New Fall Decor
Fall is here and Valkyrie needed to be a little festive. Off to the dollar store we went! After all, I don't want to spend much moolah on decorations that have a high probability of getting wet. For a mere $5, I came up with this. While the Welcome rock had weight, everything else was extremely lightweight. To keep it all in place, I put silicone on the bottom and glued it all to the mat. The mat makes it easy to move indoors when necessary...like during Sandy! It sure is nice to have a little decor by the door!
Okay, I get why they are important and why they should be Coast Guard approved. But why can't they be more comfy??? Most baby items are made to be soft and comfortable. So why can't life jackets be both safe and comfortable? In the last month three different grandchildren came aboard and wore the same life jacket. Check out how these pictures:
Here is Matilda who is the oldest:
She is 21 months old. She had no problem wearing this life jacket. It fit her well.
Here is Brady:
He is 8 months old. Although the life jacket fits, it tends to ride up around his sweet cheeks.
Here is Lincoln:
Granted Lincoln is only 6 weeks old, but he just about gets lost in it.
Why is it that they do not make a Coast Guard approved life jacket that is smaller? Life jackets for children are divided into just three categories according to weight:
Infant: 30 pounds or less
Child: 30-50 pounds
Youth: 50-90 pounds
After that it goes to adult S, M, L sizes.
I like the safety features of the infant one. It has a pillow to keep the head afloat, more flotation in front to be self righting, a strap to go between the legs to keep them from floating out of it and a hand strap so they could be easily pulled from the water.
I think we need one more smaller size. Why not break infant into two categories, infant and toddler? This would protect our most precious cargo more comfortably.
What do you do when the wind is blowing 30 knots and you can’t get the dinghy off the deck? Well, first I cleaned up a bit. Not so much that the boat is spotless by any means. I wasn’t that motivated. Then we caught up on a few of our favorite tv shows. The internet is great in Wrightsville Beach. Then I posted pictures to Facebook. But what now???
Ahhh….I checked that list of projects I have been putting off and found one. This piece of wood trim was obviously designed for a headboard, but the boat did not come with one. It has been this way since the boat was new in 2005.
I finally got tired of leaning against it while watching tv. It was begging for foam. While we were at a marina in September, I googled boat canvas, found someone with closed cell foam and bought a piece to fit.
Don used an electric knife (Yes, the one we use to carve the turkey at Thanksgiving.) and cut it to fit. He has a great eye for things being straight and could trim the sides and corners without measuring. We put the foam in place and that was as far as we got…raw foam for a headboard. It wasn’t attractive, but it did make things more comfortable.
Today I was….bored. I dug out some fabric that I have had for a looong time. I bought it because it was on the remnant table at Printer’s Alley. It was less than two yards, neutral, and nautical. I knew I would find a use for it sometime.
I had planned on using muslin. When I laid this scrap over the foam, it was a perfect fit! I figured it was meant to be. Two small cuts to trim the curved corners and a few quick seams down the sides gave me the perfect headboard slipcover.
All in under an hour! Now what do I do?
When your boat is pulled for a bottom job, there is always a lot of work to be done. You’re gonna be TIRED and sore! Yep, it’s a given. No sense whining about it.
The first thing that happens is pressure washing. Here is Valkyrie before pressure washing:
Here is Valkyrie after pressure washing:
Almost makes you wonder if the bottom needs painting!
While they were moving Valkyrie to a spot further back on the yard for the week, I got this shot of Don’s toys.
Next the main propeller was pulled off so we could take it to Wildcat Props to be repaired.
Notice how close the truck is parked to the boat. It took four guys to carry the prop over to it.
Don worked on rebuilding the wing engine propeller. That means he took it apart, cleaned it, greased it and put it all back together.
He patched the hole in the stabilizer fin.
I scraped off all the barnacles on the keel cooler and the many other places they grow on the boat.
We also prepped and painted all the metal, changed all the zincs, compounded and waxed the blue stripe. We left sanding and painting the bottom to the yard since we didn’t have respirators and disposable body suits.
Here is what the bow thruster looks like. There is another one just like it in the stern.
Here I am looking ultra sexy! Ha Ha!!!
Anyone wanna come help next time???
“Living in a Tree House” to boaters means staying on the boat while it is out of the water. Things are very different when you aren’t floating.
Normally we are at a floating dock. This means you just step right across and are easily aboard.
If we are at a fixed dock, the entryway is either a step up or a step down. The size of the step depends on the tide.
When you are out of the water, the part of the boat that is normally below the waterline is on the ground. The entryway that is normally just a small step is now about 10 feet in the air. This means you must climb a ladder to get on or off the boat. Hence…living in a tree house.
This marina has very nice ladders. Most marinas just use regular ladders that lean against the hull of the boat. This ladder was like climbing a staircase by comparison. It was no problem for Don or I to run up and down by ourselves. Getting Roux on or off the boat was a little trickier. The step from the ladder to the boat was a tad bit to large for me to do and hold a wiggly dog at the same time.
There are also other things to consider. Yes, you can plug your boat into power. But the power is limited. We usually plug in one 50 amp cord, two if we want to use air conditioning. Here we could only plug in one 30 amp cord. This means the batteries could stay charged, the refrigeration could run and we had hot water. Using the blow dryer or the microwave wasn’t an option.
There are not pump out stations on the yard. So you can’t get rid of your grey or black water. Grey water is the water from the sinks and shower. Black water is from the head. This means limiting the amount of water you use for everything. Yes you can put more water in the water tanks, but you can only use what the grey and black tanks will hold. Fortunately we have tank watch to show us how full the tanks are getting.
This helped us keep an eye on our usage so we didn’t overfill the tanks. We are very lucky that the head flushes with fresh water. If it flushed using sea water, we would not have been able to go to the bathroom aboard. Not bad during the day, but horrible if you need to tinkle at 3am!
For Roux, nights were spent aboard, days were spent in the truck. It would have been nice to let her run around while we worked on the boat. But there were just too many things she could have gotten into. You never know where someone may have let antifreeze drip onto the ground. I’m certainly not taking any chances where she is concerned. She was pretty happy to nap in her bed in the truck, watch us work and go for frequent walks.
Boatyards are dusty, dirty places. We put old towels out on the cockpit floor and took our shoes off immediately when we came aboard. Much of the dirt comes from sanded bottom paint. We definitely didn’t want to have to clean paint off the fiberglass or carpeting. While in the boatyard, the dust creeps in and settles on everything. A good cleaning is always in order just as soon as the boat leaves the yard.
Living in a tree house isn’t hard. It just takes a little thought and planning.