It’s goodbye, but only for a while. We’re leaving Soulianis on the hard in Florida during hurricane season to return to the Midwest to visit our families. We’ve never left our boat for this long before, and do everything we can think of to prepare her for the brutal summer heat, humidity and UV rays — and potential hurricanes.
Lauren & Kirk
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Start Your Morning with some Sailing Inspiration
We’re now in the boatyard. There’s been a million things that we’ve been tying to get done before leaving the yard.
We are going to take our mast down.
[Man] Hang on, I see the cable down.
[Kirk] What’s happening.
[Lauren] We’re tearing our ceiling panels down. Whatcha doing?
We still don’t know where the leak is coming from. You don’t realize how much metal you have on your boat until you have to polish every square inch of it. It’s crazy what the environment does to boats. almost there.
[Kirk] We have a new mast. The state of Soulianis.
So we haven’t been on the camera much lately. Probably because we’re a little bit sad. We’re wrapping up our sailing season. We’re now on the boatyard. And, we’ve been in the process of trying to get a cargo van.
We’re here in Miami trying to buy a van.
That we can drive, slash, live in this summer while we’re in the Midwest. Hi.
Hey, whatcha doing?
[Lauren] Tryna give an update on what’s been happening in the last couple weeks. And, what’s supposed to happen today.
At 10 a.m this morning we are supposed to get our new summer home delivered to us. It is van, and its name is chip.
We’ve already named our van and we don’t even technically own him yet. Him, it’s a him. Our boats a her, so our van is gonna be a him.
[Kirk] Okay, hold on, we’re not giving up on sailing so why are we buying a van? Six weeks ago we extended our work trip to Utah so that we could look for vans. We knew we’d be traveling around a lot over hurricane season and our families live 600 miles apart. So, instead of having to buy plane and train tickets, and renting cars. And, since we’d have no home otherwise, we decided our best option would be to buy a place to sleep, on wheels.
We were so close to buying a van. We’ve driven the entire State of Florida, Fort Myers to Miami.
We literally just got beat out by another couple that drove all the way from Fort Myers to look at the exact same vehicle, in the exact same spot, at the exact same time as us. And, they beat us there by about five minutes. So, we didn’t get to buy the van.
Miami to Orlando, Orlando to Jacksonville.
[Kirk] Thank you. Had to get a,
Security clearance to look at this van we’re gonna see.
[Lauren] Wow. Go back to Orlando,
Sarasota, and then,
Back to Miami.
It’s been a week of searching.
All the way down to Key West.
And then to Key West. Finally decided yesterday to go for this van that has a lien on it unfortunately. So, it’s making it extra complicated to try to buy it. There’s actually two of them that this company is selling. And, they’re chip distributors. This is the one that we’re not getting. But, this is what it used to look like. The one that we want to buy is right over here. And, just got its wrap taken off. So, looks like a brand new transit. So now we’re just waiting the president of the company to find the title. And, we’re really hoping that he can find the title. It’s been a whole big debacle of trying to get a clear title and somehow get the van to us. And then, we need to get back to the boat in Key West, to be able to bring it back up here to Port Charlotte and store it away. So, we struck a deal that they’re gonna come to Port Charlotte and drop off the van to us. Once they got the clear title.
We’re not very good at buying vehicles, or boats. We seem to find a way to look at hundreds of them before we end up with one. And, it doesn’t ever seem to go very smoothly, or quickly, or easily.
So, that’s what’s been happening.
Oh you are, okay. Yeah, yeah, straight back and then I will come down and meet you. See you in a moment. Our van, our van is here. Okay, is this what I wanna wear?
You actually match.
Will you come check it out with me?
[Lauren] Yeah, I will.
[Lauren] Ah, there’s our van.
Hey Orlando, you made it, thanks so much. We really appreciate it.
[Lauren] Oh, hello.
And, we got a little present. Maduros, our favorite.
[Lauren] Which are?
They are sweet plantains.
[Lauren] More chips.
More chips. Oh, so much time we’ve invested in this. And it worked.
[Lauren] Here we are.
With an empty van. We got us a van.
[Lauren] You’re gonna drive it to the boat?
[Lauren] Chip delivery.
Chip delivery. Chip, Rahm, Soulianis.
[Lauren] With our summer transportation and living accommodations now secured, we got back to prepping the boat for our departure.
[Lauren] Our anchor rode still had some caked mud and dirt on it. So, Kirk pulled out all 200 feet and sprayed it off. He then wiped of any remaining boatyard residue before I pulled it back into the locker. Next on the list was prepping the mast unstepping. There were a couple of reasons why we were doing this.
When you get really high winds the monohull ditches some of the stresses by heeling over. When you’re on a cradle, on land, your boat is not gonna heel over until the stresses just build up. And, even with just the bare pole, there’s a lot of stress that can build up especially in hurricane-force winds. When you prepare your boat for hurricane season you strip down anything possible that will rip or tear, or catch wind, any canvas, any fabric, anything that is windage. You mast is a pretty big piece of windage. And, yes it’s strong but it will transfer a lot of that energy directly into the hull of your boat, through the rigging or through the mast itself. So, we are going to take our mast down.
[Kirk Voiceover] Beside reducing windage overall, we wanted our mast down for another reason. At certain wind speeds in specific directions the mast will start to pump, sending unwanted reverberation throughout the boat. We’ve talked to a few other Tartan 37 owners who’ve experienced the same thing. And, we didn’t want to allow this to happen in potentially strong winds all summer long.
[Man] Move that block out of the way. Hang on, I see the cable down.
[Lauren Voiceover] It also helped that we had done this once before. And, we were fairly comfortable with the process.
[Kirk] What’s happening?
We’re tearing our ceiling panels down to try to find the leak. Pretty sure it’s coming in through the dorade box up there. That we’ve had since we bought the boat and we haven’t been able to do anything about it yet.
[Lauren Voiceover] Oh, so you wanna take that one ceiling panel down? Get ready for a game of reverse Tetris, or something like that. Every time we need to get at something behind the walls or the ceiling, or the floor it seems to require removing five times as many trim pieces as we think it should. And, about a million more screws than we thought could exist on one boat.
So, we took down all the ceiling panels. We still don’t know where the leak is coming from. We actually sprayed the deck down. Whatcha doing?
Making rain, to see where our leak might be coming from.
Nothing ended up coming through, which is kind of strange. But also, not, because usually it would take a really long time once it started raining, for the leak to actually come through. Sometimes if it was a light rain we wouldn’t see the leak until the next day. So, we’re not gonna be able to get it done before we have to leave and go back up north. So, we’re gonna try it next year. But, in the meantime, I’m cleaning all the mold off the fiberglass that was growing underneath the ceiling panels. And then, we’re gonna put up our new panels that Kirk cut. They’re out of plastic instead of like a fiberboard, so should definitely be resistant to mold.
[Kirk] Can’t even hardly tell the difference.
[Kirk] Yeah. That doesn’t look too bad.
[Kirk Voiceover] We gave the hull a thorough cleaning. We used diluted toilet bowl cleaner to remove the stains from where the deck drains through the toe rail, and followed up over the entire hull with boat soap.
Having two ladders is freakin’ awesome. Makes things so much faster.
[Lauren] Oh, hi Chip.
[Lauren Voiceover] With the hull freshly cleaned, Kirk set about buffing and waxing while I polished all the rust off the stainless.
So, I’ll show you what we’ve been doing here to clean up all of this stainless steel. Here’s a little piece that I haven’t done yet. This stuff works wonders, but not without your elbow grease. Okay. You don’t realize how much metal you have on your boat until you have polish every square inch of it.
[Kirk Voiceover] That evening I disconnected our flexible solar panels from the dodger and stowed them away. The next day, I started construction of our new mini-mast to support the huge UV cover we’d be draping over the entire boat.
We’re supposed to leaving the yard tomorrow, we probably won’t be leaving till Saturday, ’cause the boat still looks like this. There’s been a million things that we’ve been trying to get done before leaving the yard. We’ve never done this before. We’ve never put our boat away for, well, any period of time. So, now leaving it in Florida and knowing that we’re in the hurricane box. And, we’re leaving it in a super hot and humid environment, it’s definitely got us a little bit worried because we don’t know if what we’re doing is gonna be adequate. We don’t know if we’re missing something. We’re hoping we come back to the boat in the fall and it’s not covered in mold. Or, the sun hasn’t burned a hole through something. Or, all the metal isn’t rusted. It’s crazy what the environment does to boats. We have a hard deadline to get back up to the Midwest, back to my parents’ house where I grew up, because they just sold it. They’ve been so kind to store a bunch of my childhood stuff that still have. They close next week, and we need to be up there a couple days before the close to get all of my stuff. So, back to packing.
Now, we go see how this fits. And, how sturdy it is. Lauren,
[Kirk] We have a new mast.
[Lauren] We have a new mast?
[Kirk] Tell me if this is the right way.
[Lauren] Okay. Yep, that looks good.
We’re gonna use Udall rubber tape around the inside corner and hopefully give use a nice water tight seal. We should put this in and it’ll just squeeze right out. So, I’ve wrapped the bases in a rag, like so. So, our stays are gonna rest up against our handrails and and be supported. Looks pretty solid. The state of Soulianis. We’re actually looking pretty clean right now.
I’m glad you think so.
[Kirk] Half a hour ago this place was even more trashed.
Yeah, that’s true. And so, that’s what we have left. But, I don’t think we need to actually put stuff down there. Beause we’re taking so much stuff out of the boat. So, we can just set it on top of things.
This is the coolest spot in the boat right now. Standing right in front of the air conditioner, and it is awesome. Kay, so this is the state of things on deck. We’ve replaced all of our nicely varnished wood with sacrificial wood. We’ve got our new carbon mast nicely covered up. Any of the other areas where things are going to get stuck and tear our sunshade are also covered up. I’m gonna go around and tie a bunch of paracord all over the deck to finish our tent. Come check out my entrapment scenario.
I have no pants on.
[Kirk] I’m on one percent, just get up here.
Wow, look at that.
[Kirk] I think that’ll hold the shade off the boat, don’t you? So, I just put our UV shade out on the deck about five minutes ago. Currently the white part of the deck says 122 degrees. Under the shade, 99 degrees. That’s only in five minutes. This is 50% UV block. So, that cuts our time in the sun in half on our teak. And, we’re gonna be gone for roughly three months, it’ll only seem to the boat like it was here for a month and a half
We probably got an hour left until the sun goes down and we’re eaten alive.
[Kirk] To a week and a half well done.
[Lauren] Not yet finished.
The sunset isn’t fantastic but it is pretty out though.
Oh, man we were so quick to dismiss the sunset. This is it, this is the last day. It’s 10 a.m, Kirk’s putting on the last zip-ties to hold down the sun shade. We just swapped out the AC for the dehumidifier. The entire boat is turned inside out. We’ve got the salt in the buckets. We got Kanberra gel out. Oh, Kirk swapped the batteries so that we’re only gonna be running off our our starter battery, which is a lead acid battery. And, leaving all our carbon, what are they again?
[Kirk] Carbon foam.
Carbon foam batteries, to just slowly discharge because that’s supposed to be better for them. And, what else did we do?
[Kirk] We cleaned the whole inside of the boat.
Yeah, we cleaned a lot yesterday. We were still cooking yesterday. I was doing dishes and we still had the refrigerator running so last night I finally got the refrigerator cleaned out. I think we we’re ready to go. I think we’re gonna start taking bets on how much mold we’re gonna find when we get back. I’m hoping zero.
[Kirk] I think we need, I know who’s gonna win that bet.
All right, let’s have a lookski at this boat.
[Kirk Voiceover] To encourage airflow and discourage any mold growth, we left every locker open, pulled every cushion away from it’s normal resting place, and made sure any towels bedding and other textiles were sealed in vacuumed packed bags.
[Lauren] Another salt bucket in there. All of our port lights are covered. Got some more Reflectix in our midship hatch. Keep our boat clean and dry. Is this my last time leaving the boat?
[Kirk] I think so.
[Kirk] I don’t know when my last time was. It wasn’t special. Should I get in and get back out?
No, ’cause I don’t wanna put this back in.
All right, we did as best as we could, right?
I think so.
Hopefully we come back and everything is as we left her.
Yeah. That’s a wrap.
All right boat, take care of yourself.
It’s all up to you now.