s/v Ten Year Plan received it’s official number plate today. U.S. Coast Guard documented boats are assigned a lifetime documentation number. The requirements are the number be affixed to the interior of the boat in such a way as altering them would damage the numbers or the hull. Folks solve this problem in a varieties of ways, including wooden plaques, plastic or metal carved plates.
A friend of mine, Al, owns the AutoMetalSkin company, and offered to make a number plate for me. Using a jewelers saw, he cut out the numbers from a sheet of metal, then using his unique finishing process, coated the number plate with brass. He left it exposed, without a clear coat, so we can watch the metal patina over time. See the video below to see more of the reveal process.
I’m really happy with how the plate turned out. It’s now mounted at the nav station, in an honored position just down the companionway ladder. I found some stainless screws to mount it, but hope to find some nice brass screws soon. Love how it looks. Thanks for the hard work!
My new Tender arrived today. So of course I had to set it up in my living room. 😁
It’s easy inflate and it all fits in the provided bag. It’s the PHP-310 Air Floor Inflatable from West Marine.
Looking forward to many years of service from this great little boat.
The question has come up several times regarding what to call the little boat. Is it a tender, or a dinghy, a zodiac or a skiff? Here’s a rough definition of each as I understand them:
Tender: Any craft serving as support for another ship. For example, in the navy, our submarine was serviced by a Tender. Also, my little boat is a tender for the larger s/v Ten Year Plan, and helps get stuff/people to and from the boat.
Skiff: Generally a small, flat bottomed boat often with a simple single sail rig.
Dinghy: A small boat servicing a larger boat. A small sailboat for daysailing. My little boat could be called a Dinghy, but I still prefer the term Tender.
Zodiac: An area of the sky designated by the name of the animal or person represented. Also the brand name of some Tenders.
When I was looking to redo the V-Berth on my boat, I researched mattress options, and ran across several ‘under-mattress’ systems and ended up going with the Froli Modular SleepSystems.
The big challenge is ventilation under the mattress.
Affordable and well made
Easy to follow instructions
Easy to assemble and use
Comfortable and adjustable
As others have noted, it can be a wrestling match with the Froli to get to the lockers under the cushions in the V-Berth. What has worked for me so far is keeping the overall pieces small enough to handle, instead of creating one large connected piece, I have three smaller pieces: One on port, one for the bench starboard locker cushion, and one for the center key piece.
It’s not like sleeping on a king sized Casper mattress, but it’s comfortable. I was able to keep the V-Berth cushions to 3″ and still have a relaxing berth and a good night sleep.
Since purchasing the boat, I’ve been focusing on internal renovations and minor updates.
The first big change was getting the v-berth updated. I took out a couple of small shelves, refinished the drawers, and made a key board and mounting rails. The biggest job was making the cushions.
The next big project was ripping out the cabinets on the starboard side of the main cabin and creating a pilot berth.
The big feature was creating a rail for the berth out of mahogany. Love the way it turned out. Cushion made, and hull insulated. It really opened up a lot of space.
I Replaced the throttle control and working with my diesel tech to replace the engine mounts and install a new sea water pump.
On the port side, I pulled out the shelves that were there, added some hull insulation, and will create a new set of shelves. Still a work in progress. I want to take my time and see what storage I really need before building anything. For now, I’ll just enjoy the open space.
So part of the plan, along with learning sewing and canvas work, sailing, diesel repair…and many other things, I decided to get my amateur radio certifications to improve my communications options on the boat.
Amateur Radio (ham radio) is a popular hobby and service that brings people, electronics and communication together. People use ham radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones. It’s fun, social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need.
Amateur Radio is a fun hobby. Something for everyone. I’ve been digging into some of the great research around weak signal communications. The WSJT application is a great way to explore the air-waves and reach folks even during bad radio conditions.
If you are curious, I choose my vanity call sign, W4MTP, because I wanted something Ten Year Plan related (My Ten year Plan -> MTP), and the W4 because it’s easier to say phonetically…and also creates the phrase in my head: