So – You buy a boat on the opposite side of the country from where you live. It is in pretty good shape for a classic woodie. Still – There is much to be done to prepare it for a 5-7000 mile cruise lasting at least 13 months. It is located in a very small town called Fairton in New Jersey. This is where we purchased it and where it spent the winter. This is where we will do all of the upgrades and outfitting.
Wow! Where to begin? We already love our classic woodie but after a record setting brutal winter in the northeast it is in need of some cosmetic work as well as mechanical/electrical upgrades that were foreseen. Chief among these items are new hot water heater (cruise heat and 110 volt), AIS, Chart Plotter software upgrade and charts for the entire “Loop”. Also sanding and painting the entire exterior above deck, mounting a dinghy davit system and cleaning and dressing the deck. In lieu of increasing the house battery capacity we are trying to reduce power consumption by replacing lights with LEDs and using inverters to charge the myriad rechargeable items while underway.
Ron came to Fairton on April 1 to try and do the work that would tear the boat up making life difficult for Vicki. Vicki arrived three weeks later (April 22) to ship shape the interior living quarters and make life difficult for Ron. There was an original list of 58 projects. A few of these got eliminated after closer examination of the status quo. Unfortunately, more unforeseen projects were added than were eliminated. We both worked like beavers to get things done.
Our chances of getting all of this work done on time for a May 1 departure were zero without the generous and able help of the two Bruces and Flanigan Brothers Boatyard. We met Bruce Lucas and Bruce Hart back in August of 2014 when we purchased the boat. The Bruces had been restoring the boat for the owner and Bruce Lucas acted as the owners rep and the boat captain on the Sea Trial. Both of them have put a lot of effort into the boat and have a personal interest in the outfitting and our upcoming GLC.
Flanigans is an amazing boat yard. It is located in an improbable place on a small inlet off of the Cohansey River. Though it is about 15 miles up the river the tidal action is still 6-7 feet so the inlet nearly bares at low tide. This means boats in the water awaiting their turn on the hard sit on the bottom twice daily. Sea To See had it’s own little floating finger with power and water and had been there for a couple of years. Flanigans have worked on the boat for decades and know it well. They have been in business for four generations and have every tool known in the shop and a supply of parts to rival Fisheries Supply.
Working on a boat in New Jersey in April is risky business as the weather was all over the place. There was frost, downpours, high humidity, overcast, thunder and lightning, sun, warm days, and wind. All in all there was enough to do on the boat that by picking and choosing projects the weather did not interfere much. In fact, we feel fortunate that the weather cooperated as well as it did.
A minor miracle occurred during outfitting. The boat came with a safe built in. We discovered that the safe had batteries that were necessary to open the safe with a combination. The batteries are inside the safe and they were dead. The safe would not open. We called the previous owner and, lo and behold, he not only had the key to the safe but he knew exactly where it was. He delivered it and the nonfunctioning safe was made functional again.