Sailing is such a romantic notion that when we found out Kenutu came with a Walker Bay sailing dinghy we were stoked. Not only would we sail our beautiful boat far and wide, but we would sail her hard dinghy right up onto all the distant shore. That is how good at sailing we would be.
The Walker Bay came with a keel and sail, as well as some nice oars. Captain Mack used the power of the interwebs to figure out how to rig the thing and got her sails up. He was excited to give it a test run around the marina, but I was enjoying my beer in the cockpit and had no interest. Alas, he baited me by calling it "a date."
Climbing into this thing, I knew it was a disaster. It felt like it was going to tip over the entire time. I've kayaked white water and canoed lakes and rivers before, so I'm okay with boats being wobbly. This thing had a feel beyond wobbly. Our main channel has a steady wind, and we were flying downwind with it. When Mack wanted to tack to head back to the slip, I had to fold myself in half so the sail would move to the other side of the boat. But the boat didn't go the way SCIENCE SAID IT WAS SUPPOSED TO, so we ended up being drifting ducks. Dumb drifting ducks because we didn't bring the oars. We drifted right on into a giant power yacht and met its lovely and understanding owners. Then we made another run across the channel, grabbed onto the dock, and doused the sail. We climbed out of the dinghy like a couple of people who had been lost at sea for 37 days and had no muscle left, hoisted the stupid thing out of the water and onto a cart, and pulled her to the little perimeter channel where we dumped her into the water and rowed home using the keel as an oar.
Dinghies are expensive little things, but after this marina adventure, NEW DINGHY went on the TO BUY list. We also won't be sailing her anywhere. Instead, Mack bought an electric motor, a 55-pound thrust Newport Vessel's electric motor. Isn't it beautiful?
It's also silent, has no smell, and weighs like 10 pounds. The weight of the electric outboard is a huge bonus because when you have to hand this type of stuff down to someone sitting in a boat that feels like it might tip over every time you move, lightweight things are less scary. The bad thing is that it runs on a 35-pound battery, which points the nose of the boat uncomfortably skyward when it's onboard.
Mack asked me for another dinghy "date", I grabbed a beer for some liquid courage, and we added our cumulative 300 pounds to the dinghy to test out the new electric motor.
We had to sit facing the rear of the boat and sort of had to travel backwards since things weren't going as smoothly doing it the normal, expected way. Mack had to sit on the center bench to have some turning clearance. The dinghy sucked, as usual, but the motor was pretty awesome. We zipped to and fro and made it safely back to the boat. We climbed out with zero grace, Mack untied the motor, which he had secured to the battery and the bench to make sure it didn't fall off and get lost forever, and we highlighted NEW DINGHY on the TO BUY list.
Mack went out of town for a couple of weeks for a big vacation with his friend and left me at home alone. While the Captain's away, the first mate will paint. I didn't want to start a painting project if the boat was going to be in commission because I decided to use an epoxy-based paint, the loved/hated Bilgekote, that takes a couple of weeks to fully cure. And is stinky and toxic and probably about to be banned by the EPA.
Our cabinets were in pretty terrible shape when we got Kenutu. The paint was coming off in huge flecks, leaving exposed fiberglass in big patches and seasoning our dishes with paint dust. Also, the paint that was initially used was a brown color that made it impossible for this blind lady to see inside them to find anything.
I did a little research about the prep, which involved scraping, sanding with 80 and then 220, vacuuming, and wiping down with acetone. Then I talked myself into the joys of respiratory issues and got to work.
The cabinets were small and cramped, and some had tubes and wires running through them which made professional grade sanding and scraping impossible. Also, I'm not a professional. I managed to get the salon and galley cabinets and the anchor locker prepped before asking myself why I was doing this. At one point, I was laying across the countertop and the sink to scrape the inside of the galley cabinet with my left hand, which may as well be a stump it's so weak.
Once the prep was done, I popped open a quart of Bilgekote, opened every window and porthole on the boat, threw on some gloves and a mask, and told myself to be careful because this paint is serious. I laid down one coat, gave it a day to dry (with a humidifier running overnight, which I think helped a ton), then went back for seconds.
I love Bilgekote, even if it did start to give me neurological problems while I was painting inside the anchor locker. It covered beautifully and made the cabinets so bright inside. Hopefully my prep was good enough that it won't start flaking off anytime soon because I never want to do this again. Ever.
I still need to do the storage area behind the dinette and the cabinet in the Pullman berth and in the head, and someday, I'd like to paint the inside of the cockpit lazarettes, but for now, we're just going to enjoy these and let my lungs and brain recover.
We had some of Mack's work buddies on the boat for a Saturday morning sail and brunch afterwards thing. Because that's what yachties do, right? Sail with their sophisticated friends and then have brunch? Since 75% of our yachting experience has been dirty clothes, cold beer, and cursing, we decided to step it up a notch and get classy.
Okay, we wore our usual sloppy clothes, but our guests were dressed to impress. From sweaters draped on shoulders to wedge-sneakers to nautical stripes with khakis and Sperry's, these guys were straight out of a catalogue.
It was so classy we even had champagne on board. In plastic cups. And we offered such edible delicacies as Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Fruit Loops sold in single servings at 7 Eleven. Yeah, we yacht.
Two people dumb enough to think anything is possible and smart enough to bumble their way into discoveries.