Before the long journey of boat refit was familiar to me I had read many accounts of voyagers working on their vehicles. Without fail, almost all of them would go through great lengths to describe their delight and excitement when they acquired some new odd bit or piece of kit that was shiny or attractive. This was often a mystery to me. How could one little part glimmering in the morning sun bring such join to a man’s heart? But then I started working on Sundowner and understanding settled in.

As the Summer months wind down and we anticipate the temperatures to cooperate with us more, it comes time for another great splurge of buying and getting for the boat. With the haul out and decisions to pull the mast and install the stainless stern pulpit, this has upped our shopping list considerably. And finally… The pieces and parts started trickling in.

Its sort of funny when Dani and I get something shipped from Bud at Westsail Parts because often times we order things that don’t just come in via UPS. No these things are shipped freight and are sent to a SAIA depot in Jefferson. So when they arrive we drive down to this industrial looking building surrounded by barbed wire and inhabited by hundreds of tractor trailers but seemingly vacant of humans. So you’re standing there amongst giants, feeling ever so alone. We approach the one person behind the desk who regards us dubiously because we’re obviously not the sort that should be in a shipping facility and do our best to explain that we have a shipment. Even present the bill of lading. And eventually a little man in a furiously driven fork lift appears and buzzes around the huge stacks of cargo looking for our parcel. Eventually we escape the facility yet again, only having to dodge two incoming 18 wheelers on the way out. Our life is a strange one, strange sights, and strange places.

But for all the trouble it is to get things shipped freight, its worth every moment of it. Because like those sailors and voyagers of old that expounded up their shiny new things, I too, fall victim to this sailors shopping disease. As I unwrapped the scintillating stern tower, I shared in their irrational joy and admired the piece not as some structural part, but rather, a work of art.

Now with so much stuff arriving, we have some problems with where to keep it. So basically it gets piled in our kitchen, which by the day is beginning to look more and more like a freight depot than a kitchen. But it bothers us not one bit. As every time I pass by the fridge I let one of my fingers pass over these sparkling gems and I’m once again enchanted by them. To give you all some vision of what this all looks like, please let me direct your attention to the following.

Here is that tower. It sits over the dog bowls and holds other bits and pieces.
Tower for stainless stern pulpit
And here is the top of it upon which we’ll mount some sort of monster solar panel one day.
Top of tower for stainless stern pulpit

While I’m “showing” off, I might as well go the whole way. Here is the new boomkin, decorated loving by the new main sheet and boomvang, and accompanied by the new jib cars and other various blocks. Dani and I couldn’t help ourselves so we went ahead with the reeving.
Mast sheets reeving
Mast sheets reeving close up

As you can see, the new attachment point for the back stay is very robust.
Stainless stern pulpit back stay attachment

We’ve also gotten ahold of something we hemmed and hawed over for some time. The cockpit floor which we took up to remove the engine is heavy and while its an excellent option to have on the hard and during major projects I often wondered if it would be practical to lift in a seaway to access the stern gland. I needed something water tight, which is not easy, and easy to get in. I gave some thought to mounting a standard yacht hatch in the floor but this always seemed somewhat dangerous to me. We spoke about cutting the floor into two pieces but I’m not confident in my ability to make the two pieces fit in a water tight manner. So finally I succumb to the sailor shopping disease and went all in. I bought a commercial grade aluminum submarine style t bar hatch. That is a mouthful huh?
Submarine style access hatch
Submarine style access hatch

This hatch is easily big enough for me to fit through and takes about 5 seconds to open or shut. I’m excited about it. And the final bit of kit we picked up… Some tools. A cordless drill for me and a shop vac for Dani. Both lithium powered and car charger compatible.

Dewalt cordless tools

I know all these things seem boring and hollow, but be prepared to see them in action in November when I plan to put Sundowner on the hard and use up my remaining vacation time to get them all installed. It should be a gas.