gadgets and progress

I finally FINALLY have a new new keyboard for my crappylappy (thanks Mom!), with the letter UUUUUUUU!! as well as the various other buttons lacking on the CL. It’s a Targus rollable rubber membrane ‘board; still getting used to the key action, but dang it seems otherwise boat-perfect.
On the boat itself lately, well, hmmm. So crazy busy with client boats right now (worked through last weekend, and will through this one too) that I’ve had precious little time for Centaurea. At least all the hours piling up will help with the expenses!
Prior to this last crazy week, I’ve gotten past/over/through/beyond a handful of key obtacles on the boat. Chiefly, not only is the engine in, but the new shaft, flange, and coupling are installed, aligned, and secured. Also, the much-modified new-old-new boomkin is once again back on the boat, this time sporting a Sturdy Mount for the Aries. Go Aries! Now the only things that stand between me and floating are: paint (again again! AGAIN! When will it end!?), ie., the bootstripe, a section of topsides at the stb bow, and then the primer(s) and anti-fouling on the bottom. Oh, and the other obstacle; my psychoholic boss, whose erratic and sparking craziness always threatens to throw last-minute tangles into the mix.
The rigging has been going together really well. I have now just the upper shrouds and backstay to build. The uppers are straight-forward, but I’m having yet further internal debates over the arrangement of the backstay. I’d like to have an adjustable backstay rig, but the two usual turnbuckle-replacement options are too expensive, and a split backstay adjuster is a bit of a step backwards. The other option is a (rather too complicated an not exactly cheap either, although cheaper) cascaded direct purchase… I fear that the rig will be installed with a limp and hanging over-length backstay, with me still undecided.
The other major bits to do now are: install the last of the exhaust plumbing, including a water-injection fitting, find and install a new engine heat exchanger (ouch), and install the engine controls and cables. Still many other smaller bits to take care of, but the engine bits and rigging will make me pretty autonomous, even if not ready for offshore workouts.
A couple of good friends here have just bought their own First Real Boat, which they are likewise readying for an imminent launch. The pace and excitement of their preparations largely mirrors my own, excepting that they are working over a proven boat to simply float around the local waters, whereas I am prepping a long-since-decommissioned craft for a month of North Atlantic spring! Ah well, no frets, no fears; even the usually naysaying wags gruffly oblige that Centaurea is far more than up to the task.


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