Friday, February 7, 2014

Reining in Costs & Simplifying

--Blog post written by Bob

The fuel tank replacement and all the associated smaller projects cost about $10,000 and it was not planned as part of my 30-year retrofit.  So, I feel the need to strip down my list of future boat projects or we will never be able to retire and go cruising. So, I have created another list--"Frivolous" boat projects.  I will simply transfer projects that I can do without onto this new list.  There is also something to say for "simplifying"--it means less things to go wrong.

Installing Dinghy Davits

Dinghy davits on the stern of S/V Irish Melody, a sister ship,
shown here cruising the South Pacific.
Used Barient #22 Winch Just Purchased
for the second jib halyard which will be used

to lift the dinghy onto the foredeck

Dinghy davits represent a big chunk of money--about $3,000 plus installation.  I made the same trip to and from the Bahamas before without them, why not again?  For the trip down the ICW and crossing the gulf stream, I can store the dinghy on the foredeck and the outboard motor on a stern bracket.  Of course, this still means that I need a lift for the outboard (about $500) and adding a second jib halyard for lifting the dinghy.  I just purchased a used Barient #22 two-speed winch at Bacon's) for the new halyard (which will be used to lift the dinghy onto the foredeck) for under $200.

New Sails

While my main sail is 30 years old and my roller furling genoa might be 15 to 20 years old, replacing these sails is not absolutely necessary.  I can make some minor repairs and use them until I have to replace them.  Since we are coming back to Annapolis each summer, I can have a new sail made in the summer as needed.  This saves about $6,000 for two sails.

Increased Fuel Tankage

My fuel tank holds 32 gallons of diesel fuel--only 30 gallons is usable because of the elevation of the pick up tube.  This tank size worked fine on my previous trip and I didn't carry extra 5-gallon jugs.  This time around I will be carrying (4) 5-gallon jugs on deck--one is for diesel fuel.  So, while extra tankage would be nice, it is not necessary.

A Maxwell Anchor Windlass

New Anchor Windlass

It would be nice to lift the 44-lb anchor by pushing a button (and Maggie could even do it) but I handled a 44-lb anchor manually on my previous trip and I believe I can do it again.  However, there is a case to be made for using a secondary (lighter) anchor for the ICW where holding is much better.  I just don't like the idea of not having a spare anchor that's almost as good as my primary anchor.  So, maybe I'll keep the 44-lb Bruce anchor.

A close up view of the surface of the hull

Soda Blasting the Hull

Making the hull nice and smooth would make for better sailing (and motoring).  The hull's surface is rough, particularly just below the waterline.  However, this isn't absolutely necessary--so, another project for the "Frivolous" list.

New Dinghy and Outboard

The way I was proceeding, a new AB rigid hull inflatable (RIB) and a new 10 HP outboard motor, would cost more than $6,000.  I just found a 15-year old AB rigid hull inflatable with a 15 HP engine (and trailer) for $2,450--a savings of $3,550!  However, buying a 15-year old rigid hull inflatable is not a good idea for us because I don't want the associated maintenance.  I'll keep looking for a used dinghy.

Redesign Home Bathroom Renovation

On my list of projects to be done before we retire is the renovation of our ensuite--it must be done in order to rent out our house.  We have discussed several ideas about how we can make is less costly.  I need to work on this re-design.

Reapply the Savings...

The savings on the above six projects represents over $17,000, not including savings due to re-design of our home's bathroom.    While each one doesn't sound like a lot of money, the savings will pay our expenses for two 6-month cruises in the Bahamas.  The course I was on could easily have postponed our trip and (who knows) we may have never left Annapolis.  

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