We have owned our Mariner Orient 38 for six weeks now, and within the first three weeks, Al immersed himself in the boat, “messing about” wholeheartedly. To quote Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
I do believe that my husband and Captain epitomizes that quote 😉 I have added a page to the blog, “50+ Years of Boats, The History of Al’s Boats,” just to document how long his boat obsession has existed.
There have been a few moments over the past year that I considered this possibility – Al needed a new boat to work on. After 12 years with our Morgan 43, he had done everything he possibly could to make it comfortable and beautiful. There was nothing left to do or mess with. He needed a new boat to rescue.
On our delivery journey home, Al began his own style of R&R – “rip and restore.” Remember this picture from our trip home? Al began ripping out the salon settee while we were underway. Dan’s response to this picture is sooo “Dan.”
After reading about our final leg of the journey home with the new Kindred Spirit, Al’s son, Tim, also had a comment, “I think he passed down the ‘rip into it as soon as possible’ gene to me.” Tim and his wife Amanda have been living and wandering around western US for over two years now in a 25-foot Airstream RV. They have an amazing blog about their adventures and life on wheels, WatsonsWander.
Another dear friend who has known Al for over 25 years and followed our adventure trip also wrote, “I had to laugh at Al taking things apart before he reached home port. Some things just don’t change.”
What happened after he ripped the salon bench out?? He now has comfy chairs!
Let’s see what else Al has already accomplished on our 6-week old boat. Some projects are relatively “small” and some are fairly major. In 20 years of boating together, I can count on one hand the number of times that we have hired someone to do a job on our boat.
We found it hard to believe that this boat did not have a battery monitor when we took possession of it. It was frustrating to have no idea about the state of the battery bank as we traveled home from the Chesapeake Bay. In fact, Unfunded Requirement did have a battery monitor — Al found one, a Xantrex Linkpro Battery Monitor, uninstalled and still new in its package. Go figure. Naturally, he immediately installed it. What is a Xantrex Link Pro?? (When he first said he found a Xantrex, I thought he was referring to xanax, the drug for anxiety. LOL) It’s a device that selectively displays voltage, charge and discharge current, consumed amp hours, remaining battery capacity and the time remaining of the battery bank. Things that are very good to know.
Another device related to power on a boat is a DC/AC power inverter. Power inverters convert direct current (DC), the power that comes from a car (or boat) battery, into alternating current (AC), the kind of higher voltage power supplied to your house, and the power larger electronics need to function. (That’s all I know, except how to turn it on and off.) It is handy to have an inverter onboard for charging some electronic devices such as a laptop, or for running a tv (which we do not have as yet.) Large capacity inverters can also be used for a blow dryer or a curling iron, but I have never bothered to even bring those along on boating trips.
A small project was hanging our coffee mugs on hooks. There just wasn’t enough storage space (lack of galley storage will become a separate blog post during this winter when Al rips into that!) We have a small collection of mugs from special ports we visit, including Block Island, Fishers Island, Cuttyhunk, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Skinny Legs in St John, and the Bahamas. We have more mugs than we can carry on the boat.
We kept our 73-pound Rocna anchor from the Morgan. That anchor helped us to sleep well at night all the way south and in the Bahamas. We are quite glad that we kept it because the Mariner Orient 38 came with a rather minimal anchor capacity and an embarrassing rode – only 16 feet of chain and then all rope. Al added 50 feet of chain that we had in the attic and our Rocna. We will be adding all chain over the winter!!
The Mariner did not have davits for the dinghy. Instead, like many trawlers, the dinghy is kept on top of the flybridge and lowered with a crane system. Awkward and time consuming. Al found Kato arms on eBay and worked with Kato Marine to find the right mounting brackets. Kato was exceptionally good about communicating and working with him.
The biggest boat project to date was adding solar panels. We loved our solar on the Morgan, and there have tremendous improvements in solar since then (about 10 years ago). Al installed two 250 watt panels on the flybridge, where the sailing dinghy was.
I envision the theme for our marine lives over the next year as a two-parter, full of “Ts” —
1) Transitioning To a Trawler
2) Transforming This Trawler