Sunday, January 27, 2013

Headliner Upgrade

When we first purchased our boat it was functionally sound with regard to all the systems. We had a complete survey, top to bottom, and verified that the sails, rigging, engine, electrical, plumbing and hull were all in good to excellent condition. However with a boat of this vintage, there were cosmetic upgrades which begged to be made.

One of the most obvious asthetic improvements to be made was replacing the original headiner. While not terribly shabby, there were areas of mildew staining around two of the salon ports and parts of the headliner had lost contact with the hull in the quater berth area, behind the nav station and in the liquor cabinet. Because of the way the original headliner had been installed, it was virtually impossible to replace it using the old upholstery system. Further research led us to Randy Spicer at the Yacht Docktor, who specializes in woodwork, as well as headliner replacement. He suggested going with a panelized headliner. The advantages to this approach is the headliner is designed in several removable panels, making access to wiring and coach-roof hardware simple and allowing for piece-meal panel replacement, should it ever be needed.

Installation of a panelized headliner involves installing furring strips to which each of the individual panels will be attached. These furring strips are glued and screwed into the underside of the coach roof.
The individual panels are made from quarter inch marine plywood, cut into panels to match the coach roof pattern for the cabin. These panels are then padded and upholstered. Industrial grade velcro strips are mechanically attached to both the furring strips with the matching hook side attached along the borders of the upholstered panels.
Wiring holes and dorade vents are marked and cut out of the appropriate panels. After the panels are attached to the furring strips, all lights and trim hardware are installed to the panels. In the case of dorade vents, the screened teak trim covers were installed. The same was true for the mast and hatch trim pieces.
The individual headliner covers for each of the book shelf cubbies were fabricated using the same technique.

Headliner that was used behind the nav station and liquor cabinet was replaced with teak plywood and teak strips.

The following are some photos of the finished headliner and some of the details.


Starboard salon---

Cabin hatch---

Mast detail---

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Heart of Marina de La Paz

One of the special places in the sea of Cortez is the city of La Paz. First visited by Hernan Cortez in 1535, it is now the capital city of Baja California Sur. For cruisers, the hub of activity in La Paz is located in its oldest floating marina, Marina de La Paz, the second oldest floating marina in Mexico. Founded by the Shroyer family in 1983, its day to day management is handled by Mac and Mary's oldest son, Neil.

The marina is a well designed and well maintained facility that caters to the cruising community. It is the most centrally located of all the marinas to the downtown area of La Paz, close to many businesses and services that cater to visiting cruisers. The majority of the floating docks are planked either using Ipe or Trex. Each slip has its own power tower, allowing for either 30 or 50amp service, potable water and a weatherized plug-in for Internet service (there is also WiFi service available). Within the secure compound of the marina are a full service restaurant, a small tienda, a service that offers help with documents (visitor visas; park passes; TIP's; etc.), a yacht brokerage, a dive shop and a general yacht maintenance service. The marina also provides and maintains clean shower rooms with a second story multipurpose room for meetings, classes and special events. In addition to being supportive of the larger community of La Paz, the Shroyer family also sponsers Club Cruceros de La Paz providing a club house, lending library of both books and DVD's, and an outdoor meeting place for cruisers who are visiting La Paz. The club provides information and support to the cruising community, as well as, outreach events held by the club to benefit the needy communities in the larger La Paz urban area.

While the heart and soul of Marina de La Paz are the Shroyer's, the individuals who provide the day to day service and support of the marina and keep it running also deserve special attention. There is a dedicated team of employees, without whom, Marina de La Paz wouldn't be the special place it is today. The following are photo's of some of the dedicated, professional and friendly support staff. I apologize for not including all the staff, including Mac Shroyer, but those who have been included are the people you most often see.

Mary Shroyer, matriarch of the family business, and angel to both the cruising and La Paz communities.

Neil Shroyer is the day to day operations manager and overseer of the marina. In addition to his marina duties, he maintains an active role in local marine and harbor business. If anyone has a problem to solve, Neil is a valuable resource to consult.

Cyntia is one of the bubbly, cheerful office managers, who keeps track of the residents of the marina, assigning slips and parking places.

Adriana, the other happy co-manager of the marina office, shares duties with Cyntia.

Yolanda rounds out the cheerful and helpful office staff at Marina de La Paz. Three more helpful, cheerful woman are hard to find and they're all here at Marina de La Paz.

Javier is the head watchman in charge of security at the marina. He's there day and night.

Marco is also part of the security team at Marina de La Paz. He generally works evenings and weekends, along with Javier.

Maria keeps the showers and rest rooms spotless and is always cheerful.

Joel is a great boat mechanic. In 2008, he managed to change our raw water pump, which is not located in a great spot for maintenance.

Antonio (Tono) is a work boat pilot and all around jack of all trades.

Abel is another jack-of-all trades when it comes to boats and also manages the fuel dock.

Martin primary responsibility is maintaining the desalination operation at the marina.

Omar is one of the more recent employees at Marina de La Paz. As with the rest of the staff, he's cheerful and helpful to anyone who needs or asks for assistance. His current duties include dock maintenance, including woodworking, electrical and painting.

Ernesto is part of the security team, working the graveyard shift.

Lupe, while not an employee of the marina, provides propane pick-up service for the cruisers three mornings a week.

One of the regular dock visitors who looks for maintenance work is Jacob. He enjoys talking and can be a hard worker, if hired. All the people walking the docks looking for work have to be approved by the marina before being allowed to solicit work.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Holidays with Our Newest Family Member

We left La Paz in December and drove back to San Diego for the holidays. Having a new grandchild has become an irrestible draw, capable of pulling us from our cruising grounds. From San Diego, we drove north to Santa Rosa to celebrate Christmas with family. We spent the better part of a week enjoying ourselves at Archer's great-grandmothers house in the Valley of the Moon. It was cool, wet and beautiful. Christmas found the family converging on Gigi's house to celebrate Christmas morning and enjoy Christmas dinner. Sean, Chantal and Archer arrived a day earlier and had settled into the office. I'm taking the grandparents preogative to share a few of the photos taken during our stay.

Great-Grandpa Don and Grandma Cheryl.

Great-Grandma Gigi and Great-Grandpa Don.

Two of Santa's helpers. Great-Grandpa Don and Grandpa Peter.

Grandma Kathie and Great-Grandma Gigi with Archer.

Grandma Kathie and Archer.

Sean and Archer reading.

Good morning from Archer.

Archer trying out his tiger scooter on Christmas morning.

Archer and his uncle Andrew.

Chantal, Archer and Sean on Christmas morning.

Archer in his bumble-bee sweat shirt.

A visit to the Charles Schultz Museum the day after Christmas. Chantal, Archer and Sean (and, of course, Charlie Brown).

Following our return to San Diego, we enjoyed a belated Christmas dinner with the rest of our family and their significant others.

Our daughter, Nicole, dressed for the cold.

Nicole's beau, Mike.

Danica our favorite foodie, followed by her Aunt Mari.

Danica's husband and our son-in-law, Paul, ready for post-Christmas dinner.

The gracious hostess and my beautiful wife, Kathie.