Friday, 27 January 2012

So many projects, so little time...

At least, it seems that way!

Last year (2011) we took care of some large ones: 3 new sails; new wind/speed/depth instruments; new chartplotter/radar; new primary anchor and new chain rode; and almost all running rigging replaced.

Still, so many projects to start/complete before we head south in August (or will that be September?)

We have some larger items we know we need/want to take care of, such as (not in any special order):
- purchase and install ICOM M802 SSB
- purchase and install Hydrovane
- purchase & install LED trilight for top of mast (purchased Lunasea trilight/anchor/strobe)
- backstay insulators for SSB antenna
- standing rigging check and, if needed, replace rigging
- purchase and install solar panels (which brand?)
- AIS transponder
- repair or replace several portlights
- install permanent chair or bench for nav desk
- remove large wooden navpod over companionway and replace with low-profile shelf
- cockpit table
- new dinghy (thinking about a Portabote)
- purchase/install liferaft
- engine maintenance
- haul boat, bottom paint, etc
and lots and lots of "smaller" items, such as:
- touch up interior wood
- engine tachometer in cockpit
- "power" for WHAM4x remote mike
- improve arrangements for computer on nav station
- manual foot pump in galley
- repair aft manual bilge pump
- heavy weather tie downs (drawers, floorboards, etc)
- add more fans
- more interior LED lights
- etc, etc, etc

And then there are the questions about "luxury" items:
  • do we install a watermaker (current answer: "No"). If yes, which type?
  • do we replace our older energy-hungry refrigerator with a newer more-efficient one?  (Current answer: Hmmmm, maybe)
  • New generator? (Current answer: No! We'll stick with our Honda e2000)

The list goes on and on (and on). I guess this is how everybody feels as they prepare to leave. And I (David) am the type that has to have everything "just so". I know, I know -- "everyone" (all those websites...) says "it'll never be completely ready -- just go". Time to think that way will be when it is getting closer -- in the Summer.

Must be lots of others feeling the same way right now.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Winter in Vancouver: To Tarp or Not To Tarp?

Winters in Vancouver are relatively mild. The average daily temperature for January/February is 5.4°C [41.7°F], with the average daily maximum = 7.6°C [45.5°F]; minimum = 3.1°C [37.6°F]. On average, the thermometer stays above freezing (0° C) for at least 24 days of each month (Jan/Feb).
Vancouver (English Bay) today -- a typical Winter day
We do get a lot of rain: on average, a total of 159 mm [6.3 in] per month in Jan/Feb. Occasionally, we even get snow (on average, no more than 1 day per month with 5 cm [~2 in] or more of snowfall).

A recent visit to San Diego (November, 2011) got me thinking about Winter Tarping.  I was quite surprised to see many boats tarped-up for the "Winter". (Some even with full-on shrink-wrap covers.) Surprised, because Winters in San Diego are not all that "wintery": Average minimum temperature for January is 9.8°C [49.7°F] and average total rainfall is 57.9 mm [2.3 in] with an average of only 6 "rainy" days in January. So why tarp? Perhaps its all those bird droppings?

Back home in Vancouver, many boats do tarp up for the Winter, with the full range from shrink wrap "environmental protection covers" or custom, fancy (expensive) canvas covers, to tarps big and small. Many boats, however, choose not to tarp-up.

EPC shrink wrap cover

Custom canvas cover

Creative (and effective) tarps on SV Berkana

We are in the latter category. We do not tarp Pelagia. (We're not convinced tarps are needed or make such a large difference. Indeed, a little talked-about downside of tarps is that they provide wonderful shelter for families of river otters that abound here in BC -- the results can be very messy.) 

More importantly, we like to sail Pelagia in the Winter (to Howe Sound or to the Gulf Islands) -- so not tarping keeps Pelagia "ready to go". 

SV Pelagia in the Winter: Ready to go!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

A very "New" Year...

Happy New Year 2012!

This is really a "new" year for us: we are now both officially retired (although David continues some work) and we will be preparing Pelagia for our sail south, planned for late August this year.

This should be a very interesting year....