Sunday, November 24, 2013

100K Pageview Contest

Aug 2002, Radeen christens Island Spirit...
Team Island Spirit 100,000 Pageview Contest opens today. Who can capture the 100,000th page view?

How will this work? You need to take a PRINT SCREEN of our blog web page on the day the page view count is exactly at 100,000. This could happen in the next 3-5 days!

Email this print screen to IslandSpirit35 at gmail dot com.

The FIRST person to do this will be given a FREE 2014 Island Packet Sailing Calendar or an IPYOA t-shirt, your choice!

Let the games begin....

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Reloading Week and more

Boxes of tools, gear, and safety items....
This week has been the reloading week where we have been moving car loads of boxes and gear out of out 5' W x 4' D x 8' H storage rental and back onto the boat. It is a amazing how much storage there is on these Island Packet Yachts. We have a locker of tools, one for spare parts, one for safety, one for wine, another for gallons of oil, and another for hurricane dock lines! These all go into spaces that are not mainly used. Then we have tons more space for food and paper products. All of this was removed and boxed and stored for shipping the boat to and from the Island Packet Yachts factory for our refit.

Condo #3, Anna Maria Island
As we do these jobs, we have been lucky to use time share condos and sleep away from the boat, after a full day of working on the boat. We also have made sure that we get to the condo pool at the end of the day, and also get to the beach for the beautiful west coast Florida sunsets. We are really enjoying the West Coast of Florida from Tampa Bay to Bradenton Beach, to Sarasota Bay. The beaches of Siesta Key, as well as Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island, are very beautiful. We are taking time to enjoy the beach every day around 5:30 pm which is sunset time. After that, we walk back to our condo and enjoy a relaxing dinner at "home."

Here are some photos showing the diversity of this time...

Condo #2 Siesta Key, 1 bedroom, kitchen, dining & 2 full baths
Our walk to the beach on Siesta Key
A wedding on Siesta Key, how romantic
Teak varnish coat #5, waiting to apply final coat #6
Radeen painted the lockers and also her HAIR as she was upside down in the bilge
Radeen is a Pisces,and love to SWIM....yes, we can go to the pool again!
Radeen with a post-swim Mohawk on the beach for sunset, FUN
IPY Friends, Kathy and Alan, IP-420 FLATLANDER, stopped by for a visit, very fun
Rebuilding the solar array with 4 panels, a junction box and wiring
Post sunset skies are most interesting to me
The storage locker nearly emptied, just pillows, blankets and seats, plus a 15hp Yamaha
How to make your own motor bracket support via Home Depot stuff
Plywood, paint, an aluminum kick plate for a door and snips
This will hold the Yamaha 15hp

New Motor Mount ready for our Yamaha 15 HP
Make your own outboard motor hoist at Home Depot with a conduit bender. Thank you!
So....we have been busy! It isa ton of work, but it has somehow been fun at the same time. Sure it is frustrating not having my shop or knowing the local area. Yes, I question rebuilding systems that were just fine like my solar array, but it still was worth it. We did under estimate the time and work of tear down and rebuild, but now Island Spirit is like a BRAND NEW boat, and that is really wonderful. More reloading and soon the MAST will go in....

Saturday, November 16, 2013

2014 IP Calendar

The 2014 IPYOA Calendar is released....
I have enjoyed making Island Packet Yacht calendars for the last 11 years. The images I use are actual photographs that I have taken of Island Packet flags and logos. The IPY factory has granted me approval to create these calendars.  I like to focus on Island Packet Yachts sailing, anchored out or in interesting harbors. Owners from around the world submit images to include in the calendar. This year's edition covers from Scotland to New England to the Exuma Islands of the Bahamas. If you would like to buy a calendar or other IP gear, please see my online store...

Here are the 13 images in the 2014 calendar. I hope you enjoy the photos.
Jan: IP 370 Midnight Sun Cruising Sea of Champlain
Feb: Sailing from George Town Exumas to Long Island Bahamas
Mar: IP 350 Kismet sails a code zero off Long Island Bahamas
Apr: IP 40 Navigator, Warderick Wells, Bahamas Land and Sea Park
May: Time to check the anchor, Kidd Cove, Bahamas
June: A puffin watches over IP 380 Touche, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
July: IP 38 Holiday with flags flying, Block Island, RI
Aug: Island Packet Maine Rendezvous 2013
Sep: SP Cruiser CATRYN, Scottish Hebrides sailing to the Faroe Islands
Oct: Skyway Bridge, Tampa, FL after IPY Factory Refit #1
Nov: IP 380 Judith III anchored off Cumberland Island, GA
Dec: IP35-145 Serendipity Reaching for St. Augustine, FL

The digital file folder that houses the 2014 edition includes 93 files in 22 folders and over 535 MB of data. It took approximately 20 hours to create, proof and edit this calendar. The proceeds of $5.00 per calendar are used to pay for the web servers, SQL database server, domain names, software, apps, and licenses to serve and manage the two Island Packet web sites I created: and The IP factory does not pay for any of these services. The fees are paid by me and by donations from IP owners and by the sale of these calendars. Thank you!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Teak Schedule

We are docked in a BARN....
Our routine: We get up at at day break (living in a condo) and after breakfast, we make lunches and pack them into a cooler and load up the car. We drive 45 minutes from Siesta Key Beach to Snead Island Boat Works in Palmetto Florida where our boat is safely docked inside a barn and in the water!

This is a dream situation for working on teak as there is no dew, no sun and yet a nice breeze blows through the building. It takes about 1 hour to sand the previous coast of varnish with both of us sanding. Then it takes 30 minutes to dust off the sanding dust. In another 30 minutes, we can wipe down all the varnish with a rag and denatured alcohol. At this point, we are ready to start the next coat of Epifanes.

I love Girls with pretty curves :-)
I pour the varnish into a measured cup and add the right proportions, 15% of brushing liquid / thinner, and start the next coast. Four to five hours later I have the next coast of varnish on all the surfaces. I start at the bow pulpit and work back to the stern on the starboard side. Then I work around the stern to the port stern and work my way back up to the bow. By now, my back is about broken! After that, I launch the dinghy and, while standing in it, I can varnish the outside edge of teak and also get under this edge. The last part to varnish is the companionway doors and door trim and then it is clean up time.

Varnish coat #3 and looking good

Brushes are cleaned with mineral spirits and then stored in diesel fuel cups. All paints and supplies are stored. The dinghy is lifted back up into the davits and we offload to the car. By now, it is near 4 pm. We drive home in time to hit the pool for some swimming and maybe a sunset walk on the beach before making dinner in the condo kitchen.

This has been our schedule for the past week and a half. We hope to be finished with this varnish work this week, and then we can begin to reload and rebuild the boat.

We had several pleasant changes to our routine today due to wonderful cruising friends. We are very grateful to all of them!  First, was a surprise visit from Loretta and Jim of IP380 Plan C. Thank you for stopping by!  Next, we took our life raft to a Zodiac service center in Tampa. Thanks to a very good friend, Greg, who is loaning us his raft until he buys his next sailboat, we now have a 4 person coastal life raft. See photos below.Thank you, GREG! Our day ended with a lively dinner in St. Pete Beach with Larry and Phyllis, former owners of IP40 LARK. Thank you for fitting us into your busy schedule!

Here are some photos of the work...

I enjoy looking at these curves, beautiful lines on a pretty boat

WOW, that is coat #3 and it looks so good, amazing finish.

All the stainless steel rub rails are off, so finishing the outside is easier.

Inspecting the Zodiac 4 person life raft

We hope and pray that we will NEVER need this, but it is here if we do.
This is a 4 person coastal Zodiac Life Raft, 2006 model.
Perfect condition, like new.
So, another great day "yachting" and "living da cruising life" as sailor bums. Radeen and I do enjoy sharing in the work and helping each other. It is not all about sailing, it is about teamwork and being together, focused on a unified goal. That is what makes this life so much fun. Thanks for following....  

Friday, November 8, 2013

Teak Sanding Varnish Begins

Epifanes yacht varnish is the best....
It has nearly been a week since we arrived here in Florida. On Monday, the boat was launched. With her under a roof and in a boat shed, since she has no mast, we are working on sanding and preparing for a new yacht varnish finish. We have been doing our own varnish for the past 8 years, but we have never varnished the entire boat at one time. Usually we have the work divided into quadrants plus extras, making it much easier to handle. I know doing 1/4 of the boat usually takes 1.5 hours, so it should be no surprise that doing the entire boat takes 5+ hours. I am talking about applying just ONE COAT of varnish. I will be working towards applying 3 primer coats and 3-4 top coats, making 6-7 coats. So, this will take a while!

Carbide scraper takes off the old finish like a hand plane.
Welcome to Island Packet Yacht ownership! Yes, you can just as well let the teak all go grey and fade out or you can use other finishes that require fewer coats. We have found that once varnish is on, then taking care of the top coat is NO MORE work than any other top coat finish. So, if that is true, then why NOT use varnish? Plus, when it is on, it does look really great!.

We know this is not as exciting as beautiful photos of BLUE OCEAN waters or the gorgeous white sand beaches of the Bahamas, but we will get to that this winter. For right now, we are excited about refitting out this 20 year old yacht and making her brand new again. She is like a classic car, well designed and beautiful to own. We do enjoy this boat and all that goes along with ownership. Teak work is part of the job.

Lucky for us, we have been able to trade our timeshare for two condos to live in while we are working on the boat. The boat is still empty from being trucked to the Island Packet Yacht Factory for refit. So, we work hard all day, and then come "home" and hit the pool and enjoy the sunsets on the beach and relax in comfort!

Here are some photos of the work this week....

Cleaned, sanded and vacuumed teak.
Radeen is a Pisces, so she loves the water.
Bare teak. Eyebrow, Hand rail, gunwale. Teak every where!
Clean cockpit combing teak
Next, all the edges needed to be taped with long lasting tape for clean removal in 2 weeks.
We used two rolls of 60 yard tape
There is Radeen on the bow as seen from the stern, lots of teak!
Pre-dinner swim and beach sunset required daily.
After sunset, the sky is even more beautiful.
First coast of varnish is easy to see where you are. Check out the massive new chain plate!
Look at this SPLINE in the end of this teak board which keeps it from warping!
The cockpit is full of teak.
Radeen, on the beach after a full day of teak work. 
It is hard to believe it is FRIDAY night, and we have been working 4 days on the teak. Monday was launch, Tuesday and Wednesday were spent sanding and vacuuming. Thursday was final prep and taping. Friday, I applied  the first varnish coat. Saturday, we need to move out of condo #1 and into condo #2 and set up shop there. Thanks for following, we enjoy sharing the adventures.