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sailawayWe’ve been working overtime to get Sundown ready for our grand adventure. We’d love to show her off and say “farewell” before we leave Fort Collins on Friday, September 11. Here are some “open boat” hours during which you can stop by if you have a hankering to do so:

When: Tuesday, 9/1, 12noon-6pm; Wednesday, 9/2, 5-7pm; Thursday, 9/3, 2-6pm

Where: Rhinnie’s Small Engine Repair (the storage lot), 209 E. Skyway Drive, Fort Collins (basically just east of the UHaul/propane store at the corner of S. College Ave./Hwy. 287 and Skyway). Drive straight back till you have to turn right or left…turn left. You’ll see Sundown and it should be obvious where to park.

It’s getting serious now. Our home is for sale and on MLS! Read all about it.

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FullSizeRender-5Well, it was a big morning in the life of Sundown the sailboat. Her diesel engine was pulled and inspected by our friend, Sean Jennings, a top-notch diesel mechanic and all-around great guy. The process to get the engine out first required draining all the fluids and dismounting it. Our friend, John Betz, helped Clay do that yesterday. Today, a flatbed tow truck from Scott’s Towing hauled a fork lift to Sundown’s side. The fork lift was fitted with a long extension and a heavy-duty chain pulley was used to lift the engine from Sundown’s belly. All involved donned their nerves of steel as this was a . Once the engine was safe and secure on the flatbed, Sean gave the engine a once over and then his stamp of approval. It’s ready to rev!

Now the engine compartment will be cleaned, painted and lined with new soundown, and then the process will be reversed to reposition the engine in its proper place.

Check out all the photos in our Photo Gallery.

TakeChargeWCI know. I know. It’s been TOO long since we posted an update. We’re really busy getting ready to do this make-our-boat-our-primary-residence thing in September, so the blog, once again, has taken a backseat for now. (In the meantime, follow us on Facebook for more frequent news and photos: www.facebook.com/sundownsailingadventures.)

But since I’m here, let me share what we’ve been doing or are doing:

1) We’re in communication with a couple different boat transport companies and getting close to deciding whether we’ll begin on the east coast or the west coast. I can’t wait to get this figured out as this is the #1 question people ask.

2) Tim and Kathy Townsley of Townsley Upholstery, Loveland, came to the boat and made patterns for the new cushions they’re making for our settee and dining area. We take delivery of the cushions in August.

3) We picked up our custom mattresses from Boulder Comforts, so they’re ready to place in the boat once the construction dust settles.

4) We’re meeting with a lettering artist who’ll create Sundown’s name and port of hail signage.

5) I’m going shopping for fabric so I can make curtains to draw across our berth and the aft berth’s doorway, plus some coordinating thrown pillows. (I know that doesn’t sound important, but I’ve been waiting for this phase of the project because it’s fun for me.) I’ve also decided how I’m going to make curtains for our portlights. I will write just about those window treatments once they’re constructed, as I think our solution is creative and there doesn’t seem to be many examples of curtains for traditional portlights on the Internet, and believe me, I’ve searched!

6) Clay’s preparing to put down the new teak deck (like literally going to install it over the next four days). He’s had the teak cut and ready to go for at least a couple of months, but Colorado’s wet spring and early summer have delayed the installation till now.

7) All of the teak on the outside of the boat that will be varnished IS varnished!

There’s so much more that’s been accomplished recently that I’m having a hard time remembering it all. But rest assured, once we’re settled on the boat, we’ll get caught up on writing about the more technical processes that Clay’s used to refurbish Sundown.

So, what big projects are left? At the top of my mind are repairing and gel coating the top sides and painting the boot stripe. Oh, and the engine will be pulled out soon and inspected/overhauled. While that’s happening, Clay and I will clean the engine compartment, paint it and put up new sound board. We’ll tackle all of these projects once the deck’s down…in the next 10’ish weeks!!!

Once we get to wherever it is we’re launching from, we’ll sew/assemble a bimini (like an awning for the cockpit area of the boat), install solar panels, purchase and install our navigation, have the sails inspected and repaired/replaced if necessary, and more.

Another aspect of this whole phase of our adventure is getting the house ready to sell and liquidating STUFF! I haven’t moved for 21+ years, and while I purge unnecessary clutter on a regular basis, there’s still much to sift through and get rid of. And no, we are not getting a storage unit for anything. The few things we want to keep (photo albums, some framed artwork and a couple pieces of furniture) will be cared for by our kids.

We really are taking charge and getting closer to making our dreams a reality. Exciting times!

Sundown was built in 1982, but never equipped with more than an ice box to keep perishable food cold. It wasn’t a bad ice box at 8.5 cubic feet with good insulation, a molded interior and nice teak shelf. Given Sundown will become our year-round residence soon, however, it’s time for refrigeration.

When it is time to upgrade, replace or install a new refrigeration system there are basic questions to be answered. Continue Reading »

IMG_1854One of my FAVORITE things is lined-dried sheets. They smell and feel so fresh and clean. And soon, I’ll be enjoying those sheets on a new mattress in Sundown. Continue Reading »

paintWe made another big decision. We decided to paint a couple of the walls in our house to change their color from eggplant purple to a more neutral color. You might be wondering how deciding to paint a couple walls qualifies as a “big” decision. You also might be wondering what in the world that decision has to do with a sailboat. Well, in our case, it has A LOT to do with a sailboat. Continue Reading »

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