Turning Our HC 33 Into Our Home Sweet Home
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Diana Sanding
~ Diana Sanding the Head ~
Turning Our HC 33 Into Our HomeA Little Bit of Insanity
I've heard it stated that working on an old boat can be therapeutic. I would venture that it is more akin to being in therapy - psychotherapy that is. You tend to experience all the stages of the psychoanalytical process to go from syndromes to sanity.

First, there may be denial of a problem, or worse yet there is an immediate crisis that needs to be dealt with. Stage One is when you recognize that you can no longer ignore the issue and you seek help from professionals, hoping for guidance that will correct the situation quickly. You discover the treatment is very expensive, and takes much longer then you had hoped.

Stage Two is when fear sets in. Can you handle the work ahead? Are you making the right decisions about the remedy? Can you afford the cure?

Don Working on Re Metau
~ Don Doing a Bottom Job ~
Stage Three occurs when you commit to dealing with the problem. In this stage, you often experience anger, pain and frustration while you work to remedy the situation. You will get cut and bruised as you toil in those dark, tight recesses. You may have to endure therapy as severe as shock treatment, or worse, voluntarily commit the matter to a specialized institution. No matter the course of action, you will sweat, curse and ultimately drive yourself to exhaustion.

Stage Four and like a drone you persist in your quest, resigning yourself to the work ahead. Everything is torn apart and it is impossible to relapse to the way it was. Day after day you return to your West Marine sponsor, seeking support and that one crucial fix for the moment. Take heart - even though it appears little progress is being made, there is a light at the end of the gunwale.  Gradually, you begin to see the fruits of your labor. A sense of relief begins to set it. 

At last - you have reached Stage Five. All your screws are tight, your nuts are locked and your glue is set. You have successfully resolved your problem, and in the process, learned what caused it and how to deal with it should it reoccur. A sense of pride sets in, and even though your friends and family may consider you still a lunatic, you recognize your success and have gained a greater sense of well-being.

Just like a new home, every boat tends to need some work to make it perfect for its new inhabitants. Beginning with the survey findings, and accounting for our goal of long term cruising, I put together a schedule for all our big projects, including the estimated costs for budgeting purposes. This schedule is added to and probably has no conclusion - but we've accepted that. We also keep a white board handy for the unanticipated jobs that present themselves. We do go through a fair amount of the denial process that something isn't as it should be. The trick is to not neglect anything to the point that it gets us into a crisis.

Water Water Everywhere
Water Water Everywhere
~ Major Plumbing Project ~
Our primary, planned project was to get our water tanks and lines working. The boat was not properly winterized while in Connecticut, and one of our two tanks had split as a result. Several of the water lines, which were the original copper pipes, had also been damaged. A couple of days of getting water straight from the...
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Poof is Not a Good Sound
Poof is Not a Good Sound
~ The Electrical System ~
Our battery charger wasn’t working so this became a high priority project as well. Don took the charger apart in an attempt to get it working with the change of a fuse. And then POOF! We didn’t know if a new fuse was going to work, but it was definitely not going to work now. While working on the reconnection, a...
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Master Control Center
Master Control Center
~ Galley Improvements ~
Our galley has the highly recommended, deep double sink, a pressure fresh water faucet, a foot pump fresh water faucet, and spray hose, and one sad looking salt water hand pump. I had gotten so good at getting the ports cleaned up, that I took on the job of getting this faucet working again. Disassembly was...
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A Head of the Times
A Head of the Times
~ Bathroom Improvements ~
The sink faucet in the head was not the original, which had been replaced by perhaps the cheapest thing on the market. It was leaky, completely corroded and the spigot was so low we had to nearly climb into the sink to access the water. This got...
 
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Bringing Back the Brightwork
Bringing Back the Brightwork
~ Woodworking and More Woodworking ~
Not a day goes by when someone wandering down the dock stops to mention what a beautiful vessel we have, and then notes how happy they are that they don’t have all that woodwork to care for. Well, all I’ve got to say to them is...
 
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A Star to Steer Her By
And a Star to Steer Her By
~ Helm Improvements ~
We were anxious to go sailing, but our helm seat was in a shambles. There was some serious concern that the helmsman would fall into the lazzaret at a crucial moment. Hans Christians seem to have one consistent flaw - the use of cheap plywood on the backside of the helm seat. Don took on the job of the rebuild. We were fortunate to be located close to a teak supplier, and our first thought was to ...
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Are You Going to Rebuild Those
Are You Going to Rebuild Those?
~ Hatch Repairs ~
Just about the time the last coat of varnish is being laid on a piece of brightwork, I begin to eye the next wooden apparatus gnawing on my need to refinish. Don was happily removing the masking tape on our screens, indicating their completion - when I began to remove the butterfly hatches, indicating their start. Along came  ...
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Traveling with Tunes
Travelin' with Tunes
~ Wiring the Marine Stereo and Speakers ~
All men come equipped with at least one of three accessories – a reclining chair, a big screen TV, and/or surround sound. With no room for a recliner or monster television, Don claimed he wasn't feeling a bit dispossessed. But all I had to say was “Wouldn’t it be nice to have speakers in the cockpit?” to give him the excuse he was waiting for to...
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Tending the Herd in a Storm
Tending the Herd in a Storm
~ Working on the Yanmar Gauges ~
A good diesel engine is a real workhorse – or 30 horses in our case. They can go and go and go, then spontaneously drop dead if not properly cared for. With so many other things on a boat to maintain on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis, it can be easy to ignore the things that are working without complaint. But we’ve heard of, read about, and observed enough horrifying events caused by ...
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Dinky Duck
Dinky Duck
~ The Dinghy and the Davits ~
With the help of a bonus check from work, Don was able to purchase a very nice hard-bottom inflatable dinghy. Now we each had our own boat. We combined our childhood nicknames, and christened our Zodiac ‘Dinky Duck’. We kept the outboard from our Morgan, and it worked just fine as our dinghy engine. Well – as fine as any outboard ever works. Just like any other boat, we needed ...
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Spruced UpSpruced Up
Canvas Projects
Once the brightwork is refinished to standards fit for the Louvre, it becomes important to cover it up. Take a moment to allow everyone who walks by to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over all your hard work then - cover up as much as possible to keep it from the light of day. The sails, the dinghy, the winches, just about anything on deck that needs to remain either beautiful, or ...
Easy Installation and Other LiesEasy Installation and Other Lies
Mast Step Installation
It all started so innocently and with good intentions. Christmas was coming and I decided, as usual, to get Don something for the boat. Wanting to minimize the amount of work his new present would surely create, I decided on a set of Tacktick wireless instruments, one for depth/speed and one for wind, both advertised as ‘easy installation’. I envisioned popping up the mast to mount the wind transmitter, plopping a depth transducer into the hull, and clipping the displays to the cockpit turtle. I must have been...
Gre-EnergyGre-Energy
Mounting the Solar Panels & Wind Generator
As life afloat progressed, the desire to make less of a ‘carbon wake’ became a higher priority for many reasons. Living in an environmentally conscientious manner was already a big inspiration for us, but we also wanted to be self sufficient and free of the demands created to maintain the energy craving lifestyle of the average US citizen. With the AGM battery upgrade in place, we decided it was time to...
The Cost of Teak DecksThe Cost of Teak Decks
Deck Restoration
Every time I announce I’m going to do something to the boat that sounds ambitious, Don bestows me with a special look. His forehead crinkles, his eyebrows rise up, his temples twitch and his mouth forms into something between a smirk and a pucker. This is not quite the encouragement I hope to receive, however it is probably...
The MistressThe Mistress
Replacing the Yanmar's Engine Mounts
Don has been keeping a mistress. Over the past few years, this is how I’ve come to refer to the engine. In an effort to get him more enamored with providing her perpetual upkeep, I have given him my full consent to spend whatever amount of time and money she demands to keep her content. Considering how easy it is to make double entendre comments during any engine related discussions...

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Copyright © 2015 Diana E Reynolds - SV Re Metau.  All rights reserved.

The Re Metau talk to the clouds, currents, seabirds, waves, and ocean spirits to guide them across the vast Pacific Ocean.