging me to show what the inside of the boat looks like and second, I like documenting the projects.

From a distance, the upholstery doesn't look bad. Deb picked out the material and hopefully it will look as nice as she thinks it will. There will be a bit of change in color but what I think will be nice are the seven custom pillows. Four of them will be made of micro fiber and they are already calling my head to kick back on them.

To get the upholstery out is the real issue. I've read and heard many descriptions about getting it out but none of the descriptions were what I actually had to do.

In the picture to the left you can just make out part of a screw head under the wooden rail that we use to store spices on. The rail had to come out and then remove that screw. Lower left, you can see another screw that had to come out and then lower right a bolt that was both also on the top of the panel. First panel out.

On the other side that panel came out easily too. Now a problem.

The corners are installed in a way that makes it impossible to remove them without some minor destruction. In the picture to the right you can see the screw that is almost out. There are two screws that you can access that must be removed. Of course at the end of this teak bar is another screw that you can't access that also must come out. I'll talk about that in a minute. In addition, you can see above that screw a point of another screw that comes from the top.

The picture to the lower left shows a bung that must be taken out (yes, Deb will have some refinishing to to) and then you can remove the screw that holds the top of the panel in place. Finally, remove the screw that holds the corner piece to the center piece that is at the lower portion and although hard to get to, is accessible. Now you get to hear that wood tearing sound as you twist the corner section out while pulling the last screw out of the bulk head.

It truly doesn't make sense to install something that can't be removed without some destruction. However, at least it won't show. You have to repeat this on the other corner leaving the middle section to then tear out because in that case you can't access any of the three screws. Just make sure you have removed the top screw under the bung or you will tear up the trim. Overall, about an hours work including the banging of my head trying to figure out what was holding it together. You can see the pieces starting to lay around everywhere below.

The upholstery is getting picked up at 8:30 this morning and is supposed to be ready when we return. Here is hoping it is. In the next week we will be up in St. Louis seeing family, friends, doctors, and of course getting ready for playing guitar and running sound on the 23rd at the Cathedral Fete.  
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