Lots of people ask how we decided on this boat, and what we mean when we say "sorry, can't... working on the boat this weekend!". Making Frannie feel like home & getting her ready to blue water sail involved a few tweaks... If you're curious what those were, read on!
For those of you who have never purchased a boat: unless it's brand new - there will be things that need to be fixed (and then there will continue to be for ever and ever and ever... because boats are really just holes in the water into which you pour money). One of things that we loved about Frannie was the lack of such things... she has solid decks, no leaks (that we know of... knocking on wood right now), new sails & rigging, and a running engine. In a nutshell: we fixed the sink in the head, replaced the engine mounts & fuel filter, installed a new (higher amp) alternator, replaced the batteries & rewired the electrical system (which unfortunately involved making holes in some fibreglass), threw in a couple of solar panels, installed a new GPS & a new compass, cut out some shelves to make them more useful, and re-rigged the self-steering (thanks to Shop Pressure Drop). Read more below!
All she really came with was a fire extinguisher, a VHF radio, and a few flares. Although we had full intentions of equipping ourselves properly, we had some constraints to work around. For starters, we weren't in a position to drop thousands of dollars on an SSB radio (the bluewater sailor's typical method of long range communication). What we ended up doing was grabbing an IridiumGO (essentially, a satellite modem) - BAM, our iPhones are now SAT phones. Bonus: you can also tweet, text-only web browse, and email in the IridumGO app! Is this the best method? No, it's slower than dial-up but it will (hopefully) work well enough.
Of course, we did purchase an EPIRB as well (for any of our pilot friends reading that's just a sailors ELT). Also, we plan to reactivate Trevor's spot tracking device (from his last sailing trip - where at the age of 17, him and a buddy hopped on a very old Contessa 26 and sailed it from Toronto to the Dominican Republic).
What if the boat sinks? Well, for starters we have a dinghy. It's name is "Little John" & Trevor and his brother have had it for well over 10 years. Fun side fact: when Trevor was 13 he and his dog Kylie took it on a multiple-week-long voyage from Toronto to Port Perry via the Trent-Severn river... ANYWAYS, in addition to Little John we purchased an actual liferaft.
Update (September): Little John has died. We have acquired a new dinghy. 😑
Finally, in the likely event that we hurt ourselves (or each other), we put together some pretty badass first aid kits. We did this using Trevor's ship Captain's medical & his mother's nursing expertise. 🏥
Another top priority was getting rid of the orange! ...... no, not Jamie, the countertops!
How did we do this you ask? Simple: white bilge paint. Check it out!
In terms of aesthetics, the only other things were to have new curtains sewn (by Jamie's lovely aunt Susan) and to order some Plasteak for the floors. The curtains look great, but as of yet we have been putting off installation of the new floors because you know... how the fuck... 😂