Preparing El Tigre For Sea

Thursday, January 22nd, 2004

It was time to go get El Tigre in Treasure Island, FL. There was still plenty of snow on the ground as I left our home in Willingboro, NJ early on Thursday morning, driving our Ford E350 loaded up with more tools, boat gear, clothes, books, and stuff than you can probably imagine. It would be a while before the van or I would make it back to NJ.

Friday, January 23rd, 2004

I arrived at the sellers home where El Tigre was at the dock at 8:30 after sleeping in a neargy parking lot for a few hours before giving him a call. We discussed a plan for the weekend wich included going to his storage to pick up spare parts and extras for the boat. He told me his 'El Tigre' sweat shirt wasn't included in the sale. He agreed to let me work on El Tigre at his dock for a few days that ended up being two weeks. I was very thankfull.

The tide was out and El Tigre was sitting about five feet from the dock and resting gently on her keel, making it impossible to load any gear. I was very tired from the drive, but took time to drive out to the local McDs for breakfast and found where the grocery store and local Wal-Mart were. I returned to the boat about 1100 and grabbed a nap 'till 1300. The tide had come in enough to pull her dock lines in closer.

I unloaded some gear from the van to the boat for a few hours. This involved digging out the things needed from the van, and then finding a place for them to belong on the boat and putting them away there. The process was slowed down by taking a more detailed look then before at the boat itself. No matter how dilligently you examine a used boat before buying it you will always be finding more details as soon as you move aboard it.

I went out shopping to Wal-Mart and Publix, and purchased all kinds of groceries and supplies and a new 1500 watt heater. It had been cold the night before, and I expected more chilly nights. Winter is cold in Florida, too. The heater blew the 30A AC breaker on the boat, so I unrolled my heavy duty extension cord for shore power. I munched sardines and crackers before tucking in to bed for the night.

Saturday, January 24th, 2004

I slept in untill 0900 and made myself coffee. It was a very chilly morning with temeratures in the thirties. The seller came out and started digging out all the gear he had for the boat. I was amazed by it all - a nice little eight foot hard bottomed sailing dinghy with sails and rig, Universal Atomic Four parts for a second engine and transmission, sails, a set of boat stands, an alcahol stove, and more. He gave me sheets of plywood to use for floor repair and otherwise.

My cell phone rang in the afternoon, with a disturbing call from the buyer of my previous boat, Aquarius. It seems the boatyard he had left it at sank it for him, and he wanted a statement of it's condition at the time of purchase.

I spent more time unloading stores, tools, and gear from the van and then repacking it again, this time with things I knew I wouldn't need on the boat burried deep in. I cleaned up a bit before driving down to Port Charles to spend the evening with my stepmother.

Sunday, January 25th, 2004

I didn't leave my stepmom's house until 1100, and made a stop at her local Wal-Mart on the way back for more gear and filling of gas cans. I didn't get back to El Tigre untill almost 1500. I unloaded the van and had some lunch before hooking up my pressure washer and cleaning the boat. I took a nap in the V-berth from 1630 to 1800 and then spent the evening watching my little TV while hooking up new batteries, stowing, and cleaning the boat.

Monday, January 26th, 2004

I was very short on my log entries for this day. It seems I made another run to Wal-Mart for wiring and spent the day organizing stowage on board. A nasty thunderstorm rolled through during the day.

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004

I woke up early to find that the shore power circuit breaker had blown again, this time due to a wet flourescent light fixture in the engine room. I had a bowl of corn flakes with my morning coffee.

The wiring in the ignition circuit had problems. The seller said there had to be a short somewhere, as the batteries would always drain down when he left the hot wire connected. I found that the ignition was hotwired passed the switch and spent most of the morning re-wiring the engine.

The seller helped me load the dinghy on to the cargo rack of the van and gave me directions to the local licensing office. I had a hard time finding it but finaly got a set of Florida tabs for the dinghy and took care of the paper work to send off to the Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center for El Tigre.

I replaced light bulbs and chased short circuits in cabin lights after dinner.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

The cold of the morning encouraged me to sleep in very late, not waking up untill 1100. I cut a sheet of plywood to make a shelf for the coleman stove. The seller helped me unload the dinghy from the van and let me use a harness with his dock davit to launch it.

The afternoon was spent painting the new stove counter, new cabin sole boards, and the backs of the galley shelves, as well as cutting and varathaning a set of lee boards for the main cabin bunks.

The dinghy got it's registration numbers applied with magic marker and launched with a set of oars. The seller gave me a ride out to see the way to John's Pass in his motor launch. The evening was spent installing the new VHF radio and a new CD stereo.

Thursday, January 29th, 2004

Some birds fighting over a fish on the deck woke me up at 0900, but I didn't bother chasing them away. They got fish guts and blood splatter over the clean pressure washed deck.

I went out shopping to Home Depot and Cost Plus Marine, purchasing an outboard bracket, new macerator pump, bilge blower, and boat hook. I spent the evening installing the new macerator. Boating is fun.

Friday, January 30th, 2004

I mounted another bank of batteries in the engine room. Cold temperatures have prevented me from taking a cold shower on board and I've been washing with baby wipes. For an afternoon luxury I went to the local beach and took a glorious hot shower.

The evening was spent climbing in and out of the engine room wiring up the new VHF and stereo.

Saturday, January 31st, 2004

It was a lazy Saturday morning, sleeping in through 0900 and then relaxing with my freshly blown espresso and bowl of corn flakes for breakfast. I started reattaching the hinges and latches to the hatches with fresh stainless bolts but got rained out. I went back to Cast Plus Marine fnd Home Depot for more hardware.The evening was spent chasing more cabin light shorts and installing speakers for the new CD stereo. I called the kids back home and read SAIL magazine and a Book on Mt Rainier for the evening. Rain, Rain, Rain. I'm finding the cabin leaks.

Sunday, February 1st, 2004

I woke up early at 0800 and had coffee, juice and cornflakes while updating log book. It rained all night but was warmer out with a low of 62 instead of on the thirties or forties.

I started to install the hatch cover hardware again but the seller came by to dive and clean the prop and install a fresh zinc for El Tigre. The prop had a couple of oysters and a few barnacles to scrape off and I had to run out to West Marine to get the new zinc for it.

He came back again in the afternoon and hauled on the safety line for me as I went up the mast to check rigging and install the new VHF ant and wire as well as new masthead light. I had to run out once for parts, then back up again.

The clouds cleared out and it became a hot and muggy day.

I spent the evening watching the Super Bowl while working on the boat. This included hooking up the new antena wire to the stereo and VHF and terminating the new masthead light wire to it's switch on the panel, as well as finding and repairing a short in the 120V AC fuse box.

Monday, February 2nd, 2004

I woke up at 0900 with a heavy dew and fog out. I had to run out and exchange the zinc I bought for another. The day cleared up and started getting hot and muggy again.

I found the engine room blower switch just had a short and I didn't need the new blower after all. The seller came by and dove to put the new zinc and cleaned prop back on. He also ran me back up the mast to finish the wiring and hang and extra block and halyard. I started installing the new Simrad WP5000 auto pilot I had purchased, but found that I'd need the longer belt for it.

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004

I woke up cold at dawn and turned the heater on. I got out of bed at 0720 and made coffee and washed dishes.

I lashed together my man overboard pole and ring bouy, then lashed them to the rail portside at the cockpit for easy deployment.

I managed to treat myself to another glorious hot shower at the beach and found my way to Boat US for a longer auto pilot belt.

For the afternoon I debugged the depth sounder, filled the gas tank with the 5 gallon jugs and checked for leaks, and exchanged the mast ladder on the track with the main sail. I also hung the ship bell in the cockpit, laid down carpet on the cabin sole, and ran a new wire for the compass light.

Tomorrow morning I leave to pick up a crewmember in Ft Lauderdale ...


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(c)Copyright 2004 by Eugene Kashpureff