August 15-31, 2008 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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August 18 - I'm just sure you've been following the seat removal process from the previous log. To the right is what happens if you drill a small hole into a bung and then use an easy out to remove it. It is pretty cool because the plug just comes right out.

The one you see to the right is on the port side and the screw came out nicely. What we are thinking at this point is that we will probably head back on Sunday afternoon and then use Monday morning to sand items and stain some more things that couldn't be stained when the upholstery was in. Then we will get our new upholstery on Monday afternoon and decide if we put it in then or if we wait until Tuesday morning. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

The hardest bung to remove was the one below the teak doubler the previous owner put in under the mast. All of the new boats come with this doubler but the older 105's didn't. After a mast collapse, it was determined that a doubler was in order. Of course the boat with the collapse had other issues but the previous owner of 536 put in the doubler just to ensure our mast didn't come down. Of course when he did, then it made the bung inaccessible. I decided to drill a hole into the doubler where I will put a bung and then I would have access to the bung installed by the factory. Lucky for me it all worked.

Below is a badly matched set of pictures with the upholstery removed. I decided to also put the plexiglas doors back in so it would have that finished look about it.

Overall, This is a very efficient system for a settee. However, I still don't understand why it wasn't reverse engineered so that it could be removed properly. Oh well, without issues like this, where is the adventure?

We drove to St. Louis and the first day there we spent with my cousin Julie. I was pretty tired and it seemed perfect to just hang out at Julies house and have a day off. So, day off it was and early to bed as well.

On Friday we went by my Aunt Sandy's house where we were met by the Savoy Historic District sign. The reason this sign is here is that my Uncle Russell designed the homes in this area and it was declared a historic district. I just think that is too cool. The picture to the lower left is an example of the homes in the area. Of course my Aunt Sandy still lives in one of the homes.

To the lower right is a picture of yours truly and my cousin Tom. Tom had agreed to get me up to speed on 2 meter ham frequencies using my radio. I had never used 2 meters but my radio is capable of using 2 meters. So, that just means that I have to know how to utilize this function. We went through the frequencies, offsets and the tones to activate the repeaters that need tones. In a couple of hours we were up to speed and had everything set up. I guess I will have to try it out when I get back to Kentucky Lake.

Going to St. Louis always means hitting Mike and Gina's house on Friday night. On top of that, we also impose on them for a week just so we can totally ensure we won't be welcome back for another year. Ok, there may be a few things we do such as dinners and some music practice too.

To the right you can see that we are hanging out on the back deck with a bit of practice before next week's Cathedral Fete. Playing with Mike is like riding a bike. Once you get it, you have it. There is some kind of synchronicity between us and it may have something to do with me watching his lips for changes in rhythm but it also may have to do with the fact that we interpret songs in a similar manner.

Lower left. Is that gray or just bleached out hair from the sun??????? I really don't know but I'm at a crossroads. Should I cut it so the waves aren't so bad or just let it grow so I have a real pony tail and not a mullet, which I found out has a negative connotation? Such are the questions in our life.

Lower right. We went fishing on Sunday. Yes we drove to the Merimac River and waded about a mile and a half up the river and then back down. Between the three of us we caught about 25 fish. Mostly smallmouth and 2 largemouth bass. And of course I did stop by and purchase my out of state permit to fish. If you can't do the right thing, why do anything? By the way, the guy on the left is Mike and the guy on the right is John. Both very good people! Of course when they were swimming with poles in their teeth crossing a deep spot before we got out, you did have to think about their sanity. But then again, I was swimming too!

August 22 - We have had a wonderful week in St. Louis visiting people that range from my Aunt Sandy and Cousin Julie to people from my past job plus simply friends that called and said "let's get together." It is always wonderful to simply get together and share what is going on in each other's lives.

I've also fixed some things at my Aunt Sandy's house along with some tile project at Mike's house which was actually pretty cool because I had never done tile before but it came out great. Now I can see myself doing ceramic tile in our next house. On top of that, I got my hair cut by a professional. No, I didn't cut the wimpy pony tail. Instead, I still have the unique haircut that I created in the Bahamas. Regardless, it is still a pony tail and I still have some wonderful discrimination occurring because of it. Isn't it great that people judge you by the way you look verses the way you really are. I'm serious, people do this and I guess a suit verses a pony tail makes you a different person. Thank goodness I'm still who I am and really could care less whether it is a suit or shorts that make me who I am.

On Saturday, I'm working for about 16 hours between playing guitar and doing sound for the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis. I know I will have a great time and I hope the people will too.
We will have lunch with my Aunt Sandy on Sunday and then drive back to Kentucky Lake so we can so some sanding on the inside of our boat before we have the new upholstery delivered on Monday afternoon. Afterall, why get dust in that new upholstery?

I'm sure we will have a couple of pictures of tomorrow to share in a day or so. After we get back, we will be finished with our fun loving vacation or as I say the 2008 reunion tour of our band and back to work on the boat. At the present time, I expect to be finished with the upholstery install on Monday evening and on Tuesday start with the Bimini support project along with the channel installation for the enclosure. This should take until Wednesday afternoon or evening. On Thursday we should be sewing on the new enclosure for the back of the boat. I originally thought I would have the first water tight enclosure but I learned that for only six thousand bucks you can get one from the factory. Good thing all the projects I've already done plus the stainless add up to about 1,500 bucks. I guess labor is a really important part of the price.

I'm figuring a week on the enclosure because I've never done anything like it before so there will be some time spent thinking. Then we will haul the boat and clean the underneath, polygow it and of course do a bottom job. Then we will splash it and I hope the whole out of the water thing only lasts three days. Then back to the dock so we can finish up and take the last of stuff off of the boat from the diet and move it over to the trailer. Then we will deliver the Beetle back to Omaha where it normally lives. Finally we will be back to Kentucky where we will Polyglow the rest of the boat again and we should have a "new" boat. Then the best part of life happens............ we will be back to cruising and the refit will be finished.

Take care and don't work as hard as we are getting ready to unless you are getting ready for the time of your lives and getting ready to go cruising.......again. 

 August 25 - We have been on vacation in St. Louis. Yes, people on permanent vacation need time off too! Thanks to Julie, Sandy, and of course Mike and Gina, we have had a wonderful time just having fun.

Of course for me, having fun means I'm involved in music. My friend Jeff found out I was going to be here and he emailed me to ask, "would you help out with sound at the Cathedral Fete?" Of course you already know I said, sure. To spare you with the Jim pictures, we didn't take any. Instead, to the right are some of the high school students who are involved in the Saint Louis University High School Jazz Band. They were pretty good too.

Below, you cans see some of the knobs that I was dealing with. Now here is the deal, I had to put together three different peoples different sound systems for the Fete. I had fun but it was intense at the beginning because I had only seen one third of the equipment before this morning and then, I was supposed to put it all together in the next hour and make it all work. I will spare you the details of making up how to wire it all and the amps overheating along with how I had to find a fan to make the system work. Regardless the sound went on and wasn't too bad either.

To the bottom right is "Bucket of Truck. This is a group of guys that are high school students. They put on a very credible performance given their age. I would love to play guitar as well as the guy in the middle did. I will simply write if off to talent, instruction, practice, or something like that. Everyone of these guys have talent from the drummer that could actually keep a beat to the guitar players and of course my friend James the bass player.


 The picture to the right is of the band that calls themselves Max Roby. These guys are all my friends. At one time I was their sound guy and had some really neat stuff that made them sound as good as they could sound. It just happened that tonight, I got the chance to mix them again. Everything is good when you are having fun with friends at a festival.

On to the individuals. From left to right I would like to introduce you to my friends that actually invited me to step in and play with the band for a song. (Thanks guys!)

Starting from left to right, Mike is the lead singer, Fuzz plays bass, Kurt is the totally solid drummer, Dave plays lead guitar, and Jeff switches between harmonica, sax, and rhythm guitar.

Once again, these guys are my friends and if you wonder why a bunch of guys over 40 get together to play music, all I can tell you is that it frees your soul.

We went over to Aunt Sandy's for lunch on Sunday after the Fete to say goodbye until Thanksgiving on September 11th. Ok, don't email me that we are early! Instead, celebrate with us that our family will be having an extra Thanksgiving Day just to be together.

To the left and the bottom right are the lights that I retrofitted for Sandy. My Uncle Russ, who was a visionary and wonderful architect, had designed these lights into a custom ceiling. The real problem was that the ballasts were going bad and I had to retrofit them so the design of the ceiling didn't change. I felt pretty good at the end because I think my Uncle, who passed away a number of years ago, would have been pretty happy with the result.

To the lower right is a picture of an 18 foot plans built boat that came by just cruising around today. At first, I thought is was like my friend Paul's Redwing 23. However, I quickly found out that it was a Glen-L design that measured 18 feet long. Now here is the absolute amazing thing. He has traveled 28,000 miles in this boat. Yes, twenty eight thousand miles. I spelled it out because I just have to emphasize the fact that you can do anything you want in this world. He is in the process of building another boat with some more space.

Isn't life good!!!

I promised that we would show our new upholstery today. When she showed up with it in the back of here truck, I immediately saw a problem. Of course, she also knew about it and already had material on order just to fix the problem. (The problem was that the curved sections were sewn wrong.) I love reputable people don't you?

So, I took some pictures just to give you a hint. To the right is a picture of the center section of the back rest along with several of the pillows. We really like the custom pillows with the pattern that matches the background of the stitching of the fabric. On top of that, the large and small brownish pillow are made of microfiber. Now I have to be honest, the microfiber is one of the smoothest fabrics that screams - "kick back and enjoy."

On the left is a picture of the fabric Deb chose. I was wondering if it would be appropriate but after I saw it in the larger form, I agreed it was a great choice. Once we get the two sections back that were done wrong, we will give you a complete picture of before and after. Now to switch to my art education that I tried to receive in Washington D.C. The wavy pattern in the material is to remind us of the ocean which is always moving. Waves are very similar to our lives because we are also moving and really enjoy the interaction to the ocean. Therefore the interaction of the wavy blue stitching with the earthy brown colors underneath coupled with the pillows make an interesting interior. Ok, enough art education stuff - I'm happy with Deb's choices!

I didn't spend the day reflecting on my art education days which I loved. Instead I started the day with a 3 hour boat wash which cleaned off the spider stuff along with the other dirt that accumulates when you are next to a coal loading facility. After that project was completed I put on the back rests (which I will soon sew a cover for) and finished up the solar panel arch. Right now we are ahead of schedule but that will probably change since I just changed the supports for the bimini about 2 hours ago. Regardless, you will find it here in the upcoming days as we proceed.

 August 28 - I showed you the rail above that will serve as a back rest and a support for my enclosure. To the right, you can see it covered. I've already found this is one of my favorite places to sit when outside. Work, work, work however since we've been back to the boat. Lower left you can see the channel that I've installed on the outside of the bimini to hold the vinyl beaded welt. To the welt, I sew the zippers which will allow the enclosure to be removable and storable when we aren't using it. And finally, to the lower right, you can see the bimini support I made from the parts I had on hand. I had a plan to take it to the back of the cockpit similar to the new Gemini's however, Deb and I agreed we didn't like the stainless poles back there. I guess we got used to the way it was. So we modified the design. Truthfully, I like this better because it gives us another set of handholds in rough seas. We didn't have a good one when sitting in the cockpit chair so that is another problem solved.

Right now I have to run off and buy a square because I simply don't have the right tools to layout the vinyl. So, back to work. I'll be showing more progress in a couple of days.


 August 29 - Hello from sewing hobbit world. If you want a project that seems to be difficult, you really should take on sewing your own enclosure. Now here are the details. I have about 300 bucks in all of the material and until recently, no other enclosure on a Gemini was completely water tight. Instead, they drained into the cockpit. I understand, although I haven't seen one, that they now have an enclosure that is completely dry inside. Well, I still say I'm creating something new and of course the one they sell for the Gemini which won't fit our boat only costs about 6,000 dollars. I guess there is some motivation for a do-it-yourselfer if you ever wanted some.

To the right you can see the enclosure about 50 percent completed. Now you may be asking yourself, it doesn't look like he has that much left to do so why 50 percent? I learned from building an airplane that the last 10 percent was really about 25 percent. I still will have finish details and that is what makes up the rest of the time.

In reality, this hasn't been a super hard project. It all was dependent on which panels to sew first. The two in the back were created as one and then a zipper put in the center. The pyramid shaped one on the side was next because it was flat. This created two points where the front and aft complex curves would attach to.


 So with the back and side in place, I was able to have Deb help so we could hold the zippers to the vinyl and shape out the cuts. It was important to only do one zipper side at a time and then refit, mark, cut, sew and then the next zipper. On and on it goes. The time involved in this is amazing but I'm very happy with the results. If I ever do another one, I'm sure it will be better but I'm hoping that day will never come on this boat. Perhaps on my friend Paul's boat but that would be another day and story.

To the left you can see where I made an access hole for the electrical connection. I also thought about that water that would be flowing down off of the back of the cover and I put a flap so it would divert the water from the plug when inserted and also cover the plug if it wasn't inserted.


 The picture to the right shows the enclosure installed on the starboard side. The clear vinyl seems a bit loose but in reality it doesn't seem that way when we are on the boat. Even if it is a bit loose, that is a good thing because when the temperature drops about 40 or so degrees, everything will shrink. That means it will get tighter.

The only thing I really don't like are the wrinkle lines on the white material that connects between the clear vinyl and the side of the boat. I'm going to work on that on the other side but if that is the only negative, I'll take it.

I'm going to be playing guitar at the Yacht Club tonight for a couple of hours and then tomorrow Deb and I volunteered to sell sodas at the arts and crafts festival for the chamber of commerce. After we get back, it is a return to sewing the enclosure. At this rate I should have it completed by Monday afternoon.

Tuesday we will be hauling the boat to clean the inside of our hulls and also to do a bottom job. All I should have to do is sand and paint it but we will see when it comes out of the water. I decided that this year I would do it myself because I think I should get more time than a year between coats. I guess we will see in the end.

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