It’s been a busy few weeks with Undaunted here in Albany, but we’re in the final days of preparation to ship the Little Boat to the Canary Islands! We’ve been posting pictures to Instagram and updating our gallery pages as we go, but we thought you might like to hear how things are going as we count down to departure.
Last week Matt made some modifications to a Pelican case allowing it to mount onto the port forward part of the cabin, where it will serve as a watertight electric breaker panel...it's also a chart table, navigation station, main salon table, main communication hub, entertainment area, exercise equipment locker, and solar array storage unit. Every sailor knows that if a thing doesn't serve at least three purposes, it should probably be redesigned, right? A few last things have been mounted onto the exterior of the hull, including brackets for the emergency floatation system (a system that allows the boat to be floated like an inflatable life raft) and the full complement of bolts on the rudder hinges. Everything else has been sealed and insulated, making the whole cabin watertight and cozy.
Yes, I said cozy. I would be crazy to pretend that it’s not a small space, but the more ready it becomes for the voyage the homier it feels. Sometimes there is comfort in the simplicity of having only the necessities, and all of those within reach.
In the meantime, the freeze-dried supplies from Be Prepared and snack bars and shakes from JuicePlus+ arrived in the mail, coming to roughly 106,000 calories for the voyage. Two hours in the grocery store tracking down fruit, nuts, and oils more than doubled that number, and the food supplies' total comes to upwards of 266,000 calories. For those of you who don't want to do the math, here’s the deal: If the trip takes 4 months (the current longest projection), that’s an average of 2,000 calories per day. Stretched to 6 months, it’s still close to 1400 cal/day.
All of this – freeze-dried foods in No. 10 cans, and most of the snacks in smaller packages that can be fitted around and between them – fits comfortably into the bilge, which also holds the marine battery and essential tools for the voyage.
One of the final preparations before Matt builds a shipping crate around the little boat to send it on its way to the Canaries is to repaint the hull. You've seen that it was painted white and grey since the spring, which was helpful as Undaunted was on display on land and it gave people an idea of where the water line is. Now with a thorough primer and bottom painting as well as some touch-up to the deck and the new hardware, the little boat is nearly all white. There are a few accents to add, including a red waterline and the name on the transom, but otherwise the hull is ready for sea. The white paint for the deck is meant to reflect heat as much as possible to maintain a more comfortable temperature in the cabin.
Obviously this doesn’t cover all of the details and changes of the little boat, but it gives you an idea of where the project is at – nearly ready, just adding the finishing touches before it takes its first, less dramatic trip across the Atlantic. If there’s any part of the project that you’d like to hear more about, leave a comment or send us a message using the contact form and I’ll see if we can do some more technical write-ups!