Engine Room Chipmunk

Two weeks on the hard in 3D Boatyard, Key West. We are trying to repair and fit our catamaran Fata Morgana for cruising and off-grid livaboard.

Ivo has been working like crazy from dawn till dusk, me and the kids helping from time to time.

First, he spent a week grinding the hulls, then he took care of the engines.

One morning, he moved in the engine rooms and lived there for many hot days like a chipmunk, emerging on rare occasions to gather food and beer, or to jump from one engine room to the other. Out of compassion, many people in the boatyard suggested we should install a small hammock in one of the compartments of one of the engine rooms, so that he could sleep there and wouldn’t have to come out at night.

For the fibreglass works and repairs we hired Ed, a fibreglass specialist. He turned out to be Ivo’s soul mate  working in a similar fashion, never resting, never stopping, grinding all day, covered in thick white dust. When Ivo and Ed work together, they never talk, but telepathically exchange thoughts: two yogis working in perfect Krishna harmony.

Here are the results of their joint efforts so far:

April 1 to April 17

Repairs&projects already done:

1.  Engines Westerbeke 44 a (there are two engines on a catamaran)

  • cleaned the engine rooms and engines from nasty oils
  • changed all hoses and clamps
  • fixed the alternator
  • changed oil filters and oil

(All the work on the engines has been done by Ivo. After the work was finished, some people in the boatyard who saw the sparkling results, suffered mildly from an engine-room envy.)

2. Stanchions

  • unscrewed all stanchions
  • replaced all stanchion’s aluminium bases with stainless steel bases.

(All the work on the stanchins as been done by Ivo, Maya and Mira helped a bit)

3. Hulls (there are two hulls on a catamaran….)

  • sanded 
  • repaired a few spots with fibreglass
  • repaired starboard bow badly repaired previously

(Ivo, Viktor, and Mira did the sanding, most of it Ivo, Ed did the fibreglass repairs)

4. Keels (guess how many keels there are on a catamaran?)

  • sanded
  • ground
  • still waiting to dry
  • will repair them with six layers of fibreglass

(All work on the keels has been done by Ed)

5. Bimini

  • removed the bimini and frame
  • building a hard-top bimini (in progress)

(Ed is in charge of the hard-top bimini, working together with Ivo. I will publish a separate post entitled The Making of The Hard Top Bimini with pictures of all stages as soon as it is finished.)

Next, we will be painting the hulls, installing a water-maker, and will order foam and make mattresses for two of the three cabins ( there was only one mattress in the boat). We will also be doing many other things, but we can do them in the water, so I think for the boatyard, that’s pretty much it.

Hull after sanding

Hull after sanding

Starboard bow repair in progress.

Starboard bow repair in progress.

Ground keels drying

Ground keels drying

Stainless steel stanchions

Stainless steel stanchions

Sparkling engine and engine room.

Sparkling engine and engine room.


About lifenomadik

We are a family aboard a boat in search of freedom and adventure.
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6 Responses to Engine Room Chipmunk

  1. RobD says:

    Boats = Constant work! But rewarding work it is……

  2. nannus says:

    Did you notice that the patterns emerging on the ship’s hull after sanding are very beautiful? Make some closeups and post them here as abstract art (look for the tags „abstract“ and „abstract art“. There are some photographers snapping such structures and posting them because they look beautiful. In fact, on my blog, I have written something about this (if you find this strange, see some of the articles under http://asifoscope.org/category/aesthetics/, e.g. http://asifoscope.org/2013/03/01/the-beauty-of-decomposition-part-2/)

  3. Claudi, Michele, Laura and Fabio says:

    Hi Mira,Ivo, Maya and Viktor
    How are you? We miss so much the nice time with you. Playing soccer, do barbeque, wash the dishes, talking to Wally,playing Billiard,smiling togheter,fishing big Sharks…Sorry Flounders, cleaning Turtle Beach from Red Tide desaster…..
    Our live is still running fast because we don’t have time to stop things to do or only enjoy the RV,our just fixing a Boat…… but reading your interresting comments the time will stoped for a moment and so glad memories comes back……. just wonderfull……dreaming a nice time with you and thinking: it will be a thirh meeting time all toghether with so nice people like you…..
    And Ivo with this carnival – look at the beach….. i saw a nice and creative artist in him…:-))
    The name of Your sailing Cathamaran ist Fata Morgan….. and why not Arche Noah ?? Maybe one thay you will sailing with a hugh Arche and help animals and peoples survive of waterflows ?
    We wish you a nice time, wondurfull adventures and good luck for your mission…..

    Claudia, Michele (lasciatemi cantar..con la gitarra in mano….sono un italiano……) Laura and Fabio (soccer future Star like Balotelli or Roberto Baggio…. ho never nows…..

    Keep in touch and nice Regards.

    Un abbraccio forte Michele e famiglia. 23.04.2013

    • lifenomadik says:

      Dearest Claudia, Michele, Laura, and Fabio, we wish you are here now.

      We too loved our time with you and we know we will see you again!

      Nice to know you are following us on our journey from Switzerland.

      Keep the good memories, many more to come.


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