Where We Have Been

Where We Have Been
Where We Have Been

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Working, Working, Working

Alot has been going on aboard Island Queen. The bottom of the boat is nearly done. The rudder has been modified and will be back in tomorrow. We replaced the cutless bearings and started installing the drive shaft today. It should also be finished tomorrow. It seems that everything I do opens another can of worms, but hopefully we are just about out of new cans.My brother Scott and my friend John came down. They were supposed to stay a week. John had to go back to Indiana after three days for a family issue. Scott ended up staying two weeks and helped with alot of fiberglass work and painting. It was a big help. He glassed in the bow thruster tube and did alot of other needed repairs.

It will be three weeks tomorrow that we have been out of the water. We have gotten so much done, but there is still alot to do. I am not sure we will get it done in our 4 week time goal. We desperately want to get done and get out of here. A boatyard is not a fun place to be, but this one is really bad. They do not have pump out service here so we have to use the boatyard bathroom. It is about the worst I have ever seen and I once lived in a third world country and traveled to others. It is gross beyond description. The owners do not take care of it. Sharon and I spent about two hours cleaning it when we first got here. Other tenants help clean it as well. There is no hot water for the shower. I finally got our water heater hooked back up yesterday and had my first hot shower in nearly three weeks. Soon though we will be done and this will only be a bad memory.

Metal cut and ready to be welded to the rudder. 
Scott fiberglassing the tube.

Bow thruster tube from inside the boat.

Scott gettin ready to mis up some more epoxy.

Me grinding off 37 years of paint.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Progress Report

We have been working on the boat for three days now and are making real progress. I started sanding the hull. I want to take it all the way down to the Gelcoat. 37 years of paint is a lot of paint. I started at the bow so I would be ready to put the bow thruster in when my brother Scott got here. He arrives tomorrow along with my friend John. I will try to work them like dogs but don't know how much luck I will have with that. I talked to a welder yesterday about modifying the rudder. I made a temporary extension last year and put it on while the boat was in the water. Now that she is out of the water I removed the rudder and ordered the steel today.

Today I cut in the bow thruster tunnel and removed all the through hulls except one which is under the water heater. I will tackle that one tomorrow. Through hulls are openings with shut off valves below the waterline. They feed various things like the engine, generator, toilets and A/C units. We had seven. When I am finished we will only have one. It will feed the engine and A/C unit. I do not like having holes in the bottom of the boat.

The sanding begins.

Bow sanded to prepare for the bow thruster.

In the hold detaching the rudder.

Success, the rudder is off.

Prepping the inside for the bow thruster. It's going to be a tight working space.

I marked and drilled a pilot hole one each side of the bow and then ran a piece of allthread through.

I then bent the allthread and taped a pencil to it to mark my holes.

Port side cut out.

Cutouts complete and tube inserted to mark where it needs to be cut.

Inside the Vee berth.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Haulout Time

We had Island Queen hauled out of the water and set on stands so we could install a bow thruster and do some much needed hull maintenance. She has not been out of the water since 2004, so it was well past due. I will have lots of posts coming up on working on the boat so prepare yourself to be bored or tune out.

Sometimes when you live on a boat it starts to seem small. You forget just how big it is until you get her out of the water.
I think our boat is big enough for us.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Anchored at Boca Chica

We had a good trip from Boot Key Harbor to Boca Chica today. It was about 40 nautical miles. We left about 7 am and dropped the hook about 2:30 pm. We had nice seas and a slight breeze the whole way. We have an appointment at 11:00 am on Friday to have the boat pulled. We are only about an hour away from the haul out location. I think we will just chill here till it is time to go. The following is a video that I took underway today.   Also, we used the Spot for the first time in years!  Look at the link in the header that says "click here to see where we are" for our track today.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Good Times Coming Soon

It is getting close to time to head to Key West to haul Island Queen. She has not been out of the water since 2004. I hope there are not too many surprises. My brother Scott is coming down for a week to help with the installation of the bow thruster. My friend John is also coming. John sent me this picture of Scott the other day and said he is getting excited about coming to Key West. I thought maybe I would make up some posters with the pic and write "Headed to the Key West and looking for a good time" and post them around town. It should be one very interesting week.

My brother Scott.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Interesting Discovery

I made an interesting discovery today (to me anyway). Our auto pilot mysteriously quit working awhile back. I checked the fuses and gave the system a quick look over and did not find anything obvious. I went and talked to a marine electronics tech and he said he would look at it. I was just about to call him back and set up the appointment and then thought maybe I better look it over one more time myself as everyone down here is $100 an hour. I looked at the owner's manual again and the error message indicated the rudder was not turning when the control unit told it to. I again checked the fuse. It was good. I went down in the engine room where the hydraulic pump for the auto pilot is located. I ran my hand over the wiring and much to my surprise one of the connections fell apart in my hand. I redid the connections and now it works perfectly. That saved a couple of hundred dollars over something simple.

That was not the interesting discovery though. While I was looking for the owner's manual in the box of papers and manuals that came with the boat I found an article that had been printed in Motorboat magazine in October 1979. The article was about chartering a Marine Trader trawler in St. Thomas USVI named Island Queen. I have thought for a long time that she was an ex-charter boat. Her log books start in 1983 when she was 5 years old. Most charter boats are sold after 5 years of service. I knew from other documents that she had been in the USVI before. So I think with certainty that that is where she began her life. It is funny to me that that is where we were headed when we left Indiana almost four years ago on Morgan (our sailboat). We got a little sidetracked and bought a trawler. It has taken almost three years to pay for and refit Island Queen, and we are not done yet. We have come along way though and are almost to the point of being able to take off again.

We are going to Key West the end of this month to haul her out and do some much needed hull maintenance along with installing a bow thruster. We will then return to Marathon for Christmas with the kids. Then in February we will start up the east coast and continue on the Great Loop. Once we complete the Loop we will then work our way down the islands to the USVI, or at least that is the plan.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Getting Back to Normal (whatever that is)

I have been back to the boat for almost 4 weeks now and finding it hard to get back to the normal life aboard again. Two things have been going on. One is that in March I had promised the church here to install hurricane shutters. Someone donated the money to buy them and I was to install them. Then I got called to work for Exxon in Louisiana for four months. I have been working for the last two weeks to install them. They have a school at the church so I have to time everything so as to not disturb anybody and that has proven to be a royal pain, but I hope to finish them up this evening. The second thing is that it is hot here, not unbearable if you do nothing but hot If you are not in the shade with some air moving. We started using the air conditioner at night so we could sleep. It is still nice sitting on the bow in the evening with the cool breeze. I am looking forward to next month when things start to cool off.

Sharon has given notice that she will be leaving her job. We plan on moving the boat to Key West next month and haul out to do some much needed maintenance. Island Queen has not been out of the water since 2004. We will get rid of some through hulls that are no longer being used, replace the two that are and then apply Coppercat on the bottom. We also will install a bow thruster at the same time. (thank you Exxon) We are looking forward to going someplace new. We have been here way too long, but you do what you gotta do.
I love setting on the bow and watching the sunset.

New bow thruster and tunnel