2017-07-29-Week #3 Getting Lit & Unveiling Secret Project

The first project of the week was to get rid of this “Rube Goldberg” monstrosity. Its purpose was to get rid of used engine oil. It did that by mixing the old nasty full of stuff motor oil that just cleaned your engine out and mixed into the nice clean diesel fuel just BEFORE it is injected into your engine to burn. “Yea, nah, that’s not going to happen!!”


My trusty screw driver and hose clamp nut driver made short work of “Rube” and that mess was gone. I am going to re-use the mounting board so added a couple coats of paint to freshen things up. Also in the freshening state. As might remember EVERY light on Magnolia was an incandescent bulb..not one LED anywhere. I have changed out all the lights above the engine room so next was the engine room.


All fixtures were modified to accept LED bulbs and in addition 8 additional LED fixtures were added.


The space is now brightly lighted and will making working in there much easier and much more enjoyable. The additional lighting did better illuminate how much of a mess we have going on right now…waiting on parts….argh.


One thing the Admiral wanted was a table that could be set at coffee table or dinner height. We located this this gas filled adjustable base.


Yes, that is a cordless drill. I was the last person in the entire world using a corded drill within the last year.


None the less we got to a workable solution using some thumbscrews though I need to trim the spacers a bit before we go into full time use.


I have been accused of spending too much time showing off the laundry room….I say, if you got it, show! LOL. The real reason the laundry room was cleared out was because of the picture to the right. That is the outboard bulkhead with the major cable run along with the inside the hull portion of the stabilizer system. This is the system we know the least about and one of the most expensive aboard. We are very anxious to to get this system inspected, tested and maintenance caught up. Sadly have to wait till we are pulled out of the water, which is waiting on the engine room going back to together etc…etc

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I forgot to get pictures but the refrigerator/freezer location is cleaned out and should have that installed this week. (Nova Kool).


Now to the secret project……I was sitting in the guest stateroom looking around and about that time Annette came in with two teak support bars. As soon as I saw them I knew it was the piece missing from the puzzle I was looking at.  Still the project needed a little modification to make it useful….


With the addition of a table top to left, Annette ended up with a 3ft x 5ft sewing table


Lots of light too boot. Not the fold down bunk above as well, more in a minute.


Slide the table top tons of storage….


There is front access as well.


The cutting room for now is the Master Berth Fwd where the bunk makes for the perfect layout and cutting table.  The Admiral has begun work on the curtains for the Pilothouse.


I wish we could buy stock in that company…….


Thread was quickly put to the material.


Work continues….


Another gift though this one was not a surprise. In the Navy we slept in bunks very similar to this. My friend Jack Tennar has wanted a bunk like this at his house for years.


In addition Jack is also 6’6”…well my friend, I think we have as good as its going to get at 6’3”. Kathy there is another bunk in the same cabin outboard with a thicker mattress!!!


Its been a busy week, progress is pretty going pretty good. Hopefully have the engine room back together late this week. Should have the refrigerator in this week too…ie cold beer!

2017-07-23-Week #2 Progress Being Made

Week #2 is complete and we are making good progress on Magnolia-M. Below is the “Little House AirBnB” we are renting while we are in Florida. It is a great location and serving its purpose just right. We are walking distance to the boat yard the the tiny house is owned by an artist.


The grounds are filled with beautiful plants and trees with various “art” objects interspersed!




Yes, she ate the WHOLE thing!


Back aboard Magnolia we are making good progress. We are replacing all the rubber (hoses & belts) on both the generator and the main engine.


Truthfully most of the work is being done by our mechanic Sam. A very knowledgeable young man.


In addition to stepping and fetching I spend the after hours getting all the old grease and oil cleaned up. Add a little paint where we can. Below is the Northern Lights Generator freshly with tin foil protecting hoses and wires.


Magnolia-M is at Stuart Yachts a couple miles up a creek from the St Lucie River. Though the area is suburban, at the yard it feels like we are deep in the Okeechobee.


I try to be on board by 0700 which is the quiet time along the creek.



This 4-5 foot alligator swam right along the side of Magnolia this very morning…


The Admiral spent ALL day yesterday going through spare parts for the Main Engine and Generator. She is rebuilding her spreadsheet inventory like we had on Magnolia-S. She currently has 83 items being tracked. By the time we depart, I would expect that number to be between 600-800 items.  The spares below are in a cabinet we discovered for a “secret” purpose which will hopefully be revealed next week. Its going to be GREAT!!!


I took a quiet Sunday morning to paint the heat exchanger and some belt guards from the main engine.


In addition removed a shower rack and filled a screw hole. Add a in a couple coats of Gel-Coat a little sanding and it will disappear.


In addition we discovered this little gift a couple miles away last evening. I feel like it needs to sit next to the Kewpie in Lima, OH or the Spot in Sidney!!!


Have a big week, as I said will spread a little gel-coat, clean a sea strainer and hopefully settle on a galley refrigerator…and that is all BEFORE lunch. Have a great week, we are making progress.

2017-07-15 Only 10 Days? Week #01

Its been 10 days since we departed Annapolis and have to say we are feeling good about our accomplishments thus far. We spent July 4th evening, a wet and rainy night in Annapolis with friends Dudely and Cheryl (SV Belle Bateau). It was a lovely evening and a great way to kick off our journey…relaxed.


First thing on the 5th we picked up a baby UHaul, dropped off our rental car and headed to Alexandria where our storage stall is/was located. We were blessed to have the assistance of Annette’s Sister Rochelle and my cousins Dan & Lori come help load the truck. It was a well oiled machine and we were off to Hampton VA. Our first stop where we were offloading half the truck into a much less expensive storage location than DC!


A long day but we we got that “back half” offloaded. All because of the help we got on the front end! Thank you Dan, Lori and Rochelle. So much appreciated.


We had a leisurely 2 day drive down to Stuart FL (listened to a great book ). We offloaded the truck, dumped the truck for a Ford Focus Rental (so happy to be out of a truck) and of course first stop was a visit to Magnolia-M. The Admiral looked right at home in her new Pilothouse.


We spent the remainder of the weekend getting “old stuff” off the boat. We ended up completely filling the dumpster on day 3. It was pretty amazing how much stuff we were able to get rid of.



All cruising boats, sail and power are equipped with tanks for restroom waste (Black Water), Magnolia-M captures all waste water (Grey Water) from all the sinks and shower. First order of business was to get a handle on how that system is all connected and configured.  This is going to be our life for the forseable future. How is system x configured and how does it work…


Tuesday was Hydraulics day.  Magnolia-M makes extensive use of hydraulic systems aboard. The anchor windlass, bow thruster, stabilizers, get-home motor, aft anchor windlass and a hydraulic bilge but that in an emergency can pump water like a big city fire truck. We had JT from Industrial Hose visit and gave our Hydraulic System a thorough inspection. Each and every stainless fitting and hose connection was inspected. This is was one of those moments where the cash register could have run a real long tape. Luckily for us we came through the inspection un-scathed. Note: This inspection was about the “plumbing” it did not tell us about the conditioon of the “faucets, drains, washer and dishwasher,” that work is yet to come! In addition Magnolia-M received some pretty hardy comments for the good and solid design that was done on her at construction. All very good news!


Similar in nature as Tuesday, Wednesday was electrical day. Steve our electrical surveyor went through and looked over the topography of the electrical system. One issue I want addressed is the start battery. We have 7 HUGE 8D size batteries (1575ah)  one of which is the start battery for the 145hp Lugger/John Deere and the 16Kw Northern Lights Generator. I want those separated with their own battery. We did get great news in that our Trace Inverter/Charger and the Newmar Charger were both fully functional. Going into the event I had serious concerns about both which we able to exonerate both devices. Great news and we have 200a charger available! All really great news. We also found a few things but all minor in nature, great news!!

Below is looking into the engine room from the salon sole hatch. Battery boxes off the port and starboard.


Main engine, Lugger 145


Admirals Bridge – Sunscreen on the outside ports


Helm console


A never ending stack on manuals and schematics to study.


In addition to all the other things going on, the bench seat on the bow repair was started. The Teak seating had severely deteriorated. I was hoping to postpone this job till we got back to the Chesapeake but it could not be delayed. 


Of course the teak was secured with 5200…the most overly used adhesive in the world.


In addition to everything else, opened up the equipment console above the helm station. Just investigation at this point…


Another ongoing job was flushing ALL the raw water loops with Barnacle Buster. As can be seen by this sea-strainer, maintenance has not been what it should have been for a while!


Over this weekend I did get the bilge pump and switch removed, bilge cleaned and a first coat of paint down in the fwd bilge.


It has been an amazing 10 days, can’t believe only 10, but we knew what we were signing up for. This is going to be the norm for the next couple of months but we are really excited that we will be getting Magnolia-M restored to the vessel she should be. Much yet to come..and BTW, Magnolia-S is still looking to be adopted.


2017-07-03 Wow, its time already?

We returned to Galesville with a lot of questions in front of us. Would we be buying a new boat? How would we say good-bye to Magnolia. How would we….. and now tomorrow we leave our home of the last 4 years…that’s a heavier thought than expected as I type this so I am just going to ignore those thoughts for now….

In the mean time, life has been full of sharing time with family and friend. Below you see a SMALL number of the “GenIVs.” I promise at some point there will be a consolidated list but there MUST be a 100 of us by now. We were invited to the McAndrews Family reunion which was a wonderful afternoon of catching up and playing corn-hole!


McAndrews kids with once brother missing….


Hanging with cousin Jim and avoiding the water balloon fight!


Meeting up with Mandala (Ron & Nancy) for Taco Tuesday….okay, there was Ice Cream too! (Eyeglasses not removed quick enough)


Kind of a hard day when “she” got the sign….


One of the few pieces of equipment we are taking with us is the HAM Radio. It took me days to get the radio and equipment installed. Yet I was able to remove everything without a trace in just a few hours. 


Then our friend Kathy calls from New Jersey and suggests they come down for lunch because she wanted to say bye to Magnolia. I think we are all trying to figure out what all these changes are meaning…(see http://a2baker.com/magnoliablog/?p=7615) It was just the intermission we needed to take. A great pause in the packing and thinking. Its really about those moments when we are just together. In that way Annette I are blessed in spades!


With all the changes coming..it was time to embrace it. With Magnolia-M in FL and us here the only thing I could really do was and well work on PR materials. First we needed a logo. With some input from my friend Tim I give you the new Magnolia logo.


Well if you have a logo, well you have to have to have a Boat Card…we were finally able to incorporate the original Magnolia image that Annette’s niece drew for us.


We had to keep the back the same, our friend Michelle caught this picture of us and its a favorite.


So I guess we are back at the beginning….we remember vividly the excitement and trepidation when we started on Magnolia-S. She taught us so very much and along the way we brought her back to the fine cruising vessel she was intended to be. We will be heading off her tomorrow so for the rest of tonight we are just going to try and get a good nights sleep. Things are going to get exciting real quick so hang in there. Be Safe A**2