Ten Year Plan Number Plate

s/v Ten Year Plan received it’s official number plate today. U.S. Coast Guard documented boats are assigned a lifetime documentation number. The requirements are the number be affixed to the interior of the boat in such a way as altering them would damage the numbers or the hull. Folks solve this problem in a varieties of ways, including wooden plaques, plastic or metal carved plates.

A friend of mine, Al, owns the AutoMetalSkin company, and offered to make a number plate for me. Using a jewelers saw, he cut out the numbers from a sheet of metal, then using his unique finishing process, coated the number plate with brass. He left it exposed, without a clear coat, so we can watch the metal patina over time. See the video below to see more of the reveal process.

Al describing the AutoMetalSkin process.

I’m really happy with how the plate turned out.  It’s now mounted at the nav station, in an honored position just down the companionway ladder. I found some stainless screws to mount it, but hope to find some nice brass screws soon. Love how it looks. Thanks for the hard work!

New Boat Arrives

My new Tender arrived today. So of course I had to set it up in my living room. 😁

It’s easy inflate and it all fits in the provided bag. It’s the PHP-310 Air Floor Inflatable from West Marine.

Looking forward to many years of service from this great little boat.

The question has come up several times regarding what to call the little boat. Is it a tender, or a dinghy, a zodiac or a skiff?  Here’s a rough definition of each as I understand them:

  • Tender: Any craft serving as support for another ship.  For example, in the navy, our submarine was serviced by a Tender. Also, my little boat is a tender for the larger s/v Ten Year Plan, and helps get stuff/people to and from the boat.
  • Skiff: Generally a small, flat bottomed boat often with a simple single sail rig.
  • Dinghy: A small boat servicing a larger boat. A small sailboat for daysailing. My little boat could be called a Dinghy, but I still prefer the term Tender.
  • Zodiac: An area of the sky designated by the name of the animal or person represented. Also the brand name of some Tenders.

Comfort Without the Bulk

Froli System Brochure

When I was looking to redo the V-Berth on my boat, I researched mattress options, and ran across several ‘under-mattress’ systems and ended up going with the Froli Modular SleepSystems.

The big challenge is ventilation under the mattress.

The Pro’s:

  • Affordable and well made
  • Easy to follow instructions
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Comfortable and adjustable
  • Great ventilation.

The  Con’s

  • As others have noted, it can be a wrestling match with the Froli to get to the lockers under the cushions in the V-Berth. What has worked for me so far is keeping the overall pieces small enough to handle, instead of creating one large connected piece, I have three smaller pieces: One on port, one for the bench starboard locker cushion, and one for the center key piece.
Froli System in V-Berth

It’s not like sleeping on a king sized Casper mattress, but it’s comfortable. I was able to keep the V-Berth cushions to 3″ and still have a relaxing berth and a good night sleep.

Boat Renovations

Since purchasing the boat, I’ve been focusing on internal renovations and minor updates.

The first big change was getting the v-berth updated. I took out a couple of small shelves, refinished the drawers, and made a key board and mounting rails. The biggest job was making the cushions.

The next big project was ripping out the cabinets on the starboard side of the main cabin and creating a pilot berth.

The big feature was creating a rail for the berth out of mahogany. Love the way it turned out. Cushion made, and hull insulated. It really opened up a lot of space.

I Replaced the throttle control and working with my diesel tech to replace the engine mounts and install a new sea water pump.

On the port side, I pulled out the shelves that were there, added some hull insulation, and will create a new set of shelves. Still a work in progress. I want to take my time and see what storage I really need before building anything. For now, I’ll just enjoy the open space.

Gallery of Ten Year Plan Photos

Here’s a running gallery of my Westsail 32, Ten Year Plan photos.

Amateur Radio – W4MTP

“It’s all part of the 10 year plan.”

So part of the plan, along with learning sewing and canvas work, sailing, diesel repair…and many other things, I decided to get my amateur radio certifications to improve my communications options on the boat.

Amateur Radio (ham radio) is a popular hobby and service that brings people, electronics and communication together. People use ham radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones. It’s fun, social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need.

ARRL – The national association for amateur radio.

Amateur Radio is a fun hobby. Something for everyone. I’ve been digging into some of the great research around weak signal communications. The WSJT application is a great way to explore the air-waves and reach folks even during bad radio conditions.

If you are curious, I choose my vanity call sign, W4MTP, because I wanted something Ten Year Plan related (My Ten year Plan -> MTP), and the W4 because it’s easier to say phonetically…and also creates the phrase in my head:

Whiskey 4 My Ten year Plan

Annapolis Boat Show Day 1

I’m using my vacation time this year to check out the Annapolis Boat Show. I drove up yesterday,
10/8/15, and hit the show early this morning.

To be honest, I was almost as excited for the long drive as I was for
the boat show. I love long road trips, and this was a great opportunity
to chill and listen to podcasts. It was a nice drive with little drama.
The only challenge was I-95 closure in South Carolina. But
Waze  routed me around it without any issue.

I headed in early this morning to familiarize myself with the show
layout. My plan today was to hit many of the free seminars. Tomorrow I
am in the Take the Wheel seminar all day, and Sunday I plan to hit all
the tents/vendors I didn’t see today.

I figured I would end up taking hundreds of pictures, but today I was
overwhelmed. I did take a few, so enjoy the gallery below.

Enjoy!

Annapolis 2015 Boat Show day 1