Jo Beth showing off in Oyster White and Flag Blue
It's been a wet, hot, and humid summer in Savannah. Fortunately, the stretch of time Jo Beth was in for paint, the weather was dry. The environment in the paint shed, which is in reality a tent, is controlled by positive pressure - meaning the air pressure inside the tent is slightly higher than it is outside the tent - and while it remains hot (the paint shop guys at Hinckley refer to the paint tent as the 'easy bake oven') the humidity and dust is controlled. The hull is painted and she's out of the paint tent now, being washed by daily rain showers.
Lisa and I went over the remaining jobs on our refit list. Many of the big and scary jobs, both in scope and cost, are finishing up. What's left is a myriad of smaller but equally important jobs to be done; cleats to be installed; pumps to be wired and plumbing to be run; the assembly of all of the hardware on the new mast & boom; and so on. Lots and lots still to do.
The detail work in the grid for the new cabin overhead is coming together; the battens which will support the panels were under foot when I was aboard to get this shot
As large as the scale of this job has been, a humbling fact I should mention is that this isn't a final wrap up of the 'to-do' list. In earlier posts, I mentioned some of the jobs we're delaying until later. These include the purchase of new sails, the installation of a wind-vane self- steering system, (a non electronic autopilot of sorts), and the replacement of our navigational electronics. With the exception of a first generation GPS unit, which never worked properly for us and stopped working altogether a few years ago, all of Jo Beth's navigational electronics are functional. I say 'all' when in truth, the only original instrument aboard the boat, after the death of the GPS, is the radar. We removed the non-functioning single side band radio system when we bought her and updated our VHF radio at the same time. And, in this refit, we've replaced the VHF again with a more powerful and expandable model.
Marine navigational systems have pretty much gone the way of the wireless telephone. The smartphones the vast majority of us carry now are so much more than a telephone. So it is with marine electronic instruments. As recently as 15 years ago, the GPS, autopilot, radar, depth and speed instruments, etc., were all stand alone components. The navigation station on a moderate cruising yacht looked like the command center of a navy destroyer. Now the functions of the GPS, radar, depth, wind, and speed are integrated into one or two components. Our new VHF radio is AIS capable. AIS is 'Automated Identification System.' All oceangoing ships and a great many yachts are equipped with AIS. It works more or less like a transponder in an aircraft. Each ship or yacht has a unique code assigned to it. When two ships equipped with AIS approach one another, their data regarding the name of the vessel, its speed, course, etc. is shared instantly between the vessels. AIS is a huge boon for safety.
Enter the smartphone and tablet. Navigational software has long been available for the PC. Computer based navigation works well. The big difference is that a tablet or smartphone offers connectivity options for the weather, satellite data, and other information we sailors crave in a near real-time structure, provided a network connection is available. In fact, the delivery captain we hired to move Jo Beth from her slip in Brunswick to the boatyard in Savannah used only his i-Phone and i-Pad for navigation on the trip. Thus far, the available navigation apps for smartphones and tablets perform mostly charting functions - basically map reading and plotting of positions, courses, speed, etc. Needless to say, we still have to do a lot of research on the matter.
We're past the halfway point now in the refit, so we're optimistic things will progress relatively quickly. More pictures and refit news to follow.