Even though the mast is back up and we’re officially a sailboat again(!), we’ve got a scary long list of boat projects to complete before we can leave the dock in Mobile, Alabama.

In this video we bend the sails back on, replace the kitchen plumbing, and do a bit of varnishing, finish woodworking and more engine room insulation. We also make a modification to the bulkhead between our chain locker and forward v-berth locker to allow easier stowage of half of our anchor rode further aft. We’re trying to redistribute the weight because our boat is a little bow-heavy.

Hope you enjoy!

Lauren & Kirk

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Episode Dialogue

Yeah, I don’t think it sunk. We would have gotten a phone call. It’s the moment of truth; here we go.

[Lauren] Are you opening it? The boat looks like it’s turned itself inside out today.

See, this is what I’m dealing with. This is the reality of boat life.

[Lauren] Last time, on Sailing Soulianis, we officially became a sailboat again. We’re running on lines on the mast before it gets stepped this afternoon.

It’s in! What’s that behind us? That’s a mast! Hell yeah.

[Lauren] We then reconnected the electronics.

We gotta test it now.

Kirk, this is Soulianis, over.

[Kirk] Wanna tell me a quick story?

[Lauren] And tensioned our rigging.

We’ve got our Loos tensioning gauge. We just wanna make sure that our mast is staying straight up. Nice and tight. You’re bang-on. That’s 66 and a quarter.

[Lauren] Oooh!


[Lauren] And lastly, put the boom back on before flying up to Michigan for some R & R and fun in the snow. We’re all packed and ready to go.

Ready to do some fun?

We’re in Nashville on our way from Michigan back to Alabama to get back to the boat. It’s gonna be like 19 days since we’ve seen the boat.

And we’re hoping when we return that the boat’s gonna still be there, floating. This was the longest time we had left the boat by herself. And our imaginations were running wild.

It’ll probably be there.

Yeah, I don’t think it sunk. We would have gotten a phone call.

Because it would be hard to tell that it sank, because we’re in six feet of water.

It would be leaned over on one side.

On a low tide, it could just be propped up by its dock lines. Kirk!


We’re almost to the boat.


I’m nervous.

Is your heart pounding?

A little bit.

Well, it’s still afloat.

Is it? Is it floating? She’s floating!

Don’t fall in. Well, it’s still there. Doesn’t look like anything’s too amiss.

Okay, let’s go inside.

Okay. Oh, that was a good one.

That was risky.

[Kirk] Yeah. What’s it look like?

[Lauren] An absolute disaster, but just the way we left it.

[Kirk] Alright, good.

[Lauren] Yeah.

So even though the mast was back up, and we were technically a sailboat, we still had a laundry-list of things to do before embarking on some real cruising.

Kirk’s replacing the galley sink’s plumbing. It was one of the things on the surveyor’s list that we needed to do. Actually, what was it, one of two things?

[Kirk] One of very few things.

One of very few things that the surveyor recommended we need to do on this boat. Did you lose a screw?

[Kirk] I keep losing it. I can’t get both my hands in here. I’m like a tyrannosaurus rex.

[Lauren] Here is the tyrannosaurus rex in his unnatural habitat.

See, this is what I’m dealing with. Will you hand me one more of those short screws on the shit shelf? On the far side, not the close ones.

[Lauren] Hmm.

Thank you.

[Lauren] Mm-hmm.

Oh, I just set down the screw you handed me.

[Lauren] Is it gone?

I don’t know. I don’t know where it went.

[Lauren] Look at that brand new plumbing.

Just tightening everything up. It’s the moment of truth; here we go.

[Lauren] Are you open it?

[Kirk] Yeah. Ready?

[Lauren] Yeah. Aw, that’s disgusting! Oh my god, how far does it go? All the way up to the sink?

[Kirk] Well, we are kinda keeled over right now.

[Lauren] Aw, that’s so gross. Ew, Mobile Bay, you’re disgusting. Leaks?

[Kirk] I don’t see any yet.

[Lauren] I don’t see any leaks. Nope. We were leak-free, and good to go. One project down, and then it was on to getting the sails back up.

So we want these safety rings to be at the bottom of our sail track. I don’t know what these things are called. Cars, I guess? If it were flipped around, then our safety ring fell off or broke, then our pins would drop off and we’d lose our cars that attach our sail to our main sail track. So we’re going through, and as we’re re… What is it called when you bend on the sail? So we’re re-bending our main sail.

[Lauren] Really, that’s what you call it?

[Kirk] Yeah, that’s what you call it.

[Lauren] Oh.

We’re just making sure that those are flipped the right way.

[Lauren] As we bent down the main sail, we stopped periodically to reinstall the battens.

[Kirk] And we added some more sound deadening and insulation to the engine room.

[Lauren] Nope.

[Kirk] Nice and flush. I think that should be all for this. And technically, if you really wanna do nice finish work, you should put tape over the spot that you’re drilling, and that will prevent stuff from blowing out. I don’t know, I guess that’s how I feel.

I think it looks good, Kirk.

[Kirk] Show what you got out here.

Oh, I’m so excited! We got a heater. We’ve been without a heater for about four nights now?

[Kirk] Roughly.

And it’s been freezing cold, and every morning we wake up with rain coming down on us from condensation. In the V berth, so, this is awesome. And then, we got this! Sweet non-stick frying pan, because our old Teflon pan was totally deteriorating and falling apart, and every time we tried to make scrambled eggs with like three eggs, we’ve ended up with one and a half eggs. Breakfast is going to be amazing tomorrow. Mm-hmm.

[Kirk] Clamps are coming off. Yeeha.

[Lauren] Look at that. That looks pretty nice. Look at that remnant of the microwave back there.

[Kirk] Yeah, it’s a good thing we can’t see it when we get it all full of stuff.

[Lauren] Yeah. Hey, Kirk, I think that was the longest boat project ever.

So far, it was, yeah. That started like the first week we got the boat. We used to have a microwave right here. We’re never gonna use it because we want to be on anchor.

[Lauren] Yeah, that was literally… That was the first project.


[Lauren] Was removing the microwave.

Well, it was important then, and then it got to the not-important stage.

[Lauren] Right.

We had other, more important things to do. I just had the sandpaper out. Do you know where that went off to?

[Lauren] I didn’t even see you take it out. The boat looks like it’s turned itself inside out today. It’s the first day in probably a week that we’ve had above freezing temperatures. What’s the weather been like the last week?

Arctic. Today it’s, what? It was 53 when we just looked.

[Lauren] Yeah.

As the high, for like an hour.

[Lauren] We’ll take it.

Yep. Be out here in knee socks and shorts.

That’s why the boat looks like it does. We’ve completely emptied the V berth, and we’re letting everything dry because it’s just constantly damp. Down around the mattress and our blankets and stuff, so. They’re getting a good air out today. What other projects are we doing?

[Kirk] Right now?


Right now I just cut a finger hole into our V berth hatch. We sanded down the V berth hatch woodworking, so that we could varnish it. I inflated the dingy and pulled out all the chain and anchor so that we could put a pastor pipe in our chain locker to go down below the V berth so that we could move some of the chain weight aft.

We wanna put a piece of PVC in between the two, so that we can pull it through easily.

Because right now it’s just going through a drain line where the chain is wet, it drains water down. But it’s not quite big enough, so.

It’s also running right over the ground wire.

So we’re putting this PVC pipe through the bulk head.

We wanna protect it.

So the chain can run through it.

Si, senor. That is in the midst of our giant electrical project. Which has forced everything out of the quarter berth and shoved into the pilot berth. At least the kitchen’s clean. And I have coffee to drink. I totally forgot about it. I forgot to press it. Okay, I should probably do this with two hands.

[Kirk] Alright, we had left about half of our chain down below the V berth to put the weight of the chain down below the water line and aft a little bit further, as far as we could, which worked well, but it was very difficult to get the chain out of the V berth section and up into the chain locker section without actually coming down below and pulling it out by hand. So in a situation where we wanted to put out more chain, and we needed to in a hurry, it was kinda difficult. So what we’re gonna do is actually cut this bulk head opening where the drain for the water from the chain locker drains down into the bilge a little bit larger. Slide in a piece of PVC pipe, and then epoxy that in there so that hopefully the chain will be able to slide through the pipe a little bit easier and will actually be able to pull it out as we’re pulling it out without having to come down here. We’ll see how well that works. We have our pastor pipe, which I’ve cut here. We have a grounding, bonding system that runs down the center line of the hull, which I’ve just put some PVC pipe that I cut in half over the top of that there. And then all this stuff is just a big old rubber mat to try and keep the anchor chain from making so much noise when we’re going into big waves. So it just kinda quiets things down and softens it against the hull, because we’ve got a lot of weight up here. This is the reality of boat life. You have big plans for the day. You start one project and realize you have three more you have to do before that project. And then you get none of them done. It’s pretty overwhelming sometimes. And so then we’re left living inside of a construction zone, hardly able to move through the boat.

[Lauren] What you doing now?

I am protecting the wood around our V berth hatch because it was getting all sun baked, so I’m putting more varnish on it. I sanded it down yesterday, and now, because it’s over 55 degrees finally, I am varnishing it.

[Lauren] And this is coat number two?

This is coat number two. There still that bonsai pipeline here?

[Lauren] Know you do. Look to your left. Let me zoom in on it. Oh, yes.


We’re going on a sunset hunt.

Yeah, we’re gonna have to hunt for it, too.

[Lauren] We are gonna go up there. Gotta lean into it.

[Kirk] It’s low.

[Lauren] Here’s our boat. He’s trying to get a third coat of varnish in before the sun goes down and the temperature drops too much.

[Man On Computer] You need to rinse, as well as it’s gonna help with the furling as it comes in.

So instead of pulling you forward, it’s now just keeling you over. You do that. I’m gonna drink a beer.