Monday, November 4, 2019

Upgrades, Improvements and Add-ons

What a month this has been! We arrived back to Rhapsody at the end of September. We left her in the water in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico and she patiently awaited our return. We landed in Puerto Vallarta with five large suitcases of stuff to put on an already full boat. The first week was spent finding homes for all that we brought. The remainder of the time since then has been working on projects and getting Rhapsody ready to sail to the South Pacific this year.

Some of the projects were completed while we were gone, the largest was replacing our safety line with a higher stainless steel rail.
Photo from Isla Isabel in July. You can see our old safety lines here.

Our previous safety line was thigh high (for me- knee high for Bob) and would do a really good job of flipping us over the side if we were ever on deck and depending on the safety line to protect us.


Our  pretty new rail and the general inspector.

Our new rail is almost hip high for  me and  gives  lots of solid spots to grab onto if needed.



The first project that we worked on after we returned was a new fuel tank. Last year one of our three water tanks developed a leak. Since we now have a water maker the third tank is less important. 


The space for the new tank.
We had that tank removed last summer while we were in Grenada. Here in Mexico we had a new fuel tank welded together and it will double our fuel capacity giving us a greater motoring range as we head to the South Pacific.


Bringing the tank in
It fits so well in its new home!
The upside of this project is the extended  motoring range. The downside is that when we just bought fuel for both tanks it cost us over $500!


Working on projects on a boat is tricky. That empty space where the fuel tank went was previously filled with tools and other items to be stored. While the project is going on those items have to go somewhere. We don't have a garage to put stuff in, 




so it usually ends up in the middle of our living area!

The biggest project was having dinghy davits made.

da·vit
/ˈdāvit,ˈdavət/
noun
plural noun: davits
  1. a small crane on board a ship, especially one of a pair for suspending or lowering a lifeboat


With davits we can easily raise our dinghy at night for security as well as reducing the growth on the bottom of the dinghy. It will also give us another option for traveling with the dinghy. Our two previous options were 



1) putting her up on deck - a very time consuming option- first the motor has to be removed and put on the back rail, then we use the halyards to raise the dinghy up to the foredeck

 or 



2) towing her behind. We only do this for short day trips in good weather.



Some of the work was done in the fabricating shop, some on site in the marina.
And there she hangs!

We were very impressed with the work that they did, good quality, on time, on budget. You can't ask for much more!




Other improvements include having chaps (covering) made for the dinghy. This will help protect her from the sun, and more importantly, from ugly concrete docks that eat dinghies. We have suffered from this and have seen others suffer as well. Besides, the chaps are just prettier than the plain dinghy!


And  we finally got a dive compressor! Freedom to dive wherever we are, and then not need a dive shop to fill our tanks. 
When you have a friend that is driving back to Mexico and asks "Do you need anything brought down?"


Our dive compressor is in there somewhere!

We were not the only ones he transported for. Thanks Chris, dinner is still on the table, so to speak!

Finally the big projects are done, for now. Notice I didn't say all the projects were done, we live on a boat, there is always something needing to be done!


But for now, we can see the table (it has been missing since July),  we are away from the dock and ready to tackle new adventures. Here's  to Season Four aboard Rhapsody.

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