Welcome to Our Blog

Thank you for sharing in our journey of building a Fusion Catamaran! We are so excited to be able to chronicle our adventure for our family, friends, and supporters, from our initial decision to (hopefully) a successful launch and beyond. Please post your comments, questions, and cautionary tales-we love to hear from you!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Big Moves!

The beginning of Spring has come and gone, and since I haven't updated you all in...wow, 5 months...I figured it was time to catch up on all the progress!

November and December last year were filled with family trips, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and our grandson's first trip to Florida! We were not able to visit our Fusion boat-in-progress until after the New Year with so many occasions to celebrate.  Work proceeded apace without us however, with the interior being sanded and fiber glassed.  Each time we saw glimpses, it seemed the vast open interior was slowly coming together into a comfortable living space of our own design.
Uncle Jon, Autumn and Josh - Thanksgiving in NYC
Christmas in Cocowalk
The last Jansma Iron Chef Christmas in Miami
Josh's First Swimming Lesson

Another milestone approached, however: our lease in Miami would be up on February 15th, and before then we had to sort our lives into four buckets: Goes to Boat, Goes to Storage, Goes to Kids, or Goes to Goodwill.  Although I had cleared out a few drawers and closets before "the holidays" hit in earnest, and although I was smugly assuring myself I had it under control, when I resurfaced after New Year's, I was totally panicked!

Our general plan was to send some items to each of our sons, to put a few "can't part with" pieces into storage, and to sell or give away the rest.  This sounded so easy in theory, but the task at hand seemed completely overwhelming! Breathe deep.  I began with books, boxing up over 300 hardcover and paperback books. My original thought had been to catalogue them and sell them on Amazon, but as February got closer, mass donation to a library seemed a better solution.

A Well-Organized Storage Unit with just a few items for "Life After Boat"

Eventually we assembled piles on each level for Kris, Jon, Storage, Goodwill, and Boat, packing boxes and tagging furniture.  Clothes were a difficult category; we each had gone through our drawers and closets at least twice already, first clearing out things that obviously no longer fit, or that we didn't wear, and making a second and third pass on items we rarely wore.  But there were still too many clothes! On the last pass, we became ruthless, taking only what we saw ourselves using in a cruising lifestyle, with limited outfits for colder weather and business meetings.

As I opened each drawer and closet, I would hold each item and remember where it had come from, who had given it to us, what it commemorated.  It was harder than I imagined, to decide where each memento would go, and place it in a box.  But as the packing gained momentum, as boxes were sealed and labeled, a magical thing happened: I felt my shoulders, my step, my heart become lighter and lighter as each decision was made, as each item was consigned to a pile.  At the end, we had American Van Lines come twice; first to pick up a load destined for Austin TX (Jon) and Brooklyn NY (Kris), and then again to take a load to our storage unit. This left us with a small trailer and a fully packed car to take with us to our interim home in Sarasota.  Most of that would be going in the boat; the apartment we're renting short term is fully furnished so we only added our clothes, our office, and a few kitchen items. I've read so many other accounts of cruisers-to-be selling off their items and wondered how this part of my own adventure would go; I think the best analogy is that it was like heading down a long tunnel, knowing we had to come out the other end, and had no alternative except to keep sliding!  We knew that 5PM on February 14th was the deadline; we drove away from the spotlessly empty apartment at 4:55.

Empty at last!

Pulling away with only the possessions we towed behind us, truly I felt free of all the accumulated "stuff"; things that weighted us down, kept us from spending time pursuing what we loved, grounding us in one place.

Now in Sarasota, we've been able to become more involved with XYZZY's progress, visiting the yard several times a week, weighing in on all the decisions that need to be made now that the interminable sanding, fairing, and gel-coating is winding down.  Here are some pictures of what we've been working on.

Our New Family "Car"
We picked up our new "family car" from 84 Boatworks and delivered her to her new home in Sarasota.  She is a 10.5' AB aluminum hulled inflatable with a center console.  Of course, with a 20 hp Honda engine. 


Dennis tries out his new steering wheel and throttle, seeing where they'll fit on the helm station.

Bob Touton from Pompanette is working on our portholes, hatches, galley window, and sliding door.  Here we are laying out the window templates along the hull for placement, before cutting.  His company is also designing our helm seat.

The rudders are in!
Designing the forward anchor box
The first through hulls go in the boat

As sanding draws to a close inside the boat, gel coating begins, and soon the interior is transformed from pink fiberglass to a glossy white finish.  Now Mike the carpenter can get started turning all the beautiful carmelized bamboo veneer we bought into cabinet doors and drawers. 

We make a trip back to Stuart FL to visit our mast and roller furling boom now under construction at Mack Sails.  Discussion ensues about how all of our electronic devices will be wired through the mast.  It will be outfitted with AIS, VHF, cell phone extender, wi-fi extender, radar, and a mast mounted camera.  Lots going on up there!


We visit the construction of our custom salon table, being designed by Release Marine of Savannah, GA.  The table they've created is one-of-a-kind, built to raise up to dining height, or lower to coffee table height, with inside compartments powering and housing our laptops and transformers, all cords tucked out of sight.  Since the salon area will be our office, our dining room, and our entertainment center, we wanted a multifunctional table that will fit all these roles, and Matt & Tonya have risen to the task!


We're starting to purchase some of the interior fixtures that will turn our boat into a home: lighting, sinks, mattresses, microwaves, and a stove top.

In the coming weeks, we'll be starting the installation of systems: plumbing, electrical, and steering.  We'll be laying out the deck hardware and solar panels, getting engines installed.  Check in with us again soon as XYZZY becomes our home.

Farewell but not Forgotten, Coconut Grove!
And there's that one particular harbour
Sheltered from the wind
Where the children play on the shore each day
And all are safe within

                                                                                                          Jimmy Buffett

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