December 31, 2012

Anchor roller and Keel Guard

Jim put Keel Guard on the center hull. That one seemed to have had the most grounding. We prefer to anchor, but if a big blow is coming…we can drop a stern anchor on our way in and tie off to shore.


Raisin will be doing most of her “business” on a small carpet on the rear deck, but being able to nose up to shore will give her a chance to stretch her legs. Although……..walking the shoreline with a dog….you have to have an eye on the water at all times. Gators can move very fast and little dogs are a tasty morsel to a hungry gator.

Last time out we realized it was going to be a chore to haul an anchor aboard without banging up the bow… Jim fixed that problem.

He fabricated a bow roller out of 2 x 6’s …some steel he had laying around and a roller my sister, Joanne, had given us.

He had to remove the running light and cut a section out of the bow rail. It was the only way you could release and haul in the anchor.


I liked the running light so he made a plate for it and it drops into the “eyes” on the end of the rail. It has to be plugged in to use. We very seldom run at night so it isn’t a problem.


We picked up the anchor when Jim was looking for a 2000 watt generator and a pressure washer. The gentleman has all kinds of stuff at his home. We spent a couple of hours looking around. Jim didn’t get his larger generator or pressure washer …but I was thrilled to see this anchor sitting there and I wasn’t going to pass it up.


The ladder that went to the roof has become a swim ladder. Now we can get back aboard at the springs. It’s removable and will hook on the upper deck and be tied to the support for travel on the water.


We aren’t fancy….but most everything will do what it is supposed to do.

Our plans have changed…….….guess we’ll do our break in run on the St Johns River and the last 2 days of rain have set us back so we wont be on the water for New Year’s Eve….but should cruising by mid week.

Hope to make the next post from the river.

Happy New Year everyone…..hope it is the best one yet.

December 30, 2012

MEANDER ………we’ve settled on a name

We’ve had several names running thru our heads….but nothing really seemed to fit.  Jim had mentioned “Meander” but it wasn’t until I read the definition that I was sold on it.


Because what we do on the river………. is meander around looking for gators and other wildlife.  We don’t always have a set destination. We’re “there” when we get there. Many times we’ve spotted a big gator and decided to anchor and wait for it to surface or climb on the bank to sun itself.  They don’t seem to mind us cruising past, but when we turn around they will slide into the water or dive. We figure they have been hunted and are wise enough to know when they’ve been spotted.

Jim built new cabinet doors. The others were breaking apart.  He also added a shelf above the microwave and one below it.

Most of the necessary stuff is done. We’ll work on cosmetics and trim as we go. We sometimes take stuff with us to work on at anchor


The larger window really opens this area up. The cupboard doors over the sink are original. Jim made the rest.

Still need to get a hot pad to protect the counter under the little stove.


The screen enclosure is finished.


We’ll see how well I did the first night there is a big swarm of mosquitos. Take into consideration that I don’t really know what I am doing. The enclosure for the Albin had vinyl panels for me to use as a pattern….

We can unzip the port corner and fold it back for using the swim ladder and both sides unsnap and fold back for stepping out onto the dock when tied up.


There are 3 zippers…one in each corner (you can see the port side isn’t zipped all the way up) and one over the motor. It wasn’t easy fitting around the motor but Jim suggested making a fold of window screen about 6” wide around it and once at anchor we can fluff it out to fill most spaces. There is about 8” of velcro  before you get to the zipper over the motor so there is room to raise it at anchor.

Still more work to do….

December 18, 2012

Jim has been busy….new countertop, larger motor, fresh water tank plumbed in and bottom almost done….among other things

Here is how the bow looked before he started on it. Lots of scrapes and serious gouges. There was no bow support so it just rammed into the winch when being loaded.


After filling all the gouges and a couple coats of gelcoat………..

It still needs a few coats of Poliglow and the keel guard put on.


Then the fresh water tank was installed under the counter (white thing on lower L) along with the water pump, faucet and water heater. The water heater is in the bottom of the cupboard to the L of the sink, on the floor. He is working on the new counter top. The old one had a hole cut in it for the stove. I’ll be using a butane stove on the counter.  We are waiting for the handheld shower and knobs. They will be on the outside wall under the hardtop just below the level of the counter top. All the water plumbing is in the same area. Outside shower so we don’t have to water proof the head.


The larger kitchen window and new countertop really lighten up that corner. It still needs to be caulked and trimmed.


We had a few rainy days so lots of inside work got done.


Installed an idiot light for each bilge pump, a new tachometer, VHF radio and antenna, fish finder, and the tilt and trim for the outboard motor.

Once we are sure the water system has no leaks we can put it in the water for a few days and check things out.

We are thinking about putting in the Harris Chain of Lakes, Eustis FL.

You can travel from Lake Eustis into Lake Dora or into Lake Harris and Little Lake Harris and thru a canal into Lake Griffin. We did this several years ago and were able to go from Lake Griffin up the Oklawaha River to the Silver River and into Silver Springs, where they have the glass bottom boats. The Oklawaha River runs N to Lake Oklawaha and thru the Barge Canal into the St Johns River. At the time, we were unable to travel that stretch….too many deadfalls from the hurricanes: Charlie, Francis and Jean,  obstructing the river.

We did try to travel S from the Barge Canal into the lake, but it was so choked with Hydrilla that you could hardly move thru it.

Jim’s brother, Carl, lives on Lake Yale. Unfortunately, it isn’t connected to the other lakes with anything big enough for a boat.

We need to put 10 break in hours on the motor and this should do nicely.


We are trying to fix all the major repairs and install the necessary equipment. Cosmetics will have to come as we get to them.


November 30, 2012

Floor under the hardtop

Once all the rotten stuff was removed, we let it dry out for a day while Jim cut supports. This one under the doorway runs almost to the outer hulls. There will be 3 more just like it.


One down, 2 more to go.


Each one is smaller than the one before it so Jim is able to use the same template by cutting it to size.


They should give enough support for the 3/4 marine plywood that will be on top of them, and allow water to flow under them to the bilge pump and have some air flow between and under the plywood.

Getting them just right.



Each stringer will have 2  1”x4”s on them, cut so they are the same height as the fiberglass edge to help spread the weight.

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After all the stingers were in place, Jim caulked around the edge of the fiberglass. We then set the 3/4” plywood in place, caulked around the edge again, let it dry and Jim painted it.


Once the paint is dry, he can start installing the “house” battery box and the starting battery, find a spot for the generator and extended run tank and fuel tanks.

The square “hole” is a well for the bilge pump. 

The next big project will be installing the 15 gallon fresh water tank, the 2 1/2 gallon water heater, the faucet and water pump, the “out door” shower and the microwave and new cabinet doors.

Looks like it will be a few more weeks before we get on the water.

November 29, 2012

Jim was right….we really didn’t want to know…

We had lifted up the small pieces of plywood in the back of the boat, and could see the fiberglass was cracked and split. The wood was wet, very soggy wet.


Naturally, I had to see what was under the rest. I figured Jim could bondo over all the cracks once we dried it out….(that’s what I get for thinking). So Jim proceeded to pull it up.


The plywood he’s pulling up is 3/4”, and this is what it looked like under it. A rotten soggy mess.


2 layers of wet plywood…..not just wet….but dripping wet. I picked up a piece about the size his feet are on and couldn’t believe how heavy it was.


Jim says we could put an 80 hp 4 stroke on the back and never know the difference in weight, since we are removing so much soggy wood.

We also found out the outer hulls are filled with foam….soggy foam.


He removed it from the bulkhead to the rear. The port side on the L didn’t go completely to the back of the boat and had a few inches of water in it.          The one on the R still has a bit of water draining from the foam under the cabin.

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He’s sure made use of the shop vac.

All the fiberglass and wood, except 2 or 3 inches around the edge have been removed. He’s making  supports and stringers now.


This was the second one to go in under the cabin floor, by the doorway. It made a big difference.


Before I let my curiosity get the best of me…..we could have gone boating… I have to wait till the floor is in. Oh well, it’s a job that truly needed doing.


November 27, 2012

Inverter, Shore Power, Breaker Box

The inverter needs to be as close to the batteries as possible, so it is going under the rear bench seat.

He used 2 floor registers as vents. One in the outside wall and one on the front of the bench. This will give good air circulation when the inverter is running.


The 2 1/2 gallon water heater and the microwave will be on one breaker and the fridge and other outlets will be on the second one.

The original shore power plug was on the outside near the roof. Hard to reach from under the hardtop. Jim put it near the battery cable outlet and the inverter plug.

The orange cord is now shore power. When on the water, the plug inside the inverter box will be plugged into the shore power outlet and the inverter turned on. It will then power everything the shore power cord does. There is no way you can have both on at the same time…We have this same set up in the camper. Unplug shore power and plug the inverter into the same outlet. Automatic switching boxes are very expensive. If you can’t unplug one and plug in the other…’re too durn lazy to be on a boat. They are a lot of work….unless, of course, you can afford a yacht.

We wont have an air conditioner to run and our heat will be a propane “Mr Heater”. We used it on Slow Motion and when we brought this  boat home. We spent a couple of nights in cold rainy weather in it. It heats it up fast, and then if necessary we can start the little Honda 1000 watt generator and plug in a small electric heater.

Not all the conveniences of home…but at least it’s not “tenting”.


When the water heater and fresh water tank arrive…..they will be next.

November 25, 2012

Under the planks in the bow….

Jim wanted to pull up the 2 x 6’s that were in the bow and install the fish finder/depth gauge.  We are hoping to do some shallow water exploring and having the depth gauge at the back of the boat didn’t make a lot of sense. By the time it says it’s too shallow… are already aground. If this one works like the one he put in Slow Motion, it will sit in water and read thru the hull.

Here are the 2 x 6’s


and this was below them….


and under that……


Jim cleaned up the edges and cut new plywood for it….


Here is a close up of the round thing in the lower R corner of the photo above….it looks like foam in the forward outer hull. If anyone knows for sure, let us know.


I stuck my camera in the hole before he closed it up….looks like someone has replaced the center beam…looks like the old one was fiber glassed in. It looked pretty dry under there.


We aren’t putting anything on the plywood. The beam and the off set “T” gives it plenty of support. Jim will paint it when the area under the hardtop is finished. We’re going to pull up the plywood and see what is under it…..but…….maybe we don’t want to know.


The inverter arrived. Jim is going to work on that next.

November 24, 2012

Working on the inside….

There was a very weak section of floor just inside the back door. It had been replaced with 3/4 “ plywood but wasn’t secured to anything…so it still was weak. We decided to remove the table and both bench seats and put down a 1/4” sheet of board in a 5 x 4 “ section to help spread the weight. It looked so good with out them, I was tempted to have Jim leave them out…but we really need the storage under them. We did shorten the one in the center to give us more walk thru room and shortened the table to match.


Jim had to put a carpet strip on the floor because of the 1/4 “ difference. He sure hated to lose that headroom.  LOL


The lower shelf in the closet was removed to make room for the refrigerator. It was put back in and another added above it. We wont have a hanging closet. We’ll just have to fold and stack most of our stuff. Jim did find a small tie rack that can be put on the outside of the closet at the foot of the couch. I could hang a few blouses there if I need to.


The center bench seat originally came out to the corner of the plate in the floor. About 6 or 7 inches more room

           Before                                                                                          After

Yukon Delta interior 10.10.12 006cs       005cs

Jim took the paneling with the mirror off the door frame and put it on the inside of the head door. So we still have a mirror.

The cushion covers were only stapled to a piece of wall panel. It was easy to remove them and cut the paneling and foam to fit the shorter bench. It can still be made into a bed, but it would mean less foot room for 2 people.

There is still a lot to do inside…rebuild the cupboard where the microwave will sit, install a water tank, pump and faucet, inverter and batteries… mention a few. Still have to make the screens for the back deck. Oh well…..maybe we’ll just go boating and rough it.

November 5, 2012

New windows

This is what the port side looked like the day we brought our Yukon Delta home.

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and this is with the new windows. The one in the middle is in the head. Boy did that ever brighten up a very small dark space. That is the original kitchen window. The new one in the kitchen really opens up the sink and counter area. Makes it look much larger. 

All of the insulation that could be seen around the windows was in great condition. It did not look as though there had been any leaks in the back half of that side.

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We went hunting for a topper for the new (to us) pickup, and while we were checking one out,  I spotted this bimini. Asked the gentleman what he wanted for it….he said make me an offer….I offered $2 and we settled on $30. We will see if we can make something out of it for the front of the boat. Most of the material is like new….a bit of wear over one bow…but nothing that can’t be fixed.

Once we got the small window in…we spent  time getting the topper squared up and the weather stripping on between the bed and the topper. Jim is finishing installing the clamps that will hold it in place.

Next project?  The inside. But we may launch and go out for a couple of days first.

November 3, 2012

Yukon Delta ….facelift

This is what the hardtop looked like when we got the boat.

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We removed the railing from the top and used it to make supports. If you look closely at the bottom of the one in the photo…you can see it looks pretty ratty….under the blue carpet it is rotted away, with the screws showing.

Jim has been working on the outside for several days now.  The boards around the outer edge were replaced with new ones and he fabricated new supports. It really tightened it up. Much more solid now. I even have a place to hang wet suits and towels.


He cleaned up the rear quarter by removing the “Yukon Delta”… That black line on the R side of the photo is an outline of a new window. We had one left over from the old camper. It is perfect for over the kitchen sink, with crank out windows that can be left open in the rain. The one there now..will be put in the head. I think we start on that, as soon as, the outside is finished.


We removed the trim boards and caulked everything, then replaced them.

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This side is about done. We’ll use the short railing from the front on the hardtop. I need something to tie my solar lights to while cruising. I set them out during the day and use them inside at night. Removing the ladder gives us more space in the “screen room”. I’ll start sewing the screens once the hardtop is done. Impossible to sit out at night in FL without them.

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That’s our progress ….so far.  Once the windows are in, we can start on the inside. Right now it is usable for a few days at a time.