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Windows, and Sun Shades, and Ladders - Oh My!

Greetings all - We've gotten some things done this week and some not.  But that's life sometimes, right?

I leave to go home tomorrow, so I figure now is a good time to get a post up.  Sometimes it seems that time just flies so quickly.

In looking through all that needed to be done to paint the motor compartments, we decided that we needed to first reinstall the swim ladders on the transom of each hull.  That's because the mounting for the ladders comes through into the motor compartments and we didn't want to do that work first and then drill back through it and mess it back up again.  Silly us, we thought that would be a pretty quick job.  LOL

Last year at this time, on Mother's Day in fact, John woke up sick and it turned out that he had a pretty bad cellulitis infection in his left leg.  Two round of antibiotics cleared it up.  Guess what happened this year - yep, a cellulitis infection in his right leg.  It didn't make him as sick, but with all the cramped motor compartment work, his foot became very swollen.  So off to the urgent care we went.

Yes, cellulitis it was, but the Dr was even. more worried about the fluid retention in his foot.  But he didn't want to prescribe any lasix for it unless we could get some blood work done ensuring his heart, liver, and kidneys were working right, and they don't do that at an urgent care.  He let us go with antibiotics and instructions for Joh to keep his foot elevated higher than his heart.  We also had to promise we would go to the ER if it became worse or didn't show improvement by today.  Luckily it has improved a good bit so no ER for us right now.

But that put a dent in some work plans.  That's ok since we don't have much use for a boat if John isn't happy and healthy!!

Still, as of this morning, we got the ladders all mounted though, so woo hoo!!  Here's a few pics of the fun.  The only casualty in the whole thing was my phone screen.  Ooops!

But what about the windows and sunshades you ask - glad you asked.

The windows I actually took care of last time I was out here.  They are the windows in our cockpit enclosure.  We love having the enclosure as it gives us a break from wind and rain.  It has windows all around which is nice.  But, they were filthy!  It was hard to even see out of them and I didn't know if they were just really scratched up (they are flexible plastic) or dirty.  I wanted to see if I could clean them and was asking John what I should use.  He showed me that we already had a three stage cleaning system for them that first cleans and then polishes the plastic.  So I gave it a shot, and lo and behold, it turned out great!  I didn't get any before pics, but here are the results.

LOL - you should have seen me all stretched out across that dash trying to reach all the corners of the windows with my short little arms - That's a picture I'm very glad we DON'T have!!

As to the sunshades, no, I'm not talking about styling new sunglasses, but, when the sun shines down on the boat, the cabin can turn into an oven with a lot of sun coming in through all the nice windows we have on each side and the front.  It can get hot, Hot, HOT!!  The last time I was out here, we experimented with some mesh fabric that was in the boat to see what kind of a difference it could make in the cabin of the boat.  It was significant.  So, we made plastic patterns of all the windows and I took them home, long with the rest of the mesh fabric we had on the boat.  Then, I used the measurements and ordered enough fabric to cover all the windows and shade them from the sun.  When it all arrived, I looked at it for a bit, wholly intimidated by it.  Then I realized that time was winding away and if I didn't get started I wouldn't have anything to bring back with me.

So, I took the giant roll of fabric to my in-laws since I don't have anywhere that big to roll it out, and I got cutting.  I cut out all the pieces I needed for the windows plus some for a couple of line bags.  Once I had all the pieces, I headed home and broke out the Sailrite.

Sailrite is the sewing machine that we bought at the first US Sailboat Show we attended.  It is the gold standard for sail sewing from what we can tell.  But don't get us wrong, we do not plan to make our own sails.  We want it for exactly what I was about to do, plus bags, curtains, sail repairs, and more.  This is one impressive machine.  It is super heavy duty and can sew through many layers of tough, thick fabric, including leather.  However, I AM NOT A PERSON WHO CAN SEW!!!!  I got the worst grade of my Jr High School years in Home Ec and the teacher told me that she had hardly ever seen anyone not be able to simply sew a straight line.  Yep, that's me.

So, I was intimidated for certain!

Yes, I had to make sense of all this.

The best part about the whole thing is that Sailrite has done an absolutely fantastic job at making and posting a whole bunch of videos on how to do EVERYTHING.  So I spent several hours watching and rewatching videos, and finally decided I was ready to start.

Turns out, it was actually a cinch!  Crazy, huh?!?!?

With the walking foot and the magnetic guide, plus the binder attachment, I, for the first time in my life, could sew a straight line!  Woo Hoo!!

Because I left it so late, I only got 1/2 of the window covers all the way sewn, plus, I miscalculated how much binding I needed and ran out.  But, with the 1/2 I did get done we were able to cover all the windows that face the sun the most.  So here we are, coming up to the end of May with 80 degree days and still don't have the AC installed.  With the sunshades and a little fan, we are able to manage just fine.

We still have to install the hardware on the boat to mount them using Loxx snaps - which are super cool.   We bought the snaps and the tools, and I used them to get the one line bag I made mounted.  It's pretty cool being able to do something you thought you never could do and have it turn out OK!

Measuring and making plastic patterns

Loxx and tools

The first line bag (lines are ropes used to control sails)

And the taped on sun shades with a beautiful sunset in the background

All in all, not so bad.


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