C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

T/T Segundo on the water at last

On Friday I completed the finish work on the dinghy rebuild - installed the bow & stern eye bolts, installed the water tight hatch in the bow; added the FL registration numbers, and waxed the hull.

Despite  thunderstorms rolling across south Florida on Saturday we launched  the pram and christened her "Segundo"

Segundo is Spanish for "second".  Anne and I settled on the name b/c this is the pram's second life and it is our second dinghy.  Once the celebration ebbed and the bubbly was imbibed, Trish and I took her out for a test drive in the Barron River.

I still have some minor finish work and tweaks (i.e. install the oar locks, install a pad for the motor mounts, replace the metal stern eyes for rope eyes.)  She is a boat so I guess this means she will never really be done.  The next big step will be to figure out how to store her on C'est la Vie's foredeck.

High winds and thunderstorms are forecast for the Gulf waters through Sunday so we have a couple more days to continue prepping for our trip.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A shiny, pretty thing

We applied the second top coat this morning and now have a shiny dinghy!

Despite a few passing showers during the day today, I believe we have a good finish on the hull.  We used Interlux Brightsides for the topcoats.  I have used both Interlux Brightsides and  Interlux Perfection coatings on different projects in the past.  Perfection is a two part finish with durability that far surpasses the single part, polyurethane Brightsides.  For projects that can be completed in a controlled environment or that will see heavy wear go with Perfection (i.e. refinishing the dinghy oars.)  For most large, outdoor projects, I lean toward Brightsides for the simplicity and I find it easier to work with when temps are above 80F (which seems to be the norm anytime I begin to paint on a boat project.)

When temps exceed 80F I typically thin the Brightsides around 10% by volume with the Interlux 333.  I then use a short nap roller and a foam brush to tip.  When working in warm temps this is a two person job.  It is also very important the project area be in the shade.

While I'm on a roll with providing advice... If you plan to operate a motor vessel of any size in FL it must to registered.  This means that it must be titled.  I discovered that there is no honest way to title a dinghy that was built by an unknown person at an unknown date at an unknown location and was then given to you by an in-law that found said dinghy in a barn in New Hampshire and was generous enough to drive it down to south Florida. The staff at the DMV office were very helpful with the titling process.  In the end I declared that I constructed the dinghy (shhh don't tell anyone.)  I then had to provide receipts from the building process.  Fortunately I was able to scrounge together enough receipts from the rebuild to satisfy the DMV.    
The moral to the story is to hang on to your receipts if you ever build a vessel that you hope to title.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Musings on the non-linear progression of projects

The past few days have consisted of painting concoctions onto the dinghy only to then sand them back off.  My progress measured by the increasing grit of the paper 80 grit, 120 grit, 220 grit.  Today the dinghy restoration took a  leap forward - Wahoo!

I completed the interior painting and installed the seat (pictured above.)  Anne and I also applied the second coat of primer to the hull (pictured below).

If weather and schedule co-operate we will roll and tip the two top coats on Wednesday and Thursday.

My projects increase in complexity as my patience grows with maturity.  Thus far in my life the complexity to patience ratio appears to be a linear progression.   I wonder if the day will ever arrive that I am accurately able to estimate the the time such projects will consume. My current system is to double the time I initially estimate, but this equation is consistently turning up short on time.  As I age and my projects grow in complexity should I continue to increase the multiplier for time allotted?  Hmm,  If this is true I better go ahead and get the big projects done before I pass a half century.

What of the non linear progression of projects?   One day is devoted to 10 hours of sanding where progress in measured in grit.  The next day progress is a apparent as a face lift on Yoda. Guess it's best to just accept the way of things and celebrate the days where progress is measured in fair hulls and dinghy seats.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Working full time on the dinghy restoration

Despite sporadic rain showers on Saturday, I've been able to plug steadily along on our dinghy rebuild project since we returned to Sunset Island.

My efforts have gone primarily to fairing the bow compartment (pictured above) and to fairing the hull including the newly completed keel (pictured below.)

The hull and interior fabrications are now ready for primer and I'm ready for a shower...

It pains me to pay a hefty price in time and money for epoxy and fillers that end up a dust in my leg hairs.