Two weeks after I got back in Miami in January 2018... it was time to start making a list of boat projects I had to finish before my departure to Cuba.
My good friend Luciano invited me for lunch and I was out of the boat in no time… almost. I only had one paddle for my dinghy at the time, so leaving the boat and coming back was not that easy when the wind and the currents were a little stronger. But it was time to make a list of the things I had to fix on the boat before my departure… a list that was getting longer and longer every single day. This was just the beginning. I knew I may not be able to fix everything, but at least I knew what it had to be done, or what may fall apart.
Boat Projects List On A Budget
I think my face tells you already how much enthusiasm I had, realizing what a long list of boat projects I had to work on. Anastasia was built in 1960 and no one made any improvements aboard when it comes to sailing long distances. She was more set up as a simple liveaboard sailboat with minimal equipment. In safety and navigation, things were even worse, but there were no money for improvements either.
Instead I decided to fix what I already had and make sure everything worked fine. For that I needed a list, so I inspected every little corner on the boat trying to fill up my long list of boat projects. Here you have some of the most important things I wanted to change aboard Anastasia, so she would be more prepared for long voyages, not always in the best weather conditions.
- Standing rigging needed replacement,
- Except some old lifejackets, there was no safety equipment aboard,
- The water tank was too small for long passages,
- Not enough storage space for food and supplies,
- The hatches were not at all watertight,
- Not enough electrical power storage for eventual navigation equipment,
- The first aid kit content was expired long time ago,
- Flares and extinguishers were expired since 1984,
- The sails were ok for now but needed replacement at some point,
- The mast was in a good shape, but not good enough for really bad weather,
- Except a depth sounder and an old Garmin chartplotter with old maps there was no navigation system,
- The VHF radio was good, but the antenna and the coax cable had to be replaced,
- Not enough solar panels and no other electricity generators were available except the Diesel.
Fixing Little Things
Considering that my time in Miami was limited by my tourist visa, I had to do my best to prepare the boat for the departure with the little money I had left. I started with little things that could be fixed easy. I was still hoping at that time that I would have enough time to prepare the boat a little better. The intention back then, was not to leave the boat in Miami anymore as it was too hard for me.
I really wanted to sail away and find a place somewhere outside US in a boatyard, so I can start a proper boat refit. Most of the time if you want to sail alone around the world, you want to also be safe, not just comfortable. I was not exactly intending to sail in calm waters all the time, so safety was really important. Looking at the videos now, I almost start laughing remembering that my bank account was getting close to zero, but I was still trying to find a way and prepare the boat for my departure. I wasn’t even sure what would be my destination, as it was getting to expensive for me and had a hard time with the limitations of my visa. Sometimes the best way to find solutions to problems, is a tasty lunch aboard or with friends… and some good rest. But we will continue on this… in the future videos.