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Getting the Mast Up – We’re a Sailboat Again!

After 10 months of waiting and one failed attempt, our mast is finally back up again!

Back in Episode 9 you’ll see that we tried to raise our mast, but the new rigging we ordered was not the right size, and we had to bring it back to have it redone. A few month and one weird encounter later, we have it in our hands again and can turn ourselves into a sailboat.

Jessica continues her work on getting the cabin top ready for new Awl Grip paint, after removing the Petit EZ Poxy that had been applied only a year ago.

Matt works on other projects that are best finished while still in the yard, like varnishing all our trim for the interior. Although everyone is working hard, it’s Jessica that makes a break for it with a day at the beach with a few girlfriends.

Cheers from the work yard!
Thank you SO MUCH to our Patrons. These charitable souls help keep us in the work yard, our camera equipment up to date, and the videos coming. To join the Patreon ranks, please visit

Thank you!,
Matt & Jessica

0:00 – Changes – Faul & Wad Ad vs Pnau
02:59 – Get That Funk Goin – King McFunky
14:45 – Life is Good – Markvard

Camera equipment used:
– Sony NEX 5T –
– Panasonic HDC –

Editing software: Windows Movie Maker & Adobe Premier



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We’ve Got a Hurricane Headed Our Way

Hello everyone!  I know, I have been terrible about getting anything up on the blog lately, but trust me when I say the past week has been a fury of boat work where we’re up and at it from basically sunrise to sunset.  I have so many wonderful posts to share from the past few weeks (months?), although I just need to find the time to sit down and get them typed out.

We have, however, put another episode up on YouTube that we hope you’ll all enjoy.  In this episode we prepare for Hurricane Matthew, spend two days waiting for the worst of it to come and pass, and then get back into our daily routine of boat work.  The next project featured in this video?  The cabin sole.  We add our quarter inch maple to the existing half inch plywood we’d already cut, focusing on the area from the forward salon back to the pilot house.  We’re very happy with how it all came out, but take a look for yourself!

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Watch Us Now on YouTube!

That’s right, we’re transitioning ourselves to be vloggers!  Waiting until the boat renovation is only a few short months from completion (I know, I know, we should have started earlier), we’ve finally taking the plunge into recording our lives through video as well as writing.  We’d had the idea for a long time, although honestly, after watching the countless hours our friends the Sailing Conductors put in to filming for their documentary series on Soundwave2Berlin, we didn’t think we could handle all the extra work at the moment that comes with bringing out a camera every time you go to do something.  At least, that is the lesson we took from observing our German friends.

With so many fellow boat workers, bloggers, and blog followers passing through our yard though, we’d always get the question of ‘Why don’t you two do videos?’, and we’d explain it away that it appeared to be just as big of a project as the boat we’re overhauling, and if we did decide to eventually do it, it would be way down the road once we were on the water again.  It wasn’t until our new friends Cat & Will of Monday Never came to spend a few days at the marina while selling their boat where we watched them film a few short clips here and there, and talked the logistics of it that it dawned on us that maybe a video series would be possible at the moment.

Another month or two of failed attempts to actually hit the record button on the camera while we were working, I gave myself a ‘publish by’ date for our first episode and finally started filming.  Only two weeks behind my self appointed date, I’ve kept that promise. Video-logging is a completely different world from Web-logging, and we’ll definitely be spending a little time learning the ropes as we continue to capture our lives in motion.

What does this mean for the blog?  Don’t worry, it’s not disappearing.  As we finish work on Daze Off, I’ll make sure to publish the same amount of posts featuring the work with the same (fairly) detailed explanations as I always have.  Once we’re on the water and travelling I will try to keep up with two posts a week on the blog, in addition to the 2-3 videos I hope to publish each month on YouTube.  Ambitious?  Definitely.  But it is not as easy on twitter where you can find cheap and instant Twitter followers shop. It will keep us busy and we’ll never be able to complain about being bored again.  Partially what got us into this boat remodel in the first place.

We hope you enjoy our very first episode of Welcome to the Boat Graveyard.  If you like what you see, please subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss any future videos.

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Stage 1 of Welding on our Aluminum Boat

Monday September 7, 2015

Daze Off getting welded

Last week was our first real vacation since we arrived in Florida in March, and our welder’s first vacation from working on our boat since he started just over a month ago.  Between 3-4 days a week for least 4 hours a day he’s been under Daze Off, sweating in the August heat in his jeans and long shirts.  I’m sure he was just as ready from some time away from our boat as we were.

cutting open Daze Off

Real Feel outside, 105°.

If you’ll remember back to the beginning of June when Daze Off was first moved into the work yard, we had our favorite surveyor, Dylan Bailey, come take a look at her and do a 1,000 point ultrasound across her hull.  With all of his pinpoints we were able to map out areas of the hull and keel where corrossion had effected the thickness of the aluminum to the point where it would be safer to replace those areas with new sheets. Asking a welding services expert as to what is the safest option when it comes to such processes.

Just like us, our welder has decided to start forward and work aft, meaning the first area to be touched would be the very front of our keel.  A section of about 24″ wide by 36″ long that wraps around from one side to the other.  Basically, what would be one of the more difficult and most time consuming areas of our welding process. Mapping out the exact area we wanted to replace the first thing to be done was taking the replacement sheet of aluminum and shaping it to the hull.

Again, this was the part that was going to take the longest as it’s an odd shape and we obviously want it to fit perfectly when it’s time to go in.  Before we even cut out the piece to be replaced there were a few days of bending and forming to get ourselves as close as possible before we cut out the existing piece.  Literally leaving a gaping hole in the bottom of the boat once it comes out, we want to make sure that it won’t take very long before the new piece is able to be attached.  Mosquitoes are in prime season here and the last thing we need is and open invitation for them to come and join us in our bed every night.

Finally we were ready to go and set our welder to work with his circular saw, carefully extracting the old sheet of aluminum.

welding on Daze Off

welding of Daze Off

cutting out old aluminum

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Using a circular saw to take out the old aluminum.

Let me say that while we haven’t exactly been back and forth on the necessary welding to the bottom of our boat, we were never sure the extent it was going to need.  Paying our welder by the hour, we of course don’t want to spend any more time or money than we have to, but on the other hand we always prefer ‘safe over sorry’.  It’s been a fun little dance between what is essential to replace and what we can leave alone.

At first we had been a bit unsure of replacing such a large section but once it was out and we were able to look at the amount of corrosion from the inside, we knew we’d done the right thing.  The panel was absolutely of deep pitting on the inside and in some place, worn down to half of the original thickness.  Our ultrasound of the boat had really paid off since we would have originally done a much smaller area due to what looked bad on the outside alone.

From the photos below you can see that where the aluminum was in premium condition, the thickness was measuring approximately 1/4″, and in areas where the corrosion and pitting was worst the thickness had gone down to 1/8″.  Half of the thickness!  And right in the front of our keel where we need the most protection.  If Matt actually succeeds in bringing me up to icebergs in this boat, I do not want to be bumping into any of them with only 1/8″ of aluminum underneath me.

old aluminum plate

full thickness of aluminum

corroded aluminum

old aluminum panel

 We’ve gotten much further since this point, but since I’ve been terrible at pulling out my camera for boat projects lately, combined with the fact that I always feel a little bit strange photographing our welder while he’s working, these are the only photos I have of the project up to this point.  Since this area was cut out we’ve now fully welded on the new piece as well as continued down the starboard side of the boat.  Things are really starting to come along and now the work is going much smoother and faster as the welder becomes more familiar with our boat.

Hopefully only another week or two now until all the main areas are completed and we can dive into work on the galley and head.  I feel a little bit useless as Matt spends his days acting as an assistance to the welding process and I sit there twiddling my thumbs, but I can’t say I mind the times I’ve been sent to the cool air conditioning of the kitchen with my laptop and an iced coffee in front of me since I can be more productive in front of a glowing screen at the moment instead of sitting on the shredded tarp next to our boat.