Preparing to live on a catamaran

Since we’re counting down the days until we (hopefully) get to sail for the first time, we’re preparing our boat to be our home. Luckily, we’ve been able to spend quite a bit of time with Konstantina since June, so we’ve slowly been checking off the “to-do” list. We started with a list that the previous owner left and then moved onto a suggested list from the boat surveyor . Some projects we have already completed are: 

-Take off the main sail, inspect, repair as needed

-Remove/replace engine exhaust hoses

-Refurbish and install a used grill

-Eliminate mold

-Clean the stove top and repair or replace oven

-Clean & paint anchor chain

-Repair main traveler car

-Seal a crack in the companionway

-New bottom paint and sail drives seals

-Get a new-to-us life raft

-Order safety equipment: personal locator beacons, EPIRB, flares

-Fix fridge (still working on this one)

Right now we’re preparing the boat for it’s maiden voyage down the ICW (Intercoastal Waterway) in October. There were a variety of things we needed to do in order to make it “sail ready” including registering it with the USCG, making sure our safety gear and “ditch kit” are ready, as well as making it liveable for a family of 3, a dog, and a guest. 

We also have to take into consideration the end of the hurricane season. In order to sail the boat in October, there can not be any “named” storms headed our way. That’s the last thing we (or our insurance) want…is to have a newly insured boat sail right into a storm. 

If all goes well and we are able to “splash” the boat on Oct. 19th, then our next focus is to make sure it is more than just a sailing vessel…it needs to be a home. While Steve starts his 2nd class at Chapman’s School of Seamanship in late October, we’ll be living on the boat. We have a few things to think about before that day comes. Some of those considerations are:

-Transportation: we do have a dinghy and a Jeep so if we are “moored” out in a waterway, he can take the dinghy to the Jeep to get to class. If we’re in a marina slip, there is no need to use the dinghy and we can just hop off the boat onto the dock to get to the Jeep.

-Laundry: currently we do not have a washer or dryer on our catamaran so we’ll need a marina with services or a laundromat nearby. I can hand wash some items and hang dry which we have done before.

-WiFi: I am currently homeschooling our 13 year old son and unfortunately much of the curriculum is online at this point. Plus…Patreon! I need to communicate with you all! 

-Groceries/meals: We will need to be diligent in creating a meal plan where we don’t rely on being able to run to the grocery store whenever we want. 

-Bathroom/Shower: Using the toilet on a boat is similar to an RV in which you either need marine/RV friendly toilet paper that disintegrates quickly, or…you just don’t flush paper at all. The “no flush rule” has taken me a while to get used to but it will really help our lines and tanks out so that they don’t back up. The heads (or bathrooms) on our catamaran are considered a “wet-head” meaning the toilet/sink and shower are all together and the sink nozzle can turn into a shower head. This will mean we need to figure out how to have the toilet and shower space coexist well. It also leads me into the next consideration…

-Water conservation: We’d prefer to be in a “wet slip“ in a marina somewhere so that we can have “full hookups” much like an RV would have. If this is the case, it will help us not have to worry about how full our water tanks are (2, 50 gallon tanks). Our catamaran does have a water maker as well as a way to catch rain water if we need to fill tanks. 

-Electricity: we currently have 560 watts of 24v solar panels and only a few things draw energy from the batteries including lights, 110v outlets, water pump, bilge pumps, radio/electronics and our water maker. If we’re “off the grid” it will be interesting to see how we do on solar power alone. 

-Hurricane plan: depending on where we “drop our anchor” around Oct. 23rd, we’ll need to make sure that we have a good plan in case a hurricane decides to come our way. Right now, the boat is as safe as it can be, “on the hard” in storage on land and with hurricane straps helping to hold it down. Taking it out and sailing it while still in hurricane season is risky, especially because many marinas are full and do not have space to add another boat to storage. This means we’ll be in the water either in a marina slip or on a mooring ball. We also have the ability to anchor out in the ICW if we want. Having a plan on where we’ll go, and how to evacuate by boat, or by Jeep is very important. Especially because many marinas kick out the boats staying there during a hurricane!!

Even though we have a lot to think about and prepare for, we are over-the-moon excited to have our first sail in Konstantina after owning her for 4 months! We hope you’ll follow our adventures and consider support us as a Patron! Not only do you get to read the blog, but so much more, making you feel like you are a part of the adventure! 

Drift On! 

Randi, Steve, Cody & Bella 

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