shows by example how easily you can eliminate stress, become more independent, raise your children in a safer environment (while spending more time with them, instilling values not based on the mighty dollar) and avoid the traps of commercialism. Because we live and sail simply, we have been wandering for 11 years with no intention of stopping. This is not a trip for us; it is our life, and I hope to share our success with stories of laughter and tears, as well as how-to tips and DIY projects for preparing, sailing and making a boat a home, so that others can join us.

Choose Your Projects Wisely

April 27, 2015

After three months in the work yard, Eurisko floats again! We completed an enormous amount of work in those few months, but perhaps even more important are the projects we did NOT attempt. Scope creep is real and is the number one cause of death of sailing dreams. I have been accused of not taking enough pride in my boat, but that was obviously by a reader who does not follow us much. No one can doubt how much we love our floating home, but that doesn't mean we have to allow pride to put an end to our cruising.

Eurisko's interior

We replaced the shaft, realigned the motor, installed a new fuel pump, fiberglassed shut a thru-hull and a couple of spots of rot, pulled all the chainplates, inspected them, and replaced one. But several times during our short refit one of us said, "Wait a minute. Is that necessary?" Sometimes the issues were safety or logistics. If it's the right time to do something, then it is deemed necessary, even if it is just a matter of cosmetics. Otherwise, if it wasn't necessary, it usually wasn't done.

Dave scraped off our old nonskid and refinished the decks. This was a matter of safety, since parts of the nonskid were starting to flake off. While he was outside working on a one-man project, I painted the V berth and every locker door and interior that had never previously been painted. Some of this was to protect exposed wood, some of it was purely aesthetics. But the time was right: it was logical to complete this purely prideful project while we weren't living on her and the paint was cheap. But this was a situation in which we had to put the clinkers on scope creep. The paint in the V looked so good that Dave suggested, "You could redo the varnish, too."
"How much longer do you have on the deck?"
"A few days."
"And then you'll need me to help with the bulwarks?"
"Or something else, yeah."
"I'll be at least two weeks on that varnish."
"The varnish looks great. We'll do it later."
That's what I thought.

Clean, simple solar panel installation

We built new bulwarks because our old ones had rotted. While we were rebuilding black wooden bits, we considered rebuilding the light boards. Instead of spending a week building new ones, though, Dave spent an afternoon fiberglassing the ones we have. From 10 feet they look perfect.

While we had a large flat surface (the porch of the log cabin we lived in), Dave built new interior cushions for pride and comfort reasons. But we weren't paying work yard fees yet and had time on our hands. We found black canvas at Sailor's Exchange at a price too good to pass up. I want to switch over to black, but by then we were already paying $17 a day to be in the work yard and Dave wasn't going to "waste" time rebuilding canvas that was still serviceable. So he built a new dodger only, and restitched the rest of the 7 year old canvas. We'll get several more years out of that and replace linen with black when the time is right. In the meantime, from 20 feet, the canvas looks great.

Prettiest boat in the harbor

We'd sold our old solar panels with Walkure, and the new ones were bigger, meaning the installation had to be re-engineered. With the help of a local machinist, this was a few day project. What we hadn't anticipated was that our cypress bimini frame would no longer fit with the larger panels. Time to re-engineer that, too. We played around with the frame for a bit and decided to have a traditional metal framework built. While we were waiting for a break in the work to contact them (and spend a month's cruising money), someone walked by and said, "Oh I just love that your bimini isn't stainless. Wood is so much prettier." Time to reassess. With a fresh eye we were able to redesign the attachment for the bimini and keep our old frame. And the month's worth of freedom chips.

New and old bits look great from 10 feet

We didn't paint the hull which would have added at least a month in the yard and another month of freedom chips. In a few hours he buffed the Awlgrip that was on there and it looks great from 30 feet. We varnished nothing, didn't paint the salon, didn't replace the cushions in the boys' bunks, and decided that none of this affects how she sails or decreases our pride in her. With her shiny hull, new decks and bulwarks, matching (old) canvas, and simple lines, she is the prettiest boat in the harbor. How's that for pride?

Climbing the rig is never easy, but MONDAY we'll share Dave's latest method.

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