Now that we have the Memorial Day holiday past us, we’ve been getting into small boat projects. The projects at this time are small because we’ve spent a lot of money in the first few weeks with the installation of the holding tank, putting fuel in the boat and replacing the fridge that we’re focusing on smaller things we can do to the boat until we have more money coming in.
Last week, we had a carpenter-friend come out and cut out a larger area for a new refrigerator. The old Nova Kool marine refrigerator that came with the boat hasn’t kept cold enough to keep food. We had a serviceman come out and change out a few parts but to no-effect. We decided we didn’t want to replace the fridge with another Nova Kool (or any marine fridge for that matter) so I went on a hunt for an electric fridge that would fit the custom space we had. I couldn’t find any fridge that was as short (47″) as the one we currently have. The only one close to this size is the same one my parents just put in their boat but the fridge height is 53″. Luckily for us, we have a friend who has a handyman/cabinetry business who was able to help us out. Now that we have the space large enough, I have the fridge on order and it should be in in the next week or so. I can’t stress how happy I will be to have a working fridge. We’ve been using a short compact fridge that my parents loaned us, but it is tiny and also just another obstacle to maneuver around in the boat. So, with the fridge on the way, the only other major thing I’m waiting for is to order our blinds.
Not having blinds with the summer heat and the sun, our air conditioners are working overtime to cool the boat. Randy’s dad, John, came out today to help with some miscellaneous projects and also to measure for our blinds. John previously owned a window treatment company so he is an expert at measuring and installing blinds. Once I get my color samples in for the faux wood blinds (real wood blinds don’t do well in humid or marine environments) we want to get, I can place my order for them. I have to order our blinds online since I can’t find a place locally who carries them with the specs we need. In the next couple of weeks, I will be one happy camper with a new fridge and blinds on my windows.
The next big project we have coming up will be to have some engine work done. Since I really don’t know all the details, I won’t go into them. I do know that we will address one of the things that came up on our engine survey: to remove the heat exchanger and flush it (whatever that means…I’m not an engine person :)) So for now, we’re tinkering with smaller projects. For instance, today Randy and his dad replaced a broken bilge pump and replaced our aft cabin bathroom faucet since the old one was crummy. I’ve been taking GOOF OFF and removing some external window stickers that we didn’t want on the boat. I also polished some of the interior chrome/metal fixtures as well as changed out some light bulbs and installed a light in the aft cabin closet. One of the projects I’m looking forward to getting into is removing the peeling wallpaper (who wallpapers in a moist environment like a boat?) off the walls and replacing it with wood veneer. I’m hoping this is a project I can do in sections, by beginning with the v-birth then into the main cabin and lastly finishing up in the aft cabin. This will be a longer term project with all of the time involved in cutting the veneer to fit in to the interior boat spaces. Once it’s done, I think it will make the interior look much better.
I have to say that I’ve actually enjoyed the small boat projects. There’s a sense of satisfaction with fixing up something that is old. This boat is in very good condition for it’s age (built in 1974, you do the math) but even still, it needs a lot of work to make it a “livable” live aboard boat. With its classic good looks, a little TLC and elbow grease is gonna make this boat a beauty!