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Water Withdrawl

It's been over a month since we've been on the boat.  If you read our last post about our trip to Europe you know we were gone for a couple weeks.  This seemed like the perfect time to make some updates and repairs on our home.  We knew when we bought Cygnet that she wasn't perfect.  Sure she had been well maintained and loved by her previous family, but she was born in 1988 and needs some updating and repairs to be back to her full glory.

We decided to take her to Chicago Yacht Yard a few days before we left for our trip hoping things would go smoothly and we'd get her back on our return.   We had high hopes and a fair amount of work to do and knew things might not go as planned.  We prepared for it and had a backup plan in case we needed to crash somewhere.  We are fortunate to have great friends who also live in the same neighborhood so the few days before we left we stayed with Rich, Liz, Deuce Deuce, and two dogs and three cats (Kevin is allergic) in their great condo.  They rolled out the red carpet for us and were great hosts.

After hemming and hawing for a while we decided to do the following work (or have it done) while we were away:

1.  Replace the swim platform which is getting old, spongy, and possibly dangerous with a new custom one from Contemporary Fiberglass in Washington.  We looked at getting something local, but the quality and price we saw on their website seemed excellent and we were able to get it shipped for about the same price as a less luxurious plastic option here.

2.  Replace the forward head (toilet) with a more modern and significantly larger bowl.

3.  Get the washer/dryer machine working

4.  Fix a transmission seal that weeps a tiny bit of fluid.

5.  Replace the carpet in the salon (living room) with hardwood.

These are not tiny jobs, but the floor was an especially big one.  We decided after a lot of back and forth with the installers who specialize in marine installations that Teak was the way to go.  It fit our style, budget, and should hold up extremely well for many years.  Teak is the go-to wood for boats.  It's amazingly resilient and looks beautiful in it's natural state or when finished.  The raw materials arrived the day we flew out and it took until we returned to finish.  Now, in the time we were gone there was a holiday that delayed a bit, but it was a week of work to get the floors in the 130 square feet.  Of course there were obstacles, like the old furniture which the guys had to saw apart to remove from the boat.  When we returned we saw the floor and it looks amazing.  They guys did an excellent job and we are very happy.

While the floors were going in not much else went on since you have to walk over the floors to get anywhere else in the boat.  While both of us were excited for the wood, it was the new household size toilet that had Kevin giddy.  The cereal bowl sized commodes currently fitted leave a little to be desired in terms of comfort and ease of use.  Turns out the install isn't as simple as replacing the bowl and it might not even be possible to fit another toilet.  So we might have to make do with the ones we have.  Boating life does require sacrifices, this is one of the worst.

Ye Olde Toilette

The transmission is being fixed and we should be able to get the washer working again but there has been another major setback that has caused a long delay in getting Cygnet back in the water.  The custom swim platform doesn't fit.

If it Don't Fit you Must AQUA-it (the old platform)

We made a pattern for the builder and shipped it to him in Washington state where he expertly molded the fiberglass and plywood into a pretty base to jump off from.  Unfortunately there is a flange on the stock platform where it mounts to the transom (back of the boat) and that was not part of the new one's design.  The transom has a slight angle to it, so there isn't a simple 90 degree support that can be mounted.  We need something custom made, and it's been two weeks without any change in status.  Finally Kevin called and got some things moving.  It seems the builder has some brackets that may work so those are being shipped lickety split to Chicago for a test.  If all goes well, we should be back home Tuesday.  That's almost another week away, and three weeks after returning from our trip.  Hopefully all will go well and we'll be back in time for the hot August weather.  Not to mention we have four different sets of friends planning to come to town and stay with us aboard, so we need to get Cygnet wet soon!

Making the Pattern
So, water we thinking about the work that's going on?  Well, to be honest it's ridiculously expensive, when quoting prices for anything with the word "marine" in front of it you can triple or quadruple what it would cost on land.  Also, you can't just take a boat this size to any mechanic or carpenter or plumber to get work done.  You need someone familiar with marine systems and who has the capability to fix things correctly.  Therein is the reason for much of the added cost.  We are realistic after owning another boat previously, but it still stinks to pay what you may consider to be highway (or waterway) robbery to get things done.  Without a boat in the water we've actually been fantasizing about condos!

We are now crashing with Crash.  Our friend Matt has been extremely gracious and it'll be two weeks that we will end up staying at his condo and we are so thankful for him and his sweet pad.  After staying at Rich & Liz's place and crashing at Crash's we've enjoyed the space and normality.  We are eager to get back on the water and expect thoughts of a small yard and garage will quickly fade once we do.

P.S.  Don't get too excited but Two Wrights might live again soon!  Updates to come...


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