2017-10-22 — Nearing Completion–Week #15

Yes Yes I know….no we have not thrown in the towel and walked away..its just that the last 3 weeks have REALLY moved us down the field and closer to getting out of here! First on deck, or more accurately on the FlyBridge is the Bimini cover that Annette made. When the is not up we need to keep it get shredded in a strong wind. The cover came out terrific!


Part of our refit plan included new electronics. I installed an updated chart-plotter, new instruments, wind, radar, AIS Transponder and two depth transducers. One on each side of the keel so we know which way the deep water is. The unfortunate part is the old equipment was physically  larger than the new so I needed to make these large black Lexan plates to mount equipment in.


I was able to verify the AIS was functional by seeing Magnolia on Marine Traffic meaning our transponder was functioning.


Between the King Tides and the fact that Lake Okeechobee is dumping as much water as possible because of the high water. This caused water to completely overtake the docks and flood the parking lot.


Ray was forced to deploy his “No Wake” sign to limit a car wake from being enveloping his shop!


As you see we have finally received out Power Take-Off coupler that connects the engine to the hydraulic pump.


We were so happy to see out mechanic Jon get it installed and the pump functioning again.


As soon as we got the hydraulics functioning Jon got the rest of the engine room closed up. 


Shortly after that the Admiral (Annette) FINALLY got us off the dock! She did let me drive a little…in the straight wide part of the river that is! Thankfully all the systems check out with the exception of a small leak around the exhaust manifold…need a gasket replaced…..argh. It did set us ready for haulout..more on that in a moment.


We also received our Magnolia SWAG, available in the Ships Store on the 4th deck….Smile 


Taking to my domestic side…I did get a faucet installed in the galley!!!


We also replaced the center pilothouse window. The windows in the pilothouse are 3/8 in safety glass. Boat wise that is some heavy stuff!


Our mini sea trial was on Thursday and our friends from Kindred Spirit (Al & Michele) were arriving on Saturday.  We implored the yard to delay the haul till Monday so we could complete the sacred vessel renaming ceremony. We tried to settle the boat the best we could to have guests aboard. Pilothouse Settee


When Al & Michele arrived we actually had a little time to hang out.


We used the same script that we used for the renaming of Magnolia-S. We certainly believe completing the ceremony ensured the protection from Aeolus & Poseidon during our 4 years aboard our sailboat Magnolia. The ceremony starts with requesting the current vessel name be struck from the “records and archives.”


This is traditionally accomplished via an engraved ingot delivered to the sea floor.


In our case a piece of aluminum with the name had to suffice.



“In consequence whereof, and in good faith, we seal this pact with a libation offered according to the hallowed ritual of the sea.”


Below is a description of the Black Black Box Theory by John Vigor:

 The Disease Called Cruising
9. Points in the Black Box

ON EVERY boat there’s a little black box. You can’t see it, but it’s there all the same. It’s full of points that help you get out of trouble. At least, it should be full of points.

Every time you do something seamanlike, a point goes into the black box. Every time you whip a rope-end instead of leaving it to flap itself to fluff in the breeze, you earn a point. Every time you study the chart before entering a strange port; every time you climb the mast to check the topmast fittings; every time you remember to use the bilge blower before you start the motor, the points pile up in the black box.

At sea, the system starts to work two ways. Firstly, you can continue to stuff points into the box (it accepts an infinite number) by taking seamanlike actions — say, by reefing the mainsail after you hear a gale warning on the weather forecast, or by putting on your safety harness every time you come on watch. Secondly, you can start to draw on your account.

In all small-boat voyaging there is an element of risk that cannot be eliminated. Indeed, it is the lure of danger (and overcoming it) that attracts many to the sport. Inevitably, therefore, there will be times when the ship and her crew are in danger to some degree, despite all the precautions you might take.

This is when the points start expending themselves. You have no control over when and where they’re spent. Butthey know when they’re needed. When horror is rife, when the mast is crashing down around your ears, those chips come rushing out of the black box to fight on your behalf.

But they have to be available. You must have earned them in the first place.

That’s why some boats and some sailors survive gales and capsizes when others don’t. Some boats will go aground on the only rock for miles around. Others will happily blunder through a maze of reefs.

Some people have a name for it, a four-letter word ending with u-c-k. But on our boat we don’t believe in l-*-*-* and we never pin our hopes on it. We try, instead, to earn points for our black box. We know that if misfortune catches us with an empty box we’re in trouble. Fate allows no overdrafts.

So there’s really no need to wonder why some people and some boats seem to be treated by Fate more kindly than others. It all depends on how much you’ve got in your black box.

Incidentally, you can never tell exactly how much credit you’ve earned, so you can never relax completely. If you examine your conscience you will have a fair idea of how full your black box is, but to be sure of having enough points you must keep learning the ways of the sea, and the way of a ship in the sea. And you must keep putting your knowledge to practice.

In other words: Look after your ship, and she’ll look after you.

Our friends Kurt & Debbie sent us some some small tokens to carry aboard Magnolia-s and “seed” our box aboard. In addition our friend Al & Michele made us a small black box along which also contained valuables to carry to sea with us. Between these two presents we committed to taking care of Magnolia and she we.


Conclusion of the ceremony.



A wonderful time had by all. In addition Mike Camacho who served and commissioned Ticonderoga with was able to attend the after party.


Though the galley was not ready for full service, we did manage to rummage up some snacks!!!


There was of course after snack ice cream!


Magnolia was hauled Monday morning at 7:30 am ready to spend some time on the hard.


A good bottom clean and some hull wax went a long way toward brightening her up!



The Naiad Team came up from Fort Lauderdale and quickly disassembled the stabilizers.


This one job was the most stressful thing we have had done on Magnolia since we have been here. The stabilizer system was the ships system we knew and understood the least. It is also one of the most expensive so we were truly ecstatic to find system internals to be in such good shape. A major major bullet was dodged.



It was definitely a sun came out kinda day!


I have also been helping the landlord from our rental house with some chores. In the second bedroom which quite small she wanted the back of the headboard face with knotty pine to blend in with the existing walls.


It took a little bit to figure it out but the completed project which contains 6, yes 6 wired brads came out quite nice.


Back aboard, Ray started stripping the pilothouse sole. The pilothouse is the only place where there is Teak and Holly. The varnish had broken down in several places so a complete strip down. The rest of the cabin sole is parquet and will receive light sanding and varnish. This will be a barefoot boat inside!


One of the depth transducer mounts cleaned up and ready.


I caught Ray on a rainy day dressed to the nines….how does he keep the ladies at bay! Seriously he has worked very hard, taught us a lot and helped make our vision a reality.


Meanwhile back at the rental house I have varnish on the laundry room deck plate.


Our girl fully dressed and ready to splash…hopefully Monday morning (tomorrow).



2017-10-01—Gaining Steam–Week 12

We had a very good week aboard Magnolia. We are starting to get some real momentum behind our efforts.


Early in the week the interior cushions came back from upholstery. The three of us, remember our designer (arbiter) Robbin selected a creame Ultra leather for the Saloon..yes its really called the Saloon.


We used a small pattern Sunbrella material on the Pilothouse Settee. We used the same material on the Sewing Room Settee.


Staying with fabrics look what the Admiral made! It our big fish shower curtain!


Back to the technical, got our new run cables labeled and catalogued. Hopefully sooner than later the cable run access places will go back on and either us or some future owner will now where and how things are wired.


In addition our radar arrived. We selected the Raymarine Quantum Chirp. Cannot believe how much things change. All you really need is to add power! It is connected to the network via WIFI. Now being old school I ordered the optional data cable. We will experiment with the WIFI capability.


I also got the the television antenna modified  and dry fit. On the Morgan have the antenna below the top of the mast caused for some blind reception spots. I am hopeful that getting it above mast top will eliminate that problem. In addition you can see we have the new VHF & AIS antennas but waiting on new mounts as well as LED masthead light.


It seems old electronics are larger in physical size so as we are updating those need to hide and over over some holes. Since completely refinishing the helm was outa scope a simple solution of Plexiglas over lays should get us by. A little harsh but will have to work.


Just one more time I am grateful to my Jack Tennar multi-tool. You will have to wait till next week for installation.


While the Admiral was turning out labels she made new ones to replace the hand written white tapes.


Friday ended with getting the radar mounted on the mast….


which made it time for a perfect happy hour on board with our 34 degree ice cold beer!


But since we don’t weekends off, I started looking into the last mile wiring for the electronics…well as you can see I got some work to do in the name of cleanup….


Every blog needs a food picture and this is actually how we ended out week, Sunday Dinner via the Admiral…nice work


Looking forward to the progress this week….stay tuned