Launch Day

Today I find out if any of the five new through hulls I installed leak.

For the past month I have been so buried in the boat projects, that I have barely payed any attention to the world around me…. Serious tunnel vision. I feel like one of those WWII soldiers who, because of radio silence, had no idea the war was over. Definitely stuck in my on little world of problem solving.

Milou is coming along nicely…  All of the outside below the waterline work is done–bottom paint and through hulls. At the last minute we decided to remove the toilet from the aft head; so instead of replacing the two thru hulls, I simply yanked them out and glassed in the holes. Something about a boat with two less holes feels good.

I have spent days of work in tidying up the wiring. I have now followed every wire on the boat, finding more than one “Oh my god this is a fire waiting to happen–how did I not find all of that before?” The new DC breaker panel is in. What feels like miles of new wire has been put in and I wish I would have weighed all of the old “wires to nowhere” that I pulled off; I am guessing it was something like 20 pounds of junk wires.

There is so much that is not done. “It’s OK, Michu, you will do it all while you are on the way!” Well, it doesn’t feel OK. The solar panels are mounted on the arch but not yet wired in. I still need to figure out how I am going to run all of the wiring through the arch.

Self steering is almost done – all of the components (minus the rudder angle sensor, I had to make a shelf for it so the geometry would work) are in, but the system needs 3 hours of me working in little holes, connecting wires.

My custom nav/instrument pod is installed and the wires are all in there waiting to be connected. Again, I need to spend an afternoon sitting there connecting wires.

My dinghy needs a lot of work. I have a seat and oars to install. The outboard is currently stuck in reverse, and running on one of its two cylinders. I have the parts to fix the shift linkage. I hope the dead cylinders are a carburation issue; otherwise, I will need to find a charge coil somewhere.

The boat is a total mess. Deb has started to move our entire life from house to boat–seriously cramping my ability to do work. But I’m pretty sure living on the boat is the point of all of this… tunnel vision.

Very. tired. But looking good!
Very. tired.

So: organize, organize, organize. My various projects are in little piles scattered around the boat; this will no longer work. Milou has to become a primary living space, no longer my shop. So I have to stow everything and get out the tools and supplies  as need to complete one specific job at a time.

We have returned from Milwaukee. Here is how it went down:

Milou is now in the water floating; she looks pretty good. I feel bad because I owe her a serious cleaning. And it would have been good to give her a nice buff job.

Just a little bit close, there, guys.....
Just a little bit close, there, guys…..

After running our transom into the outboard on the boat behind us (Milou is fine, the outboard could use a new cover, total gong show) the yard guys managed to get us launched. I hopped down below to make sure none of the through hulls were leaking and was surprised to find more water than I had ever before seen in this boat’s bilge. I was sure we were sinking. I am embarrassed to say the bilge pump was not hooked up at the time. I had it disconnected while I was fixing the final wiring horror, and the yard guys interrupted me to launch the boat. If the pump had been hooked up it would have kicked on well before the boat made it to the river; all the water had accumulated in the boat from the spring rains. The yard had place the boat in a very bow up position. A little bow up is standard, to help the water drain out of the cockpit. Milou was popping such a wheelie that all of the rain water had accumulated in the stern between the hull and liner under the kids’ bunks and then it rushed forward once the boat was on the level.

Look at those windows, though!
Look at those windows, though! And the solar panels!!

I resisted my initial urge to taste the water, to see if was rain water or the more vile Kinnickinnic river water. Instead I had the guys hoist the boat back up while I grabbed some jumper cables to hotwire the bilge pump. Oh, you are wondering where is has 3700 gallon per hour Big Dog back-up bilge pump? Yeah, still in the box, one of those project for me to get to while we travel. After all of the water was out, we lowered her again. I checked all of the through hulls and noticed my galley raw water intake was barely leaking. One more hoist, some additional teflon tape and now the boat is water tight, from below. Still have to seal up all of those places rain water can get in. Another job for during our travels.DSC_0810


One Comment on “Launch Day

  1. I am sooo sorry I could not make it to your bon voyage party. My mom had a medical emergency. I was and am with you in spirit, and you never know, I just might catch up with you somewhere along the line. You might take your ‘to-do’ list and throw it overboard and only do the items that are still floating. Just an idea.

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