Getting Ready...........Again

Once again we are preparing Sea Trek for our next cruise. Our plans at this point are a bit muddy but considerations are to visit friends along the eastern seaboard from Florida to South Carolina between April and November. Then when the hurricane season comes to a close, head back over to the Bahamas. It has been eight years since our last visit to the island chain so we look forward to seeing what changes have transpired since then. We always say our plans are written in the sand at low tide. During the next month and a half we will be doing some upgrades and maintenance that we have neglected since we have been here in Houston.

A few years ago we did some experimenting with a non skid paint for the decks. Over the years the finish has gotten pretty shabby and we have tried painting with a couple of different products. The best look was with AwlGrip and a flattening agent added to eliminate that shiny finish and loose all "non-skid" affects. It looked good but was still very slippery when wet. We came across a product called DuraBac that touted itself as a true non skid and reported it was used by commercial fisherman and the military as well as industry. The application process was fairly easy, the color selection was good and after we applied it to the deck the performance was very good even when the decks were awash. We chose the color Cream since it matched the original non skid color but sadly found after only a few months it started turning grey in splotches all over. Our first contact with the manufacturer found they did not include an additive that was supposed to be mixed in so they sent us a replacement. But the same thing happened after the second attempt. Further contact with the manufacturer was not of much help since they insisted we must have done something wrong or used the wrong cleaners. So at our expense we redid the decks again and guess what? The same results, so we decided that we really liked the non skid properties and we researched other like products and found one with good positive feedback called Tuff Coat. Concerned that we might have problems with it also turning gray we ordered new gray paint then we did a test section and left it for a few months. The finished stayed the same color and was easy to clean. The DuraBac was always difficult to clean from the very start. Again the non-skid properties are great. So now Sea Trek has a great looking new coat of gray non-skid.

We have also done some work on the interior. New blinds on our large ports, a new storage cabinet over the galley counter where the old TV/VHS combo used to live and new foam for some of the cushions. A new stereo system tied to the new HD LCD TV and DVD player/recorder improves the entertainment upgrades. I have added a new four stage battery charger and left our trusty 30 amp original charger in place but unplugged. If one fails we only need to unplug that one and plug in the other for a back up.

Several years ago we replaced the large fixed ports on the cabin sides with Lexan, surfaced mounted and with bronze outer frames. Over the years the Lexan has degraded and clouded over to the point that one could not see through them very well. Those were clear Lexan but we decided to replace them with a darker smoked finish. The bronze frames were always green so we decided to get them chromed. We found a shop in Houston that did a great job. The final finished look was outstanding and we have received many complements since we completed the project.

For many years we have run all of our navigation programs from the computer at the nav station. As a certified marine electronics technician I decided it was probably time to put a plotter at the helm. We went with the Standard Horizon CP300 since we did not need an integrated system and the Standard Horizon is very user friendly. In addition it uses the C-Map cartridges which I prefer and the cost is 1/3 or better than most of the other systems on the market. From personal experience and the first hand experience of others that use the Standard Horizon we have received nothing but positive feedback. Our 16 year old Signet Wind Instruments have been occasionally acting erratic so we decided now would be a good time to replace them. We installed a Simrad Wind machine to match our Simrad speed/depth/temp combo. Tweaking much of the rest of the equipment and electronics are on the todo list. We also replaced the aging side curtains for the cockpit.

Other items yet to be done include having the anchor and chain re galvanized since there is a place close by to get that done. Some of the paint on the hull is showing it's age since we last did the job 10 years ago so we will do some touching up. The teak is getting stripped and redone after eight years of just maintenance coats and several other small cosmetic projects. We like the boat to be looking good and feeling good when we leave for these cruises and it has paid off in the past. We have been able to enjoy the trip and the boat with only minor issues to deal with along the way. So we will post our progress for those interested and for those not so interested we hope you enjoy the other many articles we have posted here. We will continue to post as we move along our route and report back when internet access allows.

1 comment:

  1. Susan & Chuck,

    Hey there...It's been too long. I just finished re-reading your log entries & webpage...and all I can say is Wow! Thanks for lifting our spirits through your words. Life continues here in Indianapolis. Katie is now a Ball State graduate (Journalism) and James III graduates Warren Central High next month. Arch rivals here are Carmel & Ben Davis...Sort of like Kent & Queen Anne's were in Maryland. Take care and thanks for blogging...We look forward to reading of your new adventures. Fair Winds and Following Seas!

    James C. Bennett Jr.
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    (317) 891-9663


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