With plans drawn, budget prepared, lists made and new tools at the ready, the demolition started. First priority – temporary sleeping accommodation, for we were going to live on the boat throughout the remodel. We chose the aftermost double cabin to sleep in and, of course, we had to have some sort of cooking facilities on board.
Fortunately the aft stateroom, which was the largest on the boat, didn’t require major modification. We added a closet, new mattress, a TV and tore out what seemed like tons of excess equipment such as air conditioning units, intercoms, required Coast Guard signage and emergency gear (remember, Poseidon was Coast Guard certified to carry 49 passengers for ocean work).
Then I brought out the chain saws, wrecking bars and other demolition tools. Linda insisted that I only work on one area at a time, so we started in the galley and salon area. Needless to say, the galley was the most important project of all. Nothing is more important to Linda than to be able to cook.
It’s hard to imagine how much wire, pipe, appliances, flooring and other materials came out of a boat which at one point we thought would need only minor cosmetic work. The dock was constantly piled up with stuff which we hauled away as fast as we could with the help of our friends and a few hired hands. Fortunately, our fellow boaters are scrounges by nature and much of the our junk ended up in other boats and deck boxes (no doubt to be thrown out when the scrounges realized that it was no more use to them that it was to us!).
The more you remove, the more you expand the project and we now found ourselves with bare walls and floors. ‘Minor cosmetic work’ turned into a complete rebuild.
One day, with Linda out for the day and several willing helpers on hand, I decided to go for economies of scale and, against all promises previously made, demolished and stripped the entire interior so that all the walls could be repaired and covered at the same time. When Linda came down the dock and saw the monumental pile of debris, I retreated to the engine room for a while – but I couldn’t leave my willing associates to take the rap, so I came out, humbly apologized and promised that progress would now be accelerated. In a few weeks, I said, she would see the wisdom of my move. A narrowing of the eyes was her only response and I knew that this was a promise to break at my peril.
It was time to bring in all of the reinforcements I could assemble, namely … Mama. I picked her up every morning and she worked all day with me. Sure enough, we started to see results. Now and then Mama complained a little and I had to remind her that years before, when she and Wayne decided to build a house themselves, despite their complete lack of experience, it was me who was the every day helper. This, I said, was payback.
Actually, Mama enjoyed helping me and I really enjoyed having her with me. When Linda came home at the end of the day, Mama proudly showed her our progress.
The projects became more and more ambitious and, with the galley functional, we would stop work a little early, open a bottle of wine and Mama cooked. Friends and neighbors came in, ostensibly to inspect the work but I think the real attraction was Mama’s wonderful and authentic Italian cooking. We spent several happy, busy months working seven days a week in this manner and the results were beyond our wildest expectations.
One day, our friend Bob asked if we were ever going to use the boat. We looked around and realized that, even if the remodel wasn’t finished, Poseidon could be perfectly sea-worthy. So we sea-proofed the semi-completed work, took a few days off, and voyaged to Catalina for a week with Bob and Cynthia as guests.
The work continued upon our return, and we focused on all the other
upgrades and refinements: the mechanical systems, electronics, the exterior of the boat, furniture, upholstery, drapery and decoration. It seemed to be an endless list but we did eventually complete the work – and in the next instalment of this story I’ll share a photographic tour of MC Poseidon as she is now.
(The reality, of course, is that the list was endless! Literally! But that’s boats. You never finish all the work and, even of you do, you can be sure something else will crop up.)