If we’re going to spend any time in the Sea of Cortez this summer, we need to make sure we’re set up to deal with living in 40+ degree heat. Air flow, water, and shade are all important considerations.
HYDROQUEST came with some great items – two wind scoops (to be hung from halyards over the hatches to catch air and direct it inside the boat), two fans (although we need to buy four more so that we can have a fan mounted over every berth), and a large cockpit awning (which can only be rigged up when we are stationary).
What she didn’t come with was a bimini to provide constant shade in the cockpit.
Easy fix – we’ll add a bimini!
a. Buy stainless steel and sunbrella in Vancouver (we heard both items were much more expensive in Mexico). Pack up the canvas and attach the 14” stainless tubes to the roof of the car. Proceed with 3000 kilometer drive to the boat.
b. End of February in Nuevo Vallarta, retain the services of a stainless steel guy (Salvador) and a canvas lady (Camelia – Full Sail Marine). It’ll be an easy job – can be done in a week and they’ll get started mañana. Sounds great.
c. First week of March: Salvador is very busy, but will come to the boat soon to get our materials and take measurements.
d. Second week of March: Measurements have been taken and the tubes have been bent. 12 fittings are still needed and Salvador has ordered them from Zaragosa (large marine store in PV). They will arrive mañana.
e. Third week of March: The truck from Zaragosa carrying our fittings is highjacked on the road from Tepic. Our fittings are stolen.
f. Fourth week of March: The next truck is meant to arrive any day now. We jump the gun and spend a day wiring the solar panels.
g. Salvador is going away on vacation. He brings us back our tubing and gives us a quick tutorial on how to cut the additional brackets and set up the bimini ourselves.
h. Will and I take the bus into town to pick up the fittings. The truck has arrived! Unfortunately none of the boxes have been unpacked and there are no workers to do it. We are told to come back mañana. Will puts his foot down and goes into the warehouse area and starts unpacking boxes himself. He gets lucky and finds our 12 precious fittings!
i. We dock the boat at Marina Riviera Nayarit (La Cruz) and give ourselves one day to complete the project. In Boat Project Reality terms, the calculation is as follows: (how much time you think it will take) * 2 + a day.
j. HAHA – we only took one day to cut and mount the stainless. Then we realize the bimini is 6 inches too high and looks ridiculous.
k. Second day: we re-cut all of the tubes. We drop a set screw in the water by mistake – now the whole thing is wobbly. We start the arduous task of balancing and mounting two 80 watt solar panels on top of the steel frame. Break 3 drill bits trying to drill through the steel. We don’t stop working until after sunset.
l. Third day: We traipse around town looking for a set screw and 2.5 inch screws. We find neither. We finish a jury rig on the panels just in time for Camelia to arrive and take canvas measurements. It’s a long weekend so no one is working – the canvas work will be (might be) done next week.
m. How many more bloody steps is this bimini going to take?
And this is just one of many projects…