Earning our shade

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?

Easy, right?

And this is just one of many projects…

Almost there

Will working hard

Will working hard

Missing set screw

Custom starboard mounting shims. Missing washers because the screw is too short.

At least 3 long hot hours spent cutting and sanding the shims...

We never seem to have the right length screw...

Camelia doing a great job fitting the canvas

I can almost picture it finished

8 thoughts on “Earning our shade

  1. karina says:

    Hi Sarah and Will – Your bimini story is exactly as I remember life in the sailing world – especially in Mexico. Nothing ever happens quickly!! See you soon, Karen


  2. laneariley says:

    Ha! I laugh only because I understand how rediculous boat work can be. Your bimini will look fabulous, guys! Best of luck on finding a set screw. By the way, don’t forget a jacket when you come up next week. We almost froze to death when we stepped out of the doors at SFO!


    • HYDROQUEST says:

      Thanks for the heads up Lanea… I ended up packing every warm item I have on board – and wore all of them! I hope you guys have had a fun trip – We’ll see you in La Paz! 🙂


      • laneariley says:

        Hope you had an excellent showing at the boat show! Jealous you are already back- we miss Moondance! Have a great passage with the rents and looking forward to spending summer in the sea with you guys. Now that Don Anderson has passed (so sad!) what are you guys planning to do for weather this summer? Let us know if you hear of any ideas along the way.
        Best, L+C


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