We got back from Thailand Feb 19 and visited the boat the next day. A number of workers were just finishing up. LMC was able to put us back in the water Feb 25.
They fixed a number of things, but the main project was stabilizer installation. When we bought our boat I read about stabilizers catching lines and debris and getting damaged in groundings and so decided we didn’t want them. I since learned that they really can steady a boat in heavy seas. A side benefit is preventing severe rocking when a 70 foot sport fisherman boat roars past 20 feet away from us on the ICW. That type of unexpected motion has caused severe injuries to a number of loopers.
We’ve learned that the advantages of stabilizers outweigh the downsides. After all, propellers catch lines and debris and get damaged in groundings a whole lot more than stabilizers do, but they are still useful to have.
After all the work came the sea trial which we took off for a few hours after going back in the water. Craig Caulkins, our installer, and one of his people came with us as we cruised back down the New River, through the Everglades Cruise Port and out the main inlet to the open Atlantic.
Along the way we again saw the fine homes along the New River both before and after downtown. Homes along the water are very expensive here, starting at several million, but more likely being 10 million and up. Too much for us, so we’ll just keep our own moveable waterfront home while here in Ft Lauderdale.
Once out on the Atlantic the wind was from the west, so waters were sheltered until we got several miles out, where seas were about 3 ½ feet with 3 second waves. Before when off the New Jersey coast we had more like 1 ½ foot waves but they had a 7 second period, which is much gentler. We had never been out in water this rough before. While there was some movement, there were no large swings or rocking.
Then Craig turned the stabilizers off. Boat movement, especially rocking side to side, became very pronounced not at all pleasant. This is the kind of movement the boat can take much better than the people in it. The stabilizers will allow us to sail in seas about 2 ½ to 3 times rougher than we would otherwise go out in.
Going out to the Bahamas should be safer and a lot more pleasant now. Now if we can just get through our yearly medical and dental visits we’ll get going there.