Stormy Weather

20 08 2009 Posted by Daniel

Hello again! Lauren and I sat out the tropical storm “Claudette” while below decks in our new boat, and while it wasn’t at all a scary experience let’s just say I was keeping myself as aware as possible of what was going on in and around her. Lauren was trying to stay cool despite the sweltering humidity, and we found a very noisy but effective cabin fan that was our saving grace. With all the ports and hatches closed, and fully disconnected from shore power (no lovely huge fan to suck all the hot air out of the boat!) we really had to get creative with ways to beat the heat and humidity. New, quieter, fans are presently on order (from the folks at Hotwire Enterprises, their fans came highly recommended).

When you’re in a storm that’s dumping about an inch of water every few minutes onto your deck and continues to do so for several hours in a sustained manner, you notice very quickly where all the leaks in the cabin are. We found only four, really. The most annoying was the forward hatch right over our bed, which also happened to be the worst leak. The previous owners did not hide this leak from us, but boy, they weren’t joking either. We had to go topside in the middle of the storm pretty much wearing swimwear, and lash down a tarp over the hatch. We did such a good job with that tarp (she hardly moved despite the intense wind) that we left it on when we left the ship, just to prevent any further rainfall from soaking into the cabin. In the meantime, I’m actively soliciting information on how to fix a leak that’s coming from between the acrylic clear “window” and the upper frame (fortunately this one is NOT seeming to leak from around the base of the hatch and deck joint). The other leak that concerned me was from the deadlight directly over the chart table. Since its a deadlight, this one is in fact leaking from the frame/cabintop joint, which concerns me, but the surveyor had not found significant moisture penetration into the core in that area, so I am hoping this is just another case of failed sealant. The other two leaks were typical: water seeping down the wiring that goes up the mast, and water seeping through a port light with an aging seal. We didn’t find any others, and we looked about as many places as we could easily access. In addition, the bilge pumps didn’t even get enough water in the bilge to be able to pump it out, which I suppose is a very good situation to be in.

On another topic, Lauren and I are beginning to think about the various things we would like to add to the ship, and a bimini/dodger is definitely high on the priority list. We know very little about good companies who can do this level of custom fabrication so we’d love to hear what you all have to say about that. And of course, we are thinking about how to fit a shower into the head (it has a grate and a drain for one, but no graywater tank and no pressurized freshwater system), get a hot water heater installed, put solar panels on the boat (along with new AGM batteries)… etc etc etc. You get the picture.

Our next immediate priority, though, is getting her old name off, so that we can properly rename her. Due to the storm we were not even able to really get a good look at her markings and determine if they were paint or vinyl. Either way, we need a nice sunny day with no rain for us to be able to sand off the letters (if its paint) or use a heat gun and peel them off if they are vinyl, and the previous owner was nice enough to letter both sides as well as her stern! Oy! So much work!

Anyways, its getting late and I have stuff to do to prepare for our next visit to the lovely girl.

We are boat owners!!

15 08 2009 Posted by Lauren

It’s official!

Daniel and I are now proud owners of “Princess” the 36’ Allied Princess!

Needless to say, the survey went quite well! If anyone is in need of a surveyor in, or around, Panama City, FL we can highly recommend Christopher Mills. Mr. Mills, a true professional, meticulously inspected our girl and found only slight problems that we expected for a 1978 boat. Quite pleased after the survey, Daniel and I returned to Atlanta last weekend to further deliberate our decision, though our minds were mostly made up about “Princess.”

Yesterday, we completed our final paperwork with David at PC Yacht Sales and headed to the boat. Together, Daniel and I shared a lot of emotions—mostly overwhelming excitement—on our first night aboard her. After due celebration we began to clean, organize, and inventory. It’s already proven to be a lot of work! However, the work, both gratifying and educational, enhances our early attachment to our girl.

Today, we tackled the first steps of teak cleaning in the interior. The wood in this boat is just beautiful; something you do not get in newer boats. I love the antique, old world feeling I get when I go below decks. Warm and inviting she already feels like a home—now to make her ours. Daniel and I have been discussing interior amenities and decorating to really personalize her. Ideas are forming! We have chosen a name for her that we will reveal later after a proper de-naming ceremony. =)

Tomorrow, we will move “Princess” to a new slip with some help from a local captain. I can’t wait to share more. The adventures are just beginning!

Much love to you all,

We're headed to PC!

07 08 2009 Posted by Lauren

I cannot believe that it is August already! The past several months have flown by, filled with constant learning and new experiences. It was several weeks ago when Daniel and I were last in Florida. We had originally gone down to Carrabelle, FL to complete a deal on a 41’ Formosa Ketch Sea Tiger. Our purchase was of course contingent on the survey, and unfortunately, the survey revealed some things to Daniel and I that we are not prepared to deal with, at least not this early in our boating lives. With great disappointment, Daniel and I decided to turn a less than ideal situation into an opportunity for experience and boat education.
We drove to Panama City, about two hours west along the Gulf and met with a broker from PC Yachts. David, the broker, was and has continued to be more than helpful providing Daniel and I with some honest advice about the boat buying process. First, he took us to see a 39’ Catalina. She was in pretty good shape with lots of desirable features: shower already installed, roomy salon, lots of head room, large cockpit, nice kitchen… But, she didn’t feel like home. We valued the visit, however, because every boat Daniel and I can see is another boat we have a chance to practice inspecting. Appreciative, though not overjoyed, Daniel and I were taken to see a 36’ Allied Princess. Driving over the bridge, we saw her, majestically distinctive in the slip. As Daniel and I stepped on board with a scrutinizing eye, we again felt excitement filling our hearts. “Princess” the Allied Princess, is simply beautiful. Her layout is roomy, especially for a 36’ boat. She has been meticulously taken care of, really only in need of some cosmetic paint, etc. Daniel, as an electrical engineer, was particularly impressed with the electronic wiring. This is a huge complement to the boat owner. Daniel knows his stuff!
Today, Daniel and I are driving down to Panama City to have “Princess” surveyed. We have a contract on her, and our fingers are crossed that we will have a positive review from the surveyor. We are very hopeful that this weekend will confirm what he and I both believe— “Princess” is our boat. Keep us in your thoughts this weekend. I expect that I will have some news to report soon!

Much love,
Lauren and Daniel

Try it again, sam!

05 08 2009 Posted by Admin

We’ve been doing a LOT of research, investigation, and searching, as well as picking the brains of some good friends of ours (shout out to Bruce and Connie on Te Oigo!).

As we approach this upcoming weekend, we are making plans to survey another ship, this time in Panama City. We’ll give you some more information soon, but right now we are trying not to get our hopes up too high. In addition, the process of surveying a ship costs a lot of money so we are learning to be ever more careful to inspect the ships ourselves (and what to look for when doing so) beforehand. For those of you unfamiliar with nautical customs, the survey is paid for by the buyer and is akin to a home inspection and an appraisal, all in one process. The ship is completely looked over by a (hopefully very experienced and capable) professional surveyor. The hull and decks are checked for moisture ingress (a bad thing, you don’t want to find any), and all rigging is inspected. Then the ship is hauled out of the water and her propeller, hull condition, keel, rudder, through-hulls (the ports to let seawater in the ship for various purposes and to let waste and bilge water out), and other underwater fittings are fully checked. After this all-day process, the surveyor then writes up the complete state of the vessel, both good and bad, and makes a list of recommendations for what needs to be fixed on her. He also provides a professional valuation of the ship compared to other ships of her type, size, and/or capability in the market. This valuation is accepted for loan and insurance purposes, and is a basis for determining an offer as it provides a neutral ‘fair value’ for the ship.

Typically a lot of things that are “not good” are found during this process, and its up to the buyer to determine if they are dealbreakers (deck core damage, for instance), cause for negotiation of price (needs a bottom repaint), or just nitpicky items that are not necessarily a negative thing (a rubber hose due for replacement on an otherwise perfectly fine engine).

So, this is what we are arranging for this weekend. Of course, we are hopeful she will be “the one” but if not, we look forward to visiting other ships!