That is a question I am asked just about everywhere I go. I wish I had a firm answer, but I don’t
The dream of purchasing a ship was born several years ago, and then 4 years ago a suitable vessel was found and a deal made. It took a year to raise the money to complete the purchase in March 2015. I became captain in August of 2015. We found a shipyard that fall, but were not ready to go there. Instead we overhauled the starboard main engine at Summit North marina in Bear, Delaware. We went to Yank Marine in July 2016, and started work on the conversion in September 2016. The shipyard is a costly adventure, and money was (and is) tight, so the work pace has been controlled.
We made every effort to finish the boat in 2017. I essentially went to New Jersey in mid-March and worked on the boat continuously until early November. The only breaks were when Mary and I took 3 deputation trips of about 2 weeks each. We were extremely blessed to have Frank Olafson from Neuse Baptist in Raleigh, NC and Paul Pecou from Sardis Lake Baptist in Sardis Lake, Mississippi work with us from early May and early June respectively…they were an answer to prayer.
This year we overhauled the port main engine, corrected significant corrosion issues in the main cabin, repaired corrosion issues in the main deck, expanded the main cabin, built the interior of the main cabin to include dormitories for 12 people, put in the pharmacy and medical exam rooms, built the dining and galley spaces, put in the necessary bathroom facilities, put in the plumbing, built the new exhaust systems, worked on the electrical system, built a second deck berthing facility, upgraded the pilot house, and the list goes on and on…..but we did not finish.
What is left? We need to complete the electrical upgrades (about 3 or 4 days worth of work), complete the electrical layout in the cabins (about 4 days work), finish the cooking hood (a day’s work), put in the galley equipment (2 days work), finish the plumbing install (about 4 days work), finish the interior priming and painting (4 days work), repair the sea water system piping in the engine room (about 3 days work), rebuild the fire main (put some piping and valves in place, about 3 days work), sand down the main cabin (about 4 days work), paint the exterior of the cabin (2-3 days work), paint the exterior of the hull (about 5 days work due to the sequence of putting on paint and primer)….clean, clean, clean (about 4-5 days to get it acceptable…a month to get it to where it really needs to be).
If you add up the days above, it comes to about 6 weeks worth of work if it is done sequentially, which is how it will be done if it is just 2 or 3 of us working…but a lot of the work can be done simultaneously….so that 6 weeks could be reduced to 2 to 3 weeks if we can get some more help. There is enough work to be done that anyone who is willing to get their hands dirty will have something to do…a lot of the work (in fact most of it) does not require special skills…just a willingness to work.
So the answer to the question above…it depends…it depends on the amount of help we get once we start back to work in 2018.