Friday, February 16, 2007

2/16/07 Ft. Pierce - here we come!

Before I get to our trip down to Ft. Pierce, I want to recognize my special kids for the absolute best Valentine's Day cards. I LOVE homemade cards because they show the heart and creativity levels of your kids. My eldest (AKA the artist) made these cards for us. I think they definitely speak to our level of commitment to First Choice's EXTREME MAKEOVER.

[caption: Hi best dad, I think you need a break from the boat tank.]
Now, onto our trip tomorrow. We will be making the 2 hr drive down to Ft. Pierce to a Marine Surplus warehouse to look at all the goodies they have. When a distributor for Mako boat parts liquidated, this place bought all their extra supplies. We're hoping to find a few things that we need for our makeover. Also, they have the Seastar steering lines & hoses, new, that we need to replace. Decals for the future would be a bonus since our boat appears nameless at the moment. We are proud Classic Mako owners, but nobody knows that yet.
Our good fishing buddy and friend, Bill, came over twice this week to help Capt Jack with Step 4 of our project. He fiberglassed in 4 holes leading to the bottom of the boat (can be seen in the picture). They are put there to deliver foam in the hull, but are no longer needed. They only allow extra water to soak into the foam and that's not good. Secondly, he removed those fuel intake and exhaust hoses (mid-way on right), which were no easy feat since they too had been encased in foam, covered by fiberglass.
Jack did Step 5 in the carport, which consisted of removing the green paint (corrosion protectant), 2 acid washes to stop current corrosion and plenty of J&B welding glue to repair any of the deeper pits on the tank. While it would be great to buy a new aluminum tank, Jack and Bill both agree that we can get several more years of use out of this tank after its own personal makeover. We will simply have to do 3-yr maintenance checks on it until we feel like a new one is *needed*.

Left with paint
Right w/o paint (shadow interferance)
(not shown - post-acid washes)

That word *needed* stuck me funny just now. My youngest's Bible study was on needs/wants this week and then for the Team Kids' church program, they learned about needs and wants. I feel like I'm having one of those light-bulb moments in confirmation that we're making the right decision. We *wanted* a new tank, but we don't *need* one yet.

Left: You can see our deepest pitting from corrosion. It is about 1/3 of the way through the metal which isn't good. Bill had an autobody shop for several years and comforts us by saying we can get another 18 yrs out of this tank. I think we'll be blessed if it is at least 5 more years. We'd love to be debt-free before this all needs replacing.

Happy Trails and may the seas be in your favor!
Edited: Good news :We had a most enjoyable time at Marine Liquidators and found most everything on our list. Bad news: We saw about 10 more things that we should have bought but didn't get the sizes for before we left home. I think we'll be back in a month to catch the rest of the shopping list. We're hoping to have the tank back in the boat next weekend and most the lines all hooked back up. Waaahooo!! This will complete the worst of Extreme Makeover. Part 2 will include refinishing the teak wood and painting the boat.

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