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South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

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Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017

Thursday, June 13, 2013


With Shelley's two jobs, the chances of her getting a day off is pretty slim.  This week we were blessed with her having 2 1/2 days off!!

So without any hesitation, I switched my days off so that we could spend some time together.  We went to the boat and had some wonderful time and got a bunch of jobs done on the boat...

We have finally decided that we need to replace the autohelm system on the boat which will turn out to be about a $3500 expense.  The system that is currently on the boat is way underpowered for the new steering ram that we replaced in the spring before launch. Also, the company that makes this unit is no longer in business and so getting parts will be impossible.  Further, at best guess, the unit on the boat now is at least twenty years old so it really is time to consider something new.

We looked very seriously at a windvane system, but the boat is too large (45') and too heavy (17 tonnes or 34,000 lbs) AND has hydraulic steering.  Those factors, plus the fact that a self steering system that could work on this boat would cost more than $5000 have made us go with a new autohelm....

Since we have lots of solar power (and more on the way) and an AWESOME wind generator, we should have ample power to run the new autohelm system.  We plan on keeping the old system in place as a backup for the new system.

That all said, we have ordered the new Raymarine Evolution 400 system and a type 3 hydraulic pump that should be shipped to us sometime around the end of July.  This system is the newest technology available and will seamlessly connect with our existing Raymarine gear (radar and chartplotter/MFD display).
The other (and last, we hope) major expense before we leave will be to install a NEW hard dodger. For now we have re-installed the old blue soft dodger.  We have ordered 2, 2' x 3' tempered glass windows from the same company who made the pilot house windows.  They should be delivered before the middle of July and will cost about $600.  Our friend Mike (see last post) will be making the actual dodger for us.  When complete, this should be an awesome addition to our comfort and safety....

Over the last few days, Shelley and I have some jobs crossed off the "To Do" list...  We put up some "art" from home:

She is not exactly "art" but will keep me great company on long night watches... (her sister is at the helm outside)...

I built some space on either side of our bed for our books:

We found a small leak beside one of the shroud plates.  I cleaned it all out and injected epoxy, then ground it smooth and then caulked around EVERY shroud plate with 3M 5200.

We sewed together what we call our "Poor Man's Bimini"  This has a horizontal pole at it's front and back.  The forward pole is connected to the split backstay from the main mast.  The aft pole is connected with a vertical pole to the rear of the helm seat and secured horizontally with bungee chords and line to two "D" rings on the aft arch.

Then we added a panel on the port and starboard (left and right) ides to make extra shade and get us out of the wind....

Notice the large clear window so if this is up while we are motoring or sailing we can see the rigging from the helm.  When we need shade, the material is velcroed on 3 sides and sewn along the fourth...

A job that we have finally completed was to measure and mark our main chain rode.  Our main anchor is a Bruce Anchor attached to 4 lengths on various sized chain all linked together to form a 400 feet rode.  at 7 to 1 scope we can now safely anchor in up to 60' of water without adding any rope.  We do keep another 200' of rope in the lazerette if we ever need to anchor in water deeper than 60'.

We also have a second forward anchor (CQR) with 50' of chain and 300' of rope.

And we have a Danforth anchor in the lazerette with 30' of chain and 100' of rope that can be used for a stern anchor.

We had all kinds of fun laying it all out.... We have marked the chain every 25 feet.  At 25' & 75' there is 4 bright yellow cable ties, at 50' incraments there are orange ties and at 100' increments there are purple ties...  All the ties are attached to a link in a way that they won't fall off when they go through the windlass.

Shelley took some time to inventory all our clothes and has organized them so we can find them...

The last job was to measure the tiny little cockpit table so I can make an extension that will give us a table we can actually use...

Finally, Shelley used our new oven to make us some more AWESOME cinnamon buns...  Yummy!

I am pretty sure that Shelley will not get anymore time off before we go on holidays, so I have really appreciated her time and our time together...  I have to say that there is NOTHING more comfortable that sleeping on a gently rocking boat....  This morning we woke up to a terrific rain.  It was during that rain we discovered that we had a few small leaks around the deck.  This morning we fixed what we could and the next time I go to the boat I will caulk around the wooden gunnel with 5200 and caulk the stanchions with 5200.  This should take care of the last few places water is getting in....

More later....  Cheers!

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