Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Part II)

by Susan on May 27, 2013

May 27, 2013

After a couple of months in California working on big yard project for Michael’s Mom, a couple of weeks in Virginia visiting my sister, several weeks in Maryland visiting my mother, and a road trip through North Carolina, Georgia and Florida visiting friends we have not seen in many, many years, we returned to Fort Lauderdale in time to spend the holidays with friends and in the New Year finally began a boat project we’ve been wanting to tackle for some time now.

Christmas with My Best Buds

We Are Family, I Got All My Sisters With Me

I Think We Had One Too Many

The freezer we bought before we left California never really worked so we decided to replace it and then take the opportunity to install Corian countertops.  But, much to my disappointment, the estimates we were getting were not in our budget so we decided to replace the  existing Formica with new Formica for now.

Michael thought he had plenty of time to leisurely work on the counter doing all the work himself but soon found himself working against the clock.

After tearing the old freezer box out, we ordered our brand new freezer which looked beautiful and promised to be a good working machine, but it did not have a flange around the perimeter as it appeared to have on the Engel USA website so Michael was faced with an extra project, building a box for our new freezer.   Once the old cracked Formica was removed, he also discovered a lot of dry-rotted plywood so that too had to be replaced.  Every step he took seemed to create more work for him.

Gaping Hole Where Our Freezer Used to Be

In the process of all the woodwork he was doing, he decided to change the oil in our engine only to discover water in it.  Not good.  Not good at all. We interviewed a few mechanics but none of them wanted to touch it.  Apparently they believed the job was too big for them to tackle on the boat and all recommended we take Calypso to a boatyard to have the engine hauled out.   Finally, we found one mechanic through Sun Power who felt confident that he would not have any problem repairing the engine on the boat but indicated that it could easily take him 50 hours depending on the problem and we would not know what the problem was until we started tearing the engine down.  He seemed knowledgeable and though his rate was very high, we went for it.

Now, not only did we have a big hole in our counter, a freezer in the  middle of our salon, wood all over the cockpit (where Michael was doing the cutting), we slowly started accumulating engine parts, large and small, all over the boat.

The engine finally got fixed two months and several thousand dollars later.  The engine had to be torn down all the way to the cylinder sleeves which were pitted and corroded causing the problem.  We ended up replacing all four sleeves and pistons, etc.  We pretty much rebuilt almost the entire engine.  Michael could do nothing on the counter for these two months; not only was there no longer any room to work but he was busy helping the mechanic and painting the engine parts.

Engine Apart But Freshly Painted

Michael's Ingenious Idea to Suck Out as Much of the Paint Smell as Possible

Michael's Ingenious Idea to Suck Out as Much of the Paint Smell as Possible

Keeping Parts Organized as He's Painting

Bolts and Washers - When the Time Came, It was so Easy to Put the Engine Back Together Again

Finally, we fired her up and she worked beautifully . . . at least here in the slip.  My understanding is that if it was not put together right, we would have known within an hour of running it in the slip so we feel confident she will work fine . . . but we haven’t taken her out on a sea trial yet.

Michael then went back to the counter, finished the box and proceeded to install the freezer.  In the process he discovered that the coils on the compressor were bent.  We assume the damage occurred during shipping.  We called the manufacturer, Engel USA, explained the problem and within a day a new freezer was sent to us.  We couldn’t believe it.  We had already had the freezer for two months sitting in our salon. How could they be sure that we didn’t damage it. Regardless, they were extremely professional making the process painless.

Gaping Hole Got Bigger When the Dry-Rotted Wood Was Removed; Bottom Support Shelf for Freezer In

Making Progress, Freezer Box Almost Done

Freezer In; We Had Less Than 1/2 Inch Clearance Getting It In

After Michael got the freezer and the new plywood installed, we put four coats of varnish on the wood in the galley from the countertop level and above (the bottom portion will be done later when we have more time).  Once the varnish was dry and the woodwork completed, we had our new Formica and a Plexiglass splash guard installed as well as a new sink.  Our galley looks beautiful and the freezer works great.  I couldn’t be happier with the end result.

New Galley Countertop

Now we are finishing last minute projects, cleaning up, putting things away and preparing to head up to the Chesapeake Bay.

Our departure date will be sometime in the first week of June, weather permitting.  I can feel the anxiety building which always happens when we’re ready to leave anywhere we’ve been for a long time.  I get way too comfortable and start getting attached to the conveniences of land life.   Now there is the added anxiety of a rebuilt engine we haven’t really put through the test yet and more unfamiliar waters.  Life certainly is not boring.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna Mary Thorson May 27, 2013 at 11:41 am

Love it! Great Job you two. Calypso is now the Grand Calypso : ). Far winds and following sea’s as you journey North. Keep us posted as to your travels and should you need to go into a marina along the way…maybe we can come see you again. Love you bunches…

mykiemon May 31, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Again, if I EVER had an idea to buy a boat, this article has iced it for me, though I did enjoy the work….from a distance.

The kitchen looks beautiful! Keep up the good work.

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