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Today started rough early. I awoke at O-dark-30 to find our boat rocking like a rodeo bronco. The weather had continued to deteriorate since retiring and we were now taking some less-than-comfortable waves on the beam (the side of the boat). We were rocking so much that I felt it prudent to take a few minutes to secure and stow items in the same manner we do when heading out sailing.

The wind and waves didn’t stop us from making a major provisioning run early this morning though. With our plan to leave Melbourne tomorrow morning, this would be our last chance to borrow our friends’ (son’s) truck. Our new dinghy engine behaved perfectly during the trip to and from shore, as we need it to. The truth is that having a reliable dinghy is crucial for safety, especially in rough conditions like this, and we are very happy that we stepped up and purchased the new, more powerful engine.

Rebecca had a huge list of stores for us to buy and after a cold and wet ride back to ZTC, she remained behind to organize and stash it all away while I took off again with our friend Bill to look at a new dinghy and outboard for them. Bill found online a local-area guy who was selling a 10′ RIB with a 15 HP Yamaha. Both of those would be too big for us but they would be perfect for those guys. As it turns out, both the engine and the dinghy looked to be in good condition and Bill snatched them up for a very good price. The engine will need a bit of a tune up, as we found out while trying to get it back to his boat, but I’m confident that he’ll have it purring like a kitten in no time.

Our dinghy was pretty full carrying all this back to our boat!

Almost immediately after returning to our boats, both Rebecca and I and Bill and Ana on Knot Tide Down pulled our anchors to get out of the rocky spot that we were in. Sadly, it seems as if this will be the last we’ll see of our friends until they make it down to the islands. They headed off back towards the Patrick Air Force Base Marina where they’ll be leaving their boat for the holidays while we moved back to drop the hook in the much better protected Eau Gallie River.

Having a stable boat again was welcomed because we had one final project to get completed before we leave tomorrow. We feel confident that our davits are strong enough to carry our dinghy and new engine in most conditions. Many people chose to remove the engine for passages though and we thought that we should have that option available to us. This required either purchasing a ready-made (expensive!) rack or constructing one myself. I took the DIY version to save some bucks but even so, building things like this with stainless steel fittings and marine materials is still ridiculously expensive. I do think the finished product looks pretty good though and I believe it will serve our purposes (I hope).

A new (lower) rail needed to be added for support.

Sanding the pieces of starboard. This is the remainder of the starboard that I purchased when I needed some for our anchor windlass backing plate.

The finished product.

Tohatsu-Sama testing out the new rail mount. I think he likes it! 🙂

12 Comments

  1. Nicely done! There was a post on the living aboard forum from someone who is looking for a new dingy, so I referred them to your blog to talk to you about your old one!

  2. Yummy – cheez -its! Great job as usual on your DIY! How far will you go tomorrow? Wind chill tonight in N.C. will be below 10 degrees.

    • Thanks. Let’s hope the mount doesn’t break (note the safety tether in the pic).

      Rebecca JUST said to me “I wonder who’ll be the first person to comment on the (reduced fat) Cheese-its?”

      Tomorrow we’ll head to Vero Beach and then weather permitting, Wednesday we’ll head to West Palm.

  3. Is there anything you guys can’t do?
    And reduced fat Cheez-its? What’s the point?

    • Many things. I actually was looking at a close up pic of your boat when planning how to build this thing.

      As for the cheez-its, the point is that you can eat more of them!

  4. Are you coming by Lake Worth before you cross to the islands?

    • I think we may be spending a night at Lake Park Marina (Wed. night) and then if the weather is good, heading offshore to somewhere south from there (not necessarily across the gulf stream but towards Miami.)

  5. Mike, how do you get the outaboard up to the mount?
    I hope nicer weather finds you, but it’s all part of the adventure, right? 😉

    • Have you seen Rebecca’s biceps? Seriously, I don’t know. We only put the Tohatsu on it and that engine was sitting in the cockpit. I just picked it up and put it there. The Yamaha weighs 79 lbs so will be a little heavier (Tohatsu is apparently 60 lbs). What we have done in the past is to attach one of the davit lines to the outboard as a safety and then we just lift it up to the transom step. It is challenging, no doubt! I welcome other ideas (short of installing some crane). A block and tackle off the boom might work.

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