Still Outfitting BeBop......
Update Sept 26, 8:54pm......
Like to put in a thank you to Tom for the donation. I used it to purchase a used book titled "Self-Steering for Sailing Craft" by John S. Letcher Jr. I'm hoping it will give me some good instruction on how to get BeBop to steer herself without a expensive wind vane or my power hungry autopilot.
As you can see from the new picture above I'm still working hard on getting BeBop ready to go. Much as I would of liked to get out and get some sailing in, due to circumstances, I haven't yet. :-/ Next week the plan is to get out for a 3 to 6 day sail and actually go somewhere, stay on the boat overnight, cook all meals onboard, use the pram to get back and forth to shore and so on. A full scale test of everything so to speak. Sorry guys, I know your expecting that I got out this weekend but now that I'm in the ranks of the unemployed, I'm on what I call "boat time" and things happen more slowly. ^_^
Moving on, here is the complete list of what's been done in the past two weeks since my last post.....
Spent a whole day hand sewing the main sail cover back together.
Hanked on the main and have the cover on now too. (see picture)
Finished sewing up the port locker netting and installed it.
Fabricated two lower battery mounts in the bilge area out of 2x4's.
Put up a poor man's boom tent
Purchased a small seat with a back support on it, makes a big difference.
Installed netting over the front hatch and companionway to keeps the bugs out.
Installed safety netting on the port side. Very salty looking.
Doing the starboard side this week but need another 2 yards of netting. (ordered)
You can also see in the new picture that I have a make shift boom tent up. The tarp was donated by the Captain of the sailboat next to BeBop, "Brick." It's working a lot better than the other hanging shade I was using. I want to add some wooden dowels or perhaps a couple of broom sticks to the tarp and that would change the pitch on it and give nice shade without coming down so far into the cockpit. The netting is a real pain to put on, but when I'm singlehanding I want as much as possible to grab if I slip. Screw the windage issue.
I got the trailer sold too, (woot!) so with that money I have been able to order up some needed additional gear......
2 matching 43 Watt Solar Panels
2 SS Mounting Brackets
10 amp Solar Charge Controller
Additional 90 amp Deep Cycle Battery
The much desired Handheld GPS!!
A single, fully waterproof chart of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean
Courtesy flags for Mexico and Belize.
Still dreaming about that Wind Vane..but then I woke up.
To that I want to add a cruising guide to the Western Caribbean, and a cheap Davis Mark 3 sextant in case the GPS (and serial port backup) fails. I guess the flags gives away which direction I'm going to sail first. It's a logical choice, cold beer is cheaper in Mexico than the Bahamas lol. Really, it's because of the sailing characteristics of BeBop. It will be easier going west around Cuba than east on the thorny path. Should be a good deal cheaper too. I have my laptop with tons and tons of charts of nearly the entire Caribbean but getting the first physical chart and flags really gives the feeling of direction and a first goal. I was just thinking about it earlier today and there exists the possibility of Christmas in Mexico. Belize, is another very interesting country that most people have never heard of, where they speak English as a first language. I think there is a very good possibility for employment there as well, since Central America is about as far as my funds will allow me sail without stopping to work for a bit.
Like to add in here a big Thank You to the master sailor Hawkeye who again let me raid his sail locker and I came away with a couple of old sails including one very serviceable storm jib that fits BeBop perfect, a like new stainless steel camping cook set, 2 fishing rods and a tacklebox full of lures. Very very cool indeed and I thank you again!! For those of you interested in boat building please check out his blog and his boat, "Falcon." I must say I sanded this, painted that, fabricated a couple of things for BeBop and built a dinghy. Think I was being clever? He built a schooner from the hull up on the cheap. Humbling and I told him as much. Gotta respect that.
About those fishing rods, all I need now is somebody to show me how since I haven't done it since I was a kid. Hard to read a book and learn that stuff but sure it will all come together like everything else has.
In the last post comments there was a real nice discussion about another stove for BeBop. After doing some measurements, the hanging pail with a MSR Dragonfly idea still holds the most favor with me. Just have to find the money to buy the Dragonfly as they ain't cheap. I'll check the local used sporting good stores and see if they might have one. Might take a bit to get this project underway due to budget issues but I really need a back up to propane. I expect after I finish installing the solar panels this will be the next project.
Wish I had some more pictures for you guys but a lot of what I'm doing right now doesn't photograph well ya know. It's boring to me too in a way since I'd rather be sailing. My next entry should have the solar panels mounted and really, heh, honest this time, some sailing pictures. With the ability to recharge my batteries without taking them off the boat it gives me the ability to stay onboard overnight easily and get used to that.
Until next time.....Fair Winds.....