First off, thanks guys! We both really appreciate the nice words and support
I should have said in my op that we aren't leaving southbound until the normal time of year, probably right after the boat show. While she's ready to move aboard and begin to shake out, I still have a ton left to do on her.. the punch out list is still long, even though from all appearances she looks "done" (is a boat ever done though?). The only systems left to install are the vane and the windlass, as well as some electrical. It's all ready to go on/in though. Small stuff however - the details both interior and exterior, is a long list. Jack lines, tether points, some standing rigging needs to be replaced, counter top surfaces need to be applied (I'm looking for a nice slab of granite as we speak -grin.. ), etc..
I think we have a full spring and summers worth of stuff to do in this regard, but the big "change" in lifestyle begins now, as even though we have all this stuff to finish up and shake out, we're still ready to move aboard and begin to sail her. Just getting here has been an adventure in and of itself, and we really can't believe we were able to do all that we did. We both have fairly moderate standards on how we need to live, so completing her enough to be happy moving aboard has been a long road to say the least.
I'll post some pics to the blog so you can see how she's looking. The interior cushions were installed last week (really beautiful stuff - 6" foam, no bottoming out anymore), and I just laid the cabin sole yesterday. Those were the last two hurdles that needed to be completed to make her livable and sailable.
All of her systems as of now are pretty much untried (except the heater..), and I plan on taking the entire spring, summer and fall to shake her out/make adjustments where needed, that kind of stuff. It'll also be the period in which we really see how being motorless fits us and works out. We should have a pretty good handle by then whether or not the o/b needs to go on. I didn't mean to make it seem like we were leaving now, we've now been at this for so long that I forget other peoples perspective from the outside (plus not really updating on our progress or keeping a public blog and all that)..
It's funny, out of all the work we did - building the cabin sole was one of the hardest things to do.. it's been holding me up for two months now, and I finally finished it yesterday. Next time I'll just buy the teak and holly pre made stuff instead of gluing up tongue and groove bamboo.. anyway, thanks again everyone - the blog should be better this time around, as it won't be focused on just building the boat (which I got real
sick of writing about after a point, lol), it'll be that, plus all the twists and turns of getting used to small living and exploring the bay without a motor in preparation to sail away to parts unknown..