Reality check

We had a long-awaited visit from Joe Hanko, who worked in the Manta factory and knows these boats inside and out. We’d asked him to go through Escape Velocity and make sure we’re ready to point our bow toward the setting sun. It was a day packed with new information and tips, along with some good news and some bad news.

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The good news is that our rig is fine. There are a few small projects to do to beef up some fittings and replace various parts. He also pointed out areas to watch so we’ll know in advance before something fails and can address it.

The bad news is that our engines need some love and attention and a couple of expensive OEM parts. Other parts can be aftermarket, but all in all, they will require a chunk of the cruising budget just to keep them working as reliably as they have been.

The very bad news is that a previous owner cut a big jagged hole in the main support beam that spans the whole boat from side to side, apparently to vent the new refrigeration system they installed. Any breach of this kind of structural member is a strict no-no.

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The beam has started to bow forward and we discussed how best to fix it to restore structural integrity and prevent further bowing or damage. Luckily there’s very little evidence of displacement of built-ins, so if we fix it soon, before we stress the hulls anymore out in the ocean, we should be able to nip this in the bud. And it’s doubly lucky that Jack and I are not one bit daunted by this kind of repair. We’re comfortable working with fiberglass and epoxy, and we used the technique many times on our previous boat when we filled in a bunch of through-hulls we no longer needed. The challenge will be collecting the materials we need on bicycles, and containing the inevitable mess when you grind fiberglass in a living space. Plus, we have to reroute the fresh air intake and venting for the fridge.

The rest of the list consists of smaller but important changes and repairs, most involving correcting previously substandard wiring or “improvements.”

We had a quiet New Year’s Eve, as we always do, with the exception that our friends Gordon, Marylyn and Jeff weren’t with us. We had a nice dinner in the cockpit, FaceTimed with some family and Skyped others. At midnight we stood out on deck and watched dozens of fireworks displays, large and small, all around Sunset Bay. There were boat horns and noisemakers from shore, and the sounds of various parties and music wafting across the water to our quiet island of Escape Velocity.

And so begins 2013. We start the year with a long work list, eager to continue our adventure. We wish you all a year of health, wealth, wisdom and peace.

9 Comments

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9 Responses to Reality check

  1. Karen sherer

    Hope you’re receiving alllll my “comments…a heathy happy safe new year to you…thinking of you often

  2. TomG from Sag Harbor

    I’m so glad you thought to employ the expertise of Joe Hanko before heading out to sea. What a great idea! Happy New Year to you both!

  3. Do you think that hole was there when the previous owners went around the world with it ?? Happy New Year

  4. Carole L Esley

    You two are so prudent!! Now we will all rest easier when you head west. Have a wonderful 2013 exploring and finding all sorts of food for body and spirit!

  5. Anita

    I wish that the news was better – but Happy New Year for the first time on the sea. I am sure that you and Jack will be able to fix what needs repairing and then soon be on your way. Love to you and Izzy.

  6. Jon N

    Glad you found that! Do you think it is something that your surveyor should have found before you bought the boat? Would love to see pics of your fix.

    • Yes, we are disappointed that the surveyor didn’t see it, and that we didn’t either, if only because we would have had ample opportunity to fix it long before this.

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