March 1st, 2018 browsing by day


Progress. Thursday, March 1st.

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Yesterday was my 81st. birthday. Rob, the Harbor Master at the Cape Charles Yacht Center gave me ride in to Chesapeake to be with my daughter and her family until Monday morning. The weather has been hit and miss to try and get the hull damage repaired. The last coat on the port side topsides finish was rolled on yesterday. The starboard side, which suffered the most on the surface, still needs one more coat. I am using Awlgrip two part Linear Polyurethane. The keel was cleaned up and faired and has four coats of epoxy barrier coat. Louis, at L.C.N. Machine Shop in Exmore, Va., managed to straighten the rudder shaft, now I am shopping to replace the busted (now obsolete) Harken rudder bearing.                                                                                                                                     

port side without the gaping hole

port side without the gaping hole

starboard with new coat of topside paint

starboard with new coat of topside paint


“before” starboard

The new engine is sitting next to “Fleetwood”, my next project to install. My beer budget was for a used or rebuilt two cylinder diesel engine in the $4,000 range. I ended up with a brand spanking new Champagne taste sweet thing, shipped on a fast boat from China, for  $ 4,448.95 sitting next to “Fleetwood”.

Including spare belts, fuel and oil filters. This is nearly half of what a comparable engine is sold for in the US.  It seemed too good to be true. And then, after the engine shipped, I was confronted with the import clearance regulations, that it required EPA emission certification, which the Chinese manufacturer does not have. I held my breath, but somehow it sailed through. My legendary good luck? I availed myself of my vocabulary, left over from my fifty years in the international trading business, with “Ship’s Stores”, temporary import permit, and the like. This to caution anyone who might wish to follow my experiment, into the US.  The instruction manual is very thorough and written in understandable English. The communications with the exporter were very timely and businesslike. TheDSC_0022y gave me the option to have Alibaba cover this with a trade assurance. I had to telegraphically transfer the purchase cost prior to shipment. Martec has modified my folding propellor for the higher power and different gear ratio. I sent in my hub, with the old blades removed from it, about a $ 550 upgrade.

I have a deadline. April 27th. The Friday afternoon of the annual Cape Charles “Harbor Party” weekend, to get “Fleetwood” floating. On Friday is the Blessing of the Fleet. On Saturday the 28th. of April from noon to 1.30, I give a presentation of my circumnavigation and book signing at the Cape Charles Civic Center in the series “Lunch & Learn” of the Friends of the Cape Charles Memorial Library. I will post links for the details in an upcoming blog. 

There is still a lot of work on the interior, repainting, varnishing, wiring, replacement of the electronics, etc. I am still hoping to be sail ready by the middle of June to leave for Mystic Seaport the end of June. 

Cape Charles has grown on me and like a few more places along the way where I stayed for an extended period, like Zimnicea on the Romanian Danube and the “De Schinkel” yacht club in Amsterdam, the Arabella Landing Marina in Gig Harbor, Wa., I have made very valuable friendships here. It will be again: Partir c’est mourir un peu. But the next shores beckon. 

I discovered that there were problems for  a short period with the Kindle version of the Dutch version of SoloMan. There were three or four reviews on Amazon complaining that the pictures did not show. This has been corrected for the most part. But I am working to improve both the English and Dutch Kindle version. If anyone wishes a replacement, please, send me your e-mail address in the comment section of this web site or the book’s websites. Please, also be aware that the temporary price reduction, on the print edition of the English color version of “SoloMan”, ends March 31. The day of the Blue Moon. So, be sure to get your “once in a blue moon” discounted “SoloMan”. I need the royalties. On this subject: I was offered financial help from several of the readers of this blog. So far, so good. By stretching the repair period, I have been able to handle the costs from my monthly Social Security deposits. The engine was one of the major items. The uninsured portion of my back operation added to drawing my savings down. I am skating on thin ice but at 140 lbs and the help of God and all the good people I hope to continue to entertain you on this blog.