Wednesday, January 30, 2008

with 4H club
Our view pulling up to the Lee Wenner Park. (We got our coordinates here.)

The kids finding their first cache.

On our walk to the 2nd cache in the area. Crab boats were headed back in, sailboats were sailing, dolphins were playing by the boardwalk. Wow!

Here is Riverfront Park from the docks & boardwalk.

Here are the 4H kids in front of their 2nd find. I never realized it but there is a wonderful history to those Traveler's Palms behind the kids. They are filled with water and helped keep thirsty travelers alive. They originated from Madagascar.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

N. Right Whales are Back!!!!
So far, the same Mama and her calf have returned to the Sebastian Inlet area for the 6th year in a row.

We have from now until March to have them reside in our local area. It is such a treat. We just *have* to finish the boat soon so we can go out and see them.
Happy Whale watching!

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I took a little road trip this week and couldn't help but pull over and capture this beautiful landscape.

I have to admit that the entire I-95 drive from my Jacksonville up to Savannah was beautiful to me because it was constantly interrupted by scenes like this.

If you're looking for a boat update, there isn't much of one this week because of my little road trip. Somebody was busy hanging out with the boys. The rest was good for all four of us.

Happy Fishing,


Monday, January 21, 2008

by Robin

Victory dancing here!!

BEFORE: Here is how she looked the day we pulled it all off. Windows are faded brown. Creamy off-white paint job which shows 20 yrs of aging. Everything is still on the instrument panel & door on.

AFTER: Everything was removed on the helm and is going to be flush-mounted. (flat into a nice piece of wood or starboard) I'm going to sand down the door during my spare time this week when the boys want to ride bikes outside. Most of that has to be done by hand. Helm will probably get painted later this week.

Far off view. Better in focus.
Close-up. I love the matching black. The windows are tinted. See how the cuddy is white and the gunnels (sides) are cream? That is getting painted soon. Trim around those cuddy windows (barely seen in bottom right of pic) while get black trim hand-painted onto it.

So this make us approx. 2/3rds through the project. Plenty of work left to do but at least she doesn't look like a yard ornament any more.
Happy Fishing!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

by Robin

Being on the brink of the Florida primaries and the past stories of hanging chads, I couldn't resist calling this post "Hanging Windows." It was a very productive Saturday on the boat. All 4 windows that make up the entire windshield were sanded, taped, primed and painted. Since I didn't have to school the boys, I had the priviledge of being painter for the day. (Not a priviledge at bath time though. Think scrubbing until you bleed.)

We turned our back shed into a paint shop becuase of the on/off-again showers. We hung the frames up by wire so I could work both sides at the same time. I did 1 coat of Zinc Chromate (deadly stuff), 2 tacky coats of black enamel and then 1 heavier, shiny coat. I believe I did a very good job.

Our goal is to put the windshield back onto the boat on Monday (MLK day) when Jack has off again. So, after that first part was done, we spent the last couple hrs of the day wet sanding & buffing out the paint on the cuddy cabin.

Last we left off , we had a giraffe paint job thanks to rain late in the drying process. Jack felt certain that we would be able to sand that down into a better finish. We also sanded out bugs and some blue specks leftover from the tarp.

Somebody got brilliant and put sandpaper in discs and attach them to an air compressor. Ahhh, this was much easier than hand-sanding. Jack started with 600 grit by hand which didn't last long. We quickly moved from 1000 grit to 1500 grit sand paper. The best way to describe is is the feeling of leather or maybe even shark's skin (depending on your grit). The higher the grit, the finer it sands.

The inside of the windshield turned out lovely. After the 1500 grit sandpaper, he went to a product called Perfect-IT by 3M which cuts a glass-like appearance into the area.

It is now ready for the windshield to be hung back onto it on Monday.

I was able to sand the cuddy top with 1000 grit before night fell. You could still see the giraffe print but it was smooth to the touch. A little more work Monday afternoon and it will look as nice as the dash area.
Once all this is done, we will put the bimini top & eisenglas windows back onto our baby and it can do more protecting of the cuddy & instrument panel than the tarp.
Happy Fishing

Friday, January 18, 2008

by Robin
Our theme lately has been two-steps forward and one-step back. Jack did a wonderful job on revamping the livewell.
He painted it blue yesterday, which I love and hopefully soothes the bait fish. That dried during dinner and when he put a clear coat on to protect the blue, it had a reaction inspite of it not suppose to be having one. That will have to be sanded and repainted again. Grrr.

Here he is sanding the spider cracks out of the top lid. All those have been filled and lid is awaiting painting.

It's still raining today. Good weather for ducks but not for paint.
Jack took off the old brown paint, primed the outside with green (?? name). It is similar to the type we put on the fuel tank back in Feb '07, but not the exact same. Tonight, they will be painted black to match our canvas top and the black striping.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


This came off our local Florida Today website.

I love the last picture because it was taken Monday. It was what I have been waiting for. My parents are coming in a short while for a visit and I really want my Dad to catch a pompano. They are one of the best fish to eat in the entire ocean, hands-down from the surf. They are seasonal catches and you have to get up early and brave cold weather to get them.

Catching a pompano. Cold weather did not deter 15 year old Matthew Negri of Merritt Island from fishing with family and friends along the beach at the north end of Patrick Air Force Base on Jan. 14, 2008. There was no school on Monday.

This is a picture of some Christmas pompano we caught about 4 yrs ago.
Happy Surf Fishing y'all!
(Left: pic of the boat prior to makeover)
It looks as if a big storm is blowing through the next 2 days so we will not be able to sand & paint on the cuddy Thurs & Friday. Possibly, we'll be able to continue working on the windows and the teak in the garage though.

Saturday's weather will be drier but too cold to paint. Temps have to be above 70 for the paint to harden.

Today, Jack is getting some flat white paint for the cockpit (AKA back fishing area). You don't want a heavy shine in the area where you will be fishing because it will blind you. That is another reason why we didn't go with the whitest white for the entire boat. Snow White is more like an eggshell color. Clean but non-blinding in the sun.

Happy Fishing,
PS: Cobia season starts in approx 6 wks!

Monday, January 14, 2008

GRRRRRR - Paint Job Post-Rain
Jack is going to die when he sees these pics. I pulled back the cover to see what damage we had to the paint job the other night. One stinkin' little cloud with a few rather large drops of water in it, five hours after being painted.
It is painful to look at these. We were not going for the giraffe look. This is a perfectly dry boat. Those are not fresh water spots.

We didn't even put the blue tarp back on the boat until after 9pm. That's around 12 hrs after the paint job and yet, if you zoom in on the picture, you'll see blue specks.

It all has to be resanded and repainted - AGAIN.

One stinkin' cloud. Somebody make the pain stop. (in my worse whiney voice)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

by Robin

Friday and Saturday were very productive days for us on the makeover for our Mako 248. There have been moments of feeling like throwing in the towel, but we prayed for some encouragement and got it. We needed progress.

We left off Thurs with doing some work on the helm, cutting out space for our instruments. Jack also did repair work on the base of where the cuddy door would be. It needed severe reinforcements, so on Friday, Jack put down fiberglass sheets and resined them into place.

Also on Thursday, we projected finishing up any fiberglass work on the cuddy to prepare for painting this upcoming week. Well, there wasn't much left so with a small window of opportunity (read: no rain in the forecast), we pulled out paint & rollers. The first coat went on well, but it sure did seem white through the night and even the next morning after it was dried.

We were uneasy about whether or not we received the same color paint in the quart can vs the gallon can we used to paint the outside of the boat. We pulled out the 2nd gallon can of "Snow White" paint from Jet Glo and put on a 2nd coat. This one did seemed toned down by a fraction. Jack thinks that once it is wet sanded next week, it will be the exact match to the hull of the boat.

I had some excellent pictures of bugs committing suicide on paint fumes but I accidentally erased them in the upload, download, formatting, transfer..... oops. Also, all the new paint pictures are gone, but I can get more tomorrow when the sun comes back out.
(Arrow below points to where the paint stopped.) In the 5th ot 6th hour post-painting, we had a light shower and pray that it did not ruin our hard work. The 2nd coat went on beautifully.

Side note on paint: Jet Glo is paint for jets. Jack received it through his company and it is an extremely hard 3-part paint designed to be flexible. I don't know how science does something like that, but it is. Planes' wings and body have movement during flight. So do boats as they cruise through the water. There is also a debate amongst boaters on gelcoat vs paint (i.e. durability, functionality). We have not found a convincing argument that one is better than the other. We went with paint because it was readily accessible for us and something Jack has worked with in his work experiences.

Jack said that we should go ahead and complete everything having to do with the cuddy that way we can get the top back on and protect areas from water/rain. We do have a blue tarp on it, but that isn't 100% effective in hard downpours. Saturday, after the 2nd coat of paint, we cleaned out the garage, install Jack's new anniversary shelves on the left (I'm so romantic.) and cleaned off his work area. I don't remember the last time I saw the garage this clean. The white square on the right is our battery hatch which was painted and hanging to dry. I know how red-neck it looks..... :o)

First thing was to tape (blue) the glass around the metal frames. Then, Jack sanded that brown paint off and you can see metal now. Once all 4 windows are done, they will be painted black and then reinstalled back onto the boat.
Where would we be if we didn't have this super-duper air compressor doing all the hard sanding, drilling, painting, laundry & dishes for us.
Also, while waiting for paint to dry, Jack works from time to time on the livewell fixtures. We thought we addressed certain issues back in February, but we were still having shrimp & fish die on us from lack of good circulation & aeration. So, new hardware was installed. Maybe the livewell top will be reattached to the bottom next week. We had to cut the top away to gain accessibility. All new fiberglassing is in order. (Ladies, the livewell is where you keep all your livebait while out fishing. This makes for great entertainment for your little ones.)

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Today, we worked hard on the boat. First, we tackled what to do with the helm. In the Mako 248, there was never much depth of the back-side of the panel. They may have never envisioned putting all your electronics in this area since the original fish finders were huge, bulky machines mounted on the top of the dash (of the helm).

The left us with cut-outs that already needed addressing. It was an easy solution. Cut more out. Eventually, we will end up making a custom back end that will cover the back-ends, wires and allow for easy access when making updates or repairs. These pictures are taken from inside the cuddy.
Next, what to do with this mess?
Here is the instrument panel of the helm.

Jack has opted to go with all his electronics flush-mounted into a wooden background. He thinks this will stand out given we have lots of teak already on this boat. Two other choices were using starboard or fiberglass.

It took a while to cut all that wood out.

After it was out, Jack sanded down the edges to make it flush and less hazardous.

Meanwhile, I played a little football with our eldest and removed the registration numbers from the topside. That area gets sanded tomorrow and painted next week.

After Jack was at a stopping point with the helm, he focused on the cuddy door. I removed the final bits of wood that lined the opening. We had 2 large chunks of fiberglass missing in both bottom corners. He removed a large section first, then put in some fiberglass to hold the area together. He's out there sanding this as I type. THEN, what he will do is take actual sheets of fiberglass cloth and build up the area to match the thickness of the original wall.

Jack is all covered in white dust again. He looks so funny to me being ghostly white. He also sanded those bubbles out of the last paint job see here: windshield-area-before-after-1st-tack.html

Tomorrow will have more glass work and sanding involved. We hope to be at a stopping point on Saturday when we can be ready to paint the following week the entire topside. We are pushing ourselves inspite of having no enthusiasm any more. We want to be done and yet we're not. We have about 6 weeks until the cobia migrate through our area. Next come mantas, whales and the mahi-mahi (dolphin). This boat MUST GET DONE!!
Happy Fishing to those who got out today. Beautiful weather today.