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.