Wednesday, January 22, 2014

SV Mirador

The year was 1997, I was looking for more than just a boat, I needed a home. Real estate had lost its illusion of permanence for me, a boats mobility suited me just fine. I traveled the state looking at boats, I just couldn't close the deal. Many were the times when I would find myself in front of a derelict vessel who's shamelessly embellished advertised description reminded me of the pictures of the hamburgers at a fast food restaurant. Have you ever sat there looking at the burger they gave you, and then up at the picture of the burger you wanted, and thought, "if this burger were in a police lineup you could never point it out as a match for the one in the picture"? True story, I once drove from Miami all the way to St. Augustine to look at a boat. When I got there the boat was so devoid of any equipment that it didn't even have a compass. I was quite candid about my concern so the guy opens a drawer and hands me a puck compass, like the Boy Scouts use, enough said.
One fine day I went to see a boat in Coconut Grove. The boat was definitely not what I was looking for. However, as we were walking back to the brokers office a boat caught my eye. I asked the broker about it, and she mentioned it would be going up for auction soon. In their defense, they tried to talk me out of pursuing this boat, but it's lines were so unique that I was hooked, the rest is history.
Mirador was designed  by naval architect Alan P. Gurney for Islander Yachts out of Costa Mesa, California. She was called the Scorcher 41. Built in 1973, she is one of only 6 ever produced. I am lucky enough to have the original sales brochure and price list.
Just be be clear, she was a mess. My thoughts were, "if I have a solid hull and a sound engine, I'm good". I will tell you now that I would not let a friend of mine buy a boat in the hopes of "fixing it up". If I have to run him down with the car, and rush him to hospital, he'd still be better off.
Getting back to Mirador, once I had sealed my fate by purchasing the boat I began the biggest endeavor of my life. I started cleaning, the bilge had a full barrel of crude oil sloshing around inside. In an act of desperation, I took a hole saw, and opened a hole in the hull so the gunk would drain out. Next came a mad dash to cleanup ensuing oil spill before the "Department of Environmental Resources" came to arrest me. Slowly I began to disassemble the damaged insides. For years she had been leaking like a colander. I removed all of the interior, all of the plumbing, and all of the electrical wiring, everything in sight. When I was done it was nothing but one big empty capsule. I went to the hardware store and purchased 15 sheets of teak plywood. This act alone cost more than my initial investment. Then, as if the odds were just not stacked high enough against me, I hired a pirate disguised as a carpenter to help me with the project. After surviving a financial raping that would have made JP Morgan salivate. I limped away with a yet unfinished boat, and a prostate that looked like a bagel.
I bought and devoured all manner of technical boat manuals, everything available on the market. Every book gave the authors opinion of how a boat should be put together. Some books were better than others, but in the end I learned not to be consumed by a boats presumed short comings. The moral of the story is "Learn to love what you have". A $20,000 sailboat can cross a ocean as safely as a $500,000 sailboat. I didn't learn this lesson the cheap way, oh no, I have installed just about every possible system into Mirador, over a 15 year period. I almost lost sight of the objective which was to enjoy the boat in the first place. 
Allow me to give you an overview of Mirador's systems:
I know that some of this will be gibberish to non-boaters.
This a view of the main salon. Eva felt she needed to be in the picture.
I had to make all new drawers, this the flatware drawer with individual compartments.
I also made a drawer for the spices.
The entire interior was Awlgripped in "Cloud White" before the commencement of the interior work. Her interior is "appointed" in satin finished teak with maple trim and head liner. The flooring is 2 tone Nora rubber tiles embedded with the yacht's logo.
The rubber flooring with Mirador's logo.
The electrical system is split into 110v and 12v. All of the wiring is color coded to industry standards and labeled at both ends. All of the connections are crimped and soldered. There is a 3500 watt diesel generator, 250 watt solar panels with MPPT charge controller, a 90 amp alternator, and a 2500 watt inverter that seamlessly supplies 110v power from the six 200 amp deep cycle AGM batteries. All lights are LED.
This is the main electrical panel and switches. Marie's espresso machine is in the foreground. 

The solar panels are mounted over the bimini top.
The diesel generator is inside a sound proof capsule.
This is the current inverter.
Mirador carries 120 gallons of fresh water in 3 tanks. The system provides pressurized cold and hot water just like at home. There is one full bathroom and one half bath. The main toilet is a Blake Victory head, and retails for $15,370.50, no kidding. The A 20 gallon per hour watermaker keeps even the thirstiest of ladies (oh, don't deny it!) happy.
The Blake Victory Head is the best toilet in the world. It is capable of passing a small child.
The water heater works with both electricity and the engines heat.
This is the watermaker. It produces 20 gallons an hour.
A central 16,000 BTU reverse cycle air conditioner keeps us comfortable in extreme weather, or when it rains.
While not Julia Child's kitchen, the stove has 3 burners and a good size oven. It also has a microwave / toaster combination oven. To supply all of the BTUs needed she carries 50 lbs. of propane, about a 6 months supply. There are 2 separate refrigerator/freezers that operate on 12v.
Mirador has a stainless steel stove, and a toaster/microwave.
To get her moving there is a Perkins 4-108 diesel. She has a new suit of sails from Mack Sails. To control all of this sail area there is a Harken roller furler up front and a Mack Pac on the main with a Strong Track and lazy jacks. All of the rigging is new. To keep her on course there is a Cape Horn wind vane that steers better than I do.
This is the engine. It can push us along at about 6 knots.
This one of my favorite pieces of equipment, the wind pilot.
When you do not want to move, there are three 45 pound anchors on the bow (the pointy end) with 80 feet of chain and 300' of rope each. To retrieve all of this pig iron there is a Simpson Lawrence Tigress windlass.
Here are the anchors in their rollers.
As for electronics, there are 2 fixed GPS units. One with a 7 inch screen and the other is a 15 inch screen. We also carry 2 portable GPS's. For communications we have a fixed VHF radio, and 3 handhelds. There is also a B&G depth sounder at the helm. For access to the internet we have a satellite phone with WiFi, a high gain antenna on top of the mast, and a Delorme (a little unit that sends and receives text messages). We also have a Pioneer SuperTuner that feeds speakers inside and outside of the boat.
This is main GPS/Chartploter with VHF radio.
Now do you understand why it has taken me 15 years to complete this project? I have fabricated or installed everything myself so that I could fix everything myself. I am so much a part of this boat that I may as well be on the "Flying Dutchman". 


  1. Joaqui, While adventurous, crazy, insane are just some of the interchangeable adjectives that can be used to describe your journey of a lifetime; it's definitely awesome what you have set out to do. Your tales are fascinating, humorous and entertaining. Keep the blogs coming as we are all curious to know of your whereabouts and the newest encounters Marie, the kids and you are living through. Ps… Keep me posted of when you are planning to be in the Dominican Republic. Though I’m not certain as of yet, I (or maybe we – Nancy and I) am strongly entertaining the idea of making a trip to meet up with you if the dates coincide. Love you guys!!! Be safe!!!

  2. Tell them where you got those solar panels!

    Work from home theory is fast gaining popularity because of the freedom and flexibility that comes with it. Since one is not bound by fixed working hours, they can schedule their work at the time when they feel most productive and convenient to them. Women & Men benefit a lot from this concept of work since they can balance their home and work perfectly. People mostly find that in this situation, their productivity is higher and stress levels lower. Those who like isolation and a tranquil work environment also tend to prefer this way of working. Today, with the kind of communication networks available, millions of people worldwide are considering this option.

    Women & Men who want to be independent but cannot afford to leave their responsibilities at home aside will benefit a lot from this concept of work. It makes it easier to maintain a healthy balance between home and work. The family doesn't get neglected and you can get your work done too. You can thus effectively juggle home responsibilities with your career. Working from home is definitely a viable option but it also needs a lot of hard work and discipline. You have to make a time schedule for yourself and stick to it. There will be a time frame of course for any job you take up and you have to fulfill that project within that time frame.

    There are many things that can be done working from home. A few of them is listed below that will give you a general idea about the benefits of this concept.

    This is the most common and highly preferred job that Women & Men like doing. Since in today's competitive world both the parents have to work they need a secure place to leave behind their children who will take care of them and parents can also relax without being worried all the time. In this job you don't require any degree or qualifications. You only have to know how to take care of children. Parents are happy to pay handsome salary and you can also earn a lot without putting too much of an effort.

    For those who have a garden or an open space at your disposal and are also interested in gardening can go for this method of earning money. If given proper time and efforts nursery business can flourish very well and you will earn handsomely. But just as all jobs establishing it will be a bit difficult but the end results are outstanding.

    Freelance can be in different wings. Either you can be a freelance reporter or a freelance photographer. You can also do designing or be in the advertising field doing project on your own. Being independent and working independently will depend on your field of work and the availability of its worth in the market. If you like doing jewellery designing you can do that at home totally independently. You can also work on freelancing as a marketing executive working from home. Wanna know more, email us on and we will send you information on how you can actually work as a marketing freelancer.

    Internet related work
    This is a very vast field and here sky is the limit. All you need is a computer and Internet facility. Whatever field you are into work at home is perfect match in the software field. You can match your time according to your convenience and complete whatever projects you get. To learn more about how to work from home, contact us today on workfromhome.otr@gmail.comand our team will get you started on some excellent work from home projects.

    Diet food
    Since now a days Women & Men are more conscious of the food that they eat hence they prefer to have homemade low cal food and if you can start supplying low cal food to various offices then it will be a very good source of income and not too much of efforts. You can hire a few ladies who will help you out and this can be a good business.

    Thus think over this concept and go ahead.