Most boats come with a list of projects that need to be taken care of before setting sail. In the last week, we’ve managed to check a few key items off the “to do” list. It probably took more time to run around Miami and Fort Lauderdale to pick up the parts than to do the actual installations, but then Bob is pretty adept at this stuff!
1. The cowling on the dorade was replaced. The red and white cowling you see in the picture covers the dorade, which is a vent in a boat that allows air to come in and ventilate the boat but doesn’t let water come in. The cowling catches the air and directs it into the boat through the dorade.
2. The ground tackle was replaced. You need good ground tackle (anchors, chains and rode) so that on a windy night you wake up in the same place you go to sleep in. (Bob and I had a few sleepless nights on our last boat with wind gusting to 45 knots worrying that our anchor would not hold. It did, thankfully.) The new boat came with a 22 pound anchor, which we replaced with a 35 pound Manson Supreme anchor for greater holding power.
We also bought 100 feet of new 5/16 chain and we have additional rope rode attached to the chain should we need to anchor in deeper water. Chain allows you to set the anchor closer to the boat than you could with just rope rode, since it is heavier. This becomes critical in a crowded anchorage where a smaller swing angle allows more boats to occupy the same space. Also, when cruising in southern waters, anchor chain cannot be cut by sharp coral the way rope can be. It is the preferred anchor system of most experienced cruisers (thanks Pat and Alex!) Our second anchor is a Fortress and will be used mostly if we have to anchor in a soft bottom because it works better than the Manson in muddy conditions. In a storm we would probably use both anchors just to be safe.
3. A new thermostat was installed in our refrigerator.
4. We’re sorting and organizing the filters and the spare parts for the diesel engine and the generator to see if we need anything else.
This is by no means the end of it, but it feels like a good start.