Small Projects: wrapping up before we start cruising

sailing luna sea cruising blog

Time for boat projects is winding down around here.

I mean seriously. We have less than 2 weeks of dock life left.

So what have we been doing since Mark retired mid-August? Mostly wrapping up small projects around Luna Sea – in between cramming in as many visits as we can with our daughter and our friends.  I also sold my car yesterday.  This is  both a happy and sad development.  That freaking car was awesome.  I’m just going to put a little picture of her here, for historical reference:  (ps, Mark’s car is also sold, but we get to keep it for another week!)

selling for sailing

We’re officially a 1 car family – for a week, anyway! 


Sailing Luna Sea folding table project

Galley folding table on s/v Luna Sea

Project #1: Folding table/counter space

Mark whipped this up in a day or two. He toured some RV’s with Britney (our soon-to-be vagabond child) and ran across a pop-up table that sparked some ideas. Research led him to some stainless steel folding brackets – and relatively speaking, the were a bargain at $25/pair on Amazon. They are not marine specific, so that had to save us at least $50. But they are stainless steel, which is really all that matters. They are very sturdy and easily lock into place. He mounted them on the front of the top-load fridge/”freezer” and built a table top. He then lined the table with a portion of a duplicate map we had of our local area. Luna Sea now has her own pop-up table/counter space with a custom image of the waters we’ve learned to sail in. I am pretty impressed.

He has a tendency to develop a fatal and dramatic thirst as soon as I pull out everything needed to make dinner. I now have a space to put things when I’m prepping, so he still has access to the beer. This little addition has probably saved his life. It has the added benefit, due to it’s sturdy nature, to act as a brace for me while I am cooking underway. One of the few things about our boat layout that sometimes gives me safety concerns is that we have a long, in-line galley vs a U shaped galley. A U shaped galley means you are hugged in snugly and a little less likely to be tossed around like a rag doll in crazy seas. This is a nice compromise that keeps me from feeling claustrophobic in a somewhat enclosed galley, yet also keeps me somewhat upright when we are rocking and rolling.

sailing luna sea sewing project

You can never have enough boat storage!

Sewing small projects on the cruising sailboat Luna Sea

Perfect for stern showers on s/v Luna Sea

Project #2: Phifertex rail bag/shower bag

While we are cruising, the majority of our showers will take place on our stern swim deck. We have a hand held shower there and it’s just really convenient to climb out of the water and rinse off. The only problem thus far has been that I never remember to bring shampoo up with me before I swim. This was remedied with a little custom bag that holds shampoo, conditioner, comb, lotion, razor and sunblock. (We have sunblock stashed ALL OVER the boat) I made the pockets to hold small travel size bottles, and can just refill them as needed. I also added snaps to ensure the stuff doesn’t fall out when we’re under way. And worst case scenario, we can just untie the line and bring the bag in, if it gets really crazy out there. But something tells me the shampoo pouch will not be at the top of my list of things to worry about if it gets that wild around here.
While I was at it, I made a rail bag to organize some stuff. Phifertex is made to be outside, and because it’s a mesh fabric, it drains/gets good air flow. Seems like a great product to use on the rail. We are currently keeping our laundry clips, bug spray, coozies and yes, sunscreen in the pockets. There is an additional pocket for stuff as we determine what we want to keep above deck on a regular basis.

sailing luna sea project on cruising boat

New Companionway doors thanks to Bella Terra!

sailing luna sea doors

Exterior of the folding companionway doors

Project #3: Wash boards/companionway slider/swinging doors

You may remember that Mark made some custom swinging doors WAY back when. He made them by hand out of Starboard and they are pretty fantastic. But over time we’ve made some design changes. We also decided they needed to be thicker. And so he went to our friends at Bella Terra and worked on a new design. We gave them the Starboard, this time thicker and light gray, and they went to town cutting it down on the CNC machine. They turned out amazingly well.  These are so nice, vs putting the washboards in and out every time we want to go up or down – which is approximately 57 times each day.  We also have wash boards as well, and we can use both sets of doors when we are in the ocean –  just to be on the safe side!

Sailtimer wind on Luna Sea

Installing the Anemometer on s/v Luna Sea

Project #4: SailTimer Wind Anemometer/Anchor light install

You may have seen pics of Mark up the mast on Facebook this week.  He does NOT like going up there, but he is the one with the skill set for that project, so up he went. Technically I know how to put wires together – I installed our fans below.  And I like going up there. But we had to deal with some unknowns on top of the mast, and it was easiest for him to go up there, take the cap off the mast, and bring it down to work on, etc.

In the meantime, he may or may not have broken the cover to the anchor light.  It was undoubtedly original to the boat, and the plastic cover was shot.  So we have a fancy 360º LED anchor light now, that can be seen from 2 nautical miles away.  Pretty snazzy impromptu project that really needed to be done.

Back to this SailTimer Wind anemometer.  It’s a bluetooth gizmo that is now securely fastened to the top of our mast.  It transmits the wind speed and direction to our phones/tablet, etc.  We previously had no idea how fast winds were blowing – and clearly have been over-estimating the winds we’ve been getting.  I’m pretty sure we are in for a rude awakening when we get to the islands and have consistent 20 to 25 knot winds…

We need to use this thing for a while first, but so far it’s cool.  I’ll likely do some sort of review on it down the road.  I like to tell you guys what works for us and what doesn’t.

Projects in the works:

We have done a few samples of non-skid deck paints.  I think we have decided on one, and will get started on that major project today/this week.

We’ve been scheming on an ice cooler hack – we’ll probably video that and see how it goes.  It’s potentially a <$5 refurb of an old rolling cooler.  Maybe it will actually keep ice frozen for more than a couple of hours… We’ll see what happens.

Some spare parts need to be inventoried/acquired still.  Jerry can holders need to be attached to the stanchions. Dive tanks need a home, as well the folding bicycles.

We need to clean up the boat from all the projects we’ve been doing!  There is crap everywhere again.  And maybe a fine layer of dirt under it all.  I can’t take it much longer.  But soon we will have eons of time on our hands, as we adjust to living on anchor – and feel certain there will be a cleaning frenzy.

All in all, we’re really winding down here.  We could probably crank all these out pretty quickly,  but by taking our time and visiting with friends along the way, we’re really enjoying our last few days in Savannah.

**that pretty little sunset pic I used for the title just happens to be courtesy TS Hermine**


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