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Old 01-05-2023, 11:02 AM   #1
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Dear Diary - Weebles will splash soon.

Notice the title is "Splash" vs "Complete." I've decided to go with a "Dear Diary" approach to writing to share some of the emotion, not just the tick-tock details. Will try to update daily over the next week or so, perhaps more if I feel ambitious. Enjoy!

Dear Diary - Thursday, Jan 5th. Weebles will not be splashed this Friday, just as she was not splashed before Christmas, nor Thanksgiving. Why? Variety of reasons - I've added a couple last minute items such such as storage shelving in the aft laz. Parts' delays such as 316 stainless flat bar to fabricate chafe gaurds for docklines. Discovery and repair of past poor workmanship. And definitely some 'squeaky wheel' work-deferral by the yard (TwistedTree coined this nicely recently). Cheryll (wife) thinks I am too nice to the folks working on the boat and perhaps I am. But I just don't want to be a squeaky wheel.

Splashing is a really, really important day. Looks like next week. And then begins another round of work, much of it falls to me now that I will have the boat back. I'm a bit worried about it - the stabilizer system is new and did not work propertly on sea trials a few months ago. I have some emails from Wesmar that I need to brush-off and hopefully just a config issue. I need to verify with Orlando that the 12V>>>24V step-up transformer for the Eaton brain-box was installed. And there are also tons of configuration for the electronic's suite. I'm probably over-thinking it, but find the notion of MMSI a bit daunting, probaby because I have done no research. And then there's just the issue of learning curve. Plus getting all the WiFi (Peplink)/Starlink communications setup.

So Guillermo, yard owner/boss, tells me next Wednesday is realistic. Once again I will need to tell Octavio at Cruiseport Marina I will be late getting there. Nice folks.

New bottom paint is being applied on Weebles. When she went into the yard, she had a crop of blisters which have been mostly repaired, though not a full peel bottom job. Blisters didn't bother me but since it was easy to repair (and the boat fully dried-out in the Ensenada climate), decided it was a good chance. (below is a picture from yesterday - Guillermo giving the yard worker some instruction on where more work is needed).

Today I am making another trip to San Diego. Serafin, the upholsterer, has pre-ordered Sunbrella in the color we want for dinghy cover. Unfortunately, it had not arrived 2-days ago when I was last in San Diego. Also, the Stainless Flat Bar has arrived so I can pick that up too. It's a 6-hour round trip to San Diego which isn't a bad drive, but is getting old. A lot of people consider having work done in low-cost labor areas like Mexico. But availability of parts and materials is difficult - much of the savings are consumed with shipping; or you accept lower quality goods (316 stainless is difficult to source in Mexico, at least here in Ensenada). Even though I complain about the distance, having San Diego nearby is a godsend. I also have a PO Box at a UPS Store just over the border and have all manner of stuff shipped to me.

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Old 01-05-2023, 11:11 AM   #2
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Hope everything comes together, I look forward to seeing pictures of it floating.

I really like the Willards, they are just not the right boat for us right now. Yours looks like it will be an exceptionally equipped one.
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Old 01-05-2023, 11:12 AM   #3
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Hopefully all goes smoothly with the launch!
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Old 01-05-2023, 11:13 AM   #4
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Please prioritize the starlink, otherwise we will have to miss you once you start cruising her. Best of luck.
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Old 01-05-2023, 11:57 AM   #5
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Congrats on the successful completion of your project!
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Old 01-05-2023, 12:08 PM   #6
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Good luck with the launch. Hope it goes well.
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Old 01-05-2023, 12:19 PM   #7
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Sigh. They're never done and never ready. But you gotta go sometime.

Best of luck, I'm sure it will be fine.
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Old 01-05-2023, 01:37 PM   #8
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Congrats and good luck Peter. Keep us informed.
“In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Old 01-05-2023, 03:25 PM   #9
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Yay! Good to read your boat will spash soon.
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Old 01-05-2023, 03:37 PM   #10
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That's a huge milestone. Hope it all goes well!
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Old 01-05-2023, 05:29 PM   #11
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Lookin' good! Following . . .
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Old 01-05-2023, 06:43 PM   #12
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It seems the list gets longer before you splash. Target what you need to float and move. You will get more done when it's where you want it and can sleep on it.

Good job.
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Old 01-05-2023, 07:19 PM   #13
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Congratulations. I love what you've done. I'm sure it's satisfying to be on the final stretch.
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Old 01-05-2023, 08:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Northern Spy View Post
Sigh. They're never done and never ready. But you gotta go sometime.

Best of luck, I'm sure it will be fine.
And never let the perfect be the enemy of the good -
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Old 01-06-2023, 08:51 AM   #15
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Dear Diary - Friday, January 6

Dear Diary - Friday, January 6. Long day yesterday - 7-hour roundtrip to San Diego and back to pick up fabric for the dinghy cover. The upholstery guy here - Serafin - is pretty good and very easy to work with. He has a wholesale account with a super-cool wholesale-only place in San Diego "Keyston Bros." Also picked up parts and tools for Guillermo, owner/head of La Costa Boatworks, the folks working on Weebles.

My role in the end-phase of getting Weebles launched is chief gopher - clearer of brush. Whatever it takes to allow the team to stay on-task I will do. Heck, I'd take their kids to school if I thought it would help. I had the same philosophy when I was in management consulting and it served me well - "help you help me." With Guillermo, it's led to a very good and productive relationship. I've purchased a lot of stuff via his wholesale accounts with zero markup.

I need to ask Orlando to run one more wire to the hardtop. This is the 3rd or 4th "one more wire" so I'm a bit sheepish to ask, but I realized I forgot to run 12VDC for a future deck-light I may (or may not) install to illuminate the decks if needed (say, a nighttime dinghy launch/retrieval) Orlando Chinas is the owner of "Chinas Electronico" and has been a savior for Weebles. He's also based out of the no-name boatyard. Orlando is a quiet, serious guy whose English skills are slightly better than my poor Spanish skills. I like working with him and he seems to enjoy working with me.

It rained most of the day yesterday so work was diverted to interior projects. Bilge and engine room is being painted (well, mostly touched-up as it was painted when the engine was out last year). And Felipe, one of the carpenters who also does nice fiberglass work, was tabbing-in the shelving over the rudder in the aft lazarette.

Today is January 6th, and I give up my apartment in Ensenada on January 15th. I'm still a bit perplexed how Weebles gets complete by next Wednesday or so. Very frustrating! I remember when I was delivering boats. New owners would go through this same 1000-paper-cuts during commissioning even with an experienced build such as PAE/Nordhavn. But when the docklines were finally cast off, that chapter and frustration would close immediately and completely. I so look forward to that transition.

1.Upholstery for benches on flybridge. Not shown are the upholstered seat backs. The dirty non-skid has since been repainted.
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2. For reference, here is the original layout of flybridge seating for a W36. You can see how much has changed
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3. Back deck seating. The W36 has a huge aft deck with fantail seating. The 'chaise' extension to port is new - it is a freezer section. The old green cushions are shown and have since been upholstered.
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4. Pic from a few weeks ago. One of the hazards of long refit projects is things change. For the freezer, I ended up needing a different evaporator (the 'cold' part inside the freezer). Unfortunately, the manufacturer had changed the quick-connect fittings. So this fellow is soldering the lines and charging the system. The silver-lining is soldered lines are much less apt to leak than quick-connect. He charged me about $90 USD for the house-call.
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5. Misha, one of the yard cats. Cheryll wants to adopt her, but I don't think the guys will let her go.
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M/V Weebles
1970 Willard 36 Sedan Trawler
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Old 01-07-2023, 09:11 AM   #16
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Will she really launch next week?

Dear Diary - Saturday, January 7. The boatyard is open a half day today even though it's Saturday. In Mexico, folks generally work a half-day on Saturday making for a 45-hour work week. There appear to be slightly more generous time-off days so it probably works out the same.

I had lunch with Guillermo yesterday and he's still confident Weebles will launch next week. I look at her and I'm still not so sure. There isn't really a plan, just an educated guess. In all reality, it won't be the end of the world if she runs late again (it's been so long to begin with), but it's just frustrating.

I talked to Orlando (electrician) about running a spare wire to the hardtop for a possible future set of deck lights. I forgot to remind him about bonding all the thru-hulls. Will have to wait a couple days until the painting is complete in the engine room.

I have been splicing several lines lately. For the dinghy hoist-crane, I opted for an Andersen manual sailboat winch instead of an electric one. I had an electric Rule winch on my boom which seemed to just rust-out. Plan is to use my Dewalt cordless drill to energize, but manual lift isn't bad either.

So I bought a reel of 1/2" polyester double-braid; and a reel of 3/8" double-braid. has a decent deal on double braid, at least by the spool (300-feet of each). The 1/2" will be for dinghy lift rope. I'll also take about 200-ft for a general mooring line. I have also thought about a small sea-anchor not so much for heavy weather, but to control drift and buy time to make a repair if needed. I've settled on the Burke Seabrake an Austrailian company that markets to US as well.

I've also spliced a lot of line for my flopper-stopper rigging. I had forgotten all I ever knew about making eye-splices. I have to say, learning has been much easier with YouTube than when I last did it. THIS ONE from Premium Ropes seemed to be the right pace for me. I have an old Brion Toss splicing wand but found I prefer a decent set of fids.

In the end, even for a powerboat, there is a lot of running-rigging. And a lot of eysplices. And a lot of clips, thimbles, and shackles (US Stainless is a good source for 316 clips at a reasonable price).


1. Fairing block for Zincs - one is missing. I have two zincs on Weebles. For years, I was unable to fit a common sized zinc due to old placement of fairing blocks. I had the last guys move them forward an inch or so. I have no idea what they used to fasten, but one was gone when La Costa started their work- you can see the pattern in the 'missing' picture. They forgot to replace it before painting so will do that today. I've asked them to remove the one that is still there with the thought that they were both attached the same way.....and one fell off. They will use GPO3 fiberglass material to make the new fairling blocks and epoxy to the hull.
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2. Patterns for winch and window covers. Serafin is a talented canvas worker and a really nice guy. Yesterday he spent a couple hours making patterns for the solar screens
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3. Engine Room Painted. Looking forward - I wish I had moved the rags atop the Perkins. Many of my electrical components are mounted on the port side. One of the finish-projects I'm chomping at the bit to do is install plexiglas panels to protect accidental contact.
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4. Venturi windscreen installed. Originally, Willard 36's came with multi-part windscreen panels supported by mahogany L-brackets. There was no hand-hold and the wood would need to be periodically replaced. As part of my "Resto-Mod" approach, I had it all done in stainless. It's a good handhold.
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5. Weebles yesterday, January 6th. You can see why I'm a bit skeptical about her getting launched next week. I know it's just masking paper, but there's quite a bit of touch-up paint to do; and final buff/polish. And it's supposed to rain again next Tuesday.
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Old 01-09-2023, 02:17 PM   #17
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Great diary! Thank you. Where will home port be?
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Old 01-09-2023, 03:38 PM   #18
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Congratulations on getting to this point, Peter. As someone above noted, "perfect is the enemy of good" (I am sure you are trying to keep this in mind!). And if Wednesday turns out to not be launch day, it will be soon after. Excellent post, thank you.
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Old 01-09-2023, 04:06 PM   #19
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Don't invite the evil angel of delay by suggestion Weebles will splash soon. In my research laboratory I forbid the grad students to say, "I think it is going to work". That is the curse of failure for sure. Instead say, "I don't think Weebles will ever float again." Before you know it Ensenada will disappear over your transom.

Regarding being the squeaky wheel: It probably does not work in Mexico. The usual problem is that the workers accept too much work that they can handle within a fixed time frame. So they accept and start a job and then jump from job to job. That is what house contractors often do in the USA.

Although it is too late to say, I believe that the deflection blocks in front of your zincs are not necessarily the best idea. It is preferable to have water flow over both surfaces of the zinc. The deflectors minimize the flow over the top surface. However, you have plenty of zinc so it doesn't matter.

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Old 01-09-2023, 05:58 PM   #20
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Dear Diary – Monday, January 9th 2023. “RPackard” said that the squeaky-wheel thing may not work in Mexico. I’m still a bit conflicted – much of my career was on Wall Street which is a sharp-elbows culture There’s a saying here “as you give, you will receive.” I can’t tell if it’s a dark turn of phrase “do unto others as they would do unto you” or if it’s just an excuse to be passive aggressive. Seems what works better is a more emotional appeal – “I need your help please.” Instead of arm-waving, better to try “I am disappointed” as a first effort.

I did talk to Guillermo today about schedule, that I am concerned that launch may not happen this week. My apartment is done next Sunday --- as in 6-days away. Not sure if I can extend. I told Guillermo that I would be sleeping somewhere else come Sunday. And it will rain on Wednesday. He was with his son so I didn’t push, but his absence of saying “no problem, we got this” was telling.

On the plus side, all the doo-dads for painting are constructed. Includes the table for my grill station (see below – GPO3 material). And the small ‘bar rack’ to hold glasses and decanters that will tuck into the cabinet that held the old control box for the replaced Vosper stabilizers.
Nothing is easy on a small boat. I spent a good hour with Cheryll on the phone searching out the right size garbage can for under the galley sink. Dozens of options – in the end, will need to move a shelf up ½” to make it fit.

Then there is the propane fittings. I talked to Orlando about tying in the propane feed for the BBQ and ordered plumbing parts. See diagram below. Finding the right BBQ has been a challenge too. For the last several years, I have migrated to a flat-top griddle (Blackstone) which are great.
Will probably head to San Diego on Thursday.


1. Chafe guards for Docklines. Since my caprails are now encapsulated in fiberglass and sprayed, I want to protect them from docklines rubbing. Instead of off-the-shelf pieces, I decided on a different design using 316 3/4" flat stock with 3/8" round welded on top. Will stand proud a bit. A bit more chafe-inducing than the alternative but a happy medium. If not, I'll swap-out for off-shelf.
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2. Grill station. Dry-fitting this morning - it's right next to the propane locker (yes, I know - not a top-fill locker per ABYC). Also a picture of the small bar-rack from a couple weeks ago. This will mount on full-extension glides and pull out of a small cabinet. Not shown are fiddle rails to hold outdoor cushions in place. These were originally wood, but I opted for GPO3 strips there too and will be painted in Alexseal grey, same color as the caprail.
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3. Diagrams for stuff. As mentioned above, I need to provide propane for the Blackstone. So I ordered these parts and will give this to Orlando for install. Also, another diagram for custom sheets off Etsy. We'll see how that works out....
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M/V Weebles
1970 Willard 36 Sedan Trawler
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