We’ve been making many improvements to The Frog in preparation for our trip.
First, our swim platform has been slowly rotting away. It’s always wet, and the original two-part platform was teak with a balsa wood core covered with fiberglass. The white addition was fiberglass with some sort of foam inside. Both had leaks, and the wood and foam interiors were rotted out. (See the pictures (Sorry for my ugly feet!))
We cut them off, and Mike from A&M (our excellent mechanic) got some 1-inch Starboard (a plastic product built for the marine environment), and using the original parts, he cut out a new two-piece platform (had to be two parts due to the size). We bolted it on, and now it’s a solid platform that will last longer than the boat!
When we got back to Palm Coast, we had the folks at Sea-Dek put a rubber teak patterned coating to dress it up a bit. It looks GREAT! At the same time, we had them put some of the same product on the bow. It really dresses up the boat!
We also stripped and re-varnished the stairs, which cleaned up nicely, then took a few days to strip off the old varnish from the teak rails (8-10 layers). I’ve re-done the rail three times now and have decided to go back to just using Danish Teak Oil on them. It’s easier to maintain; just rub them down with sandpaper and wipe new oil on them. The whole boat only takes about an hour. I’ll have to re-oil them every few months, but it’s much easier than stripping and multiple coats of varnish!
Another project was replacing our two 30-Amp power cords with a single 50-Amp and installing a Glendenning Motorized Power Cord system. This deploys and retracts our power cord with the push of a button! I found one used on eBay and was able to make some mounts to install it. It’s GREAT! One Cord, and no more fighting with wrapping up the cord on the deck.
Today’s project was to replace an access panel in the guest head. The old one was cracked, rattled, and kept falling off. I found one that fit the space, and after some custom woodworking to get it to fit, it looks fine.
There have been a bunch of other little projects to get our 17-year old Frog ready for the trip, including some paint touchup, re-sealing the eight side windows, replacing the windshield washer pump, and moving the tank to the flybridge to simplify it, replacing the washdown pump and one of the flush pumps for the toilet, cleaning, tidying, getting rid of the stuff that we’ll never use. The list goes on…
We are pretty much ready for our run back up to Georgetown on the 21st. There we will have our engine maintenance completed. We had a bunch of work done back in October and November, including having all of our coolers replaced, turbos, new injectors, water pumps, and hoses, getting our port transmission re-built, and major service on our generator.
Getting parts has been an issue, and we are still waiting on some of the parts we ordered back in September! Also, with so much work, there are bound to be a few tweaks and bolt tightenings that need to be done, so we are bringing the boat back to South Carolina to have the rest of the work done before we leave on the trip in late April.